Well the M's lost to the "Reds" today, and although the past couple of games have, technically, been Spring Training games, today was the first one that really, phenomenologically, felt like a Spring Training Game. No TV, no PITCHf/x, Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers talking about this and that not actually on the field, and oh, yeah, a six run bottom of the eighth.
Whoo! So what happened here today? Well, J.A. Happ pitched the first innings of his 2015 season, and by all accounts, things went about as expected. Goodyear didn't have PITCHf/x up and running, so we have no word on his velocity. But he purportedly struck out Juan Duran with a really well placed curve, which is great news from the guy whose single biggest problem is spotting up his breaking stuff. That, and fly balls. Which, well...he also gave up a two-run blast to Donald Lutz, so, yeah.
Blowers guessed that Lutz got a piece of Happ's changeup left hanging in the zone, which is something we are going to be seeing a lot of over the next seven--hopefully eight--months, especially with the new changeup he is supposedly working on. But the new M's lefty left with two hits and a walk over his two innings, and gave nothing to really be too concerned about. Nor did Fernando Rodney, who was in midseason form after getting two quick outs and a walk nullified by a groundout a moment later.
Unfortunately, Danny Farquhar couldn't provide us with the same conclusion. After a rough first outing that saw him getting pulled mid-batter after approaching his pitch count, Farquhar entered today's game and promptly gave up a dinger to Jay Bruce and a double to Zack Mozart before escaping the inning with a double play. But even his first out was a hard-hit fly ball into the outfield, and with no word on velocity, it's going to be interesting to see how he manages his next couple outings.
Oh yeah, and Joe Saunders gave up five hits and six runs in the eighth. BASEBALL'S BACK!
It wasn't all doom and gloom, however. Austin Jackson hit a very encouraging double that scored James Jones from first in the second inning, which would be the only run the M's would score all day. Patrick Kivlehan would follow up with a garbage-time double in the ninth as well. Charlie Furbush left with two hits and a walk in his inning, but didn't seem to be nearly that bad as he was facing a couple righties and suffered from some creative defense in the process. Endy Chavez, James Jones, and Julio Morbon each had a hit on the day as well.
But that's about it. Nelson Cruz did nothing, and Willie Ballgame, Chris Taylor, and Jesus Sucre joined him in the process. The M's lost 1-10 and tomorrow it's Cleveland back at Peoria on your television. Goms.