Cardinals 5, Mets 5; Marlins 7, Cardinals 3
First, a confession: Despite every effort I have made, I still cannot figure out how to be in two places at once. I mention that to warn you that if you want to ask me for observations about the Cardinals’ loss against the Marlins, I don’t have any. I spent the afternoon north of Jupiter, in Port St. Lucie, largely because of my interest in watching Oscar Taveras’ debut.
How did it go? You can read more about that here.
As for the game in Jupiter, all I have is the same box score that you do. Adam Wainwright got two scoreless innings of work in after having his spring debut pushed back a day. Lance Lynn did not fare so well and was unable to finish two innings. Matt Adams crushed a home run (video proof here). That’s about the extent of my analysis, though fortunately MLB.com contributor Christina De Nicola was back in Jupiter to talk with Wainwright and Lynn after their outings. Read what both right-handers had to say by clicking here.
Manager Mike Matheny chose to join the group that went to Port St. Lucie, and in doing so, he was able to watch Carlos Martinez’s second spring start. Martinez, who is competing for a rotation spot, wasn’t as efficient as his start last Friday, but there were still positive takeaways.
He allowed two baserunners (a single and a walk) in three innings and showed confidence with his two-seam fastball. It’s already clear that Martinez can light up a radar gun — he reached 97 mph on Friday — but using that sinker can also help Martinez pile up the groundouts. On Friday, that bailed him out after Martinez fell behind to several hitters.
“I trust that sinker a lot when I am behind,” Martinez said, with catcher Tony Cruz serving as a translator. “I feel comfortable throwing it for a strike and getting groundballs with that pitch.”
“He looked electric again,” Matheny added.
The Cardinals were willing to push Martinez to a pitch count around 50 but chose to end his outing after three innings and 44 pitches. He has time to make as many as four more starts before the end of camp.
On the offensive end… great day for Kolten Wong, who finally saw crooked numbers appear in his batting average. After an 0-for-10 start to spring, Wong had three hits in four at-bats on Friday (read more here). … Matt Holliday’s pursuit of the Grapefruit League batting title continues to be strong. He’s now 8-for-9 after another three-hit day on Friday.
One of the most enjoyable parts of Spring Training is getting to watch the up-and-coming kids begin to get their feet wet. At one point on Friday, the Cardinals featured a battery of 19 year olds. Carson Kelly, a recent convert from infielder to catcher, made his debut behind the plate and caught three innings. His first pitcher to work with was fellow 19-year-old Alex Reyes, ranked by MLB.com as the organization’s sixth-best prospect.
He’s an exciting enough young arm that one of the coaches initially scheduled to stay in Jupiter asked to take the trip to Port St. Lucie so he could see Reyes pitch. That same coach likened Reyes to Martinez, but with smoother mechanics. Heck of a comparison.
Reyes’ final line — one inning, two solo home runs — doesn’t look all that good, but both homers had assistance from a gusting wind. Only one was hit with much authority. Reyes also struck out two.
As for Kelly, Friday gave him his first true test in pitch calling. Matheny noted that there would be “a tutorial on the way home today” to help Kelly learn from the experience.
“A guy like Seth [Maness, who pitched the ninth], Seth knows what he wants to call. He’s not going to let the game be called for him. He knows what he wants to do. He had a couple of balls just flop in.
“But with the other guys, [Kelly] did a great job. Maybe made them throw a couple pitches they weren’t quite prepared to make, but that’s part of the learning process. He’s fastforwarded this learning curve way faster than most.”
Other odds and ends: Tyler Lyons was here in Port St. Lucie but was only going to pitch in an emergency. The Cardinals chose not to play a 10th inning because they wanted to save Lyons for multiple innings on Saturday. … Trevor Rosenthal will make his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday. Michael Wacha gets the start. … For the second time this spring (both against the Mets), the Cardinals practice an infield shift. This time it was against Curtis Granderson, who foiled it with a single to left.
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