Twins 4 - Blue Jays 3
Over 35K fans made their way out to the game today bringing the opening weekend total to over 110K. That is not too shabby at all and a big improvement over last years numbers. Granted that is likely helped out with the bobblehead give-away and the fact that opening weekend fell on a weekend instead of mid-week this year. Still the crowd was loud and it was nice to see fans in the stands.
The Jays weren't able to get out to the quick start that they had recently as Nick Blackburn was dealing. His stuff was staying low in the zone and his sinker was really moving down. The Jays were helping themselves either as they kept offering at the low stuff limiting them to 5 hits all singles through 5 innings. The only run their were able to manufacture during those early innings was on an error by the twins 2B that allowed Adam Lind to score. in the 6th Jose Bautista homered on a line drive that stayed fair down the left field line, his 2nd on the year and 2nd hit on the day. After that the Jays continued to pressure getting runners to 2nd and 3rd with 1out in the 7th but Juan Rivera grounded out to the pitcher and Bautista lined out to CF to end the threat.
The ninth inning came and Joe Nathan came into the game to see his first action in over a year and he may still have a bit of rust. He was trying to secure the save on the Twins 4-2 lead. Snider opened it up with an infield single, next JP Arencibia hit a deep fly to left that Delmon Young had to track on the run and make a great catch. Mike McCoy doubled to right putting runners at 2nd and 3rd when Escobar stung one to CF that Span had to make an amazing catch out. What looked like a sure double off the bat became a sac fly, Jays within 1 at this point with a runner at 3rd. Both Juan Rivera and Bautista grind out great AB and earn walks, bases loaded for Lind 2 out bottom of ninth and down by 1.... the tension is crazy considering its just the third game of the season... Lind steps to the plate and..... grounds weakly to 1st on the 1st pitch. Anti-climatic would be understatement.
All in all the Jays managed 8 hits, 2 each from Travis Snider, Bautista and McCoy, and 1 each for Rivera and Lind, all singles aside from Bautista's HR and McCoys double. I will mention though that Arencibia looked great at the plate and got a walk as well.
In the field, it was all about E5 E5 E5. 2 more errors today brings his total up 3 in 2 games, He did hustle down the line during a couple of at bats that caused a couple of errors on behalf of the Twins but still.... 3 errors in 2 games is not going to cut it. The fans at the Rogers Centre even started to boo.
Our pitching wasn't quite up to task today as Brett Cecil faltered in his first start of the season, he started strongly but then started to struggle to get through the next few innings. This all led up to the blow up that happened in the 5th inning. Cecil through 4IP = 1H 1ER 1BB 3Ks and then in the 5th he allowed 5Hs and a BB, it could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for the stellar defense of Travis Snider in LF, who ran down some line drives and threw up a runner at the plate a great throw.
Our bullpen looked good as well right up until Rauch in the ninth who gave up the first run of the year for the bullpen. Through the first series of the season the bullpen had thrown 10IP with 0ER, then with one out in the ninth Rauch served up a gopher ball that Danny Valencia Denard Span took over the RF wall. That one turned out to the winner since the Jays managed to score one in the ninth.
Jays of the Day - McCoy (.303), Bautista (.079) didn't have the numbers but with a HR and 2-4 day with a very timely walk in the ninth Im giving it to him, Edwin Encarnacion (.104)has the numbers but considering he got his because of an error on the Twins, and the fact that he made two errors himself I'm taking it away.
Suckage numbers - Brett Cecil (-.112), Aaron Hill (-.127),
Yunel Escobar(-.152), Juan Rivera (-.206), Adam Lind (-.436)
I'm taking away Escobar's, as he looked great during the game and only got the suckage numbers because of the hard hit line out in the 9th that Span had to make an amazing grab to get. Before that he had a beatiful sac bunt he almost beat out and generally looked good even though he didn't get a hit. Oh and Im giving a suckage award to Encarnacion who now has 3 errors in 2 games in the field. Cue the Jays talk callers calling about Lawrie.
We have a day off on Monday before we continue our homestand against the A's who are currently playing the Seattle Mariners in the third game of their set. They dropped the first 2 but as I type this are winning 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th during the getaway game.