The Wrap: Sunny Saturday Games
More spring training action, more games to discuss:
- Texas 6, Arizona 4 -- Box -- The Gist: Arizona pitcher Tony Pena was the fourth man to get in his work in yesterday's game, but his inning was by far the most interesting. Check out his line: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K, no runs allowed. Now that's a doozie.
- Cubs 13, White Sox 0 -- Box -- The Gist: The White Sox had a combined six hits. Their Windy City rivals had 14. We know Obama's a fan of the Southside nine, but he might want to re-consider throwing out the first pitch for a few more games.
- Brewers 5, Angels 3 -- Box -- The Gist: If you recognize either of the starting pitchers from Saturday's game -- LAoA's Shane Loux or Milwaukee's Eduardo Morlan (who doesn't even have a player page from Stats Inc. yet) pat yourself on the back. Still, the stature of those guys just means you might not want to read very much into this result ... even for a spring training game.
- A's 1, Indians 0 -- Box -- The Gist: Two spring training shutouts on the same day? What's going on? Evidently, this could have been a dual-shutout, with new Cleveland start Carl Pavano impressing in two spotless innings. Yes Yankees fans, that Carl Pavano.
- Mariners 6, Giants 4 -- Box -- The Gist: According to reports, Barry Zito looks better than he has in a Giants uniform, both physically -- he allegedly lost significant weight in the offseason -- and on the mound. It just makes one wonder if more impressive pitching outings would influence a potential play for Manny Ramirez (we think not, but you never know).
- Royals 2, Padres 2 -- Box -- The Gist: What, we thought there were no tie games in baseball anymore. Someone call Bud Selig! Still, if you're looking for something significant out of this game, check out the line of former No. 1 pitcher Luke Hochevar of the Royals: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K ... 9.00 ERA. Ouch. Not a stellar start for his pitch to be in the opening day starting rotation.
- Dodgers 13, Rockies 5 -- Box -- The Gist: Break up the Dodgers! And forget about Manny! The only downside of Los Angeles' rout was an early bout of inconsistency from starter Clayton Kershaw, who got himself in a second-inning jam but got himself off with only two runs of damage, if you can call two runs "only" in terms of damage.
- Pirates 6, Astros 5 -- Box -- The Gist: Maybe the '09 Pirates will hit with some power. They knocked out four dingers on Saturday, with four different players going yard.
- Phillies 12, Rays 5 -- Box -- The Gist: New season, same result for the defending champions of each league. The more significant note may come from the performance of Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. Philadelphia let him work into the third inning, and he allowed four hits and a run. Keep an eye on the future performance of J.A. Happ and minor leaguer Carlos Carrasco -- particularly Carrasco -- to see if Kendrick will win back the No. 5 starter's job. It's no foregone conclusion.
- Cardinals 9, Nationals 2 -- Box -- The Gist: Not an encouraging first cameo from former Oriole Daniel Cabrera: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4.50 ERA. Not too pretty. Chris Carpenter, on the other hand, looked like his old self, which has to make Cubs (and Mets) fans sick to their stomach.
- Orioles 4, Marlins 2 -- Box -- The Gist: Jeremy Guthrie's final tuneup for the World Baseball Classic was a good one, as he gave up only three hits in three scoreless innings for Baltimore. That has to be encouraging to the Team USA coaches and, perhaps more importantly, to Orioles fans.
- Braves 6, Blue Jays 3 -- Box -- The Gist: Derek Lowe won his first start with Atlanta -- despite allowing a run -- and did nothing to discourage the comments by ESPN's Peter Gammons that Atlanta may be the team that has been the most pleasant surprise early in spring training. There's plenty of drama in Toronto, too, but that's all off the field. Reports Saturday claimed the Blue Jays were interested in adding shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but would have to deal Scott Rolen, Lyle Overbay or both to make room for his salary. Stay tuned for further developments on that front, but something could happen in the near future. After all, we can't expect J.P. Ricciardi to stay quiet all offseason, can we?
- Tigers 7, Mets 2 -- Box -- The Gist: Joe Niese is the rookie trying to fight his way to the final starting slot in New York's rotation, but his first start of spring training didn't help his case. He allowed wo runs and two hits with two walks in two innings, including a solo homer to Brandon Inge. Meanwhile, the mood was much worse in the other dugout, where starter Jeremy Bonderman was scratched due to shoulder soreness, discomfort so serious that the team even cancelled his planned 30-pitch side session. That's not a good sign for a team that's counting on Bonderman to bounce back in 2009 and solidify the middle of the rotation.
- Twins 7, Yankees 3 -- Box -- The Gist: Francisco Liriano is back! Kind of. He allowed three runs over two innings, but looked healthy. So did Joba Chamberlain, who struggled just as much as Liriano, allowing two runs and three hits in a single inning.
- Red Sox 16, Reds 5 -- Box -- The Gist: The Red Sox fielded a split squad after half the team played Northeastern earlier in the day, but that didn't put a damper on a strong performance from Clay Buchholz, who pitched two scoreless innings and was backed by a whopping 20 hits.
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