Gotta love 9th inning wins. Down by a run in the top of the 9th, Edwin Encarnacion walked, went to second on a wild pitch. The Travis Snider lines a double to tie the game. Really great for Travis. He's going to have good and bad days, so I hope he really enjoys this good one. John McDonald bunted him to third and Jose Bautista drove him home with a sac fly. Just perfect. Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect 9th, with 2 strikeouts, for the save. Very nice to see him pitching well too. I'd be very happy to be wrong about him.
Brandon Morrow didn't have the start we would have liked to see. His first inning was terrible. To be fair to him, the strike zone was a) inconsistent and b) roughly the size of a postage stamp. It did improve some as the day went on. Anyway his first inning as a Jay went walk, hit batter (slipped out of his hand), walk, single, K, walk, walk, double play (thank you baseball gods).
Innings 2, 3 and 4 went much much better for him. 5th inning he gave up a long fly ball to left that Travis should have caught, Travis turned around (twice I think) and watched it fall on the edge of the track. A 'double'. Then Miguel Tejada homered.
Good things today:
Jose Bautista was 2 for 4 with a double. John Buck had 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Travis Snider was 2 for 3 with a walk. Alex Gonzalez hit his second home run of the season too.
The relievers were good too. Shawn Camp pitched 2 scoreless and Gregg had the great 9th inning. Casey Janssen gave up a run but pitched ok.
Morrow's first inning.
Our defense: there was Travis' misadventure. And in the 8th with Casey pitching and pinch runner Felix Pie on first, Cesar Izturis singled to center. Vernon threw the ball in to McDonald, Pie went for home. Mac bounced the ball into Buck. Buck still should have caught it and they would have got the out easy. Buck didn't. Being fair to him, Mac should have been able to make that throw, he was just past second base, it wasn't a long throw. But he short hopped Buck. Bad play on both ends.
Jays of the Day are Snider (.321 WPA), Gregg (.224), Camp (.173) and Edwin Encarncion (.102). Buck had the WPA for JoD but I'm dropping him for not making that catch. Edwin makes it on the strength of the big big walk to lead off the 9th. Suckage Jays Morrow (-.225) and McDonald (-.161) and the terrible throw. Mac did get the bunt down in the 9th that set up the winning run but other than that he was terrible at the plate. Janssen had a -.208 but had the play been made at the plate his number would have been better, so I'm taking him off the suckage list.
So we are 3-1, pretty nice. First place in the ALE. Yeah it won't last, but let's enjoy for the moment.
In case you think I missed it....no Vernon didn't homer. Yeah, I was surprised too. He did single and score. I think he's the only Jay to have hit in every game and he has scored in every game. And Encarnacion didn't make an error. I did double check the boxscore to be sure.
Randy Ruiz made it as far as the batter's circle today. He's the only batter not to make an appearance yet. Jeremy Accardo and Merkin Valdez haven't made a game yet either.
Cito had a good line:
"I'd like to maybe have a little more relaxing day every once in a while."
Hey man, a win is a win. Enjoy it. Though, I can imagine it wasn't so much fun from the dugout.
John Buck on Morrow's first inning:
"Personally, I think you can just chalk it up to excitement. New team. Opening Day."
Ok, that will work until his next start.
Tomorrow is a night game, 7:00 Eastern. Dana Eveland gets his first start. David Hernandez goes for the Orioles.