ESPN just announced that they will televise 10 spring training games. The schedule breaks down as follows:
March 3: Detroit vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET
March 14: N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston – 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 16: Boston vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET
March 21: Boston vs. Philadelphia – 1 p.m. ET
March 22: N.Y. Yankees vs. Baltimore – 1 p.m. ET
March 23: N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis – 1 p.m. ET
March 24: Chicago White Sox vs. Cubs – 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 25: Atlanta vs. Philadelphia – 1 p.m. ET
March 26: Chicago Cubs vs. Texas – 4 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 29: Detroit at N.Y. Yankees – 1 p.m. ET
Yes, the World Champion Giants are mysteriously absent here, although they do kick off the Sunday Night Baseball schedule on April 3, if that means anything. The bigger issue for me is that only two Cactus League games will be televised. That’s a bummer. While we’re all crazy-go-nuts baseball fans here, remember that ESPN is trying to appeal to as many viewers as possible with a bunch of games that really have no impact on anything, hence three appearances each by the Red Sox and Yankees. So while that’s not fair to the rest of the country, it’s the reality of the situation. Hey, at least ESPN is trying to make Craig happy.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.