Joe Saunders, the man who wept when he was traded to the Diamondbacks, has made fans weep this entire spring, and last night was the biggest cry-fest of all. In a game that Saunders needed to pitch well he fell flat.
After being inconspicuously omitted when Kirk Gibson was naming the starters earlier in the week the pressure was on Saunders to have a quality outing and show that he deserves to be one of the five.
Saunders answered the bell, for two innings, and then proceeded to allowing five runs, six hits, and four walks in his remaining three innings of work. More troubling, and something that Diamondbacks fans saw repeatedly with former closer Chad Qualls last season, is that Saunders insists he threw the ball well with a few exceptions.
Compounding matters is the fact that Kirk Gibson essentially called him out after the game, citing that the team needs guys who can deal with pressure. There appears to be a bit of friction between the hard nosed, old school Gibson and Saunders.
Most likely, Saunders will be in the starting rotation as of Opening Day, and he’ll have one more chance to attempt to have a decent outing before the start of the season. But when Diamondbacks’ fans remember that this is what the team got for Dan Haren, the tears come a’flowing.