Today was one of those rather bland and boring spring training games. The Indians lost to the Mariners in Goodyear, 5-1, and a lot of the action was contained to just a few innings. It was a quick game that was completed in less than three hours, despite a 5-minute delay in the top of the eighth for a fire alarm. You could hear the alarm blaring over the Seattle radio broadcast (it terrified my dog); it was followed by a message that everyone needed to evacuate the ballpark. The announcers said that fans started to file out of the gates, while the players and umpires on the field stood around, unsure of their next move. Some fans supposedly remained in their seats, confident that it was nothing. Eventually, they determined it was a false alarm and most of the fans returned their seats and play resumed. There was no panic or chaos, by the sounds of it. I take fire alarms fairly seriously, ever since I was in high school. The alarm went off one day during lunch and nobody moved because it was chicken nugget day. (I have no idea why school lunch chicken nuggets were such a big deal, but it was the ’90s and we were kind of dumb.) In this case, the school was actually on fire. The football coach came running into the cafeteria screaming, “what the hell is wrong with all of you? The school is on fire…get out of here!” (A good way to keep everyone calm). I probably would have run for it if I were at the game today.
This whole alarm-related delay was probably the most exciting part of the afternoon. The Indians got just one run on six hits, and they didn’t score that run until the bottom of the eighth (post alarm-delay). Even Seattle got just nine hits, despite their five runs. Brett Myers took the loss for the Indians, surrendering 1 earned run on 2 hits and a walk over three innings pitched. The worst performance of the day went to the pitcher that followed Myers – Corey Kluber. Kluber lasted two innings, but gave up 3 earned runs on 5 hits. He and Myers each surrendered a home run. Rich Hill pitched an inning and allowed an unearned run on 1 hit. The only other pitcher from today to allow a hit was Cody Allen; he allowed just one during a scoreless inning. Nick Hagadone and Matt Langwell each pitched perfect innings, and each struck out two.
As for the lineup, there weren’t a lot of projected Indians regulars in the game today – the only projected starter to play was Michael Bourn, who went 1 for 3. Catcher Yan Gomes had another good day offensively, as he went 2 for 2; Cord Phelps, Chris McGuiness, and Ben Francisco got the other hits. Francisco struck out with the bases loaded in the first, but he’s still hitting .500 so far in spring training. Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez, who spent last season with the Class A Carolina Mudcats, had a rough day. He went 0 for 2 with 2 strikeouts, and also made two throwing errors. He took over at short for Juan Diaz, who got the start today.
An interesting fact that I did not realize until the game was over – the Indians have yet to beat the Mariners in spring training since they moved back Cactus League in 2009. They’re 0-6 against them, with two games ending in a tie.
The Indians will play the Rangers tomorrow at Surprise Stadium, 3:05 ET.