The Mariners actually beat the Athletics 7-3 last night, but all everyone can talk about this morning is Yoenis Cespedes, who nearly hit one to San Jose.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cespedes turned on an 83 mph changeup from Mariners’ starter Jason Vargas for a massive blast to left-center which traveled 462 feet. You can watch it here. It’s the longest home run in the majors so far this year and the excellent Hit Tracker Online says only 21 traveled further last season.
Cespedes showcased his 80-grade pimp tool while admiring his handy work and probably would have watched it for longer if he didn’t finally realize that Vargas was staring a hole through him. The picture to your right illustrates that the southpaw probably wasn’t too thrilled. Anyway, it’s clear that Cespedes can do some serious damage against cookies and mistake pitches, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when pitchers get the book on him. Fun to watch for now, though.
Your Friday box scores:
White Sox 2, Rangers 3
Cardinals 11, Brewers 5
Twins 2, Orioles 4
Rockies 5, Astros 3
Yankees 6, Rays 7
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 5
Royals 0, Angels 5
Dodgers 6, Padres 0
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.