Our long national nightmare is finally over. Baseball is back, and not just in the form of pictures from reporters depicting players “in the best shape of their lives”. Writing full game recaps for Spring Training would be a particularly gruesome affair, so I’ll avoid that.
Instead, here are some bullet points that reflect mental notes I took while watching/listening to the games up till now. Take them for what they’re worth: some short notes on the first two games of a meaningless exhibition season.
Thursday March 5th – Cards at Miami Marlins (Roger Dean Stadium)
– MLB’s pace of play rules seem to be very effective. The first game of the Spring for the Cards clocked in at 2:17. This writer would submit that most of the improvement appears to come from making hitters stay in the box during the at-bat, rather than the pitch clock.
– Martinez pitched very well in his first Spring Training outing. In his two perfect innings, he K’d two. He has come with something to prove. If the Cards put someone else in the fifth spot of the rotation, it won’t be because Martinez didn’t want it.
– Ty Kelly had some neat glove-work at third base, and went 1 for 2 in his first appearance with the Cardinals.
– Jason Heyward made the most of his first at-bat with his new team, by smacking a solid single and eventually coming around to score.
– The Cards punished former Cardinal Dan Haren with a Spring opener loss and a 9.00 ERA.
Friday March 6th – Cards vs Houston Astros (Roger Dean Stadium)
– The Cards offense is impressive early in Spring. This is a different look.
– Jason Heyward again made an impact with a steal of 3rd early in the game.
– Tommy Pham went 4 for 4, trying to make his case for a spot on the Opening Day roster. For what it’s worth, Astros radio took note, and said he should be there.
– Gonzales put together two scoreless frames, but walked his first batter. He seemed to struggle with control a bit, early, but allowed just one hit. The results say it all.
– Nick Greenwood got roughed up and was charged for both Astros runs. The rest of the staff combined to allow just four hits.
These are exciting times for Cardinal Nation. Everyone is excited to see what the Cards can produce this year, especially in the offensive department. So far, everything is coming up roses.