Ladies and gentlemen, there was baseball today. Rejoice in the beauty that is our game. Spring training is officially upon us, and we've got the first day's round up.
It's not quite an All-Star Game tie, but in the first day of real spring training games, the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers kissed their sisters. The Detroit Tigers, the Cleveland Indians, and the San Diego Padres all found a way to win, though.
The beauty of this being the first day of games, there were so few that I can actually give you links to all the game threads and even do some wrap ups. Don't get used to it though.
So, here we go:
Detroit Tigers - 2 Atlanta Braves - 1
It almost seems weird calling them the Braves after Rob Neyer's article yesterday, but that's still their name. Atlanta couldn't quite eek out a victory today over the Tigers. Maybe if the Upton brothers didn't go 0 for 4 combined, the result would have been different. Worst. Trade/Signing. Ever.
The Tigers threw Rick Porcello out on the hill to face the Braves' Tim Hudson. Both went two innings without giving up a run. Porcello struck out two, didn't allow a hit, and didn't allow a walk. Hudson allowed one walk, didn't give up a hit, and struck out no one.
Both teams struggled to find their offense. There wasn't a hit for the first four innings. The Braves finally got a knock in the fifth against Jose Ortega. The Tigers offense looked bad. But they won, so… Detroit didn't get a hit until the eighth inning, and they scored both of their runs in the process. Whatever works.
Cincinnati Reds - 10 Cleveland Indians - 11
Again, Rob Neyer has me thinking the Indians is the team's throw-back name. But alas, the Indians are the Indians. And they are winners. In their first game as the newly designed, newly competitive (on paper) Indians, Cleveland won a slug-fest.
Cincinnati jumped all over the Tigers with five runs in the top of the first. Not a good showing for Giovanni Soto who should obviously be judged on his first 2/3 of an inning of spring ball. The Indians answered back with three runs in the bottom of the inning proving that the first game of spring is for hitters not pitchers (take that Braves and Tigers!). Cleveland scored in five of their nine innings, including three in the ninth inning to walk off winners. The Reds only scored in four of their nine innings. They need to step it up.
The game saw four home runs, which, quite frankly, seems low. Twenty-one runs and only four home runs. That's unacceptable. Joey Votto was the winner of the day going 2 for 3 with a run-scored and an RBI.
Kansas City Royals - 5 Texas Rangers - 5
A tie, really? What do you think this is, an exhibition game? Oh, well alright then.
The Royals and the Rangers couldn't quite break through against each other to put a "1" in their spring training W/L column. However, the Rangers can claim the moral victory by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Had Bud Selig not called this game on account of his sleepiness (this did not happen), the Royals and Rangers could still be playing.
The Rangers' stars did not get into the action much today. Jurickson Profar, who may not be a star yet but is being watched, went hitless in two at-bats. Ian Kinsler went hitless. Elvis Andrus went hitless. Alright, it might be easier to recap the guys with hits. Nelson Cruz proved he can hit without the assistance of any PEDs (probably) today. He blasted a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Royals had similar problems with their stars. Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon went hitless in the game. The team did get production from Mike Moustakas who went 1 for 2. Kansas City almost proved victorious by scoring one in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie. But it wasn't to be.
San Diego Padres - 9 Seattle Mariners - 3
The Vedder Cup belongs to the Padres. The Mariners and the Padres both claim to own Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. So every year, they play each other for his honor (and probably his hand in marriage). The Vedder Cup has become so popular, Bud Selig and Major League Baseball schedule the Padres and Mariners as natural rivals during interleague play every year (I made this up).
Anyway, back to the game. San Diego showed some offensive firepower and scored nine against the Mariners. A six-run first inning did the trick. San Diego chased Hector Noesi from the game after just 2/3 of an inning. Embarrassing, but not devastating for the young pitcher. The Padres tacked on three more in the ninth, just for funsies.
Seattle had one run up until the bottom of the ninth. Then they mounted their comeback. With their backs against the wall, facing an eight-run deficit, and down to some of their minorest minor leaguers, the Mariner struck…and scored two runs. They lost 9-3, remember?