Milton Bradley has to show something this spring or he could be out of a job. Well, he showed something today, going 3-for-3 with two RBI including a go-ahead double in the fifth inning. Bradley then scored a run on a Jack Cust single to give the M’s a 4-2 lead as we head to the seventh.
Bradley is now out of the game but looked OK playing in left field. Big day for him. He needs to get off to a quick start in camp and ride that momentum.
Josh Lueke made his spring debut in the fifth inning and did a good job jumping ahead of hitters. Lueke did allow them to make some two-strike contact and wound up allowing a two-out single to Esteban German. But he eventually retired the side on two groundouts and a flyout to center.
1:07 p.m.: We’re all tied up a 2-2 midway through the fourth inning. Blake Beaven came on to pitch for Seattle and gave up two singles, then saw both men bunted ahead a base. David Murphy brought one run home on a groundout, then Brian Barden doubled to give Texas a 2-1 lead.
But the M’s tied it up off onetime Seattle starter Brett Tomko in the bottom of the third. Ichiro singled, then, after a catch of a sinking Chone Figgins liner to center, stole second base. Milton Bradley delivered the game-tying single after that — his second hit of the day.
Bradley later got picked off second base and the inning fizzled from there.
Chatted with Nate Robertson after his two scoreless innings. Robertson got to work both out of the windup and stretch pretty often today and was pleased with his overall stuff.
“I told (pitching coach) Carl (Willis) that I was warming up and felt like I was all over the place,” Robertson said. “He gave me a couple of tips, and I just told him I’ll get all the bad ones out in the bullpen.”
Robertson wound up with three strikeouts and a popout in his two frames. I asked him what he feels he has to show the M’s to win a job. After all, they have a pretty good idea what he can do already.
“Clearly, the last couple of years I haven’t pitched like I’ve pitched in my best form,” he said, noting a pair of arm surgeries he’s tried to come back from. “So, I think they’ve got to see something like they’ve seen in the past instead of what they’ve seen the past couple of years. The inconsistencies. Because there have been times when I’ve been able to go out and throw a real quality game and then turn right back around and I didn’t have the consistency people want to see at the big league level.”
Robertson was asked whether he feels he has to show something right away.
“I think at any given moment it’s game-on,” he said. “But I think early on they just look at guys trying to get into the routine of things. But it’s coming quick, where it’s evaluation time. They’re not handing out Cy Young Awards in spring training, but at the same time, people have got to make the team. There are jobs to be filled and they have to make those decisions.”
12:12 p.m.: Nate Robertson is fighting for a job in the starting rotation and the veteran southpaw had a pretty good first inning. Dustin Ackley booted a grounder by the speedy Julio Borbon to start things off, but the play was ruled an infield hit. Robertson rallied after that and fanned both Esteban German and David Murphy.
Borbon was running on the strikeout pitch to Murphy and was thrown out at second to complete an inning-ending double-play.
A late scratch for the Rangers today sees Taylor Teagarden replacing Yorvit Torrealba behind the plate. Torrealba apparently suffered back spasms while stretching pre-game.
This is a pretty poor-looking lineup trotted out by the Rangers. It bears zero resemblance to the team that won the AL pennant last season.
TEXAS RANGERS (1-1-0)
Julio Borbon CF
Esteban German 2B
David Murphy RF
Brian Barden 3B
Mitch Moreland 1B
Taylor Teagarden C
Chris Davis DH
Andres Blanco SS
Endy Chavez LF
Matt Harrison LHP
Chone Figgins 3B
Milton Bradley LF
Jack Cust DH
Miguel Olivo C
Adam Kennedy 1B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Dustin Ackley 2B
Jack Wilson SS
Nate Robertson LHP