It's Day 3 of the Spring Training games! Here's a look at yesterday's games:
- Braves v. Dodgers: Given the opportunity, would you kick Jason Schmidt in the nuts? In a recent survey, a whopping 85% of Dodgers fans replied that yes, yes they would. The remaining 15% also expressed a desire to kick Jason Schmidt in the nuts, but added that they would like to be screaming "Give us back our money you chubby hack!" while doing so. Well, the answer to that question surely hasn't changed, as Schmidt apparently threw 53 pitches in a workout and spent the rest of the afternoon whining about it. Maybe Alyssa Milano can cheer him up. This game played out just as you would expect a dull game between two mediocre NL teams to. Dodgers won, and Andruw Jones scored even though he is fat. 5-4, Los Angeles.
- Marlins v. Orioles: Which of these two supposed "youth movements" is less likely to result in gross humiliation this season? Uh, I'm going to have to go with Florida on that one, as the Orioles got completely shelled yesterday. Hanley Ramirez stole two bases because he is amazing. Could it be that Tampa Bay might actually NOT finish dead last in the AL East this year? Eh, who cares. At least the Orioles' bullpen only gave up 16 runs, and not 30. 16-3, Florida.
- Astros v. Indians: I mean, I guess we could ask whether or not the Indians look as primed for success as they did last season. But I think the question everyone's REALLY concerned with is this: Are Grady Sizemore's features still as boyishly handsome as ever? The Tribe was mostly concerned with giving their prospects a chance to demonstrate what they can do offensively yesterday, and the up-and-comers delivered in stellar fashion. Grady still looks great, though. Today's game should actually be more exciting, as Paul Byrd and Roy Oswalt square off. 12-2, Cleveland.
- Mets v. Cardinals: Can the underdog Cards rally to hold off the Mets in the wake of the Scott Spiezio scandal? (And does Spiezio really need all those vowels in his name?) Will the Cards actually have someone to put on the mound come opening day? Will Tony LaRussa's plan to bat the pitcher 8th be in any way effective? How many home runs will Rick Ankiel hit and then subsequently dedicate to me? SO MANY QUESTIONS! Well slap me silly, 'cause the Cards' pitching actually looked pretty decent yesterday as they shut out the Mets. David Wright almost ruined the shutout with a run-scoring double in the 2nd, but my darling Rick was there to rob him of the hit and save the day. 7-0, St. Louis. From the Post-Dispatch:
JUPITER, Fla. -- The words Cards outfielder Chris Duncan settled on as the best way to describe it were: "pretty sick."
In the first inning of Thursday's spring opener, Rick Ankiel sprinted to catch a deep fly ball to left-center hit by Mets third baseman David Wright.
Ankiel dove and snared the ball with a shoestring catch. When he thudded on the warning track, the ball popped out of his glove and he snatched it again to secure the out.
"Might have changed the game," manager Tony La Russa said.
- Pirates v. Phillies: Um, how much does it suck being from Pennsylvania? Unless you're Amish, of course. They get away with everything. The Phillies irritate me for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, so I enjoyed reading that the hapless Pirates were able to stomp all over their Eastern Pennsylvania counterparts. Ryan Howard homered, but so did Adam LaRoche (the sleeper pick in every fantasy draft; a truly underrated player). 11-6, Pittsburgh.
- Blue Jays v. Tigers: Roy Halladay: miraculous granter of childhood wishes, or bucket-defouling jerk? Once again, my boy Magglio, along with Curtis Granderson, was the star of the game. Of the Jays' pitchers, Chacin looked the best. I know it's early, but it already seems pretty clear that Detroit is the team to beat in the AL this year. No word on Halladay... yet. 4-1, Detroit.
- White Sox v. Rockies: Do Clint Hurdle and Ozzie Guillen hate one another? I feel like they must. Heh. The Rockies' pitching got shelled last night. Nick Swisher and Jose Contreras both looked great. I actually think the White Sox are going to be a decent team this year -- too bad they're stuck in a division with the Tigers. 12-3, Chicago.
- Cubs v. Giants: If the Giants play a baseball game without Barry Bonds, does the media even bother to show up? Yes, but that sure doesn't guarantee anything else for the Giants. Kosuke got plunked on his first plate appearance of the preseason and reached base on both of his other at-bats as well, so this looks pretty promising for the Cubs. Ryan Dempster was also in decent form last night. I'd say it was a good day to be from Chicago, regardless of who your baseball team is; maybe this will help you forget about your dismal QB situation. 12-6, Chicago.
- Rockies v. Diamondbacks: Why does this sound familiar? Yup, this game was just as dull as its October predecessor, ending in a tie. The Rockies sure aren't looking much like the team everyone was waxing poetic about last fall. Maybe they can whine about how they had too much downtime, and that's affecting their performance or something. 5-5, nobody.
- Athletics v. Brewers: Will Billy Beane's offseason fire sale pay off despite the fact that the A's are officially 65% less entertaining without Nick Swisher? I mean... you can't really expect a gutted AL West team to look too good against the likes of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. For the record, I like the Brewers to win the NL Central this year. Maybe Eric Gagne will even help a little. 7-1, Brewers.
- Rangers v. Angels: Seriously, how nasty is Vlad? Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews Jr. were actually the offensive leaders yesterday, but I'm pretty sure Vlad is still nasty. Kason Gabbard struck out 3 over 2 innings for Texas. The game ended in a tie. 3-3, nobody.
Note: I inadvertently left off the Reds-Twins game yesterday. Two crappy central-division teams. Eh. Cincinnati won, 6-1. I have at least one reader whom this will make happy.
RED SOX SPRING TRAINING OPENER VS. THE TWINS TODAY. I'm not sure I'll have time to do my little preview of all the games today, but Johan Santana is pitching for the Mets for the first time today. That should be exciting. As for me, I'll be glued to my TV from 7 pm onwards. GO SOX!