Everyone expects spring training games to be messy, especially early. Players are just getting back into the swing of things. Some younger guys have the pressure of playing with the big boys for the first time, or are competing for a roster spot; older guys are doing everything they can to keep their careers alive. You can see a lot of crazy things in spring training.
Saturday afternoon’s affair between the Braves and Nationals brought messy to a whole new level. The game featured seven multi-run innings, including four of four runs or more. Six errors were committed, five by the Nationals. 15 pitchers were used.
The fifth inning in particular stood out because of everything that happened. MASN’s Dan Kolko captured it all in one picture, which he posted to Twitter:
This is one half-inning. Gross. pic.twitter.com/UejDKvtAWz
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) March 1, 2014
First of all, the Nationals substitutions at all eight non-pitcher positions, which really cluttered up the page. Then Freddie Freeman reached on a fielding error. Later, when Matt Lipka singled to right, Michael Taylor both missed the ball and made a throwing error, leading to the Braves’ third and fourth runs of the inning. The Nationals replaced pitcher Blake Treinen with Josh Roenicke. The Braves pinch-hit four times and finished the fifth inning with nine runs on ten hits, including eight singles.
Shockingly enough, the nine-spot wasn’t enough as the Braves lost 16-15. The Braves logged 25 hits. Spring training, everyone.