Or it least it would seem that way.
Yesterday’s spring training game between San Diego and Kansas City wound up with a 16-14 score. It was as if the Chargers and Chiefs stepped in for their baseball counterparts.
As one might expect, the pitching in the game was suspect. Clayton Richard got the win despite allowing four runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings. His spring ERA stands at an ugly 12.15. Ryan Webb was even worse, giving up 6 earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning. That performance may condemn him to Portland to open 2010, given the high number of candidates for the bullpen. Mark Worrell allowed three runs on three hits in one inning, and Radhames Liz allowed a run on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3. His spring ERA remains over 9.00.
The one bright spot for the Padres pitching was Sean Gallagher, who continued his strong rotation bid by throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings. It’s looking more and more like he and Mat Latos could slide in behind Kevin Correia, Jon Garland, and Chris Young.
Most of San Diego’s offensive damage was done against righthander Phil Humber, who isn’t a particularly good pitcher. He was tagged for ten runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in just 1 2/3 innings–in other words, he’s probably the third-best pitcher on the Royals (Okay, they’re not that bad).
The Padres pounded out six doubles and two triples. Tony Gwynn was a homer shy of the cycle, raising his formerly anemic spring batting average to .290. Everth Cabrera, Nick Hundley, and Oscar Salazar had two-hit games, and Kyle Blanks had his second triple of the spring.
In an encouraging sign, Logan Forsythe finally saw some action at second base. There’s been a lot of talk of him moving there this spring, but he had spent all his game action at third. He did make an error, but also started a double play. Forsythe’s defensive performance at second will be something to watch, not only in spring training, but also in the minors once the season begins.
On the one hand, it’s encouraging that the Padres got 16 runs across, but given that the Royals made three errors, ten of the runs were off of Humber, and the Padres let the Royals score 14 of their own, the picture from this game may not be as optimistic as it seems.