Baseball took a backseat today as a scary moment occurred in the first inning of the game between the Braves and Cardinals. The details are here. Luis Salazar, manager of A+ Lynchburg, was hit in the face by a foul ball off the bat of Brian McCann. He lay unresponsive for up to 15 minutes while an ambulance took him to an airlift, which took him to a hospital. According to Mark Bowman, he is now responsive and breathing on his own.
Despite talks of possibly halting the game, they continued, and the Cardinals won, 6-1. Rodrigo Lopez pitched a perfect first, including a strikeout of Albert Pujols. He gave up a double to David Freese in the second but pitched around it. However, he ran into trouble in the third, allowing two soft singles before Jon Jay tripled in both. After striking out Pujols again, Lopez allowed a double to Allen Craig that drove in Jay. Lopez responded with a perfect fourth inning.
Lopez allowed three runs on five hits in four innings, walking none and striking out four. It was an up and down outing for him, as he appeared strong in some at bats, including the two strikeouts of Pujols, while getting knocked around a little in the two extra base hits.
Jonny Venters pitched a perfect fifth and has yet to give up a run this spring. Yohan Flande got an inning of work in and made a couple mistakes, walking Craig before serving up a two-run home run to Freese. He gave up another hard hit ball after that, but he recorded the final two outs in the inning.
Diory Hernandez committed an error in the seventh that led to an unearned run for Brett Oberholtzer, who gave up a single and a sac fly for the run. He actually pitched well in the inning, including a flyout of Pujols. Oberholtzer allowed a two-out walk in the eighth but pitched around it. Arodys Vizcaino gave up two singles in the ninth but responded with a strikeout and fly out to end the inning. He had two strikeouts in the inning and continues to look solid.
The bats were shut down by Cardinals pitching. The lone run came in the fourth when Wilkin Castillo singled and reached third on an error, followed by a single by Jason Heyward. Heyward went 1-3 with a RBI single and walk.
Alex Gonzalez picked up two singles on the day. Chipper Jones recorded a double. Ed Lucas continues to hit as he singled off Miguel Batista in his only at bat. Hernandez singled off Jason Motte in the ninth and had two good plate appearances.
Otherwise, not much happened offensively. Jordan Schafer went 0-5 and continues his downward spiral as of late. McCann left the game following his at bat in the first inning when he hit Salazar, with accounts saying he was pretty shaken up. Dan Uggla went 0-3 and Freddie Freeman went 0-4.
Lopez was up and down today, which is about what you expect from his innings. The Braves know what they have in the guy, so there's really no need to talk about his outing in depth.
Oberholtzer and Vizcaino put together another strong outing apiece, furthering the pitching prospect buzz this spring.
Schafer continues to struggle with the bat. Isn't it rather shocking how all of the center field talk has gone away? How quickly things change on the Internet.