Blue Jays 2, Orioles 3
The Jays played their first game yesterday and lost, but who cares? Baseball is back, they played well and it will be months before we have to start really caring too much about the outcome of any single game.
Estrada was great (going to have to get used to typing that), the bottom of the order was great (with a special shout-out to He’s Making Me A Believer Kevin Pillar) and the bullpen was fine. Yeah yeah, Grilli gave up the walk-off homer…to the reigning AL home run champion, after already pitching a full inning, and he’s forty for criminey’s sake. The Jays only lost because Jose Bautista went 0 for 5 leaving eight…EIGHT!…men on base. And again I say: who cares? This is Jose freaking Bautista we’re talking about and the games in which he is going to go hitless are few and far between. You can also-maybe sort of point a finger of blame at his new-second-banana-not-Edwin-Encarnacion-but-still-a-freakingly-good-hitter Kendrys Morales who also went hitless leaving three men on base but, guess what, who cares?
Tulo and Martin joined the hitless parade but who cares? The odds that Bautista, Morales and Tulo will all be hitless in the same game on a regular basis is somewhere between not-even-remotely and forget-about-it. Martin, I have to admit, looked as lost at the plate as he did for most of last season and throughout spring training. He ain’t the hitter he was, but who cares? He’s a catcher, for criminey’s sake, which means you want him on your team because he’s still one of the greatest behind the plate defensive catchers in the game. Offense in any catcher is a bonus: so long as he isn’t ever Thole-bad (which won’t happen until he’s 56 years old): Who. Cares. ?
The game clearly meant a lot to the Orioles and their fans, so, you know, good for them getting that win. It still doesn’t undo what happened in the Wild Card game last year, and they only just managed to scrape out the win on a day when three of the Jays’ five best hitters didn’t do squat (who cares). It was a blast watching Buck send out Britton in the ninth like it was just a normal move, which it really should be (the “Save” stat is the dumbest thing in baseball, with perhaps the exception of Rougned Odor’s beard, or maybe just Rougned Odor). Maybe he oughta done that, like, six months ago *snort*
So, all in all, it was a great game to watch and…sure, of course, yes!…I would have preferred a win, but come on, it was a great game. Of baseball. A game in which we didn’t see Upton cause he’s gone (yes, I am happy about that), and we didn’t see Smoak start at first because in spite of what Wilner may say over on Rogers Radio he ain’t the everyday first baseman, was never intended to be the everyday first baseman and probably never will be the everyday first baseman…so can everyone, please, stop freaking out that he’s the everyday first baseman? Oh, and he’s also not even remotely as terrible as you all think. No, really, he isn’t, not even a little.
Yes, I know, Smoak had one at-bat and STRUCK OUT! (aaaaaaaaaagggh!) but, well, you know what: