Real live Rockies baseball players played real live Diamondbacks baseball players today at Salt River Fields, and while the result wasn't a Rockies W, that still felt good to type. The Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 6-2, dropping the Rockies to 0-1 in Cactus League action and 0-0 in meaningful baseball.
Jordan Lyles started the game and looked solid. He only worked two innings (typical for early Cactus League games) but didn't give up a run or a hit. He hit a batter and struck out one. Lyles is being counted on to anchor the bottom of the rotation, so seeing him get outs instead of getting rocked is encouraging.
Perhaps even more encouraging, in a long-term context, was Jon Gray's relief appearance. He showed some early nerves with a first batter walk, but he put down the third inning with a 97 mph fastball that fanned Paul Goldschmidt. Beautiful, beautiful. In the fourth he again ended the frame with a strikeout. Two thumbs up.
Other interesting anecdotes: Wilin Rosario showed some strong instincts at first base with a spinning throw to second base to nail the lead runner on a ground out. They nearly turned the double play. Rosario's future, if it occurs with the Rockies, will be at first base and not catcher, so any positive signs concerning his ability there are good to see.
Daniel Descalso rocketed a triple to center field. So professional. The professionalism wafts off him like Axe Body Spray. He also seemed to play a solid short stop as well, based on what I could tell from the radio.
The D'Backs runs came off Aaron Laffey, Jairo Diaz, and Yohan Flande. Diaz came in the Josh Rutledge trade, and he was supposedly pumping in high-90s fastballs, but he either was missing the strike zone or throwing it right down the middle, because he gave up some hard contact. Still, he seems like a good arm to have in the organization.
Flande is whatever.
The Rockies' runs came off a Rafael Ynoa single and a Roger Bernadina ground out, both in the ninth inning when the game was over and no one was paying attention.
Overall, you can't really complain about the Rockies' Cactus League opener. They got their work in, nobody got hurt, and the important players looked solid. More of this to come, and real baseball isn't too far away either. Spring is a good time of year.