Archie Bradley shows debut was no fluke

Archie Bradley pitched another solid outing against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Archie Bradley on Thursday made a few believers out of doubters — yes, there were still some after Bradley outpitched 2014 Cy Young Award winner and National League MVP Clayton Kershaw in his major league debut.

He looked no worse than his debut in a 12-inning, 7-6 D-backs victory by again outperforming his counterpart, reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.

The D-backs held a 4-1 lead on the Giants when Bradley left the game in the seventh inning. A runner on base eventually scored, but this was about Arizona hoping for sustained success from its young pitcher.

D-backs 7, Giants 6

A hyper-critical analysis of Bradley’s first game could point to a lack of efficiency, but he again found that as the game wore on. He went into the sixth inning with 80 pitches thrown and into the seventh with 90. After 10 more pitches, he got pulled after 6 2/3 innings, having given up four hits and one run while walking two and striking out four.

Bumgarner wouldn’t last much longer, going seven innings and allowing six hits and four earned runs off two homers by Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo.

And while Bradley wouldn’t earn the win, his performance certainly leads one to believe that final spring training game and his well-received MLB debut was no fluke.

* The D-backs’ bullpen had been a strength but not on Thursday. Oliver Perez gave up a home run on his second pitch, a two-run shot by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford in the seventh. Addison Reed blew a 4-3 lead in the ninth and left the bases loaded before being chased, and Andrew Chafin didn’t last through an inning and exited with runners on the corners in the 10th. Maybe the best performances came from Hudson or Evan Marshall, who entered in the 10th with runners on the corners and no outs. Marshall salvaged a bad situation, allowing just one run and getting out of the inning with two strikeouts and a forceout at home. Randall Delgado closed the game.

* The long ball was Arizona’s friend. Mark Trumbo caught Bumgarner for a solo shot in the second, Paul Goldschmidt launched a three-run homer in the fifth and A.J. Pollock kepth the D-backs alive with a home run to left field in the top of the 10th, breaking a 4-4 tie. 

* Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch deserves a bit of credit in the testy ninth and 10th innings, keeping a few wild pitches from Chafin in front of him and leading Marshall to success in a bad situation.

* Delgado closed the game as the D-backs ran through their eight pitchers in the bullpen. Even the Friday starter, Josh Collmenter, went to the bullpen to warm up. Arizona took the lead when Aaron Hill ended a 0-for-10 hitting streak against Sergio Romo with a 2-RBI hit in the 12th inning.

Former D-backs pitcher Randy Johnson, now a special assistant to the president and CEO, joined Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly in the broadcast booth and the Big Unit entertained with a few good stories and unique insight. A few highlights:

On Madison Bumgarner setting a record last year with 52-2/3 innings pitched in a postseason run: "In my first year in Arizona in 99, I threw I think 270 innings, I think I had 12 complete games," Johnson said. "When I went to meet Warren Spahn … He told me, ‘Son, I used to throw 300 innings in a year.’ That just put some things in perspective."

Everything seemingly has been done before, and Johnson added that Bumgarner setting that record is truly special.

On Brenly, the former D-backs manager, being a smart guy: "That’s the great thing of having a manager (that was) a catcher, is they are smart. I’m not saying they’re smartest between the lines; they’re smart enough to realize the pitcher, the smartest player out there, is tired or needs a little bit of a break. It’s sometimes the catcher’s responsibility to come out there and lend him a little break and take a little timeout."


A flock of well-timed seagulls began circling at the end of the game expecting to pick up scraps of food. Berthiaume suggested Johnson could take care of such annoyances, which included a seagull dropping a chicken tender near Delgado on the mound.

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