Here’s the thing about these games in San Antonio. The right-field line is generously marked as 272’ away from home plate. That’s a medium-length fly ball in most ballparks. Even the Green Monster in Boston is 310 feet from home plate, and that wall is 37’2” tall (in fairness, Fenway is also 302’ down the right field line, and that wall is about six inches tall). Minute Maid in Houston is 315” down the line, but again - real big wall. (19’ tall).
So when you write about these games, it’s important to note that the Rangers are playing in the Alamodome, and thus, while the box score will tell you that A.J. Griffin gave up three solo HRs in the course of 4 batters in the first two innings, the truth is: he had a pretty great outing: if your line goes (5ip, 3H, 3R, 4K, 0BB) in a game played in the Davy Crockett Center for Left-Handed Hitters Who Can’t Hit Good - that’s a great game!
Real talk: the second home run (Lonnie Chisenhall) was probably a legit home run. The other two were only roundtrippers because San Antonio grades on a curve.
The Rangers’ only two runs came in the third inning, when–with two outs–Nomar Mazara (in baseball rules) hit a pop-up to deep shortstop. In Domeball rules, however, it entered the Blind Zone, just under the Marshmallow Veil, and ended up as an RBI double (Delino DeShields was on first and running on contact; he crossed home plate almost before the ball re-entered our three-dimensional universe).
Then Mike Napoli hit a “double” that counted for two bases because he remembered to yell “BANK” before he hit it and Mazara trotted home with a look that can only be described thusly: *ahem*
In 2005, I was fortunate enough to attend Live 8 in London. Everything ran long, and security (there was a union) just checked their watches, glanced at one another, and straight-up left the premieses. I was in the Commoners area, and we had been standing for 12 hours straight, so the girl I was with pretended to faint so they would drag us over the security barriers and take us to the medical tent. She made a “miraculous” recovery, and we walked back towards our seats. But upon realizing that security had left, we just walked right up to the stage in the VIP section and watched Paul McCartney play “Hey Jude” with a backing band of approximately everyone who was famous in 2005.
The look on my face as we approached the stage that night is an absurdly long way to attempt to roughly describe what Nomar Mazara looked like trotting home. “Really? You’re just gonna let me-- okay, cool, great.”
Anyway, I feel okay using a game story to tell you that other not-game story because doing so is not a normal gamer, and playing baseball in the Alamodome is not normal baseball. But weirdly enough, that Mazara run was the final run of the game, and it ended 3-2. Like every Spring Training game, however, the score might as well have been [A DOBERMAN] to [SEVEN TYPES OF ESSENTIAL OILS]
There was one other compelling baseball storyline tonight: Tyler Wagner came on in relief of Griffin and proceeded to throw three scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing just two hits (no walks). Wagner isn’t likely to be on the Opening Day roster, but he could very well give the Rangers some innings at some point this season.
Texas and Cleveland square off again tomorrow. Dillon Gee will be the starter, and hopefully we will get to see the rarely-invoked "If you touch second while humming 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic', you deduct one run from the other team's total" rule.
See you then!