Monday, March 11, 2013

Training Games 16-17: Yankees and Marlins weekend roundup

So, I had a surreal moment when I turned on the TV on Sunday night and ESPN was playing the World Baseball Classic game between Dominican and Puerto Rico in Spanish only. Very confusing. It was like being back in Texas for a second. This just goes to show you that even broadcasting an exhibition baseball game in Spanish is still more popular than mid-major basketball. Take that Liberty, and your 15-20 record that somehow will be in the NCAA Tourney! On to baseball.

I had the priviledge of listening to the Saturday game against the Yankees on the radio. You know what I heard? A whole lot of not hitting. In fact, the game went 7 innings before anybody plated a run. And guess who came through with a clutch bloop single to get a runner home with 2 outs? Dan Uggla! I know, I'm shocked too. Mike Minor went 4 scoreless innings which was nice. The team also committed 3 fielding errors which was not so nice. Dan had one of those as well. He can't just have a nice day yet; he's still screwing it up somewhere. Overall though? This game was really really boring even for an exhibition. The Yankees stranded 11 guys, and in a regular season game probably would have lit us up. Or maybe not, given how old their team is getting.

I didn't see the game on Sunday, which was a blessing. That game against the Marlins started poorly and got worse in a hurry. Tim Hudson got lit up like a Christmas Decoration on Tim Allen's roof. I'm going to mark this down as a minor (Minor! Get it? Hurhurhur) concern because Tim is having the same struggles we saw last year. He can just look terrible in the first couple of innings and then lock in hard for the next 4. Tim started the game by immediately plunking the first batter. Then he gave up a single, a fly ball, and another fly ball. Ok, so at this point you have two on and two outs, and the damage has been well contained from two runners, no outs. All you need is one out to get out of a jam. NOPE. Next batter goes yardarm to right. 3-0, and you're scratching your head as a fan. Tim just gave up a 3 run jack to a guy who's never played in the majors.

Ok so you need Huddy to shake off the homer and rally in the second. He gives up an immediate single, a line out, a walk, and a ground out. Here we are again, runners on second and third, two outs. All you need is an out to... NOPE! Smack single to left, both runs score, and before you can sit down turn around and pick a bale of cotton, Timmy's down five runs. Now, if you're a Braves fan from the past you know exactly what we do in these situations. We hang our heads like a bunch of losers, don't score, and move on to next game while Fredi G or some other jackass "tips his cap" and rambles about running into a buzzsaw. This game was no different. The Braves ended up only scoring 2 more runs, the Marlins put up double digits.

Bright side of Sunday? BJ Upton went 3/3, and Jason Heyward went 2/3. Downside? Chris Johnson had his 3rd fielding error, and BJ Upton was caught stealing twice. Oh and we had no extra base hits except for some guy named Joe Leonard who doesn't matter.

Time to check the stats toteboard! Just as I'd suspected the Braves strikeout totals are on the rise, up to 121 in training now. That's 6th in the league, and only 8 away from the #1 spot, held by the worthless Mets. We now have as many strikeouts as the Houston Astros, who are manned by possible holdovers from the Mexican League. By far the disturbing thing is there are only 34 walks to go along with those Ks. That means right now we strike out 3.5 times as much as we walk. As a result our OBP is 24th in the league, and our runs scored is 21st. Simply put, we're not very patient, and we're not producing the runs needed to be that impatient. Luckily, it's training. Luckily, these numbers don't matter when game one starts. However, we don't want carry over if guys aren't seeing the ball well, or if pitchers haven't found their zone, or if Dan Uggla is swinging at air.

Am I worked up yet? No, right now this is all information. And the only information I really want is the score of our opening day win.

Go Braves!

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