This morning I woke up to the sound of steady rain at our rental apartment in Scottsdale, so I thought maybe it would be best if I just stayed “home” and worked. Then sunlight became visible and I started to feel guilty about the possibility of spending all day sitting at the kitchen table writing. So I packed up my stuff and walked two miles to Scottsdale Stadium.
I got there too late to make the trip worthwhile, as every seat in the press box with a view of the field was taken. The press box was ridiculously crowded today, and not just because of the Japanese media contingent. There were several non-media people hanging out, blabbering away and generally avoiding the awful weather outside.
It started raining on me over the last two blocks of my walk, which means I escaped the most of it. It started pouring minutes after I got to the press box (only about a half hour before first pitch, so it’s probably my fault I didn’t get a seat), and rain was soon replaced by hail. The breeze I felt during my walk became gusts of at least 20 mph. Despite logic dictating otherwise, the San Francisco Giants tried to keep this game going but were unable to in the end. After one-plus inning and the third weather-related delay with the Los Angeles Dodgers holding a 4-1 lead, the game was called. Luckily, no one on both sides were injured (that we know of, anyway).
“We tried. That last (delay) just took care of everything,” Bruce Bochy said. “The umpires weren’t leaving, either. Buster was the only one that left. He said, ‘I’m done.’ He walked off before anybody.”
Bochy was referring to the second delay, when Posey was set to face Ted Lilly. When play resumed, Javy Guerra was in to face the Giants’ catcher. Guerra plunked Posey. It was that kind of afternoon.
Sergio Romo didn’t deal with inclement weather, but he had a fairly crappy afternoon yesterday in his outing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. The result was a loss for Mexico and a blown save for Romo. No fun, but Bochy and the Giants were more concerned with the 26 pitches he threw (four below the 30-pitch threshold for a player to be held out of the next game in the WBC).
“Pride’s been hurt a little bit. He’s a competitor, pitching for his country. He’s doing fine, says his arm feels fine,” Bochy said. “He’s going to play catch (today). He said he’ll be honest with where he’s at. If he doesn’t think he’ll be out there, he’s going to say something.”
This is one of the worries managers and front offices have about an exhibition tournament like this, because players feel pressure to lay it on the line for a cause greater than themselves. The only thing is the teams that pay their salaries are watching every pitch, ready to freak out if overuse or injury occurs.
“You’ve hopefully got to trust (the players) that they’ll be honest. They have a responsibility here, too. In that way, sure, it’s a little frustrating because you don’t know if they’re going to be 100% honest. That’s why we checked in with (Romo) and talked with him. We got a guy’s career here if he doesn’t feel right,” Bochy said.
— Tim Lincecum will pitch a simulated game tomorrow so they can “keep his pitches under control,” according to Bochy. He’s now scheduled to start on Tuesday. Yusmeiro Petit will start tomorrow afternoon.
— Ryan Vogelsong will pitch for Team USA at Chase Field tomorrow night.
— Javier Lopez was supposed to pitch today, so he’ll make his first appearance of the spring tomorrow.
— Andres Torres is feeling better and taking swings from the left side now (before he was only swinging right-handed due to his oblique injury). I get the feeling Bochy is going to be giving updates on Torres muscle pulls all season long.
— I felt bad for Boof Bonser, a former Giants farmhand who’s fighting for his career. He got the ball today for the second time during Cactus League play (the first was a shutout inning against Kansas City during a split-squad game last Saturday), and it rained the whole time as he gave up a triple and the next batter reached on an error by Joaquin Arias. Can’t blame Arias either, since he had to make a backhand stab in the mud and checked the infield dirt for a while afterward. Luckily the game was called as it started raining even harder, so Bonser’s stats won’t count.
— After the game was officially over, I made my way through an extremely packed concourse full of fans trying to stay dry. However, by “dry” I’m not referring to alcohol-free. Far from it, actually. The concessions lines were stacked with people buying two beers apiece, trying to accelerate the buzz they made their way to the ballpark for on a bad-weather Friday. I guess the rule that says alcohol sales are halted after the seventh inning is still in effect during games that are called during the second.