Leyland used five words to describe the Cardinals lineup yesterday before Drew Smyly’s start “That’s a real good test” Leyland said.
Against the defending World Series Champs, Drew pitched 4 2/3 innings while giving up three hits, three runs and striking out four.
“They’re the defending World champions” said Smyly. “It was a great opportunity to go out there and show what you’ve got against the best”.
Smyly has definitely taken advantage of his opportunities this Spring. In four appearances, he’s only allowed 4 runs in 12 2/3 innings
Smyly’s worst inning of the Spring came Wednesday in the third. After retiring the first seven of eight batters, Drew ran into some trouble by allowing three consecutive batters to reach base, which resulted in two runs. Smyly also let up a home run to Tyler Greene in the fourth inning.
“I thought I did well the whole time,” Smyly said. “I made it hard on myself in the third, but I thought I got out of it fine. We had a three-run lead, and I held the lead by only giving up two runs.”
“You just want to give it all you got,” Smyly said. “You’re so close. Everyone wants that spot. You want to pitch in the big leagues, that’s what you always hope for since you’re a kid.”
Leyland said that whether or not Drew makes the team, he’s left a good impression on him. “It’s not a matter of helping or hurting. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him so far. Nothing changed my mind.” “I will say this, whether he makes it or not, he looks like a classic-looking left-handed pitcher to me. And at some point, if things don’t go haywire, he’ll pitch in the big leagues. That’s my judgment, from what I’ve seen.”
Whether or not this start sealed the fifth starting spot for Drew is yet to be seen. He’ll have one more opportunity make his case next Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Both Duane Below and Andy Oliver will also have one more shot to make their bids for the fifth spot. Oliver starts Sunday against the Mets, while Below starts Friday against the Orioles.