The Toronto Blue Jays dropped their opening game to the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night in an affair that never felt as close as the scoreboard suggested. Another strong start from the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez snuffed out the Toronto Blue Jays attack early, and a power outage atop the lineup made it extremely difficult to gain any traction.
Marco Estrada started with a stumble, but righted the ship quickly to give the Jays’ offense a fighting chance. With Daniel Norris looming in AAA he may not be long for this role, but Estrada succeeded in passing through 5.0 innings without allowing critical damage.
Jose Bautista was not in the starting lineup on Monday as manager John Gibbons looked to fast track his recovery. Bautista has had his struggles against Ubaldo Jimenez, but in 2015, which Blue Jay hasn’t? He made a pinch-hit appearance in the 9th and represented the tying run with two men on base, but grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the ball game.
Marco Estrada got the game started off with a bang…for the other team.Manny Machado
both took Estrada deep to right field in the first inning. When Estrada fails to get into a pitcher’s count that allows for his changeup, his fastball continues to be a very hittable pitch when left over the plate.
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The top of the lineup was horrendous in this game, with the top four recording 11 strikeouts and just one base hit. The advanced statistics suggest that this is bad.
MVJ: Chris Colabello — Colabello lands with the MVJ award because his continued contribution to this roster holds such great value when the big bats fail to show. The absence of Bautista, Saunders and Pompey have left the Jays incredibly thin at the outfield position, but Colabello has made it easy to forget that. Base-runners were a valuable commodity on Monday night, but Colabello reached three separate times and continues to look right at home on the MLB roster.