Yesterday marked the first set of exhibition games of the 2009 Spring Training season. Below is a brief look at some of the games.
Mets v. Orioles (9 - 3)
There is something wrong with the universe when the Mets win a game and the Phillies lose on the same day. Hopefully, the Mets will do in 2009 what they always do, win early, win often, lose big. Especially if pitcher, Sean Green keeps breaking nails. (By the way Mets fans, it is not Shawn Green, learn to spell your own players' names before posting things on the Internet). He gave up one of three runs to Ty Wigginton before being replaced by Brian Bass. Some reporters are raving about Luis Castillo's performance last night, but did he really do that well? He's decent, yes (Career average .292, OBP .367), BUT weren't the Orioles simply there in form, not in function? What's up with the Orioles, anyway? Hennessey was apparently playing for the Mets, loading up bases in the second inning then being removed because of a sore elbow. This strategic move set up his replacement Chris Waters to allow Castillo to drive in a 2-run single. So he sucks. The Mets were then helped out in the 4th by the replacement of Piss Waters with David Pauley, who must also be working for the Mets, as he gave up four runs to them. Pauley (ERA 11.68, WHIP 2.27), really? Is this the best of the Orioles bullpen? The Colossal Castillo then knocked an impressive fly ball that the left fielder, Luke Scott, simply missed, and allowed two more to score. The Mets still suck, the Orioles just sucked a little harder.
Dodgers v. Cubs (3 - 5 Final)
Ever heard of Micah Hoffpauir? You will. Impressive grand slams are one way to ensure a spot on the team's roster. Ever heard of Manny Ramirez? Yeah, he wasn't there last night. "No distraction whatsoever," said Torre regarding Manny's absence. If the bastard wasn't so self-serving, the Dodgers may have had more of an offensive chance. Defensively, the Cubs started Jeff Samardzija, but after giving up three hits and two tuns in two innings, the Cubbies are considering bumping him back to Triple A.
Athletics v. Brewers (3 - 3 Final in 10th)
This game was called prior to completion because both teams went through all eight of their rotation, and simply ran out of pitchers. That's one way of keeping your pitchers "fresh." Is this new "play and pull" strategy going to be something we see a lot more of this year? One inning pitchers? Brewers Corey Hart looked pretty solid, not great but solid (this is the Brewers after all) after hitting a home run, a single, and stealing a few bases. For the A's Bobby Crosby and Travis Buck were the home run hitters last night. Noticeably contributing nothing to the game, Jason Giambi. The Athletics led until the eighth when two RBI singles were driven in by Brad Nelson and Chris Duffy. These are constantly mediocre teams, I wouldn't expect too much from either of them this season.
Chicago White Sox v. Angels (3 - 12)
The Angels showed up in force. I don't think the Sox even played. On paper, both teams look evenly balanced, but a string of unlucky pitchers from the Sox and some solid batting by the Angles lead to early Angel domination.
Rangers v. Royals (7 - 12)
A baseball game was played last night, and nobody cared...Rangers Hank Blalock looked pretty good, smashing in a two run homer in the first inning against Horatio Ramirez. Granted these are only exhibition games, and they fall before the season, and people are out of their groove, but c'mon Horatio, an ERA of 7 with a WHIP of 35? He pitched his second best for the Royals last year (ERA 2.59) but he has the tendency to give up runs and he looks as if he is falling back into old habits. He's lucky there was some great offense, as there is no defense for the Royals.
Diamondbacks v. Rockies (5 - 3)
Red Sox v. Twins (2 - 5)
Braves v. Tigers (4 - 5)
Phillies v. Pirates (2 - 8)
Yankees v. Jays (6 - 1)
Marlins v. Cardinals (5 - 5 in 10th)
Nationals v. Astros (3 - 6)
Reds v. Rays (7 - 0)
Giants v. Indians (10 - 7)
Xzibit - Concentrate