Baseball truly is a wonderful game.
– Rich Harden, making his first start for the A’s since July 6, 2008, went six innings without walking a batter to defeat the Diamondbacks in his season debut. It’s just the 10th time in 146 career starts that he’s pitched at least six innings and not walked a batter. He walked two batters every three innings for the Rangers last season.
– Hideki Matsui beat Miguel Montero’s errant throw to second base to record his first steal since Sept. 12, 2007.
– Wily Mo Pena, who was playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish a year ago, delivered a line-drive homer for the Diamondbacks, giving him four homers in seven starts and three pinch-hitting appearances since his callup.
– Batting one spot below him was Sean Burroughs, who was even further removed from the majors than Pena a year ago. He was eating out of trash cans in Las Vegas.
OK, so Burroughs went 0-for-3. He might end up back in the minors next week. Pena could join him there a couple of weeks later. Harden will surely return to the DL at some point.
But tonight was cool, and it served as a good reminder to never count anyone out.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.