If you attended this game or watched it on TV, you got your money’s/time’s worth and were very well entertained. There was a little bit of everything in this game. Great pitching (Blackburn), great hitting (Bautista), bad fielding (E5), great fielding (Snider – Outfield assist/Arencibia – threw out a runner and kept others honest), and hard running for infield hits (Encarnacion). Hey, a fan even saved the life of a cop about to get beaned by a foul ball, so you know there was a little bit of everything in there.
The BoxScore is available here.
Brett Cecil wasn’t overly sharp in this game, but I have to admit that the umpire behind the plate wasn’t giving him much help. The zone was very tight today, and it hurt Cecil on very important counts and you could tell that it got to him a little. Maybe a catcher that Jose Molina would have walked up there to calm him down a little, but the result was a little more wildness from Cecil and a little more trouble on the scoreboard. It wasn’t a horrible start by any means, but you could tell that he was still looking for location throughout the game.
The Jays hitters, meanwhile, were way too aggressive against Nick Blackburn early on in the counts, and Gregg Zaun nailed it in the post-game when he confirmed the same thing I observed. His pitches were as low as a teed golf ball the majority of the first 2 pitches he threw to Jays hitters. Had they laid off of those pitches, they would have been 2-0 and would have forced him to throw a little higher in the zone. Instead, Blackburn was able to stay ahead in the count ,ost of the day and rarely had an AB where he fell behind in the count 2 or 3-0. Jose Bautista in particular had some very entertaining hacks in the beginning of his ABs against Blackburn, something I’m sure knocked out any fly or mosquito within a 5 meter radius!
The Jays were able top play some small ball, the highlight of which was a very nicely laid bunt by Yunel Escobar that allowed runners to move to 2B and 3B with 1 out. If the pitch had not been so inside, he could have earned a base hit because it locked him up and he had to shift his momentum to get running down the line.
The low point of the game was definitely the E5 conducted by Edwin. He had all of the time in the world, and proved once and for all that it doesn’t matter how much weight he loses, he just can’t make accurate throws to 1B on a regular basis. Reading the tweets as it happened, there were 100s of Jays fans all stating their case for Brett Lawrie to return to 3B ASAP simultaneously. If Edwin isn’t a full time DH/1B by end-May, I will be stunned.
If you missed it, then you missed the anticipation that surrounded the end of the game. The Jays came so close to getting the tying run on a hard-hit Yunel Escobar sacrifice fly that could have easily dropped in for a hit if Dernard Span had been playing slightly more towards the left side of centerfield. You could tell that Joe Nathan was still a little rusty, but can you ever also tell how much movement his pitches have. There’s nothing straight in his arsenal, and that’s what makes him so hard to hit.
All-in-all, the Jays did their best to get the sweep, but it seemed that karma was on the Twins side of things today. Jays fans were treated to a real show, and now we have to wait 2 days before we take on the A’s.
Today’s best players:
- Best Jays Hitter – Jose Bautista (2 for 4 with 1 HR and 1 BB). He is now hitting .455 on the year with 2 HRs.
- Best Jays Pitcher – Casey Janssen It’s not because he had his best stuff, it’s because he got himself out of a 2-runners on with 0 outs jam without allowing a run.
- Most Encouraging game aspects – The Attendance being 35,505, as well as the ability of the Jays to find ways to stay in the game and get production from the entire lineup.
- Most Discouraging game aspects – E5. Pitchers can’t be happy having him man 3B right now, and we may see a lot more of Jayson Nix there than was anticipated when he was first acquired. Jon Rauch can’t be happy with his first performance of 2011, as he wound up giving up the winning run by allowing a HR to Dernard Span. That has to sting even more knowing that it came against his old team mates…
- Jays Season Record: 2-1
I’m looking forward to seeing how the success the Jays had against the Twins translates to what should be a stellar pitching filled series against the A’s!