Results tagged ‘ Bobby Abreu ’
Wow! With a full day of Spring Training and World Baseball Classic action, it was like March Madness, my way. Just think I get to do it all again tomorrow. Life is sweet! Or, la vita dolce! Or, la vida es dulce!
There were so many surprises:
Surprise #1: All on my own, with no mechanical intervention, I inexplicably woke up at 5:00 am. Bizarre. When I checked the time, I realized that the game between Japan and Korea was underway. So, I flipped on the TV and watched. Feel free to question my sanity. I know I do.
Surprise #2: Japan dominated Korea. Game called in the seventh on account of the “please, have some mercy and don’t make me blow my whole bullpen in the first round” rule. I thought this would be a tight game, but it got away from Korea in the first, and they continued to fall behind.
Surprise #3: The Netherlands beat the Dominican Republic. Or, as the jerseys say, “The Nederlands beat Dominicana”. Did anyone predict this? I do not think so. The Netherlands jumped out to an early lead taking advantage of Domincan errors, and they managed to hold on. The Netherlands were considered a non-issue in this tournament, but they made themselves an issue today.
Surprise #4: The USA vs. Canada game did not go into extra innings. This was great game. I really thought Canada was going to come back and tie it in the ninth, but the Americans held on.
Surprise #5: Pudge Rodriquez stole a base in the matchup between Panama and Puerto Rico. It’s just not something you see catchers do very often. The pick-off throw came over to first, he took off for second and made it. This is a man looking for a job, and today he made a strong case that he deserves one. (See more later)
Surprise #6: Bobby Abreu is doubled off at third. He made it there in plenty of time. Did the turn-and-look toward home. Thought the play was over and walked back to the base. In a heads up play by the Italians, the shortstop, Nick Punto, cuts off the throw from right fielder, Mario Chiarini. Then, he throws to the pitcher, Mark DiFelice who is covering 3rd and tags Abreu out. Abreu was very angry with himself, but made up for with a two RBI single in the next inning.
What I loved:
From the Toyoko games: SPEED. So, much speed. The runners are always running. On a ground ball, it looks like someone hit the fast forward button for the infielders. I thought the slowed down instant replay even looked fast.
Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic: In the ninth, the Netherlands are clinging to a one run lead and need two outs. Dangerous Dominican hitters are capable of stealing the win with just a couple swings of the bat. Then, if I were keeping a scorecard, the sweetest letters in baseball would have appeared. Fine, they are only sweet if you love great catching as I do. The letters are “CS”. In this case “CS” would be followed by “2-5″. Or, as MLB At-Bat said:
“With Hanley Ramirez batting, Willy Traveras caught stealing 3rd base, catcher Kenley Jansen to third baseman Yurendell de Caster”
I do not know this Kenley Jansen. The WBC website says he is part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. I do know this: It was a sweet throw, working around a right-handed batter, and I suspect we might all know him someday.
USA vs. Canada: This was just a great, hard fought game. So many great plays. There was a great “CS” play in this game, where Russell Martin caught Jimmy Rollins trying to take second. I cheered, and then I remembered that Martin was playing for Canada, and I was supposed to be cheering for USA. Oops. So, to make up for it, I will mention that USA’s catcher Brian McCann had a great day at the plate with a homer and sac fly, adding up to a three RBI day.
Puerto Rico vs. Panama: Even if I was not someone who always notices the catcher, Puerto Rico‘s catcher would have been impossible to miss. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriquez had an amazing day at the plate. Two home runs, one double, one single, one walk, one stolen base and a grand total of four RBI’s. In addition, he caught a shutout. His agent’s phone should be hot tonight.
Venezuela vs. Italy: Italia seemed to have it in for Bobby Abreu. They hit him with a pitch, doubled him off third (see above) and robbed him of an extra base hit. The rob was spectacular. Abreu smacked a ball to the gap in right-center. At least it was a gap. There was no Italian outfielder on my TV screen. Suddenly, right-fielder, Mario Chiarini enters the screen, flying through the air, making the grab and breaking his belt in two when he comes in for a landing on the turf.
Also, to continue the theme of great catching moments, Venezuelan catcher, Ramon Hernandez sent a textbook, on the money, perfect throw down to second base to “CS” Frank Cataianotto. It was a beautiful throw…low, just barely to the 1st base side of 2nd, where the momentum of the throw hitting the second baseman’s glove seems to push the glove right into the runner, catching him just before he touches the bag. So sweet.
St. Louis Cardinals
And, oh yeah, the Cardinals won their spring training game against the Houston Astros today. After being so hard on Joel Pineiro last week, I should make a point to say that he had a fabulous outing today. He pitched four scoreless innings, giving up only one hit. In the best way possible, he did not look like a fifth starter at all.
Actually, 99% of the news coming out of the Cardinals camp has been very positive. 25-man roster spots will be hard to come by in April, and a number of young players are making a strong case for why they should get a spot.
I listened to Mike Shannon and John Rooney’s broadcast for the first time this spring. So, nice to hear those familiar voices.
Time to get some rest. Tomorrow is another big day!