The Jays took game 1 of this weekend series tonight at the Rogers Centre behind a superb pitching performance and the same type of offense we've come to expect over the past few weeks.
On the Mound:
Brett Cecil was extraordinary against a very tough lineup. He really had his stuff working, going 8 innings strong with 5 Ks and just 1 walk. Cecil kept the ball down, getting 12 grounders and just 6 balls in the air. The Yankees managed just 5 hits against him. The one run that scored was on a double play. Brett has strung together four straight fantastic starts (and four straight wins) since his drubbing against Texas and now has 7 great starts, 1 middling one, and just the one poor one and also has 45 Ks and just 13 walks and 4 home runs allowed over his 57 innings. A breakout season in the works, or just a hot couple of months, either way its been great fun.
At the Plate:
Old friend A.J. Burnett was pitching for the Yankees and the Jays were not kind to him, going yard three times and scoring as many runs (6) as Burnett made it through. The culprits: if you haven't guessed one was Jose Bautista by now, you haven't been paying attention. Bautista went yard twice to plate three on the night, added a double for good measure and scored on a wild pitch, and walked in his 4th plate appearance. Not a bad day at the office. Edwin Encarnacion added a solo home run, and a John Buck sacrifice fly accounted for the other run. Even though 4 of the 6 runs scored on home runs, the name of the game for the Jays was patience as they walked 5 times. Fred Lewis, Lyle Overbay, and Buck were the only Jays not to reach tonight.
From the Pen:
Jason Frasor pitched the 9th and was just ok walking one and getting one out on strikes and the other two on fly balls. As my coach used to say, any out in the 9th inning is a good out. Particularly the way the Jays have been going recently.
In the Field:
The defense kept a clean sheet with the infield getting most of the work, and Alex Gonzalez doing his usual fine job at shortstop.
With the win, which the Jays needed to keep even with Boston (who thumped Baltimore), our corvid heroes draw to within 4 1/2 games of first place and 2 1/2 from the wild card. After the Rays series, it'd be nice to win this one and of course beating the Yankees is always a lot of fun. Tomorrow afternoon the red hot Andy Pettitte takes the mound for New York while Ricky Romero pitches for the Jays in what promises to be a great matchup of great southpaws past, present, and future.
Title from the incredible song "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues.