April 3rd vs @ Baltimore Orioles
Loss: 3-2 (11) Record: 0-1
SP: Marco Estrada LP: Jason Grilli
#LetsRise. The Blue Jays didn’t rise to a victory on Opening Day vs the Baltimore Orioles losing 3-2 in the 11th on a walk off solo HR from Mark Trumbo but the game was still great.
Finally after waiting nearly 6 months, meaningful baseball is once again upon us and it feels amazing. Spring training just doesn’t cure my cravings for baseball. Even though the Blue Jays lost, having a first glimpse at the Blue Jays 2017 team in regular season, I’m liking what I’m seeing.
Steve Pearce had a fabulous day at the plate going 3 for 5 and Marco Estrada had a good outing pitching 6 innings, fanning 4, walking 2 and giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits. The bottom of the 3rd was Estrada’s only rough inning with Chris Davis hitting an RBI single off the wall and Mark Trumbo with a RBI double. Other than that, Marco was solid.
In the top of the 5th, Morales took a 3-2 count bases loaded walk getting the Jays on the board. Next inning, top 6. Ezequiel Carrera rips a RBI double right down the right field line sending Pearce home, tying it up at 2. While Carrera was rounding 2nd, it appeared he rolled his ankle, perhaps twisting it, but after walking it off, he remained in the game.
After 5 scoreless innings, with Jason Grilli pitching, he gave up a solo shot to Mark Trumbo to left, ending the first game of the season as a walk off to the O’s.
April 5th vs @ Baltimore Orioles
Loss: 3-1 Record: 0-2
SP: JA Happ LP: JA Happ
Series: 2-0 Baltimore
In a rare opening 2 game series, the Blue Jays get swept by the Baltimore Orioles, still yet to pick up their first W of the season, but don’t panic Jays fans; it’s only the 2nd game of the season. 160 more to go, 160 more chances to win.
Although getting the loss, Happ pitched excellent with 9, yes I said 9, strikeouts, 3 earned runs on 5 hits through 7 innings of work. A great outing from Happ but the Jays offense just couldn’t come up with the big hits to win.
They got on board early 1-0 in the 3rd, although the lead didn’t last long, on a Devon Travis RBI single which scored Justin Smoak. Bottom of the 3rd, Adam Jones hit a 2 run blast to left which put the O’s leading 2-1. Next inning, Chris Davis hit a solo shot to Baltimore’s bullpen. The Jays however did put up a fight in the 9th but after the bases got loaded, Steve Pearce hit into a game ending double play with Zach Britton getting the save.
April 6th vs @ Tampa Bay Rays
Won: 5-2 Record: 1-2
SP: Marcus Stroman WP: Marcus Stroman SV: Jason Grilli
In the 1st game of a 4 game series against the Rays in the Trop, the Blue Jays came out victorious, winning their first game of the season 5-2.
Kendrys Morales had a big night at the plate, blasting a grand slam, his 4th career, in the 3rd, the first Blue Jay to homer this season. Fact, he’s the 9th Blue Jay to hit a grand slam as the team’s first home run of the season. In the 7th, Darwin Barney sent Russ Martin home on a bunt in which Barney reached first safely on but they didn’t win on offense alone.
Everyone’s favorite, Marcus “StroShow” Stroman, WBC MVP if I may add, pitched solid going 6.1 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 6 hits, striking out 5 and walking 2. With Roberto Osuna still on the 10 day DL (me audibly sobbing), Jason Grilli came into the 9th, giving up 1 run on a wild pitch, picking up his first save of the season as the Jays pick up their first win.
April 11th vs Milwaukee Brewers
Loss: 4-3 Record: 1-6
SP: JA Happ LP: JA Happ
First of all, a big shoutout to Troy Tulowitzki who had a huge night at the plate, responsible for driving in all 3 Blue Jays runs. I underestimate Tulo sometimes but this proves he is a force to be reckoned with, so a big round of applause for Troy.
Even though Tulo was on fire, it wasn’t enough for a victory. The Jays lose their 2017 Honda Home Opener 4-3, putting their record at 1-6, dead last in the East.
JA Happ didn’t pitch his best, only going 4.2 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 9 hits, striking out an impressive 8. Two of the four runs for Milwaukee came via solo shots from Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana, both given up by Happ.
And in the 8th, Kevin Pillar AKA Superman made a spectatcular diving catch in center, but that and Tulo’s amazing day at the plate couldn’t produce a win as the final score was 4-3 Milwaukee.
