1:00 AM Eastern
With the exception of the near-forfeit in the 8th inning, the Blue Jays couldn’t have opened the season in more perfect fashion.
They climbed all over Justin Verlander early and never let him up off the mat, adding on runs in a fashion that we didn’t see too terribly often in the past couple of years after building an early lead.
The rally in the first inning started with a two-out, none on walk to Alex Rios, and ended with Lyle Overbay swatting a two-run double into the left-centre gap, something we saw a whole lot of in 2006, and that I’m hoping we get to see again with relative regularity this year.
Every starter got at least one hit, but Adam Lind and Travis Snider blew the doors off. The two guys who will be getting the bulk of the 923 plate appearances that last year went to Brevin Mencherson, Shannon Stewart, Matt Stairs and Frank Thomas with little effect combined to go 6-for-9 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs.
The rest of the team wasn’t all that bad, either. The Jays went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position (.308) and every one of the four baserunners who made it to third with less than two outs wound up scoring with less than two out (or on the second out), including a daring scamper home by Marco Scutaro on a shallow fly to left by Aaron Hill in the 4th.
Roy Halladay was sensational through six innings, facing two batters over the minimum on a two-hitter before hitting a speed bump in the 7th, and after Brandon League allowed a pair of ground ball singles with two out in the 8th, Scott Downs came in to get out of the jam with one pitch.
It was a great night, in front of over 48,000 mostly great fans. Thankfully, the few unruly idiots didn’t spoil it for everyone else.
It has become a bit of a tradition at Rogers Centre, when there’s a big crowd, for people to throw paper airplanes onto the field from the 500 level. On its own, that’s not such a bad thing, though when there are dozens coming down it gets to be a little silly. Never before, though, had I seen baseballs being thrown onto the field (unless it’s the immediate return of an opposition home run ball), so I was surprised when, after Adam Everett booted a grounder in the 8th, I saw Tigers left fielder Josh Anderson pick up another baseball in short left.
About a minute later, Detroit manager Jim Leyland came out of the dugout to talk to umpiring crew chief Ed Montague, and after another baseball was thrown from the stands, Montague pulled the Tigers off the field, for their own safety.
There was a nine-minute delay before play resumed, and the Blue Jays came close to forfeiting the game.
Idiots. Really, I mean, what else is there to say? Idiots. There’s never been a better argument in favour of those who have ordered the ballpark to be dry for Tuesday night’s game. At least Opening Day is the only time they seem to come out. The rest of the season, it appears as though the Jays draw fans who have actually had a beer before.
Despite the fact that tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk began with two negative calls in a row, it turned out to be a pretty good show. I do apologize for giving the last caller so much rope. I probably could have fit in a couple more calls if I hadn’t. Sorry about that. Here it is:
Enjoy it, because there won’t be another JaysTalk until Thursday afternoon, at least.
And hey, how about me not turning on the microphone when I was down on the field interviewing Lind after the game? Man, he said some terrific stuff before we figured that out. Oh, well. Chalk up one more in the “I’m a moron” column, it won’t happen again. I’m not sure whether or not they’ll want to do more of those on-field post-game interviews, but keep an eye (or an ear) out for them anyway. I think it wound up going pretty well, post-glitch.
Because of the Raptors game Tuesday, you’ll have to go to TALK820 Hamilton to find our broadcast if you’re in the Toronto listening area. Make sure you tune us in!
And how cool is it that four years ago this very minute (as I type this) I was in a delivery room at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga about 45 minutes away from the birth of my second daughter, Gillian. It was a moment that took my breath away – especially since she was two weeks overdue and came out with her hands and feet white as chalk and her skin all peeling and stuff – and she has provided me with now four years of ensuing moments that have taken my breath away. Happy Birthday, Super G!
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome.