Joe Blanton’s exhibition opener is in the books, and the A’s pitcher can rest content to know that spring training, in his words, “is what it is.”
The A’s opening-day starter was ripped six runs in two innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his first Cactus-League outing. He was scheduled to pitch three innings, but because he was battered about, it took him only two to reach the 45-pitch limit.
The Brewers tattooed Blanton for four extra-base hits among the eight he allowed. Again, no reason for panic, because the ball flies in Arizona and pitchers are working on specific things. That said, pitchers are normally ahead of hitters this time of year, so to see balls hit so hard so often was a tad noticeable.
“I just threw strikes,” Blanton said. “That’s all I wanted to do. I mean, it starts getting frustrating. I really wanted to work on fastball command, and they were just swinging at everything, and I was throwing strikes. So, it kind of forces you to start throwing offspeed pitches.”
Blanton likely will go again in four days.