What you’re probably going to hear about today’s 7-6 win over the Cubs: “Chad Billingsley got roughed up, allowing five hits — including a Nate Schierholtz homer — in two innings. Chris Capuano got hit even harder, allowing two homers in his two innings of work.”
Schlitter’s not much of a pitcher and that’s not much of a pitch, so I’d like to offer the expected warning against getting overexcited about one plate appearance in one spring training game on the absurdly early date of February 25. Still, I’ve watched this on a loop maybe 100 times — what a really, really pretty swing, staying back on a hanger and taking what was given to him by shooting it into left.
Other takeaways from the first fully televised game of the spring…
– interesting day from Dee Gordon, who saw 17 pitches in his first at-bat before striking out and then walked twice, but still showed more of the defensive issues that we’d been worried about. Progress?
– pitchers giving up homers in their first outings of the spring means absolutely nothing to me, though I do like the idea that Capuano heard recent rumors linking him to Colorado and is doing whatever he can to ensure that doesn’t happen.
– again, I don’t want to get too excited over anything, good or bad, based on one game, but from what I saw of Alex Castellanos, he’s going to need some real work to be an acceptable option in center field. I’m just not sure he’s got the speed for it.
– very impressed by the hustle of Jeremy Moore, who ran hard to turn a single into a double with two outs in the seventh, putting himself in position to score the tying run on Matt Wallach‘s single. Moore was a decently thought-of prospect in the Angels system before missing last year entirely due to injury, and while the Dodgers are not short on outfielders, I’m intrigued to see what he can offer.
– brutal to watch Dontrelle Willis, attempting once again to revive his career with the Cubs, manage just seven pitches (including a walk) before leaving due to injury.
– Vin Scully is just the best. In the ninth inning, a new Dodger pitcher wearing #82 entered the game, over from the minor league side for the day. Vin: “we do not have any idea who this young man is.” It was Blake Johnson, but somehow Vin still made it sound wonderful. I’m guessing if Steve Lyons didn’t know who a player was, we’d be all over him. But that’s because Lyons is awful, and Vin is a god. Maybe not “the” god, but “a” god.