Well - it's only meaningless if no one gets hurt. But meaningless does not equate to uninteresting. That is, if you enjoy watching baseball players get showered in sunflower seeds while answering fluff interview questions that inevitably uncover nothing revelatory.
Anyway! The Brewers go back to Phoenix Municipal Stadium - where they opened Cactus League play - to face the white-hot Oakland Athletics this afternoon, who have lost only once this spring - to the Brewers, an 11-3 whooping. Wily Peralta will get the ball for the Brewers, with Dan Straily toeing the rubber for the A's for the first time this spring. He has never faced the Brewers in regular season play.
Peralta is no slouch, but it's hard to imagine the Athletics feeling much anxiety a day after shelling Clayton Kershaw for 5 earned runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.
While the A's appear to be a formidable opponent given their sterling 4-1-1 record, today they split up for two, so there will be several familiar names you might never hear on the broadcast (I guess that isn't all that unusual given that it's Spring Training). John Jaso isn't one of them - he'll catch Straily, appearing for the first time on the field since being plunked just above his throwing elbow last Wednesday.
As I was half-jogging coming off my second 4-minute walking break 13 minutes into my treadmill workout while watching the Brewers replay vs. the Cubs on FSNWI last night on a 15 inch tube television well out of adequate eyesight, I saw a short batter with a dark complexion approach the plate with a name threatening to curve around the number 3 approach the batter's box with the bases loaded and experienced a rush of panic that accelerated my heart rate to where it should have been in the first place given the fact that I was supposed to be purposefully stressing my cardiovascular system.
But the tension diffused quickly as I realized it was just Elian Herrera. He'll start the day on the bench. Here's the lineup, once again courtesy of Mike Vassallo:
Today's #Brewers lineup at Oakland. First pitch 2:05 CT with Ueck and @joe_block on @620wtmj! pic.twitter.com/Fj5eZX9Q7E— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) March 4, 2014
It's stupid gorgeous once again in Phoenix: high-70s and partly sunny. But don't fret, folks. It will be summer in Milwaukee before you know it. Just another three months. Hopefully.