Yes, it’s spring training. And you know from past history that spring training success doesn’t guarantee regular season success will soon follow. Conversely, there have been a ton of players who have had awful spring training numbers but hit in the regular season.
Jason Bay knows it very well. Still, hitting a home run in your first spring training at-bat of the season does help with the confidence (he talks about it in the video above).
Bay ripped the second pitch he saw from Padres’ starter Tyson Ross – a 95 mph fastball – two-run homer to left-center. He also drew a pair of walks.
Should we start penciling him in as the opening day left-fielder? Far from it. And Bay knows it very well, admitting that he has to make the team first and he isn’t guaranteed that.
Besides Bay, the Mariners were still happy to see Justin Smoak rip a tw0-run homer to deep right-center. Smoak, batting left-handed, worked a 3-1 count and ripped a 90-mph fastball from big league reliever Brad Boxberger.
Smoak said he’s starting to grow comfortable with his new swing.
“I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to where I want to be up there,” he said.
Mike Jacobs, who will likely start the season in Triple A, crushed a two-run moonshot to right-center.
Note: Wedge video after the jump ….
Things got interesting at the end.
The Padres scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth. Reliever Jhonny Nunez struggled to throw strikes, while Vinnie Catricala committed two errors and Mike Jacobs dropped a ball at first. But Nunez was able to hang on for the win.
Here’s the BOX
The Mariners got solid pitching from Blake Beavan, Kameron Loe, Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, Carson Smith.
Hultzen threw seven pitches in one inning – all strikes – and got three outs with two strikeouts.
Walker hit 97 with his fastball and was right around 94 most of the time. His new “spiked” curveball showed good depth. But he still needs to find the feel.
You may not have heard about Smith, but you will in the future (I’m writing about him tomorrow). The hard-throwing sidearm reliever also worked a scoreless inning.