I was working Sunday’s spring training contest between the visiting San Francisco Giants and the hometown Chicago White Sox and saw two outstanding pitching performances and another that is probably of more fantasy interest.
White Sox starter Philip Humber worked seven innings giving up only one unearned run on one hit and two walks while striking out five Giants for the victory. It was truly a great outing on a cloudy, 80 degree day at beautiful Camelback Ranch which the White Sox share with the LA Dodgers.
The other excellent outing was in relief for the Giants as Ramon Ortiz – yeah that thirty eight year old former Angels hurler who still gets it up to the plate in the mid-90s – pitched a nearly perfect two and two-thirds innings giving up only one hit while striking out three Sox. Unless the Giants turn to Ramon to start a few early games this doesn’t have much fantasy relevance.
But, after Matt Thornton started the eighth inning and gave up two hits and was relieved by Addison Reed who gave up one hit which scored one of Thornton’s runners but struck out one and got the final out of the inning, it was twenty four year old Hector Santiago who was brought in to pitch the ninth inning. Whether Santiago was nervous trying for his first spring training save (while most a starter he has had four in previous minor league seasons) and that affected his control – he walked one and threw a wild pitch (although it was technically a strikeout) facing San Francisco minor leaguers. But he did get a game ending double play from pinch hitter Hector Sanchez (who should be on a watch list as he is unlikely to break camp with the Giants but certainly hit more than Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside combined this month) to notch the save. And the speculation is now that the young lefty may be in the mix for saves for Robin Ventura’s club. Odd in this writer’s opinion since prior to today’s outing Thornton had an ERA of 0.00 but still we are always looking for save opportunities so put him on the list.
Hitting stars for the Pale Hose were Paul Konerko who had three singles in three trips while scoring one run and knocking one in; A.J. Pierzynski who had a two run homer to left; and Alex Rios who went back to back with Pierzynski in going 2-4.