Blue Jays 8, Phillies 5
What was billed as an ace versus ace game was ruined by a rain delay, but the Jays still came through on top to win the game against the Phillies, and are now a cool 23-5-1 in Grapefruit League play.
The Jays took flight first with a leadoff home run courtesy of Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the 2nd. Eric Thames immediately followed with a double to deep centrefield, then Brett Lawrie singled him home. Halladay locked down after that and retired Arencibia, Rasmus, and Mathis to end the inning. Raul Valdes, who replaced Halladay, allowed an unearned run in the 3rd after an Placido Polanco E5, allowing Edwin Encarnacion to reach base behind a Yunel Escobar walk. Eric Thames continued his hot spring with an RBI single to make it 3-0 Jays.
The Phillies scored one in their half of the 4th when Polanco doubled then scored off of a Hunter Pence single. Carlos Villanueva was not his sharp self in the 4th, hitting Ty Wigginton and throwing a wild pitch as well, but he was having trouble with mud from the rain getting stuck in his cleats.
Jose Bautista responded to the run immediately, hitting his fourth long bomb of the spring in the top of the 5th to make it 4-1. Bautista took three big swings after getting ahead on a 3-0 count, and said after the game that he knew a fastball was coming and he just wanted to be as aggressive as possible. Encarnacion had another RBI on a sac fly in the 7th, scoring Jonathan Diaz. EE has put together quite a nice spring, with 4 HR and 12 RBI. John Mayberry Jr. helped the Phillies get another run by hitting a homer off of Clint Everts in the bottom of the 7th.
In the top of the 8th, the Phillies walked Rajai Davis and our designated hitter Jeff Mathis stepped up to slam a double to centrefield to score Davis all the way from first, standing up. Right after that, Luis Valbuena hit what Jerry Howarth called a "high-arching, majestic drive", homering to right field, scoring Mathis to make it 8-2 Blue Jays. With two outs in the bottom half of the 8th, the Phillies answered back with 3 runs off of Scott Gracey. Juan Pierre singled, scording Lou Montanez, a wild pitch by Gracey scored LaYnce Nix, and a Hector Luna single scored Pierre. The game ended 8-5 when Robert Coello induced Canadian Pete Orr to fly out in the bottom of the 9th.
There was a 37 minute rain delay in the middle, which knocked the starters out of the game. Game time temperature was recorded as 84°F (29°C) but dropped to 68°F (20°C) after the rain delay, which is much more comfortable to play and watch in. By the ninth the temperature went back up to 75°F (24°C). The rain delay was kind of fun--not only did we get to put up the rain delay pic, but we also got to hear a bit of JaysTalk. A caller was concerned that the Jays wouldn't be able to face adversity through the season because they haven't lost enough in Spring Training.
Some quick points:
- Final line: Jays 8 runs, 11 hits, 0 errors; Phillies 5 runs, 11 hits, 1 error.
- Ricky Romero was perfect today: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K (Pence, Wigginton), 0 BB. Romero has gone 11.0 IP in official Grapefruit League games this spring while allowing just 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 10. He and Halladay were scheduled for 5 innings each but the rain delay took both starters out of the fold. Romero continued to pitch indoors during the delay to reach his pitch count.
- Romero had several quotable quotes after the game, courtesy of John Lott and Shi Davidi:
- Roy Halladay also threw 2.0 IP, allowing 2 ER on 3 H including the Encarnacion homer, striking out 3 (Johnson, Rasmus, Mathis). Following him were Raul Valdes, David Herndon, Tyler Knigge (pronounced k-NIG-gee), Jordan Whatcott, and Juan Sosa.
- Carlos Villanueva followed Romero and allowed his first earned run of the spring on 2 H over 2.0 IP.
- A human rain delay, Jason Frasor, pitched a s l o w inning after Carlos V, allowing a double and a single.
- Finishing the scheduled innings from the big leaguers, Farrell called on "just-in-case" minor leaguers Clint Everts (1-2-3 6th, allowed HR in 7th), Scott Gracey (a rough outing where he got future Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome to ground into a double play but allowed a run), and Robert Coello.
- On the negative side of things, Phillies pitchers struck out 12 Jays in the game. Kelly Johnson and Colby Rasmus struck out thrice (see pic), and Jeff Mathis had 2. The Jays pitcher only struck out 7 Phillies.
We’re bringing a little different attitude, in a good way. We’re arrogant, we know we can win.
We play with that confidence, the way we should play the game, and that 'I'm going to kick your ass' attitude every time.
Honestly, I'm sick of going home in October and I think those guys are too.
Tomorrow the Jays will send out Brandon Morrow against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, who will bring out Jeff Karstens. We will be treated with the final Spring Training television broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet, starting at 1 pm Eastern. It will also be broadcast through the radio waves on the Fan 590, if you'd like to hear Jerry and Alan rather than Buck and Pat. We will be here again with a GameThread just past noon tomorrow--will you?