Monday, February 25, 2013

Training Game #3: The Pirates

Now, it's about this time in Spring Training when some pundits, or your friends, or the haters will want to bring up scores and records. Those people do not understand baseball if they do. Best to politely nod, ignore them, and put them on your list of people not to save if there happens to be a nuclear/zombie apocolypse. We won't need that kind of nonsense in my brave new world.

The game against the Pirates showcased a couple of pretty awesome things. Heyward jacked one in the 6th inning that landed waaaaay deep in center. It was a total no-doubter on a 1-2 count, which is nice to see that Jason can ambush a pitch when he's behind. BJ Upton also grabbed a two bagger in the fourth when he leveled off on a high first pitch fastball. That was one of BJ's two hits on the day. Also, Schafer went 2/2, so I have to give the kid a nod when he does well. I would love for him to raise his trade value by knocking a few around in training. Oh and Pastornicky went 1/1, so the chuckleheads were batting 1000 on the day. Savor the flavor, guys.

Downside? We struck out 8 times, bringing the total to a smoooooooth 23 Ks in 3 games. Also we went 1-8 with RISP, stranding 8 guys. Oh and as honorable mention, Venters got rocked. Two runs on 3 hits because he elevated a sinker that left the yard. Not a good inning for Everyday Jonny. That was nothing, though, compared to the greasefire that was David Carpenter. The RH reliever only went .2 innings giving up 5 runs on 4 hits. Carpenter is a Toronto reject who posted a horrifying 8.07 ERA in 32 innings last season. For some reason the Braves claimed him off waivers, possibly due to the fact he had a 2.93 ERA in 2011 for Houston in 28 innings. Guess what? We probably should have left him there.

Some dude named Aaron Northcraft, who was born in the 90s (DO YOU FEEL OLD YET?), did his best Wild Thing impression by walking 4 guys in the 8th. Thing is, Northcraft is a 6'4" 225lbs hurler who could be an effective middleman if he can stop throwing it into the crowd. He's a longterm prospect heading to a AA transition, so we'll see if the name comes up again in 2015.

More good news that doesn't show up in the scores? Hudson, Maholm, and Teheran all have pitched 2 innings of no-hit ball each. Only two guys have reached base on them so far. Guys that also haven't given up hits? Avilan, Gearrin, Kimbrel, Martinez, and Varvaro. So far, so good from most of our pitching regulars (except Jonny).

Go Braves!

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