A fan catches a foul ball off the bat of Justin Smoak in his cup of beer and proceeds to chug his drink with the ball still inside [via MLB.com]
Like a boss.
I saw the pitch, and of course I don’t have the chance to do it again, but had I had a chance to do it again, I wouldn’t call that pitch a strike.”
— MLB umpire Marty Foster after watching the replay of his game-ending called third strike on Ben Zobrist [via MLB.com].
Amazing pitching matchups today.
- Sabathia-Verlander 1:08 p.m. ET
- Strasburg-Cueto 1:10
- Wainwright-Cain 4:05
- Weaver-Darvish 8:05
Also today, Marlins wonderkid Jose Fernandez makes his Major League debut against the Mets. Beyond that, there are a number of other great pitchers facing off (Lester-Dickey, Samardzija-Hudson, Shields-Hammels, Kennedy-Gallardo) and aces going today (Price, Sale).
What a great way to end the first weekend of the season.
Dee Gordon dazzles ‘Topes fans with catch and turns double play in the 5th [via MiLB.com]
There’s nothing wrong with the way Dee Gordon plays defense. At shortstop, sometimes that alone is enough to make an impact. Gotta think he’ll be back with the big club before too long.
Carlos Gomez leaps above the wall in center to take a home run away from Carlos Gonzalez in the sixth inning [vai MLB.com]
If there was a textbook example on how to rob a home run, this would be it. Gomez finds the wall and times his leap perfectly. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Michael Cuddyer makes a great diving grab in right field then throws to second completing the double play [via MLB.com]
Cuddy showing his plus, plus want. Guy’s a better athlete than he gets credit for.
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 17: Justin Sellers #72 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 17, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
We could see a lot of LA Ink at Dodgers games early this season. Justin Sellers, who goes by the Twitter handle SellBlock_12, could be the team’s Opening Day shortstop, according to True Blue L.A.
The LA Times did a feature on the 27-year-old Bellflower, CA native last May that credited him with over 100 tattoos and 53 total hours of work.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander poses with Rocky, a 4-week-old Bengal tiger from the Dade City Wild Things Zoo, before an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Friday, March 29, 2013 in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Someone needs to tell Verlander that his extension doesn’t mean he has to literally be a Tiger for life.
PNC Park grounds crew member Matt Gerhardt rakes the home plate circle, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in preparation for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ season opening baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Pittsburgh on April 1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Would love to catch a game here someday. Beautiful park. Those grounds crew guys may have to put in some extra work getting the field ready on Monday’s opener, as weather.com is forecasting rain on Sunday and Monday.
3 Strikes: Rondon, Lester, Morse
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Bruce Rondon, Detroit Tigers
Rondon, who was expected to be the Tigers’ closer, saw his spring ERA increase to 5.84 after a rough outing.
In 2/3 of an inning, Rondon gave up two runs on two hits and issued a pair of walks. He also gave up two stolen bases and was charged with a balk. Over 12 1/3 innings this spring, Rondon has struck out 19, but he’s also walked nine.
Jim Leyeland still hasn’t announced his plans for the bullpen. Rondon pitched at three levels of the minors last season, posting a 1.53 ERA with 29 saves and 66 strikeouts over 53 innings.
Michael Morse, Seattle Mariners
Morse hit a home run against Clayton Kershaw, his eighth homer of the spring, putting him in a tie with Brandon Belt for the league lead.
Ever since Adrian Beltre, I’ve doubted any power hitters can find success in Seattle. Beltre had a .749 OPS over five seasons with the M’s and has posted a .912 mark in the three years since. They moved the fences in at Safeco this season, so maybe it will play like a whole new ballpark.
Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI over 102 games with the Washington Nationals last season.
Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
Lester put the finishing touches on a great spring, pitching four shutout innings of two-hit ball while striking out four. Boston’s Opening Day starter lowered his spring ERA to 0.75.
Lester had his worst season in 2012, going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA. The 29-year-old has seen his K/9 drop from 9.7 to 8.5 to 7.3 over the past three seasons.
If the Red Sox expect to compete, their going to need Lester to be an ace, so his performance has been extremely encouraging for the new-look Sox.
TODAY: Kyle Loshe will make his spring training debut for the Milwaukee Brewers.
San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence catches a fly-out hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Aaron Hill during the first inning of a spring training baseball game on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
I can’t even handle this right now.
Padres rookie third baseman Jedd Gyorko is confident in his skills and respectful of the veterans who he has looked to for guidance [via MLB.com]
Gyorko has made some nifty plays at second and has slugged .508. Accodring to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gyroko could move back to third to start the season with Chase Headley and potentially Logan Forsythe on the DL.
San Diego Padres’ Will Venable breaks his bat grounding out against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Cool photo. I wonder if the MLB is ever going to put restrictions on bats to try to limit splintering. You gotta think someday somebody’s going to get speared.
Oakland Athletics’ Josh Reddick slides into third with a triple in the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
There may be other bearded ballplayers, but nobody’s got a dirty hippy beard like Josh Reddick. I wonder if he had to comb the dirt out or if his beard is so awesome it’s just impenetrable at this point. Also, all Athletics players should be required to have cool hair and/or facial hair.