Feb 23, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; A general view from the roof during the bottom of the seventh inning of a spring training game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsWell, the first game of the spring is officially in the books and things broke out the way you would expect for the first organized game of the year. Some aspects were solid, others not so much, but all and all things looked okay and the Blue Jays came out on top of the Tigers 10-3.
A few quick notes about the game:
– The first four Blue Jays to come to the plate (Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Brett Lawrie, and Adam Lind) all swung and put the first pitch into play. While you applaud their aggressiveness early in the spring, one would hope that they can exhibit a bit more patience when the regular season comes along. When all was said and done, Anibal Sanchez threw two innings for the Tigers, but only tosses 10 pitches in the process.
– The Jays got to Sanchez for three hits in the second, but could not push a run across the plate. A bad base-running decision by Moises Sierra on a hit to left field got him gunned down at third base for the final out of the inning, just before Adam Lind crossed with the first run of the game for Toronto. These plays were a plaque on the 2012 squad, as Farrell let the team be aggressive without necessarily doing so with a full head on their shoulders. Again, an exercise in patience will result in better decisions in the future.
– Sierra made up for his mistake in the bottom of the second inning, throwing Jhonny Peralta out while he was trying to go first to third on a ball hit to right by Alex Avila. Sierra is known for his excellent arm, so seeing him unleash it this early in the spring is promising.
– The aforementioned Adam Lind looked good at the plate today, getting a hit off of Sanchez in the second and doubling off of Bruce Rondon in the fifth. At the end of the day, Lind finished 2 for 2 with an RBI. It would have been nice to see him face a lefty, but it is still early in the spring.
– The big thunder was provided via the pinch hit, with both Lance Zawadzki (grand slam in the sixth) and Ryan Goins (three-run home run in the seventh) going deep on the day. Zawadzki is one of the non-roster invitees in camp this spring.
– The pitching had its ups and downs. Brandon Morrow struggled to find his spots early in the game and surrendered a two-run home run to Prince Fielder in the first before ending the inning with a three-pitch strike-out against Andy Dirks. Morrow was followed by Brad Lincoln, who struggled as well (2H, 1BB) but did so without surrendering any runs. That started the train of relievers in Steve Delabar (1IP, 1R, 1K), Esmil Rogers (1IP, 1H, 1K), Dave Bush (2IP, 1BB, 1K), Ramon Ortiz (1IP, 2BB, 1K), Neil Wagner (1IP, 1K), and Chad Beck (1IP, 2K). Beck and Bush, who recorded the win, were probably the most impressive on the day.
So, one down and one win in the bag. Too bad it doesn’t count for anything, but at least the lemmings didn’t run for the cliff with a loss either. Toronto will have a split squad match-up tomorrow, with a group playing Baltimore in Dunedin and another traveling to Tampa to play the Yankees. See you then.