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Notes From Florida

Didn't get a chance to log on yesterday as a fair bit of driving was done. 

Yesterday's game against the Pirates was fun for me to watch. I had a great ticket, in the front row, right near third base and Brian Butterfield. Said hi to him in the third inning and surprisingly he seemed to remember me from when we talked last year. He came over and talked for a moment. Then, later in the game, with a runner on first, he went through a bunch of signs, then turned back and said 'There is no play on Tom'. I said 'At least you have a hit and run sign this year.' He had a quick laugh at that. Course later in the inning when they put on a squeeze bunt, he didn't give me any heads up on the play. 

In the game:

  • Kyle Drabek started and gave us 5 good innings. He did give up 7 hits and two earned runs, but battled out of trouble most of the time. Casey Janssen and Carlos Villanueva each pitched a good inning. Sean Henn had troubles in the 8th, walking 3.
  • Edwin Encarnacion played third and made two good plays, starting a nice 5-4-3 DP and making a good play on a swinging bunt, coming in quick and making a good throw to get the runner. He also spent a little while signing autographs near me before the game. He hit a home run and came up about 5 feet short on another fly that he hit a mile into the air. 
  • David Cooper had a good game. 3 hits and a long homer and he made all the plays at first base. Maybe this year he'll put it all together. 
  • I thought I knew pretty much every player in the Jays organization but then Craig Stansberry and Niuman Romero came into the game late as subs. I have never heard of either of them.
  • JP Arencibia had a single and a walk, but also swung through a pitch on a hit and run and misread a sign, thinking a hit and run was on, while on first base. He ran and the batter didn't swing, he was out easy. Butterfield talked to him in the dugout after the inning. 

Today's game was against the Phillies. There was a huge crowd at the Phillies stadium. Over 10,000. I went to Dunedin before the game and watched batting and fielding practice. Also got to talk to Pat Hentgen for a moment, just before he had to run to the bus. He promised me a little more time tomorrow. 

About the game:

  • Jo Jo Reyes started slow giving up a two run homer in the first but then settled down to throw 5 decent innings. He was facing most of the Phillies regulars, so it wasn't a bad job. Jon Rauch pitched a good inning. David Purcey fought his way through 2 innings, having trouble finding the strike zone, but he struck out 3 and only gave up one run while walking 3. Mike Hinckley gave up a 2 run homer in the 9 but still got the save. 
  • Edwin played first and didn't look out of place. He hit another homer. 
  • Juan Rivera had 3 hits, a homer and drove in 3. He isn't graceful in RF. He was also thrown out trying to steal third on one of those plays that you have to figure was a missed sign. I guess spring is the time to do that. 
  • Cliff Lee started for the Phillies and was untouchable for three innings, then we got 5 off him in the fourth. 
  • The Jays worked a perfect hit and run and Mike McCoy had his second squeeze bunt in two days. He also got to first on an error on the play. I guess we are going to play some small ball.
  • John McDonald had three hits: a bloop double, a hard hit double and a hard hit single. He looked pretty good in batting practice too.