Gray (1-0) dodged trouble with his final batter thanks to newcomer Jace Peterson, who was signed to a major league contract before the game. With runners on second and third and two outs, Peterson snagged Pedro Alvarez’s hard-hit liner on the run, slamming into the left-field wall after making an acrobatic catch.
“You’ve got to prepare to be ready for this opportunity always, no matter what happens in the spring or what happens the day before,” said Peterson, who had played just 40 of his 383 big league games in left field before Saturday. “I was fortunate to run it down and make the play.”
David Robertson entered in the seventh with one out and runners on second and third, fanning the dangerous Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop to preserve the 5-3 lead. Robertson struck out four of the five batters he faced.
For Hurst, there’s no new information to obtain. Doctors flagged the heart problem and prevented him from working out at the Scouting Combine. He later received separate clearance to participate in the Michigan Pro Day.
It’s not uncommon, either as to internal or orthopedic issues, for players to be prevented from working out in Indianapolis. Given that the Combine workouts are lower on the list of priorities than medical examinations or interviews, the folks in charge of the Combine will err on the side of caution when it comes to potentially letting an overly-competitive player assume a risk that, objectively speaking, is unnecessary.
For heart problems, there’s a separate component to the decision to keep players from working out. If the worst-case scenario happens at a time when doctors know or should know there’s a problem, there could be moral, and legal, responsibility.
Calgary entered the night in an offensive funk, having mustered only nine goals over the previous nine games, eight of them losses. The seven goals was the club’s biggest offensive outburst since a 7-4 victory over St. Louis on Nov. 13.
“It’s one of those things. Tonight, for some reason, everything bounced in and I think we could have had even more,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “It’s nice to end it on that note, but it’s been a tough year and obviously a disappointing year.”
Before the game, players from both teams and the officials formed a circle at center ice for a moment of silence for the 15 people who lost their lives in the Humboldt Broncos bus accident.
“You have those guys, that community, the team, on your mind all day,” Giordano said. “We’re one big community, the hockey community, there’s a lot of people feeling this one.”
Afterward, the Saddledome crowd broke into a chant of “Broncos! Broncos!”