Toronto Blue Jays drop home opener to Rays
The Toronto Blue Jays lost a tight one on Monday, dropping their home opener 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays. Jake Odorizzi had a dominant outing for the Rays, and Toronto came up just short in the bottom of the 9th as Josh Donaldson flew out to the warning track to end the game. The Toronto Blue Jays managed just two base hits on the night as R.A. Dickey flirted with a much worse outing than his stat line would suggest.
- The new turf made it’s debut tonight, and aesthetically, it passes the eyeball test. The important feature of this turf, however, will be it’s playing speed, which is expected to be much slower than the old surface. If the speed remains similar to that of a natural grass infield, the Blue Jays could benefit from the consistency at home and away throughout the season, with Jose Reyes being the primary benefactor.
- Russell Martin bobbled the knuckleball of R.A. Dickey a handful of times, but displayed some impressive framing abilities early in the game. As Dickey’s control wavered later in his outing this became less prominent, but it will be something to monitor when his knuckleball is “on”.
- Jose Reyes continues to take at-bats like he has somewhere to be after the game, seeing just two pitches to lead off the home opener. Thankfully this approach has brought Reyes success early, but he could see some boom-or-bust outings if he remains this eager at the plate.
- The biggest play of this game came with Edwin Encarnacion at the dish in the bottom of the 9th. After a tough at-bat, Encarnacion struck out swinging on a high fastball while Jose Bautista was thrown out trying to steal 2nd base. This took the wind out of the Blue Jays sails after a leadoff walk. Let us know what you think about this call! Did anyone like the aggression?
MVJ: Roberto Osuna the Most Valuable Blue Jay award here, as he was a bright spot in a cloudy opening night. With Toronto down by one and facing a hot starter, they needed to star within reach. Alex Anthopoulos said prior to the game that Osuna was the biggest surprise to make this roster, and it’s hard to disagree. We still need to see this success become sustainable, but if Osuna can continue to flash this electric talent, he’ll be a unique weapon for Toronto.
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