Last night looked like it was going to be one of those #ComeTogether moments. The crowd was insane, probably the loudest and most intense one for a Home Opener at Rogers Centre that I can remember. When Josh Donaldson hit that Grand Slam off Joe Kelly in the fourth inning, it was like the roof was going to pop off.
But unfortunately, the Blue Jays party was spoiled. Kind of by the Red Sox, and kind of by themselves. The relievers had another meltdown in the late innings, while Boston’s locked it down, and the Sox came back and took the game 8-7.
This obviously wasn’t the turn of events we were looking for after it looked like the Jays were busting out of whatever slump they were having the last couple games of the Tampa Bay series, but hey, it’s early.
Like I said, Josh Donaldson’s grand slam in the fourth inning looked like it was going to be one of those moments that really gets things moving in the right direction. But despite the 7-2 lead, banging crowd, and Boston’s starter only making it through three innings, the Jays allowed the Red Sox to slam their way back into the game.
Marcus Stroman looked a little shaky last night. After a clean first inning, he allowed three hits and a walk in the second, and two more hits in the third. But after that, he settled it down for a little while, sending the Red Sox down in order in the fourth and fifth. In the sixth, it came unraveled again, as he loaded the bases on a double and two walks before handing the ball over the Jesse Chavez.
Chavez promptly allowed a grand slam to Brock Holt, which sucked the life out of the building and sent Twitter abuzz. In the seventh, Drew Storen came in and quickly allowed two singles, then Brett Cecil replaced him to face the left-handed hitting David Ortiz, but that didn’t work out, and Big Papi clubbed a double. Hanley Ramirez added another single, and when it was all said and done, the Jays relievers had allowed six runs in two innings.
Not the performance everybody was looking for after what went down in Tampa Bay over the past few days.
NEWS AND SCUTTLEBUTT
Gregor Chisholm reports that while the Blue Jays bullpen hasn’t looked very good in the first few games of the season, but the team isn’t concerned. Also, on a similar note, Franklin Morales was supposed to come into the game last night in the sixth inning, but apparently the lefty “felt something” and wasn’t able to go.
Joe Biagini made his MLB debut last night, and John Lott wrote about it (and him) for us this morning. Check it out!
Scott MacArthur Tweeted some quoted from David Price that’s bound to get people stirred up. Price said that he respects the Jays’ decision to move on from him, but also that he figured if Alex were still at the helm, things “may have been different.” Uh oh!
After starting the season 2-0, the Jays now find themselves 2-3 after blowing saves in three consecutive games. The Red Sox are sending Rick Porcello to the mound for his first start of the season, and the Jays are countering with R.A. Dickey, who was decent in his first start of the season last week in Tampa.
The Jays faced Porcello four times last year. In two of them, he was good. He was getting ground ball outs, and was able to go seven or more while allowing thee of fewer runs. And then, in the other two games, he wasn’t. One was awful. He allowed seven runs over two innings, and another that was pretty bad, as he allowed five earned runs over six innings in a mid-September game.
The common theme here? The two good games he pitched were at Fenway, and the two bad ones he pitched were in Toronto, with the terrible one coming on Canada Day. So maybe a similar atmosphere at the Rogers Centre will unravel him again? Let’s hope so.
Next Game(s): Tomorrow, vs. Red Sox, 1:07 PM ET
And now, the lineups…
Kevin Pillar CF
Josh Donaldson DH
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Ezequiel Carrera LF
Ryan Goins 2B
Darwin Barney 3B
Josh Thole C
R.A. Dickey SP
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Brock Holt LF
Rusney Castillo CF
Blake Swihart C
Rick Porcello SP