Hope everyone enjoyed today's game as much as I did. That really was a fun one, which the Jays pulled out on a strength of a big 9th inning rally.
On the Mound:
Ricky Romero was fantastic, pitching 7 innings of 1-run ball, striking out 4 and walking just 2 while generally pounding the lower 1/2 of the strike zone. He gave up 5 hits, two of which were doubles. As is critical for success in Arlington, he kept the ball down, recording 12 of his 16 batted ball outs on the ground. It was an impressive first start for Romero on the road against a tough lineup.
At the Bat:
The Jays couldn't muster much offense for the first 8 innings, managing just a baserunner per inning and striking out 9 times against converted lefty closer C.J. Wilson. Not saying that Wilson wasn't pitching well - he was definitely locating his pitches well, but the Jays helped him out by being overly aggressive at times. Travis Snider had a bit of a rough day at the plate, striking out 3 times in his four plate appearances. Snider seems like he is getting into good hitters' counts but then not converting on the fastballs that he knows are coming. It's way too early to worry, though.
In the Ninth, though, the Jays turned things around. Vernon Wells led off the inning with a booming home run, his fourth of the season. He also walked during the game. Vernon did strike out in a key situation a few innings earlier, but there's no doubt that his bat is generating drive and power that he just didn't have last season. It must feel great to be healthy and hitting so well right out of the gate - hope he rides the hot start into a nice year.
Wells on Overbay's triple: "It was slow developing." Much laughter. Overbay: "Oh, you guys think that's funny?"
Pretty funny, yeah. Edwin Encarnacion hit a sacrifice fly to cash Overbay (Edwin had a good day at the plate, with a hit and walk in addition to the game-winning RBI). Alex Gonzalez followed up with a double and ultimately scored on a Mike McCoy single to center. The hit was actually McCoy's second big league hit (he singled to lead off the game) and boy it must've felt good. McCoy was playing for Aaron Hill, who was a scratch with a tight hammy. Adam Lind grounded out to leave them loaded in the ninth but that was all the Jays needed.
From the Pen:
Romero was great, but because of the Jays' inability to muster any runs for the first 88.8% of the game, the bullpen played a key role. Casey Janssen pitched the 8th and was great - he was locating his pitches well and struck out the side around a walk in which a couple of the pitches looked to be either strikes or very close. He got the win. Jason Frasor came in for the save and promptly allowed a leadoff walk but then settled down to finish the game without too much excitement.
In the Field:
The Jays expect strong catching when they send Jose Molina out behind the plate, but they didn't get it today. Molina, who certainly isn't known for his bat (and was awful at the plate today, striking out feebly in each of his three plate appearances), looked stiff and lackladasical behind the plate, allowing a couple of wild pitches (2 of Romero's, one of Janssen's) that he really should have been able to block get by him. Buck came in to catch after pinch-hitting and he wasn't any better, doing the same in the 9th after Frasor put the leadoff man on base.
Edwin Encarnacion had a nice heads-up play to nab Vlad Guerrero at second after Guerrero singled Michael Young from first to third. Jose Bautista looked a little slow in right field at times. Alex Gonzalez continues to be smooth at the 6-hole and McCoy did a nice job filling in for Hill.
All in all, a very exciting game for the Jays, and they conclude their opening road series by winning 2 of 3. That's about all you can ask for, though let's not forget that they easily could've taken all 3. The key in each game has been top-notch performances from the starters, so let's just hope that continues as the Jays head to Charm City for the weekend series. Few things better than the hop, skip, and jump it is for me to go over to Camden Yards to see the Jays take on the O's. Today's post title comes from the song "Come Saturday" by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, since I'm hoping that it'll be another sunny day and yep, the Jays will be just 30 miles away.