April 12th vs Milwaukee Brewers
Loss: 2-0 Record: 1-7
SP: Marcus Stroman LP: Marcus Stroman
Series: 2-0 Milwaukee
The Blue Jays get swept by the Brewers 2-0 but they get an amazing start from the StroShow, Marcus Stroman out of it. Stro threw exactly 100 pitches, going all 9 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits, striking out 4 and walking 1. A quality start from Marcus but he unfortunately picks up the loss as the Jays get shutout.
They had a chance to score though in the 4th with the bases loaded but Martin struck out, caught looking. This is now the Blue Jays 7th loss in the first 8 games of the season. Yeah… even I can’t make that sound positive.
April 7th vs @ Tampa Bay Rays
Loss: 10-8 Record: 1-3
SP: Francisco Liriano LP: JP Howell
Albeit losing 10-8, the Jays put up a fight throughout the whole game. At times Toronto had the lead but it was the Rays that secured it. The Blue Jays got off to a good start with Tulowitzki in the top of the 1st, ripping a RBI double down the right field line sending Morales and Bautista home but the troubles began in the bottom of the inning.
Francisco Liriano, after giving up a 2 run blast to Longoria and 2 run double to Brad Miller, John Gibbons pulled the plug on Liriano in which was his shortest start of his career only recording 1 out. At the end of the 1st, the Rays were leading 5-2.
In the 4th, Tulo hit his 1st home run of the season, a solo shot putting the score at 6-3 Tampa. Next inning, Bautista sent home JD on an error in which Steven Souza Jr. dropped a fly ball, now 6-4. Then Justin Smoak hit a RBI double into the right field corner and just like that’s it’s a one run game. After 2 consecutive bases loaded walks (Morales and Tulo) in the 6th, the Jays take the lead 7-6. The lead doesn’t last long though as JP Howell and Joe Smith get roughed up in the bottom half, the Rays coming out 9-7. In the 8th, JD made it once again a one run game with a solo home run but just wasn’t enough with ultimately the final score being 10-8 Tampa Bay.
April 8th vs @ Tampa Bay Rays
Loss: 3-2 (11) Record: 1-4
SP: Aaron Sanchez LP: Casey Lawrence
The last times the Blue Jays started off the season 1-4, in 1978 (59-102) and 2004 (67-94) those were their records. Permission to worry. But honestly, it can only get better from here. It’s not like the Jays are getting destroyed 10-0 every game, they’re all relatively close, like this game.
Just like on Opening Day, the Blue Jays lose 3-2 in the 11th, this time via bases loaded walk. Casey Lawrence, whom they just called up from AAA Buffalo, picked up the loss, walking Brad Miller, giving Tampa the walk off. John Gibbons ordered back to back intentional walks to load the bases, in hopes of an inning ending double play, but I got to criticize Gibby for this decision.
Relying on a call up from AAA in a high pressured situation, not to give up a run with the bases loaded with 1 out, is gutsy Gibby. Roberto Osuna could do it; Casey Lawrence didn’t.
Aaron Sanchez who started the game, was solid, despite having a blister on his finger, went 7 innings, struck out 4, walked 3, gave up 1 earned run on 4 hits.
April 9th vs @ Tampa Bay Rays
Loss 7-2 Record: 1-5
SP: Marco Estrada LP: Marco Estrada
Series: 3-1 Tampa Bay
Another loss. I know it’s sad and all, but it is what it is. In the series finale, not only did the Jays fall to their 5th loss in 6 games, tempers flared between Tulo and Souza, clearing the benches from both dugouts as a result. Tulo took offense, as he should, to Souza sliding into him hard, trying to break up the double play. They exchanged words but no one was ejected.
In the first inning, Josh Donaldson gave the Blue Jays an early lead, hitting a solo home run but in the 6th, after running to beat the throw at 1st, left the game with tightness in his right calf. Reports are that it’s not too serious and Donaldson is confident that he’ll return in time for the home opener on Tuesday against the Brewers.
Marco Estrada, who is usually solid, had a tough night giving up 3 home runs to Corey Dickerson, Steven Souza Jr. and Jesus Sucre, totaling 5 runs. In all, Estrada went 5.0 innings, allowing 5 earned runs on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5.
Unable to catch up to the Rays, the Blue Jays took the loss 7-2, losing the series 3-1.