Opening Day 2
The Toronto Blue Jays, considered perhaps the weakest team in the American League East this season, stomped on the Detroit Tigers on Opening Night 2009, by the score of 12-5. While it might be exciting to have such a powerful start to the year, it really doesn't change anything; it's still going to be a rough year for the Jays. The club was just lucky to match up with another struggling team during the first series of the year.
Ace - and perhaps the most consistent starter in the American League - Roy Halladay was on the mound for the Jays last night and he was dominant. He did not allow a hit until Detroit center-fielder Curtis Granderson led off the fourth inning with a solo home run. Halladay did not allow another run until the wheels fell off in the seventh inning and the Toronto right-handed hurler allowed another four runs. The most frustrating part was that I asked myself at the beginning of the half inning why Toronto was sending Halladay out for the seventh inning with the club already ahead 9-1.
It was the first game of the year, but for whatever reason Toronto managers (and they've all been guilty) leave Halladay in games when things are well-in-hand. Now, he was at just about 75 pitches at the beginning of the inning, but why not keep him fresh early in the year - on the outside chance that you might need him to throw a lot of key innings in the second half of the season? As it was, he ended up throwing 99 pitches, he allowed five earned runs, and he lost his quality start, when in fact he dominated for six innings. The club also still ended up using four relievers (Jesse Carlson, Brandon League, Scott Downs and Brian Tallet) over the final two innings.
Other Thoughts on the Blue Jays:
Thoughts on the Tigers:
The move to the bullpen might just be what Nate Robertson needed. The displaced starter, who finished the 2008 season with a 6.35 ERA in 32 games (28 starts) was not happy about the move to the pen, but he made two left-handed hitters look foolish. Robertson, a southpaw, struck out both lefties that he faced and sent Overbay (who swung feebly at three pitches) back to the dugout shaking his head.