PHOENIX -- Even though his first outing in a D-backs uniform lasted only a few moments in Tuesday's 6-1 loss against the Cardinals, Tony Sipp was pleased to get the first one under his belt after spending the first four years of his Major League career with the Indians.
With two runners on base and two outs in the sixth inning, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson called on the southpaw to retire the left-handed-hitting Daniel Descalso and get the club out of the jam. Sipp admitted he felt nervous on his way from the bullpen to the mound, but those butterflies soon flew away as he needed just one pitch to retire the Cardinals batter and end the inning.
"It was kind of over before I even realized it," he said. "I didn't think it'd be that quick. It felt good though to have good results. Obviously, there are a lot more outings left and not all of them will be that easy, but just to even get out there and get the jitters out of the way felt nice."
The pitch Sipp got Descalso out on was a 76-mph slider up in the zone that induced a fly ball to center.
"We knew he was going to be aggressive in that situation, so we threw a breaking ball and got him out in front," Gibson said. "That's the kind of bullpen change you like to make."
The D-backs acquired Sipp this winter in a trade that involved Trevor Bauer going to Cleveland and Arizona netting Didi Gregorius. When the left-hander first became aware of the move, he was worried about adjusting to a new organization, but since arriving this spring, the transition has been as smooth as possible.
"It has gone way better than I expected it to, I thought it might be awkward at first, but I haven't had an awkward day," Sipp said. "From day one, I came in and it felt like everyone really guided me through and showed me the ropes. They've done an amazing job of helping me if I forget a name or if I need to know where to go. I've really enjoyed it because if everyone is joking around and laughing, it makes it easier for the new guy to come in and feel comfortable."
The biggest difference between the Indians and his new club, Sipp said, is how much the D-backs' coaching staff works to develop the fundamentals like holding runners on base.
"They really drill it, but it's not like it's tedious," he said. "They make sure you're doing things right and I don't mind it at all because it only helps you in the game."
In 249 career appearances, Sipp has a 3.67 ERA and 225 strikeouts and 111 walks.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less