5:20 PM Eastern
The Blue Jays weren’t at their wall-banging best in their Fake Opener, getting shut out by the Tigers before a nice gathering at the FAES in Dunedin.
Scott Sizemore’s two-run double off Jesse Carlson was the big blow, but Brett Cecil and Robert Ray gave up a run each in their two innings each of work – Cecil’s on a pair of groundouts after a leadoff double, Ray’s on a two-out single after he hit a guy and wild-pitched him to second.
Offensively, the Jays managed just five hits, two of them singles by Yunel Escobar.
Among the highlights of the four innings I saw before heading off to the clubhouse to grab tape – a sensational play by YEscobar in the second inning, going deep into the hole to snag a grounder and making a very strong, accurate throw to get the out; a nice sliding grab to his right by John McDonald, and a nice scoop at first by Adam Lind on the bounced throw; a scorched line drive by Edwin Encarnacion to left on which Ryan Raburn had to make a leaping grab; a well-hit double into the left-centre gap by the guy about whom no one is talking – Juan Rivera (Mr. Career-OPS-Just-15-Points-Lower-Than-Vernon-Wells’), and a rocket hit by Lind in the first inning that hit the top of the mound, which took all the speed out of it and turned it into an easy out.
In talking to Cecil after the game, he wasn’t thrilled with his performance, but he’s pleased with where he’s at for the spring; Bautista spoke about this being the first spring in which he’s secure about a job, and talked about where he’s going to hit. I also spoke to Ray about his performance, and he praised both J.P. Arencibia and John Farrell, talking about how much better things will be for the pitchers having one of their own as the manager. You can listen to all those clips right here:
It was fantastic to be back on the air with Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby, and I hope you all enjoyed it, too. That first baseball broadcast of the year – even though it’s a game that doesn’t count – always feels amazing. Something you’ve been waiting for all winter long is back, the familiar voices, familiar sounds of the game – it puts a smile on my face and I hope it does on yours, too. Summer is just around the corner, no doubt.
We also had our first edition of The JaysTalk of 2011, and it’s right here, for your listening pleasure:
Tomorrow, it’s the Jays and Tigers again, with Marc Rzepczynski throwing the first two innings against Detroit righty Max Scherzer. It’s the first road game of the spring, and having to hop across I-4 to Lakeland there may be an opportunity to have one of the greatest culinary experiences there is – breakfast at Waffle House. Heck, I might even run into good ol’ Trampus, King of Waffles!
Here’s the Jays’ travel roster for tomorrow’s game: Winston Abreu, Henderson Alvarez, Joel Carreno, Alan Farina, Sean Henn, Rommie Lewis, Jesse Litsch, Rzepczynski, David Cooper, Jonathan Diaz, Encarnacion, Adeiny Hechevarria, Brett Lawrie, Lind, Mike McCoy, Brian Jeroloman, A.J. Jimenez, Jose Molina, Anthony Gose, Darin Mastroianni, Moises Sierra, Eric Thames, John Tolisano, Matt Nuzzo, Justin Jackson and Matt McQuail.
We’ll be on the air at 12:30 PM Eastern with the pre-game show for a 1:05 first pitch. Jerry will have an interview with Adam Lind, I’ll be getting some Oscar picks from a few of the Blue Jays (John McDonald weighs in on Best Documentary Short Subject!) and we’re hoping to have Alan with John Farrell, as well.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @InTheWilnerness – I’ll likely be on to do kind of live a tweet/chat sometime around 9:00 PM Eastern or so as I take my nightly 3 1/2 mile walk through the condo complex (maybe I’ll go seven miles tonight) – and remember to check in on our live blog during the broadcast tomorrow.
Rational, reasonable comments are welcome, and will likely be answered!
Here’s the transcript from today’s “Miked Up LIVE!”: