Felix Hernandez had the worst start of his career last night and the Mariners couldn’t get anything going against Brett Oberholtzer, so manager Lloyd McClendon decided to let catcher Jesus Sucre pitch the eighth inning of a lopsided game. He allowed one hit, but only needed seven pitches to get out of the inning and topped out at 90.5 mph according to Brooks Baseball. Not bad at all:
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One of my favorite things about position players pitching is that they regularly attempt to act like this is business as usual while fighting off a grin. Sucre was no different.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.