Before Friday, Ken
Griffey Jr. had never faced the Cincinnati Reds in his career. Griffey was
0-3 until the ninth inning when he faced Kip Wells with the bases loaded.
After taking three straight balls, Griffey swung at two of Wells' pitches
that would have both been obvious ball-fours. With a 3-2 count in the bottom
of the ninth, bases loaded, and the Mariners trailing 5-2; Griffey belted a
grand slam homerun to win the game. The Mariners defeated the Reds 6-5.
Sitting on 630 career homeruns (210 with Cincinnati), Ken Griffey Jr. signed
his second one-year deal with the Mariners prior to this season. He is
expected to be their designated hitter specializing in facing right-handed
pitchers. At 38 years of age, Griffey is encompassing the end of his career.
Despite it being against the Reds and during a Spring Training game; his
walk-off grand slam on Friday will go down as yet another Griffey memory for
fans. Dusty Baker said this in response to Junior's grand slam:
ainít Ken Griffey Jr. for nothing."
Mike Leake and Travis Wood both pitched on Friday, further complicating the
fifth spot decision. Both pitchers had corresponding hardy outings. Leake
pitched four innings allowing one run on three hits. Wood also pitched four
innings, allowing one run on five hits. Joey Votto is a self proclaimed slow
starter. After going 3-4 (1HR and 3RBI) on Friday, his spring is beginning
to look less stagnant.
After being taken out of Monday's game against the Rockies for muscle
spasms, Aroldis Chapman threw long toss on Thursday and participated in
conditioning drills on Friday, showing no lingering signs of the
complications. Chapman is still considered a candidate for the Reds' fifth
spot and could possibly pitch again for the reds on either Sunday (against
the Dodgers) or Wednesday (against the A's).