5:24PM Eastern

I guess the deal is that the 2012 Blue Jays just love playing baseball so much that nine innings are simply not enough for them.

They got up off the mat in the season’s second game, no-hit through 6 2/3 innings, and their first hit was a big one – Brett Lawrie’s single to centre (his first hit of the season, and first of his three hits on the day) cashed Kelly Johnson and Adam Lind, who had reached on walks and moved up on a wild pitch, tying the game a two apiece.

The hit took Brandon Morrow off the hook for a loss, which was only fair since he was thoroughly brilliant.  Morrow went seven innings of one-hitter, allowing only a Jason Kipnis two-run homer after J.P. Arencibia’s throwing error on a little squibber out in front of the plate by Casey Kotchman extended the 5th inning.  If the umpires had been paying attention and noticed that Kotchman was not in the running lane inside the first-base line, we might be talking about a Morrow no-hitter right now.

Instead, the game proceeded to the 9th inning tied up, and Johnson untied it with a leadoff homer to dead centre – finally flashing the smile tool in so doing!  But Blue Jays’ fans are frightened of taking a slim lead into the final frame, thanks to last year’s bullpen ugliness, and their fears were semi-realized in the bottom of the ninth, when Asdrubal Cabrera went up and got a high heater from Sergio Santos and yanked it out of the yard to right field to tie the game up.  It was the Jays’ first save situation of the season, and resulted in their first blown save of the season.

The good news, though, is that the Indians didn’t get another baserunner until the Blue Jays had restored their lead.  Santos retired the next two hitters he faced to end the 9th, and Casey Janssen came in to go six-up, six-down in the 10th and 11th, then watched the Jays put up a four-spot in the 12th to win it.

It was an intriguing decision by Tribe skipper Manny Acta to send lefty Tony Sipp to the mound in the 12th to face four straight righties in Edwin Encarnacion, Lawrie, Rajai Davis and Arencibia, especially with right-hander Dan Wheeler available to him, and it blew up in his face.  Sipp retired only one of the five Blue Jays he saw, with Davis playing the role of hero, slamming a two-run double to right-centre to give the Jays the lead for good.  Colby Rasmus scored Davis with his first hit of the season, a line-drive single to right.  Rasmus’ hit leaves Eric Thames as the only Blue Jays regular without a hit through the first two games – he’s 0-for-7.  Granted, Thames only played eight innings Saturday and 11 2/3 on Thursday, so he’s behind his buddies a bit there, too.

With the length of the game, we only had time for a little bit of BlueJaysTalk, and here it is, for your listening pleasure:

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Sunday afternoon, the Blue Jays will bring their brooms, looking to sweep away the season’s opening series.  Joel Carreno gets the ball, making his first major-league start.  Derek Lowe will answer for the Indians.  We’ll have all the action for you starting with the pre-game show at 12:30PM Eastern – you’ll hear Jerry Howarth in conversation with John Farrell and with J.P. Arencibia, among other things, so please tune us in!

Also please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590.

Comments are welcome – I read them all and respond to most!

 

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11 Responses to “More Free Baseball!”
  1. 1.

    For the first two games I’ve been really impressed about the pitching. If the bullpen keeps being as strong as it is now for the whole season, I think there’s going to be a lot of late come from behind wins, which was really missing last year for the Blue Jays.

    - Guillaume
  2. 2.

    No jays talk audio – just highlights.

    MW: Hmmmmm, we’ll get on that.

    - V
  3. 3.

    Just curious, what was the official time of today’s game? I can’t find it anywhere online. Please help!

    MW: 3:38. It’s available on every website that has the boxscore of the game, too many to mention.

    - john rad
  4. 4.

    Do you believe that umpires watch replays after the game to determine whether or not they had made mistakes during the game?
    If so, do you believe that it effects their future game calling if they find that they have made an error in judgment?
    My question has more to do with the umpires that are not behind home plate if that helps you in answering.

    MW: Yes, they do. They get DVDs all the time from their supervisors to check out.

    - Jayron
  5. 5.

    Mike, you wouldn’t happen to know the MLB record for consecutive extra inning games to start a season? Just wonderin in case the Jays try and set another record…

    - Chris
  6. 6.

    Davis pinch-hit for Thames in the 9th inning of yesterday’s (i.e. Saturday’s) game. I believe the games were played on Thursday and Saturday. Thus your sentence should read: “Granted, Thames only played eight innings Thursday and eight innings on Saturday, so . . . ”

    MW: Close, but not quite. Thanks for picking up the mistake, though, I have gone back and fixed it.

    - The Close Reader and Payer of Attention
  7. 7.

    Mike..if Santos had coughed up the lead hypothetically in the first game would he have gotten a blown save in a game where he should’ve received a save but didn’t?

    MW: No. You can’t blow a save if you’re not pitching in a save situation.

    - chris m.
  8. 8.

    How solid was Lawrie yesterday; scoring from first on the Davis hit? Are you kidding me? Brantley actually cut the ball off great and they still had no chance to get him at the plate. And with the glove, at least two KEY double plays I can remember plus that diving grab in the bottom of the 12 off the Duncun grounder. He was the player of the game in my opinion.

    It was great to see some of the other guys step up too. Kelly Johnson has been looking great so far, he’s seeing a lot of pitches and a clutch (full count) dinger in the 9th. I guess Bautista is pretty good protection for KJ! Then there’s Rajai making up for his bungle from Thursday, coming up with the winning punch.. not to mention he was covering a TON of ground in left field snagging a couple of balls I couldn’t help but think would have posed a slight challenge to Thames (purely from a speed perspective). Colby’s been crushing the ball the last 2 games and it was good to see one land for him. I can’t help but think that a guy that hits the way he has starts finding the gaps, getting the breaks, and starts to get everything clicking for him. Hopefully this is the start of an upward trend for him, if nothing else than at least to silence the haters for a few days.

    I know it’s only game 2, but if guys like KJ, Davis, and Rasmus contribute like they did yesterday, supplementing guys like JoeyBats, Lawrie Glory, and EE, the Blue Jays can really make a good run at it this season.

    PS> it was GREAT to see the alternate Blues out yesterday.. they look absolutely amazing. Can’t help but be reminded of Johnny Olerud rocking the number 9 when I see Arencibia walking up to the plate.

    - UncleJohnn
  9. 9.

    The weather was warmer yesterday. Is the Blue Jays bullpen considered good now?

    MW: I’m not sure what A has to do with B. Janssen is the only reliever unavailable for Sunday.

    - Atlanta
  10. 10.

    Hi Mike

    what a beginning of the season. Two out of three on an away game againts three good pichers.

    I also love the way Jays batters approach hitting this year. It seems to me there is no easy out, the way the Yankees and Bosox approach the plate. You hate it when it is done to your team, but love it your team is doing it to the other team.

    I am interested with your take of having Carreno pitch as opposed to Drabek as jays third pitcher. Wouldn’t Carreno be ‘dropped’ when the Jays go for four man rotation?

    You actually asked if you could drive to Cleveland? what’s with that?

    MW: Carreno pitched Saturday so as to upset the remainder of the rotation as little as possible. Unsaid as well is that if you’re going to use your 5th starter, you might as well use him against the far weaker Indians lineup than against the Red Sox. I did ask to drive to Cleveland. I like the drive, it’s only four hours and change, makes your time more your own rather than sitting around waiting a couple of hours at an airport.

    - francis
  11. 11.

    I was referring to your cold weather caller, as we can’t praise the bullpen yet, because the Cleveland hitters were too cold to hit

    - Atlanta
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