It goes without saying, Opening Day was a rough experience for the Diamondbacks. In a game where Arizona came out of the gates running, they fell flat on their faces and failed to score after the 2nd inning, losing by 6 runs, 8-2. But hey, let’s keep our heads up! There are still 161 games to go, and this team showed glimpses of greatness last night. Let’s just hope they pitch around Will Smith every time he is up on Friday! Here are the studs and duds from Opening Day…
Stud: Diamondbacks 1B Christian Walker
It is not an easy task selecting a stud from an offense that generated 2 runs, 4 hits, and 0 walks. But the stud award for Opening Day goes to C Walker. In 3 at-bats, he went 1-3 with an RBI single in the first inning.
I think we all were out of our seats watching that first inning last night. Ketel gets hit by a pitch, then Gurriel Jr. smokes a single into left, and then on an 0-2 count, Walker muscles an outside pitch for a single into left and all of the sudden, the Diamondbacks were quickly out in front.
After his RBI single, Walker battled and in his second AB he grounded out after a lengthy 6 pitch at-bat. In his 3rd and final time up, he popped up to shortstop Miguel Rojas once again battling for a 5 pitch at-bat. Overall, Walker had 3 good trips to the plate but was only rewarded once. Hopefully, he gets more than 3 cracks at it tonight.
Stud: Diamondbacks RP Kyle Nelson
Nelson only pitched 1 inning last night, but he looked sharp. After giving up a single to the first batter he faced (Freddie Freeman) he settled down and retired the red-hot Will Smith to end the 6th inning. Nelson in fact was the only pitcher that got Smith out last night.
To start the bottom of the 7th, Nelson struck out Max Muncy on 4 pitches and then did the same thing to the next batter, J.D. Martinez. With two outs, he gave up a single to former Diamondback David Peralta and was then replaced by Carlos Vargas.
1 inning is obviously a small sample size, but striking out Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez is no easy feat. Well done Nelson…
Dud: Diamondbacks DH Kyle Lewis
A rough debut for Lewis to say the least. His final stat line, 0-4 with 3 Ks…
To lead off the game, Lewis was really making Urias work. After quickly getting down in the count 0-2, Lewis fouled off 3 pitches and took a ball upstairs before striking out on the 7th pitch of the at-bat. This was the best thing Lewis did all night.
His 2nd at-bat, a strikeout on 5 pitches. His 3rd at-bat, a strikeout on 4 pitches. His 4th and final at-bat, a pop-out to the catcher. Granted, it is one game and there is no need to panic. But for tearing it up in spring training, Lewis looked like he had never faced a major league pitcher last night.
Dud: Diamondbacks SP Zac Gallen
A tale of two stories for Gallen on Opening Day…
In Gallen’s first inning of work, he struck out not 1, not 2, but 3 Dodger hitters. He followed that up with a 1 2 3 bottom of the 2nd. The 3rd began in an ugly way, but Gallen escaped a 2nd and 3rd with nobody out situation only surrendering 2 runs. No runs given up in the 4th, game still tied, and then the bottom of the 5th happened.
Walk, single, single, strikeout, single, pulled from the game. 3 earned runs in the 5th, 5 earned runs overall. 6 hits and 3 walks in 4.2 innings. Not Gallen’s night. He will bounce back…
The Diamondbacks will play their second game of the season tonight at 7:10 MST.