By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
4:20 p.m.: A bunch of Red Sox minor leaguers made it interesting, but they couldn’t complete the comeback. The Mets are 8-7 winners.
Tebow did produce a run (by grounding into a bases-loaded double play with no outs) so you can basically just give the man the “W” for this one.
OK not really. Tebow had a rough day, but that’s to be expected. Hitting in the big leagues is difficult, even when you’ve been doing it for 10 years. Doing it for the first time was going to be problematic for Tebow no matter what.
He did reach base after taking a fastball to the shoulder … but then he promptly got caught drifting off first base on a line drive to second. That’s an area where he looked a bit out of place (especially with his lack of a dive back to the bag), but again, those types of base running mistakes do happen to MLB veterans as well.
So … there should be no sweeping proclamations made on the status of Tim Tebow: Baseball Player at this moment in time.
4 p.m.: A fourth plate appearance for Tebow! This one comes against Brandon Workman.
First pitch: Called strike one. Tebow had a word for the hoe plate umpire.
Second pitch: Breaking ball on the inside edge. Called strike two.
Pitch three: Looping curveball down and away. Called strike three.
See you later.
Tebow: 0-for-3, 2 K’s, HBP. And he got picked off at first base on a line drive in the infield. Maybe not a great day at the old ball yard for Tim.
3:27 p.m.: Oh no! Head on a swivel, Tim!
L.J. Mazzilli hit a line drive right at Deven Marrero at second base. Tebow broke toward second base right off the bat. Marerro easily fielded the liner then noticed Tebow was way off the first base bag, and so he threw over. Tebow didn’t dive back to the base and the throw beat him by a half-step for the double play. Not good base running there by Mr. Tebow.
3:24 p.m.: Tebow reached base … via a fastball to the shoulder. Here’s how it played out.
Tebow vs. Brian Johnson.
First pitch: Sweeping curveball from the lefty, in for a called strike.
Second pitch: Ball one, away.
Third pitch: Fastball up and in, and Tebow wears it off those bulging shoulders.
So Tebow is now 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch.
Well then. Tebow, for his part, can probably handle that one. He’s a strong fellow.
3:22 p.m.: Travis d’Arnaud led off the bottom of the sixth with a double off Brian Johnson. Amed Rosario then sent a chopper up the middle, setting up a first-and-third situation.
That brought up Tebow for plate appearance No. 3.
2:44 p.m.: Rosario chopped one to short and beat it out for an infield single. Bases juiced for Tebow.
First pitch from Ramirez to Tebow: Foul ball off to the third base side, well out of play, on a fastball down.
Second pitch: Ugly swing on a breaking ball down and in. That was a hideous swing. (Vazquez almost picked off d’Arnaud at third too.)
Third pitch: High fastball. Ball one.
Fourth pitch: Another breaking ball down. Tebow fouled this one off to the first base side to stay alive.
Fifth pitch: A low fastball, Tebow sent a grounder directly to the second baseman for a 4-6-3 double play.
The double play got the run home to tie the game, though Tebow doesn’t get credit for an RBI.
So far the book on Tebow is that he doesn’t look very good against Rick Porcello. Against Noe Ramirez, he looked … OK.
2:39 p.m.: Barring a home run (or a triple play) here, Tebow is going to get an RBI opportunity. Noe Ramirez just watched d’Arnaud, so it’s two on, nobody out for Rosario. Tebow’s on deck.
2:34 p.m.: Well it appears as though the Mets are going to have that big inning. Porcello took a hot shot off his glove hand from Cespedes to start the inning, and then he promptly served up a two-run dinger to Jay Bruce. Lucas Duda then muscled a ball over the head of Benintendi in left for a double, and that ended Porcello’s day.
So the Mets have a runner on second with nobody out. Tebow is due up in three spots, so we’ll likely see him this inning.
2:31 p.m.: The Red Sox are leading 4-1, if you’re into that kind of thing. We likely won’t see Tebow’s second plate appearance until the fifth, unless the Mets have a big inning here in the fourth.
2:05 p.m.: There is no joy in Port St. Lucie. The mighty Tim Tebow has struck out.
First pitch from Porcello to Tebow: Fastball right down the pipe. Strike one called.
Second pitch: Fastball just inside. Ball one. Pitch looked good.
Third pitch: Tebow took a swing at a sinking fastball down and away. Strike two.
Fourth pitch: Porcello goes down and away, Tebow watches it go by, and Tebow gets rung up. That wasn’t a great pitch, but Christian Vazquez framed it nicely. And Tebow’s heading back to the bench. Welcome to the bigs.
2:01 p.m.: All right, folks. The time has come.
“What time?” you ask?
It is Tebow Time.
1:51 p.m.: The drama! Rosario went down swinging, and the Mets were retired in order, thus leaving Tebow on deck. So he’ll lead off the third inning. Porcello’s at a pretty low pitch count, so it’ll probably be a Porcello-Tebow matchup to kick off the bottom of the third.
As a sign of his status as a low-level minor leaguer, Tebow’s wearing jersey No. 97, and he doesn’t even have a name on the back of his jersey.
1:42 p.m.: We might get Tebow in the second inning. He’s due up fourth.
1:13 p.m.: The game has begun. Noah Syndergaard started off the game by getting Marco Hernandez to fly out to deep left field.
12:15 p.m.: Good afternoon, baseball fans. And happy Tim Tebow Day.
Is that a bit much? A little obnoxious? Of course it is! But that’s what we’re here for. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see a two-time national champion, Heisman-winning quarterback-turned brief NFL star making his MLB spring training debut against a reigning Cy Young Award winner. Right? No!
So, in the spirit of overanalyzing anything and everything Tebow ever does, we’re going full live blog status for each and every one of Tebow’s at-bats on Wednesday afternoon down in Port St. Lucie. It should be the most absurdly overscrutinized spring training game of the year and perhaps of all time. And it should be a whole lot of fun.
(Tebow batted .194 in the Arizona Fall League but don’t let that spoil your fun!)
Side note: Here’s some more over-the-top Tebowness:
And some more:
If you can’t be there in sunny Florida, or if you can’t watch it live, we’ve got you covered right here. First pitch is just after 1 p.m., and Tebow is slotted into the eighth spot in the lineup as the DH. Be sure to check back in for the latest updates as Tebow makes what could be the most glorious spring training debut in American baseball history.