Blue Jays: Looking back at the last 10 Opening Day starters and lineups

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The Toronto Blue Jays announced the order of their starting rotation for 2018. While it may not be a big deal in the long run, the nod of starting Opening Day is a big deal. That task has been assigned to J.A. Happ for 2018. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the past 10 starters on Opening Day for the Blue Jays.

The End of Roy Halladay’s reign and beginning of mediocrity

  • 2008 – Roy Halladay at New York Yankees – Loss 3-2

Blue Jays 2008 Opening Day Lineup:

2008 marked the 6th straight Opening Day assignment for Roy Halladay in a Blue Jays uniform and is still the longest such stretch of assignments for one pitcher in Blue Jays history. Opening Day was rained out, so the make-up game was the next night at Yankee Stadium. It was the final Opening Day at the old Yankee Stadium.

Opposing Roy Halladay was Chien-Ming Wang, who’d later end up a Blue Jay in 2013 for a brief stint. Halladay went 7.0 strong innings, only allowing three runs but wasn’t good enough to beat Wang’s two earned runs over 7.0 innings. It was a nice pitcher’s duel to open up the season.

  • 2009 – Roy Halladay vs. Detroit Tigers – Win 12-5

Blue Jays 2009 Opening Day Lineup:

This would be the final Opening Day start for Roy Halladay in a Blue Jays uniform. It was the 7th in a row for Halladay, which is officially the club record for most consecutive Opening Day starts for a single starting pitcher. The Blue Jays throttled Justin Verlander to the tune of eight earned runs on this day.

Halladay threw 7.0 innings allowing five earned runs. Notable offensive contributions on this Opening Day include a Travis Snider home run, and six RBI from Adam Lind who hit a three run home run. Tigers’ center fielder Curtis Granderson, who is now a Blue Jay, homered off of Halladay in the 4th inning.

Blue Jays 2010 Opening Day Lineup:

2010 marked the first Opening Day assignment for a pitcher other than Roy Halladay since Chris Carpenter took the ball in 2002. It’s amazing to think of the consistency Halladay brought, something Blue Jays fans haven’t seen from an Opening Day starter since his last 2009 start. Shaun Marcum earned the nod and he pitched very well, going 7.0 strong innings allowing three runs.

Opposing Marcum was another eventual Blue Jay Scott Feldman, who matched Marcum’s 7.0 innings and three runs. The Blue Jays got off to a fast start offensively with a two run home run in the first inning from Vernon Wells, and a solo shot in the 3rd from Adam Lind. The Blue Jays got a 4-3 lead in the top of the 8th inning but Jason Frasor couldn’t nail down the save. This was also the first Opening Day of both franchise icons Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.

Blue Jays 2011 Opening Day Lineup:

For a little while, it looked as if this would be the beginning of multiple Opening Day starts for Ricky Romero, a young emerging left hander. Romero went 6.1 strong innings allowing three runs, with just one earned. His counterpart for the Twins, Carl Pavano was the opposite of good. He allowed eight runs, seven earned, over 4.0 innings.

The Blue Jays hit four home runs this day including two from J.P. Arencibia, one from Adam Lind, and one from Jose Bautista, who followed up his 54 home run season with a bang. Every regular in the lineup got hits on this day except for Travis Snider and Juan Rivera. Note, this was the first Opening Day since 2001 that Vernon Wells wasn’t patrolling center field.