For many, myself included, this was the first exposure to Wade Davis, and boy, he sure failed to disappoint. Much like David Price last spring, Davis made his spring debut against the New York Yankees. Price would enter the game in relief and strike out such wunderkinds as Jason Lane, Wilson Betemit, and Shelley Duncan, leaving Rays fans in awe of his stuff and immediate results. If the three Price faced were simply junk food, then Wade Davis' menu was full of the finest cuisine in town.
Following a nice grab by Morgan Ensberg and routine play by Ben Zobrist, Davis would go face-to-face with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Davis would retire Teixeira on a swinging strikeout to end the first inning before sending Alex Rodriguez to a similar fate in the second. Davis would record one more K during his two innings of pitching while allowing zero baserunners.
The outing is going to receive more hype than it should - like people calling for Davis to start the season in the major league rotation, or people making conclusions on his readiness based on six batters faced -- but that's because Davis was so impressive. Yes, it appeared he was mostly throwing fastballs, and no, there's no way of knowing whether the Yankee hitters were taking this game seriously, but for those six batters, Wade Davis was phenomenal.
Performances like Davis' outing are one of the few things that make spring training worth paying attention to. There's no division races or draft status to worry about right now, and perhaps that makes the games more fun, only unbridled enthusiasm for success met with little concern for negative results.
Davis was good today. Real good. Just don't take it out of context. .
Other observations from today's game:
- Ensberg looked decent defensively.
- Chad Orvella froze Johnny Damon like his bank account.
- Durham's offense is going to need that ballpark to score runs.