Kind of a sloppy game today at Hohokam Stadium, and that’s not just in reference to the thousands of Old Styles consumed in the stands by everyone from shirtless bros to inebriated women shaking it to “You Shook Me All Night Long.” (True story — I haven’t seen two drunk middle-aged women going for it like that since my buddy’s stepsister gave us free tickets to a Poison/Cinderella/Ratt/Slaughter show at Shoreline … yes, we went. And it was horrendously awesome.)
The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs had a couple errors apiece, but it’s Spring Training so who cares. They’ll figure it out by the start of the season, although one would hope we won’t see Ryan Theriot trying to remember how to play shortstop by then. He’s clearly forgotten anything he used to know, because he looks bad. Worse than O-Cab bad. He dropped an 8-foot-high liner (called a hit) and booted a grounder (error). Brett Pill also made a fielding error at first base, contributing further to the notion that when it comes to fielding his strength is subpar versatility.
One guy who surprised me with his throwing prowess was Eli Whiteside, who bounced one into centerfield attempting to throw out a basestealer on Monday in Surprise. Today the Cubs were eager to test the gray-haired one, and in the space of a few minutes threw out Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo at third. Here’s the visual proof…
Here’s Castro before he was tagged out (see the ball on the far right?):
And here’s Burriss applying the tag on Rizzo:
Burriss was caught stealing at third too today, but that was after a double he crushed that one-hopped the fence in right center. He made up for it in the 8th inning when he singled, stole second and scored the winning run on a throwing error by pitcher Lendy Castillo. Burriss was the only Giants who had a multi-hit game, which isn’t surprising since the Giants only had 6 hits as a team.
— Want to see a quintessential Pablo Sandoval swing?
He was barely thrown out on the chopper this cut led to. I thought he beat it out, but I was also staring at the play through 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch viewfinder, so I might not be qualified to question the first base umpire’s judgment. Still, he was totally safe.
— During live play, Sandoval was doing conditioning work, running sprints in the left field corner. He was tired…
But he recovered quickly.
— Eric Surkamp had a nice outing. It wasn’t overpowering (he gave up 4 hits and a walk, along with another blast off the bat of Anthony Rizzo that the left-handed slugger crushed over the wall in left center), but he looked very fifth starter-ish. Not to say he’ll surpass Barry Zito on the depth chart, but if someone enters the season injured (Ryan Vogelsong?), Surkamp looks like he could do the job. Well, today at least. He had a couple hiccups with his curveball, but overall his breaking stuff was pretty good.
— Buster Posey looks like he’s seeing the ball just fine. He went deep in the count on his first at-bat and slapped a single to the right side, then grounded out before walking in his third at-bat.
Good eye, Buster.
Look at the way he pushes off with his left ankle as he trots to first. 100% healthy, no doubt about it!
— Neither the hit nor the walk represented the best Posey moment of the day. That came after Posey left the game and talked to reporters in the clubhouse. It was a pretty standard interview, until Jeremy Affeldt crashed the party and playfully jabbed Andrew Baggarly and John Shea. Check out the video, it’s only 25 seconds and it’s well worth your time.