Mar 5, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Cory Spangenberg (15) hits a double in the third inning during a spring training baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Reason #2 After the 6th inning, it is mostly minor leaguers on the field battling for a roster spot
Two losses so far for the Padres have come in the later innings. That is when players who likely will start the year in Triple-A, Double-A or lower play against each other.
It is hard to tell who is better than who when there is a Triple-A pitcher facing a Single-A hitter and vice versa. It is not a level playing field and it is not meant to be. This is a tryout for them. Heck, there are even MLB teams playing (and losing too, ahem, Phillies) college teams. People blow the win-loss record of Spring Training way out of proportion. I usually only pay attention to the score until the fifth inning but that isn’t a complete baseball game. The Padres don’t get to dish out Dale Thayer, Kevin Quackenbush and Joaquin Benoit late in these games to hold a lead or close a game.
I like seeing match-ups early in the game like Ian Kennedy vs. Nelson Cruz, or Madison Bumgarner vs. Wil Myers. All bets are off after the fifth or sixth inning. A baseball game is nine innings long, not five or six. That’s not to say the late innings don’t have meaning. Those are players fighting for a spot and they are playing hard. But it is not indicative of what will happen in April or October.