April 1st, 2021
The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees took to the field as a prelude to spring for the first game of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Each team is ready to start the marathon season for a shot at playing post-season baseball. Between now and then remains 1,500 or so innings, the first of which were undertaken Thursday afternoon.
The umpire was consistently off when it came to calling pitches to the left of the strikezone but he was sure to burn both teams evenly with no real harm done. Blue Jay performances worth noting were Vladimir Guererro Jr. who finished the day 1-2 with two walks while being left stranded three times. Hyuan Jin Ryu allowed 2 runs over 5.1 innings allowing 4 hits and striking out 5.
Let’s skip to…
The top of the 9th, 1 out and the game tied 2-2. Darren O’Day of the Yankees was out hurling his sidearm pitches, taking batters out at the bottom of the zone. With one man on first base, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a 2-2 pitch which landed six feet outside the foul line, deep in the outfield. Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez took a hit on the back of his glove hand from Gurriel Jr’s backswing. The tingle took a couple minutes to shake off while Gurriel struck out on the swing.
Rowdy Tellez came up next for the Jays with two outs. Tellez shattered his bat on the very first pitch. On O’Day’s 23rd pitch of the inning Tellez hit a foul ball deep which Aaron Judge caught at the wall.
Jordan Romano took the mound for Toronto for the bottom ninth in New York. He walked the first man, Mike Tauchman, and on the next pitch Tauchman stole second. Romano pitched a full count to Jay Bruce before striking him out. Blue Jay catcher Danny Janseon fumbled the next pitch and Tauchman was able to steal third. Romano walked the next batter, leaving a man on first and third with just one out.
Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker came out to talk with his pitcher before leaving him be. DJ LeMahieu stepped up to bat and hit one straight to infielder Cavan Biggio who made the catch and threw a bullet home where Mike Tauchman was finally tagged out, knocking up dust with his body after he fell past home plate. Aaron Judge stepped up next and Jordan Romano quickly struck him out.
The 10th inning in MLB starts with a runner at second base and the Jays chose Jonathan Davis for the job. The first batter up, Randal Grichuk, hit an RBI double that bounced off the back wall and over the head of Aaron Judge, sending Davis home for a 3-2 lead. Up next were Marcus Semien followed by Cavan Biggio who quickly retook their spots on the bench, each going 0-5 on the day.
Julian Merrywhether came out to pitch in the bottom 10th and looked much more comfortable than Romano had in the ninth. Merrywhether threw 8 consecutive strikes with 3 very casual strikeouts. Looking totally relaxed, Merrywhether finished the game on a 99mph strikeout for a 3-2 Toronto win.
The Blue Jays proved they are a team to watch this year. Today was a promising good look at what’s to come. Only 161 games to go…