The Toronto Blue Jays notched their first Grapefruit League victory yesterday edging the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in a tight-knit affair, there were a plethora of positive takeaways from the contest if you’re a Blue Jays fan.
The new look slim and trim Joe Biagini was dominant on the bump for his two innings of work. Biagini appeared to be employing a simplified, smoother delivery and approach to home plate rather than the herky-jerky delivery from a year ago.
The results were immediate as “Big Joe” tossed two-innings of shutout ball surrendering a single hit and fanning two Phillies before calling it a day.
If it is true that you never have a second chance to make a first impression then newcomer Curtis Granderson made good on his slamming a 1-1 offering over the right-field wall off Canadian Nick Pivetta in the bottom of the first inning.
The veteran would see two plate appearances as the designated hitter before being lifted from the contest. More impressive than the homer was the in-game interview Granderson gave during the telecast, it didn’t take long to realize what a character individual he is on and off the field and how much of an asset he will truly be to this Jays team in 2018. Salt of the earth kinda guy!
Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz each had base knocks in the contest while Diaz also plated Grichuk for the winning run. Speaking of the newly acquired Diaz, he and Yangervis Solarte turned a pretty 6-4-3 double play in the second inning that was an absolute thing of beauty. Fans will soon forget Ryan Goins if the duo can continue putting deuces on the board in that fashion.
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The Blue Jays were uncharacteristically aggressive on the base paths especially for the first game of the spring swiping 3 bags in 4 attempts. Richard Urena, Max Pentecost, and Dwight Smith Jr. all had thefts in the game. Anthony Alford was thrown out attempting to steal second base although the replay appeared to have him safe however there is no video review during Spring Training action.
Tim Mayza, Matt Dermody, Craig Breslow, Al Alburquerque, Luis Santos and Jose Fernandez all pitched a scoreless inning in a relief effort. Mayza and Alburquerque both fanned two hitters apiece in their inning on the mound while Fernandez notched the save.
All in all, it was a good day at the diamond in Dunedin, lots of things to be excited for as Grapefruit League action is officially underway.