Jays fans are really experiencing the gamut of emotions here and it’s only three games into the season. 159 crazy days and nights to go (and more, if all goes according to plan … but it’s too early for that!).
We’ve played three games, and they’ve lasted the duration of four games plus an inning. Thirty-seven innings of baseball down at Progressive Field, and all of them with their fair share of high drama.
The first, a sixteen-inning marathon on Opening Day, looked like it was headed firmly and speedily downhill with Ricky Romero’s 43-pitch, four-run second inning. Joey Bats’ first homer of the season put the Jays on the board, but that was it until the ninth, when Toronto exploded to score three runs and tie it. It wouldn’t be resolved until the top of the sixteenth — J.P. Arencibia, with two runners on, thought he saw a bunt sign that wasn’t there, fouled off the bunt, and then crushed a home run to seal it 7-4 after five and a quarter hours. On the first day!
We expected nine innings in Game 2 (how naive); Morrow and Jimenez had a couple of perfect game bids going and then things blew apart in a hurry. JPA’s throwing error ended up allowing Kipnis to smack a two-run tater, and Jimenez ruined his bid by walking Johnson and Lind; Lawrie cashed in right away to tie the game. A lead, a blown save, some more extra innings, and the Jays took it with the same score the second game in a row.
Last night, of course, ended with the highest of dramas: down a run in the ninth inning, two outs, bases loaded, Jose Bautista at the plate. Unfortunately for wildly hopeful Jays fans (and very fortunately for Cleveland closers), he popped out, and the game ended in nine instead of stretching onward, with the Jays losing their first of the season.
TONIGHT: what will surely be a wild and crazy home opener at the ‘Dome versus the (hilariously) 0-3 Boston Red Sox, fresh off an extra-innings loss to the Detroit Tigers last night. Young Henderson Alvarez takes the mound for the Jays to face Boston’s Félix Doubront at 7:30. It’s gonna be loud!