Do you get the feeling spring stats are meaningless? J.P. Arencibia couldn't get a hit this spring if my sister was pitching, then second at bat of the season he hits a long homer to dead center. Next time up a triple to the wall in center. Then an opposite field homer. Just a wow night for him.
A few other Jays had great days at the plate too. Jose Bautista was 3 for 4 with a homer. Adam Lind was 2 for 4 with a homer deep deep to right and 3 RBI. Escobar was 1 for 3 with a walk. All the starters had a hit except Travis Snider, who walked twice and Juan Rivera who walked once.
Our first inning might have been the most fun I've had watching baseball ever. Rajai Davis beat out a infield grounder for a single. Not only was it an infield single, it was a hit hard ball, almost straight at the shortstop and Davis still beat it out. Then Davis was picked off first but managed to get back to first after a short run down. Escobar singled, then he and Davis pulled off a double steal. When was the last time you saw the Jays do a double steal? Bautista walked. Lind was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Hill flied out to center and all three runners moved up. Adam Lind tagged up from first to go to second on a not particularly deep fly to center. Adam Lind. Edwin Encarnacion hit a sac fly. Travis Snider reached on an error and suddenly we are up by 4 without a home run.
Ricky Romero had a terrific game too. 6.1 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, only 1 earned, no walks (!) and 7 strikeouts. He really was never in trouble until the 7th and even that wasn't his fault. With a runner on first and one out he gave up a very catchable fly to Jose Bautista, who miffed it. Jose didn't get much time in the outfield this spring, maybe he could have used a bit more. EE booted a ground ball next. It looked like he was trying to rush to go for a double play when I don't think there was one there. But I guess if you are going to make these mistakes, it might as well be in a game where you score 13. A double later and Ricky was out of the game.
Casey Janssen, Jason Frasor and Carlos Villanueva pitched the final 2.2 shutout innings. Casey made a very nice play on a bouncing ball towards first. Dived to get it and sort of shoveled it to first.
Jays of the Day? Well, only Romero gets to the magic number with a .168 WPA. But I'm going to give a JoD to Arencibia (you get two homers and a triple, I figure you deserve it) and Lind for the 3 RBI. No Suckage Jays, Rivera had the low number at -.025.
Other notes. To me, JP looked very smooth behind the plate. Moved well and you really can't complain about his pitch calling on a game like that. Pat Tabler commented that Romero was a tough pitcher to catch with al the downward movement on his pitches.
Craig Gregg Zaun mentioned that he did a good job calling the game. There was one wild pitch, JP blocked the pitch that was bounced but it got far enough away from him for the runner to move up.
Also, I thought Adam Lind looked very comfortable at first base and the plate, for that matter. There was one throw to Casey Janssen, covering first, that was a little high but nothing bad.
Aaron Hill hit a double and ran hard right out of the batter's box. It didn't look like he had any worries about his leg. If he and Lind can play like this all year, we are going to have fun.
Before the game Jose Bautista was presented with his Silver Slugger award. Also new Hall of Famers, Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick were honored before the game. Banners were unveiled with their names and Hall of Fame status. It was very nice. Roberto looked like he could have played. Our new 'Special Assistant' looks in great shape.
Nice to see Rogers Center filled today. Less nice that drunken fans threw the giveaway towels on the field and caused a few delays.
Our game thread was almost as much fun as the game was itself. Over 2000 comments in three threads. It was hard to keep up. And we had a lot of new names in the thread, great to have you all. I hope everyone enjoyed. If you missed it, join us tomorrow.
Baseball is back and it is hard to stop smiling.