Man, that’s a tough one. Former Ray David Price, facing his old mates, was absolutely dealing today. He pitched eight innings and allowed only one hit. Yet he still lost, 1-0.
The hit was a Brandon Guyer triple in the first inning which scored Ben Zobrist. The run was unearned, however, as Zobrist reached on an Eugenio Suarez error. Price didn’t allow another hit after that. He didn’t walk a batter all game and no one else reached on an error.
Our Matthew Pouliot just ran some Baseball-Reference.com inquiries and found that the Rays were just the third team to win a game with one hit and without drawing any walks since 1914. If you cancel out the walks qualifier, they are the 65th team to do it since 1914. Although it has been done four times in 2014 alone. The Padres have done it twice. Year of the pitcher, my friends.
You lose those games when your hitters are totally tied up, and the Tigers hitters were. First by Alex Cobb, who shut out Detroit for seven innings, himself allowing only two hits. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee finished it off. The Tigers got four hits and drew two walks in the game — offensive explosion! — but couldn’t string anything together.
Like the Yankees-Astros game, this one was quick. A mere two hours and thirty-four minutes. Major League Baseball wants to speed up the pace of play? Heck, just make every game a day game on getaway day with solid pitchers on the bump. That’ll speed things right the heck up.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.