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Jays win sloppy spring game 7-3 over Rays

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 7 Rays 3

Here's the very short recap of today's game:

In hindsight, maybe Sportsnet was smart to air the Yankees game instead of this one, ugly as it was. Officially, there were a combined seven errors, though that should easily have been into double digits had the official scorer not gone soft when the second half of the game turned mostly into a matchup of the 2015 Lansing Lugnuts and Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Drew Hutchison got the start and was just okay before leaving in the 5th inning having thrown 51 pitches. Usually it's the other team that lands the proverbial knockout blow, but today it was his own catcher A.J. Jimenez. If you're out of options and looking to make a roster, that's probably pretty high up on the list of things not to do. Hutchison's line was 4+ innings, 1 hit (though a handful of hard hit balls), 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. His command was only so-so and breaking ball inconsistent. To add literal insult to injury, the runner stealing second took third when the throw deflected off Hutchison's head into no man's land and later scored for his only run.

Hutchison was followed by a cavalcade of relievers:

  • Steve Delabar replaced him and finished the fifth, not locating his fastball well but inducing three straight flyouts
  • Pat Venditte pitched the 6th inning and allowed two unearned runs thanks to some horrific infield defence. Jio Mier made a bad throw on a routine ground ball leading off though Rowdy Tellez got the error for not scooping it. Two batters later Alexi Casilla booted a tailor-made double play ball, and two batters after that Mier and Casilla combined for the an extremely lethargic attempt to turn a double play. Venditte himself was fine.
  • Dusty Isaacs, the #40 ranked on our annual prospect list, pitched a clean 7th, needing just 11 pitches and racking up a strikeout.
  • Tim Mayza, #36 on the aforementioned list, pitched the 8th, working around a one out single and striking out two batters. He looked quite impressive.
  • Jose (Manuel) Fernandez (unfortunately not that Jose Fernandez) worked around another error on Tellez with an otherwise clean 9th inning.

So to recap, the three runs the Jays gave up came as a result of:

  1. A pitcher getting beaned by his own catcher
  2. A botched throw to first from shortstop on a routine ground ball
  3. A misplayed roller to second

Offensively, the Jays put up seven runs, mostly by stringing together some of their 11 hits here and there and taking advantage or errors and misplays by the Hot Rods Rays. With the game in Port Charlotte, most of the regulars weren't in the lineup, and for the most part the starters played the first half of the game before yielding to the JV squad. Nobody had more than one hit, though if you consult the box score the it says that both Alexi Casilla and Tony Sanchez were 2-2. Again, that's due to some charitable official scoring in the 9th when each got their second "hits" on defensive misplays.

Tomorrow the Jays take on the Phillies in Dunedin. Just one week until Opening Day next Sunday against these same Rays (well, the team, not the roster) in this same place (well, the state, not the city), and boy, can it not come soon enough.