Monday, March 4, 2013

Training Games 9&10: Astros and Tigers

The weather was awful here this weekend, but it was very nice for the most part down in Florida. That's a good thing since we need our spring training fix. I even have the advantage of hearing the Saturday games on the radio since I'm chained to my desk during tax season. I have to look on the sunny side of these things.

From a pitching standpoint, the Astros game was fine. Medlen went 3 innings with only one blemish, a solo shot in first inning. He had a couple of strikeouts and walk, but otherwise gave up no hits. In other words, he looks pretty sharp. I've said it before, I'll forgive the solo shot mistake. I won't forgive the 3 run oops. The oops came in the game when Sean Gilmartin went 3 innings and gave up 4 runs in the 4th inning on 6 hits. Total disaster. So far, the Braves pitching staff as a whole hasn't really had too many games without a complete meltdown by somebody. Not really concerning, just a point about the depth of our bullpen beyond our steady regulars.

The hitting was another story. Freeman went yard on a solo shot in the 3rd. That's basically the offense for the game until Houston put in the dregs in the 7th inning. And if you are the dregs on Houston, I'm not sure you were even in AAA ball last year. You might have been in the California Penal League. Houston seems to be actively trying to become the biggest joke in baseball, surpassed only by Jeffrey Loria's lime green disaster of a stadium (that I always said was a bad idea, even while ESPN was kissing his rear about how great it was for the community). If our hits come after the 4th or 5th inning in any training game, they are essentially meaningless. That's just a note for the future.

On to the Tigers. Didn't we just play them? Seems like we did. The pitching was lights out against the Tigers this time. Minor redeemed his early game issues with 3 innings of 1 hit ball and 3 Ks. Venters, Gearrin, and Varvaro also logged 3 innings of 1 hit ball with 4 Ks. The Tigers couldn't touch those guys. Meanwhile, our boys touched up Doug Fister (a starter for the Tigers) for 3 runs on 5 hits with a moon shot. In fact, 3 different guys homered in the game: Uggla, BJ Upton, and Pastornicky. Upton's is the one that counts because it was off a real major leaguer. Freddie Freeman also managed to leg out a triple somehow. I would have loved to see that live because as we know, Special Fred is NOT fast. He probably looked like Frankenstein with a short circuit trying to hustle to the bag. Either that, or someone in the outfield fell over and he just moonwalked around the bases. I'm not entirely sure. I'm just happy those guys are showing up consistently in the box scores.

Some overall thoughts: I really like what Joey Terd is doing at the plate. 10 hits in 16 ABs is nothing to snark at, even in training. The same is true of Evan Gattis. How we don't have a PH bench spot for this guy on the team is almost beyond me. He seems like the prototype slugger you want to come in for a reliever late in the game, or in a double switch. I would be disappointed if he doesn't get a shot on the roster this year, at the very least when we open it up to 40 mans in the fall. Also, Pastornicky is doing his best to show he can handle a bat. He may be doing it against sub-par pitchers, but he's showing a lot more effort than I expected. I still don't think we can put him on this team, but I would love to trade him for something decent.

Go Braves!

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