Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Intra-Squad Game

First off....I'm sure everyone remembers the guy to the left. I don't know if he was here earlier and I just missed him, but this was the first time I have seen Robb Nen this spring.

Today was the first (and only) intra-squad game of the spring. It was nice to see a little baseball played without batting cages and protective screens strewn throughout the infield. Today's game was a crisp 4 1/2 inning affair with the home team winning 1-0 on the strength of a Andres Torres solo HR.

The home team batting order was: Andres Torres CF, Emmanuel Burriss 2B, Conor Gillaspie 3B, Josh Phelps 1B, Travis Ishikawa DH, Jesus Guzman LF, Matt Downs RF, Jackson Williams C, and Brian Bocock SS. The pitchers were: Randy Johnson, Joey Martinez and Pat Misch.

The visiting team batting order was: Dave Roberts LF, Kevin Frandsen 2B, John Bowker RF, Scott McClain 1B, Eugenio Velez CF, Buster Posey C, Ryan Rohlinger 3B, Jake Wald SS and Steve Holm DH. The pitchers were: Barry Zito, Henry Sosa and Waldis Joaquin.

It was a well played game featuring good pitching, mostly good defense and not a whole lot of hitting. The one defensive exception was Manny Burriss who picked up right were he left off in the Arizona Fall League with 2 errors in 5 chances. The first was a hard hit ball to his right by Kevin Frandsen. Burriss made a nice play to backhand the ball, then with all the time in the world, pulled Phelps off the bag with a bad throw. The second error was an easy ground ball that just went right between his legs. I said during the Fall League that he was making the tough plays and missing the easy ones. That's pretty much the way it was today.

The good defensive plays included Scott McClain making a diving stop on a smash down the 1B line and stealing a double from Conor Gillaspie in the 1st inning. Conor Gillaspie returned the favor in the 3rd when he ranged far to his left, made a diving stop and robbed Scott McClain of a basehit. Brian Bocock made a nice backhand play deep in the hole and showed off his rocket of an arm by throwing an absolute pea to 1B.

Offensively, the only run was a solo HR, off of Henry Sosa, by Minor League free agent outfielder Andres Torres. Other than the HR, the home team got 2 singles by Travis Ishikawa and 1 each from Burriss and Jackson Williams. After Burriss' single, he was erased on a caught stealing by Buster Posey. Make no mistake......Buster has an arm and he gets rid of the ball quickly. I thought Burris got a really good jump off of Barry Zito, but he was out by 3-4 feet.

The visiting team managed only 2 hits and a couple of walks. The first hit was a 2 out double by Buster Posey. Buster hit a very long drive that one-hopped the wall in the LCF alley. Pretty much exactly the same thing he has been doing since he first stepped in to the batting cage last week. The other hit was a single up the middle by Eugenio Velez. Velez was erased when he ran right into the tag on a DP. Pretty bonehead baserunning, even for Spring Training.

As far as the pitching goes; for the home team, Randy Johnson pitched 2 innings, He threw 22 pitches (11 for strikes), walked 1 and gave up Posey's long double. Of his 6 outs, 5 were from groundballs. A little wild, but not bad for the big lefty. Joseph Martinez pitched an inning, allowing Burriss' first error, a walk and a wild pitch. He threw 22 pitches (only 10 for strikes) and struck out 1. Martinez had control problems from the start, but still managed a no hit, no run inning. Pat Misch threw 2 innings allowing 1 single and striking out 2. He needed 22 pitches to complete his 2 innings (14 strikes). It would have been less, if not for Burriss' 2nd error to lead off the final inning.

For the visitors; Barry Zito pitched 2 innings. He threw 23 pitches (15 for strikes), struck out 1 and allowed 2 singles. Pretty economical performance for Zito. I am used to seeing him throw more than 23 pitches in a single inning. Zito was followed by Henry Sosa. Sosa gave up Torres' solo HR and another single. He had no walks and no strikeouts. He threw 11 pitches (8 strikes) and was helped out by a 4-6-3 DP that emptied the bases right before the HR. The final pitcher was Waldis Joaquin. He allowed a harmless 2 out single and needed only 6 pitches (5 for strikes) to get out of the inning.

All in all this was a well pitched game, with not a lot of hitting......pretty much what you expect from this team. Of course, there were a lot of folks playing that have zero chance of making the big club this year. Buster Posey continues to impress and Travis Ishikawa continues to hit the ball well, as he did last year.

Tomorrow is the first "real" game of the spring, against the Cleveland Indians in their brand new ballpark in Goodyear. The game is at 1:05 PM on the far west side of Phoenix.......so expect a late posting tomorrow.


55saveslives said...


For all not lucky enough to be there...

Giants/Indians tomorrow at noon on MLB Network.

Anonymous said...

Your reports are awesome. Thanks for the write-ups and the pictures. Here's hoping The Thrill makes an appearance.


Alex said...

How did Zito's stuff look? Did he look visibly different after his offseason living with Brian Wilson?

Michael said...

Dumb question:
Who calls balls and strikes during these "games"?

Nat Pastime said...

I love this time of the year, especially since I can feel a little bit like I'm there in Scottsdale with your photos and reports. Thanks!

Giantfan9 said...

Alex...I don't see any difference in Zito, physically. As far as "stuff" goes.....I don't see a lot of impressive things. Still looks like not a lot of velocity. I think we have to wait and see until he faces a full Major League starting lineup. The question is the curveball. Will the umps call it a strike?

Giantfan9 said...

Michael.....If you will look at the Guzman photo, you will see Posey catching and an umpire behind him. There were 2 umpires today, judging by their uniforms....they were from 2 different Minor Leagues.

Kenn V said...

oh Velez. Please learn how to run the bases.

Goofus said...

No one goes deep in the whole like Bocock!