Spring Training Day One in the Books

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, March 16, 2009 | , , | 0 comments »

We rose at 4:00 am, made an 8:00 am flight out of Dulles for Orlando, landed at 10:15 am, took an hour to get the rental car, and made it to historic Space Coast Stadium just in time to hear the National Anthem (a little "pitchy", as Simon Cowell might say). Today's opponent: a bunch of guys wearing Detroit Tigers uniforms. They certainly didn't bring any of the big leaguers with them on the bus today.

Collin Balestar started and looked good in the first (K looking on a slow curve, 4-3, F6 on five pitches), OK in the second (4-3, 5-3, 1B, 1B, F9 on 19 pitches), then lost the strike zone completely. Third inning he threw 34 pitches, walking the bases loaded before getting a ground ball on a full count to end the inning and his day. 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 58 PC.

Gustavo Chacin took over and had much the same experience as Bally. Good first couple of innings, then he walked a couple and eventually gave up two earned when Steven Shell gave up a one-out single, scoring two. Shell's numbers (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K) look good, but his job was to get a ground ball with the bases loaded and he didn't.

Wil Ledezma showed the power and wildness that have been intriguing pitching coaches since he toiled as a minor leaguer for today's opponent several years ago now.

At the plate, nothing to write home about. Milledge K'd twice, including a three-pitch number with the bases loaded and no outs in the 8th. Nick the Stick went 1-for-3, but took a called third strike. Sadly, Brad Eldred did not homer for us like he has for everyone else this spring, but he did make a very nifty play at first, ranging to his right and going down on a knee to make the grab, and then got to first himself for the out.

We found out about some cuts after the game, but since they aren't public we won't post them yet. I was hoping the press release would come out today, but apparently they'll issue it tomorrow. No real surprises, at least of the few that we found out.
After the game, we went out to our friends' place at the beach and watched the Space Shuttle launch. Very cool experience. Godspeed Discovery.

We checked into our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale a little after midnight. Not bad for a 20-hour day.

Tomorrow we have a doubleheader scheduled: Nats @ Marlins from Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter at 1:05 pm, and the WBC winner's bracket game, Puerto Rico v. Venezuela from Dolphin Stadium in Miami at 8:00 pm.

We'll be here all week. Tip your waitress. Try the veal.

Oh, sunny and 86 today. You're welcome.

Photos (c) C. Nichols 2009. All rights reserved.