Charity Game Notes
For an utterly meaningless game, today’s game certainly had its share of interest.
1: As Dave noted in the game thread, this marked the first broadcast since Dave Niehaus’ passing. With Duke Snider’s death this morning and Jody Gerut’s retirement, the broadcast seemed suffused with loss and remembrance – two things not normally associated with the first game of the spring. Despite this (or maybe because of it), I found it easier to take than I expected. The broadcasters didn’t overdo it; everyone listening knew something was missing, and didn’t need to be reminded of it continuously. Everything was great until Peguero’s game-tying HR with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. For the first of what I’m sure will be thousands of times, I started thinking of how Niehaus would’ve called it.
2: The middle innings featured a number of players fighting for a middle-relief job, and, well, let’s hope the next group of relief candidates fares a bit better. Denny Bautista had nightmarish results, giving up 5 runs on 2 hits (including a grand slam), 2 BBs and a hit batsmen. Manny Delcarmen’s lost some zip on his fastball, which has led to a lot fewer swings and misses (and a lot more hits/runs allowed). Today, his fastball velocity (which averaged about 96mph in 2008) was solidly below 90mph. Yes, it’s early, but this isn’t a good sign. If Delcarmen couldn’t get outs/whiffs at 93, it’s going to be awfully tough to do so at 90-91 (let alone 88). For comparison, Cesar Jimenez had a higher average velo, and threw 7 pitches above 90 (to Delcarmen’s none). I don’t care how big the sample is, Manny Delcarmen currently has less zip on his FB than a soft-tossing lefty who’d just lost a year to major surgery.
3: Carlos Peguero had both a game-tying HR and a game-saving assist in the top of the 10th, but the player of the game may be Erik Bedard who looked sharp in one inning. His velocity of 89-91 was about what it was in Tacoma last year, and not far behind where he was in 2008-9. I think we’re used to assuming the worst about Bedard’s health, and an inning in February against an anemic offense doesn’t mean he’s ‘back,’ but I don’t think his inning could’ve gone any better. Bedard told reporters afterwards, “That was probably the best inning I’ve had in spring training history.” (hat tip Greg Johns).
Doug Fister gets the abbreviated start tomorrow.