Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays take down Phillies in rain-shortened first game of spring

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.

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Tags: Spring Training Toronto Blue Jays

  • Andrew van Laar

    Ugh… Happ is just such a terrible pitcher. I have no idea why he was given the reigns for #4 spot. Yes this is the first game but we see this over and over and over again. They guy pitched into the 7th inning three times last year. THREE. He walks an astronomical amount of batters. Goes way too deep into counts. He is the epitomy of a terribly pitcher who is somehow hanging on with this club. Happ cannot be on this team this year. He does everything that people say should stop prospects from advancing minor leauge levels yet somehow he is on this team again.

    For those of you who are on here a lot, you know I loath JA Happ. I just don’t understand how a pitcher who as posted an ERA and WHIP of 5.35/1.535, 4.79/1.403 and 4.56/1.468 over the last three years can even be considered for a starting job let alone the #4 spot in the rotation. ARGGGGHHHHH!!! I want to punch somebody!

    • Jack Stevenson

      Sorry I can’t agree with you today Andrew. When I saw Happ mow down 5 Yanks in a row I was impressed. I also like that he works the zone up & down. Quirky injuries have put him at a disadvantage each year. His stats mean nothing until he gets to pitch regularly for at least half a season. His time in Houston cannot be accurately assessed with that team and having been dumped by the Phillies. Give him at least all spring training.

      • Andrew van Laar

        I don’t know Jack… I mean… he’s had one good full season in his career 2009. The others 2007,2008,2010 were shortened because he was either a young player or in 2010 because who knows what. I am going to assume an injury? 2011-2013 he was just plain horrible. He’s been in the leauge for parts of 7 years and is now entering his age 31 season. I want to root for the guy, I really do, but his brief moments of brilliance and minor likeable pitching characteristics don’t make up for the face that 1) He cannot and will never even approach 180 innings in a year the way he pitches which I think is vital for a starting pitcher and 2) walking a guy almost every other inning is not going to allow you to make many mistakes.