It's always good to get the first one in the books.
There was some good, some bad and some ugly from the Colorado Rockies' 6-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2016 Cactus League opener between the two clubs. But for most of the players, the best part was probably just getting back on the field in a semi-competitive manner.
Let's get right into what happened.
Nolan Arenado: The Rockies' star third baseman ripped an RBI double down the left field line in the first inning and made a sharp defensive play to end the second. He looks like he's in midseason form. This is an extremely welcome development.
Raimel Tapia: The polarizing outfield prospect singled and doubled in two plate appearances, doing what he basically has always done: barreling up the ball.
Carlos Estevez: The flamethrowing righty needed just 12 pitches to whiff three D-backs hitters in the top of the ninth. Estevez dialed his fastball up to 97 mph and induced four swinging strikes, one of which came on his wipeout slider.
Jon Gray: Colorado's top pitching prospect worked with some traffic, allowing a pair of hits and a walk. But Gray struck out Brandon Drury with one of the better curveballs we've seen him throw en route to minimizing damage and getting through two innings unscathed. That was due in large part to Gray picking off Micah Owings at first base in the top of the third.
The Rockies' offense: Colorado hitters managed just three knocks after the first inning and six overall. It's the first game of the spring ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Pitchers named Tyler: Tyler Matzek's return to major league action did not go well. The 2009 first rounder, whose battle with anxiety issues during his career has been well documented, failed to record an out in the fourth inning, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Matzek surrendered a homer to Welington Castillo despite apparently making a decent pitch, and things quickly unraveled from there.
Tyler Anderson wasn't much better, giving up three runs on four hits in two innings of work. On the plus side, Anderson did not allow a walk and struck out three batters. Also on a positive note, Tyler Chatwood didn't pitch, so things could've been worse for the Tyler squad as a whole.
★ ★ ★
The Rockies and D-backs will do it again on Thursday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Jordan Lyles will take the mound for the Rockies for the first time since May 31 of last season. Eddie Butler, Sam Moll and Justin Miller are among those who are expected to see some action out of the bullpen.
And, as a public service announcement: if you want to try to your hand at writing one of these spring training game recaps, check out the details here and let us know.