Maybe every spring game should end like this. If every game ended in a tie, there would be no records, and without records, there would be no spring wins and losses for people to over-interpret. People would be less likely to think of Spring Training as competitive, and more likely to see this whole thing as the six-week drill and exercise regimen it really is.
But then, ties. Dreadful, dreadful ties. Even in games that you know going in have absolutely zero meaning, an even result still finds a way to annoy. Theand just played 221 minutes of baseball. They ended having scored the same amount of runs. Imagine if the Safeco hydros ended in a tie. Even just once. People would freak out. A tie in Spring Training might not be quite that dramatic, but it still leaves kind of a bitter taste. Especially if you've been following along, because a tie only hammers home the fact that you just spent three hours listening to a baseball team practice. That's basically a shortcut to feeling bad about yourself.
Effective immediately, all such games should be decided according to the tiebreakers from Scene It.
- For an idea of the speed with which the crowd lost interest in the goings-on on the field, they played that Everybody clap your hands clip over the PA in the fourth inning, and I heard about 32 claps before it died out. They played the clip again in the tenth inning, and I only heard 19 or 20 claps. They also tried doing that Addamms Family thing on the organ to get people fired up but they only went through one measure before stopping. The crowd in the tenth inning of a Spring Training game sounds like a Jeff Dunham audience at an Ivy League college.
- Given that the Mariners were playing what was mostly a B lineup, the only real big story was the performance of Michael Pineda. Pineda lasted three innings, striking out three, walking one, and allowing his first two runs of the spring. More important than those numbers, though, is that Pineda's command was shaky on all his pitches - in particular in the second inning. Pineda only threw 27 strikes out of 49 pitches (55%), he admitted to rushing through his delivery, and he had to stop and compose himself a few times when he was feeling frustrated.
All good signs, they'll say. You can put a positive spin on anything around this time of year. "Pineda has to learn to deal with imperfection," or something. And it's true. Pineda, like all young phenoms, does need to learn how to work through a struggle, and he showed some signs of that today. But you'd still rather him have a good start than a difficult one. As far as that likelihood that he breaks camp with the team is concerned, the arrow's pointing down. More starts like this would make it easy for the front office to send him to Tacoma. Pineda's got a few starts left to make it hard.
- Adam Everett walked up to Run This Town by Jay-Z, featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. I don't know which town Adam Everett thinks he runs, but it isn't one with a baseball team in it.
- At one point Josh Wilson came up with nobody out and the bases loaded. Except it wasn't announced that way. It was announced as "bases loaded, nobody out, and heeeere comes Josh Wilson," which is an absolute sudden cockblock of a sentence.
- Happiest Indian: Jason Donald
Saddest Indian: Lonnie Chisenhall
- For whatever it's worth, while Dustin Ackley bobbled a ball in the infield, he also drew another two walks, giving him a team-leading seven. Ackley now has one-seventh of the Mariners' walks so far while collecting just over 5% of their plate appearances. Already the guy has one of the more disciplined eyes in Mariners history, and if ever you feel like you might be taking that for granted, I can't recommend highly enough going back and watching old clips of Jose Lopez.
M's and A's tomorrow, with Blake Beavan taking the mound because the team doesn't want the A's to see Felix for the second time in a week. That's pretty nice of us.