Jhonny Peralta’s Big Spring Moment, Times Two

Yes, it was just a spring training game. No, it doesn’t count for anything.

Jhonny Peralta

               Photo: STLToday.com

Still, Jhonny Peralta hitting a home run yesterday on the first pitch to him from his former team, the Detroit Tigers, was pretty cool.

Hitting another homer in his second at-bat? Even more cool — even if it sounds like the wind helped that one a bit.

Baseball moments like that are great, no matter when (or how) they happen.

And especially when they happen in a game that’s a long bus ride away from Cards camp in Jupiter, Fla., as Andrew Simon writes at MLB.com:

Veterans with 11 years of Major League service, a new $53 million contract and a guaranteed spot in the lineup don’t make too many 150-minute bus rides to play in Spring Training games. Jhonny Peralta was an exception on Monday, and the cross-Florida trip proved to be well worth it.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny suggested that his new shortstop go so that he could visit his former Tigers teammates and play in front of their fans after spending more than three seasons with the club. Peralta agreed, then went out and blasted two home runs off left-hander Drew Smyly in two plate appearances, hitting one out to left field and one to right.

“I feel really happy to be at home plate here and to face the Detroit Tigers,” Peralta said. “I was excited to hear the fans and everything. It made me excited to play today.”

As for the outcome of the game itself, well — remember that spring training games don’t count. Not every Cardinal had as good of a day as Jhonny did.

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Division Series Times Through Saturday Announced

Major League Baseball today announced the start times for all Division Series games through Saturday. TBS will exclusively televise up to 18 of the 20 potential Division Series games, while MLB Network will carry two Division Series games – one on Friday, October 4, and the other on Monday, October 7.

3471__nlds-primary-2013The National League Central Champion St. Louis Cardinals will host the winner of the National League Wild Card Game (either the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Cincinnati Reds) in Game 1 of the N.L. Division Series at Busch Stadium on Thursday, October 3, at 5:07 p.m. (ET)/4:07 p.m. (CT).

In the evening, the N.L. East Champion Atlanta Braves will host the N.L. West-winning Los Angeles Dodgers with an 8:37 p.m. (ET) first pitch in Game 1 of the NLDS at Turner Field. Both of Thursday’s games will be exclusively televised by TBS.

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