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Jays Win A Wild Home Opener

Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Rangers 8 Blue Jays 10

Don't leave Jays' games early. That is the moral today.

Games like this do not lend themselves to nice neat recaps.

The game didn't start well. I'll admit, I hate long 'celebrations' at the start of games. Today? They had videos. They gave out Silver Slugger awards. Gold Glove award. Hank Aaron award. They had a bunch of Canadian Olympic medalists introduced. The giant flag was out. Honor Guard was marching out. More videos.

I don't know why it all has to happen on the same day. Do the Olympic medalists tomorrow. Give out the awards Sunday. Limit the number of videos. Share them out.

So, Jose Berrios comes out at 7:40. I mean, he is a pro. He should be able to handle it. But pitchers, and the rest of us, are creatures of habit. Go to the pen, warm up, and get into the game. Today...warm up. Warm-up more. Rest. Warm-up.

Berrios was terrible. 3 hits, 1 homer, 2 walks, 4 earned, while getting just 1 out and throwing 34 pitches. It wasn't fun to watch at all. He could have had some help. Matt Chapman had a double-play ball hit at him, and he had a bit of trouble getting it out of his glove, only getting one out (that happened to him again later in the game).

Tayler Saucedo came in to get the last 2 outs of the first. But then he gave up a 2-run homer to Mitch Garver in the second, and we were down 6-0 at the end of 2 innings.

Trent Thornton got the 3rd and 4th innings and gave up 'just' a more run on 2 hits and 2 walks. 7-0 at the end of 4 innings, Twitter becomes an 'I told you they weren't this good' place.

The Jays only had 1 hit through 3 innings. But the fourth was more fun. George Springer started it off with a walk, Bo Bichette singled, and Vlad singled home our first run of the season. Then, Teoscar Hernandez walked to load the bases. And we got runs on a Lourdes Gurriel ground out and an Alejandro Kirk sac fly. I was hoping for more, but it was a start. 7-3.

Ross Stripling pitched a quick 5th inning on just 8 pitches.

Then it got fun. The Jays 5th, after two outs:

  • Springer walked again.
  • Bo singled again.
  • Vlad singled again (his second RBI of the game.
  • Finally, Teoscar homered (RBIs 1, 2, and 3), and we have a tie game.

Julian Merryweather came out for the 6th. I don't know why they didn't go with Stripling for another inning. He got 3 outs on 7 pitches.

And we took our first lead in the bottom of the inning. Danny Jansen took a 2-out walk and chugged all the way around the bases on Santiago Espinal's double to center field. He runs much better than I always think.

Unfortunately, Adam Cimber, after bouncing, gave up a tying home run to Adolis Garcia.

But the Jays bats didn't quit. Bo started the bottom of the 7th, reaching on an error. Vlad hit one hard to center but caught. Then Bo was picked off first (on a Rangers challenge). Teoscar, who should be the "star of the night," walked on a full count. The Lourdes Gurriel doubled, and Teoscar was waved home and called out at the plate, but, on review, he was safe. The Rangers catcher set up behind the plate, and Teoscar got his foot in before the tag. Two outs, time game, gotta send him, and he barely scored. The umpire on the field called him out, but it was overturned on replay. The replay got two right today. Terrific relay, lousy tag. The umpire was way out of position.

Yimi Garcia pitched an excellent 8th inning. His first game as a Jay.

Danny Jansen homered in the bottom of the 8th to give us an insurance run.

Jordan Romano picked up his first save of the season, getting 2 strikeouts (our first two of the game, amazingly enough). The non-strikeout was a terrific catch by Lourdes in the left-field corner. Maybe he will deserve his Gold Glove nomination this year (though he had a terrible throw to the plate earlier in the game).

Bichette, Guerrero and Jansen had 2 hits each. Springer and Hernandez had 2 walks each.

Matt Chapman didn't have a great game, 0 for 4, with 3 strikeouts. Plus, he had trouble getting the ball out of his glove twice. He did have one excellent play at third.

Jays of the Day: Teoscar (.437 WPA, plus that sprint home), Lourdes (.259), Santiago (.235), Yimi Garcia (.096). I'm giving one to Danny (.079, but that home run in the eighth gave us some space, plus scoring from first).

Suckage: Berrios (-.373) and Cimber (-.177, but he got the win, go figure).

Jays win game number 1. If all 162 are like that one, we will enjoy our season. It was wonderful.

Tomorrow we have a 3:00 Eastern start. Kevin Gausman vs. Dane Dunning. Do not leave the game early, no matter what.