With snow coating all over the Baltimore area, an Orioles game on MASN was just the thing on Thursday night. Gary Thorne greeted fans appropriately in his opening, telling everyone to turn on a light, grab a lemonade, sit back and enjoy the game.
The O's made sure that it was an enjoyable game for the snow-bound fans back at home. Let's not overreact based on one spring training game or anything, but both Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop homered against the Blue Jays in a 5-0 win to even up their Grapefruit League record to 2-2. The game also featured an Adam Jones walk. You can basically start printing those playoff tickets now.
As with all things spring training, there's not so much meaning to draw from any one game or even from the entirety of the spring training season. Everyone is getting back up to speed. Hitters are getting used to seeing pitches again. Pitchers are stretching themselves out for the season's workload. People might be working on things.
The team that is on the road is generally going to have a lesser-tier lineup because they don't make all of the regulars go on the road. In the Blue Jays case, a lot of their players were ex-Orioles. Names like Jake Fox, Steve Tolleson, Danny Valencia, Preston Guilmet, and Chris Dickerson popped in to the box score.
By the time the game gets into late innings, it's likely that either the hitters or the pitchers, if not both, are players who will not be factoring in to the major league team this year. But no one got hurt and the O's looked good on both sides of the game throughout the whole contest, so that's better than nothing, surely.
For the O's, Miguel Gonzalez looked good in tossing a couple of scoreless innings to start things out. Probable bullpen members Brian Matusz, Darren O'Day, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, and Brad Brach all threw a scoreless inning as well. O'Day struck out the side, while Hunter got two strikeouts with one walk allowed. Chris Jones and converted shortstop Mychal Givens also each tossed an inning.
Then there were the dingers. Everyone loves dingers. Manny Machado and Adam Jones each singled to get on ahead of Davis, then Jays pitcher Chad Jenkins tried to get Davis to swing over a pitch. Instead, Davis went down and drove the pitch the way you'd like to see him drive a pitch. With the benefit of the sound on the TV you could just hear the crack of the bat and there was no doubt that it would be gone, far over the fence in right center field. The Orioles led 3-0.
That was all that they would need. Just for fun, they added a couple more in the seventh inning. With pinch runner Mike Yastrzemski on first, Schoop drove a ball a long way but foul. The next pitch he got things straightened just enough to land the pitch in the left field seats. He is a strong dude.
Machado added two hits in the game. This is another fact that is not overly significant, but it's better to see him looking comfortable than not.
The O's will be heading to the Jays spring training site for a game tomorrow afternoon. Even in Florida, their games have the weird start time of 1:07. Don't expect many who started tonight's game to make the trip. The game will not be on either radio or TV in the Baltimore area, but if you're an MLB Gameday Audio subscriber you should be able to listen to the game.