Howie Kendrick fell a triple short of the cycle Thursday, which would be less impressive if:
Kershaw said after the game that his location was erratic. That was never more true than when Kendrick was in the batter’s box against the two-time National League ERA champ. His fifth-inning home run against Lilly was his first of the spring and it was a bomb, landing on the top of a grassy knoll just left of center field in a deep ballpark — Camelback Ranch is 420 feet to straightaway center and Kendrick’s ball definitely traveled farther.
That was the only Angel home run of the game. Kendrick had three of the 12 hits, and nine other players had one each. Here are a few more notes:
• As easy as it is to root for Chad Cordero knowing how he got here, you wonder how many more times he’s able to get pushed around before the Angels decide to end the experiment. Cordero’s in the group of relievers who benefits by Bobby Cassevah being outrighted, and may be the most obvious candidate to take that 40-man roster spot (they’re both right-handed, he’s a former closer, his fastball seems major-league ready). But we can’t ignore the fact that Cordero gave up a home run to Brendan Ryan (15 HRs in 679 major-league games) three days ago and a hard-hit double to Brian Barden (4 HRs in 117 major-league games) today.
• If Kershaw’s location was off against Kendrick, it was dead-on against Peter Bourjos (0-for-3, three strikeouts).
• Compared to Cordero, it’s easier to excuse Jerome Williams‘ 11.25 spring ERA through two starts (four innings). He’s a veteran who once tossed BP in Scottsdale to Barry Bonds and, more importantly, he’s on the 40-man roster. Williams has room to experiment that Cordero, who is fighting for a job, does not. Still, I plan to catch up with Mike Butcher at some point to get his take on what’s up with Williams. Could be nothing, could be something.
• Speaking of McPherson, that was his first hit of spring training. He’s being looked at as a possible backup first baseman to Adrian Gonzalez as a non-roster invitee on a minor-league contract.
• Here is the box score.
• Tomorrow’s game against the Dodgers will be televised on Fox Sports West at noon.