The History of Our Home Openers: 2005
Feb 18, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher David Bush (54) during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Yes loyal readers I have fallen behind (stupid day job). I promise to have all the years covered by the time we reach 2013…which makes me giddy as a…well…as the proverbial school boy. That giddiness does not extend to 2005, however. Still 50,560 people decided that 2005 was looking all rosy-like and showed up for the Home Opener…a record crowd for opening day up to that point. What were they suddenly all gaga over? Chalk it up to the Corey Koskie factor (good ol’ Canadiana). There was also Shea Hillenbrand (yeah maybe I shouldn’t go there with Gibby back on the team). There was no rhyme or reason for it I guess…oh yeah..and it was the Red Sox so half the stadium could have been out of towners.
This season Roy Halladay would get injured with a line drive off the leg (fractured), Corey Koskie would be lost with a broken finger and the likes of Gustavo Chacin seemed more interested in fragrance than performance, faltering badly down the stretch. The ace of our staff with Roy out? Josh Towers. Need I say more? How did this 80-82 team fare in the Home Opener against the hated Red Sox? Well we had Dave Bush starting so ummm….there was that…
Date: April 8, 2005
Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada (the name changed when Rogers Communications bought the team in Feb, 2005. I don’t mind the name.though back in the day I preferred the Pierre Elliot Trudome…hehe)
Game: Bahston Red Sox vs. YOUR Toronto Blue Jays
Weather: not bad enough to keep those Sox fans at home apparently.
So it would be Mr. Bush against a pretty decent starter in Bronson Arroyo. He wasn’t a household name juuust yet but he would be. A pitcher who looked like he couldn’t throw 90 but had that sixth sense it seemed in how to get guys out. It would turn out to be a fairly even game. Arroyo gave up 2 earned in 6 innings, Bush gave up 3 in 5 innings but Brandon League would come in in the 6th and give up another 3 runs. He had the arm but the control was still being harnessed.
Ultimately, it would come down to the home side being down by 3 runs heading into the bottom of the ninth. Newly appointed Boston closer Keith Foulke would make it interesting by giving up 2 runs in the inning but held on for the 6-5 Red Sox win (sunnuva….). The hitting star for the home side was Eric Hinske with a 3-4 night, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI and a homer to boot. Pretty good. Rest of the team…not so much. The top four in the order went 1-16. I am looking at you Frank Catalanotto, Orlando Hudson, Vernon Wells and Koskie! It would be the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position that would be the achilles heel of the 2005 team.
Hopefully 2006 would start to bear the fruit of some awesome player development..hahaha. Oh to laugh…