The Toronto Blue Jays officially kicked off their spring exhibition scheduled with a rain-shortened seven inning affair against the Philadelphia Phillies. For those who care about such trivial things, the Blue Jays were leading 4-3 when the game was called so credit them with the victory.
What did we learn from today’s game? Not much really. Jose Bautista is still a beast and ripped a deep shot to left field in the first inning, which was good for the first home run of the spring season. J.A. Happ was throwing out of his new arm slot and did have three strikeouts but for the most part he wasn’t good. He struggled with command and lasted only one inning, allowing two earned runs while needing 37 pitched to get his three outs. At least it’s still early but Happ might have to watch his back if he doesn’t throw well this spring.
Todd Redmond followed and was the anti-Happ, mowing down three Phillies on only seven pitches. He was helped with some average-ish defense from Melky Cabrera, who had his range tested early on a deep fly ball. It wasn’t the cleanest of catches but at least go to the ball, which could be a promising sign for the upcoming season.
Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus played well and had back-to-back doubles in the second, which tacked on another run for the Jays. Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez didn’t look like Fausto Carmona and left several flat pitches up in the zone. Adam Lind later capitalized off Canadian RHP Phillippe Aumont, who was a first round pick in 2007, with an RBI single in the third.
The Blue Jays subs entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and Moises Sierra highlighted the replacements with a triple in the sixth. Chris Getz laid down a bunt for a base hit and advanced on a throwing error to second. Jonathan Diaz followed up with another bunt, this time of the sacrifice variety, which moved Getz up to third but with less than two outs Kevin Pillar couldn’t capitalize and struck out.
Hat tip to Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated for live blogging today’s game at The Strike Zone.