March 4, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
Howdy from Surprise, AZ! Well, it was the Dodgers first road game of the spring. Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday sounded as if they were broadcasting from The Enchanted Tiki Room as jungle birds chirped and tweeted loudly throughout the broadcast. Where’s our mai-tai? According to ESPN Dodger beat writer, Doug Padilla, a swarm of bees infested the area outside the press box. Do you know that bees are attracted to the smell of alcohol? I don’t know what kind of Lynchburg lemonade they’re brewin’ up there in the booth…but I’d sure like some! How about those Spring Training ties, huh? Whatta gas! Far be it from rascalsoftheravine to get too jazzed up about Cactus League outcomes though, it’s all about the reps…
How’d They Pitch?
Scott Kazmir tried in vain to shake off winter cobwebs, giving up two earned runs in two innings of work (six hits, two strikeouts). Far from us to panico though, let’s see a few more starts from Kaz…Bolsinger looked bellissimo, striking out two in two innings (he may have had a quicker second inning, but according to the first base ump, Van Smash dropped a Chase Utley throw in what would have been a routine out). Louis Coleman (the ex-Royal whose minor league numbers impressed the Dodgers into a recent signing—see the rascalsoftheravine article ‘Dodgers Are Stockpiling Arms Cold War Style’ for more info) entered the game in the 5th for a 1-2-3- inning…a lock-shorned Pedro Baez took the ball in the 6th, giving up a double, then a RBI double to give the Rangers the lead. Jacob Rhame (pitched at Tulsa in 39 games last year with a 3.06 ERA) threw in the 7th and got 3 quick outs. Jharel Cotton (pitched 21 games in the minors last year, 2.45 ERA) closed out the last two innings, giving up a walk and a base hit in the 8th, then a speedy 3 up and 3 down 9th to seal the tie.
How’d They Hit?
Van Smash lived up to his name and sizzled a shot in the 4th to left to tie it up 2-2 (Utley had blooped a single into short right earlier). Joc Pederson lashed a base hit into center for a single in his first plate appearance of the spring. Crawford (you know he’ll last ten minutes before he’s reinjured again) hit a smoker to the warning track in the 3rd and a base hit in the 6th before he was removed for a pinch runner. Brown started the ninth with a single, Culberson hit well again, driving a base hit into center. However, Hassan grounded into a double play, and Brown advanced to third. Finally, it was a passed ball by Rangers pitcher Jefri Hernandez that tied the game at 3-3.
Sayonara from Surprise!