The Jays took the opener in the Sixth City (amazing nickname, by the way) tonight behind a strong performance by starter Brett Cecil and some early offense.
On the Mound:
Brett Cecil was spectacular, taking advantage of a somewhat permissive strike zone early on and making the Indians look helpless for the first six innings. After 6 perfect innings, he ran into a bit of trouble in the 7th, issuing two one-out walks and a no-hitter busting, shutout-busting single to Jhonny Peralta. Cecil bounced back to finish the 7th and to pitch a perfect 8th though, finishing with 10 Ks, just 2 walks, and just the one single on the day. Not only that, but 9 of his 13 non-strikeout outs were on the ground.
At the Plate:
The Jays jumped on starter Mitch Talbot early, swinging at practically every first pitch for the first few innings. It paid off, as Jose Bautista hit a 2-run home run in the 2nd and Vernon Wells had a sharp RBI single up the middle the following inning, cashing Aaron Hill, who had a very nice hit at the plate. In the 4th, Travis Snider (who had hit a line drive double earlier) hit an absolute laser beam out in right - the low line drive just cleared the fence and was in the stands in a matter of moments. Very impressive. Adam Lind had an 0fer but he walked twice and hit one ball to the track, so I think it's likely just a matter of time.
That was it for the Jays scoring as Talbot adjusted (he ended up going 8) and they continued their hacktastic ways, until John Buck hit one out in the top of the 9th.
From the Pen:
Because the Jays entered the top of the 9th with a three-run lead, Kevin Gregg was already warming up and so he came in even after the Buck dinger. Gregg wasn't particularly sharp but he got the job done fine.
In the Field:
The Jays didn't have to make many great plays (unlike the Tribe) as Cecil didn't give up many hard-hit balls. I did think Buck called a good game. Though this provoked a bit of consternation in the comments, I must admit I'm not sure why.
All in all, a great game. Cecil has been terrific since we called him up. He, Bautista, and Moonraker earn Jay of the Day honours. Always a great game when no one takes one of the more dubious honours. Tonight's title comes from the Randy Newman song "Burn On" off Sail Away, a truly epic record for anyone who writes songs. It's about the Cuyahoga River, which goes through Cleveland and has been known to catch fire now and again.