Posted by: Asher Roth | April 7, 2010

Jays win first of 2010 Season!!

The Jays have evened up their record at this crucial time of year (not). Still, every win counts, even if they are ugly.

And this one was ugly. At one point, the Jays held a 6-3 lead, while only having two hits at the time. They managed seven runs on five hits for the night. The key: Rangers pitching.

Rich Harden showed pretty much the same thing he’s shown his entire career: flashes of brilliance with a total lack of endurance. He departed the game in the fourth inning, having walked five (two of those brought runs in) and struck out eight on 90 pitches.

Luckily, he managed to stave off taking the loss, thanks to back to back jacks by Vladdy Guerrero and Nelson Cruz in the very next half inning. Dustin Nippert got that honour.

Here are the heroes of the night for the Jays. Ironically, the two biggest ones have been repeatedly slammed on this blog…

– Vernon Wells was 2 for 3 with 4 runs and 3 RBI – and TWO HOME RUNS!! With that, V-Dub now has three homers on the season. If he hits one more, he will have hit more homers in a single month than he hit in any single month last season.

– Brian Tallet – 6 2/3 innings, four hits allowed, 3 BB, 6 K and only two of the four runs he allowed were earned. Apparently, he likes this starting business… or he just likes pitching in Texas. Either way, he looked pretty solid, with exception to his meaningless walk of Taylor Teagarden in the 7th.

– Alex Gonzalez – Despite making a throwing error which inadvertently led to the Rangers’ fourth run, he did tie the game at 1 with a solo-shot in the third. This, however, was his only hit in five at-bats.

Bums of the night:

– Edwin Encarnacion – I don’t care if he had an RBI (off a sac-fly). He’s still batting .000 and he made his second error, when a grounder went right through his legs in the first inning, leading to the Rangers’ first run. No better way to inspire an inexperienced pitching staff than by letting a grounder through your legs with two on and two out in the first…

– Jose Bautista – Tonight I noticed he took Marco Scutaro’s #19 for this season. Has it helped him? He remains hitless on the season, including popping out harmlessly in the eighth inning with a guy on second and nobody out. He also bobbled a routine base-hit in the seventh, which allowed Teagarden, a slow catcher, to advance to third.

MORE NOTES:

– The Jays struck out ten times, but they also walked ten times. This led to 11 being left on base. That can certainly be improved upon.

– Could we possibly have a bullpen debate on our hands? Jason Frasor did get the job done for his 1st save, but he also allowed a lead-off double and threw 16 pitches, while striking out two. Kevin Gregg threw 15 pitches in an inning and a third of quality work. He looked confident, Frasor looked scared – as always.

BUCK WATCH:

For more information, check my tweets at @amgr86, but while he is doing alright, he made some pretty big mistakes. At one point, he thought there was one out for a good minute when there were, in fact, two out. There were other points that he stumbled on his words and flat-out sounded confused before commercial breaks. I’ve also noticed that he likes to call every ball hit in there air a pop-up. If scoring baseball games has taught me anything, it’s that a ball to the outfield is a fly-out, a pop-fly in the infield is a pop-up. We also heard an example of his uninformed optimism, when he said the Jays can hurt you from anywhere in the lineup after the Gonzalez home run. I’m sorry, did he forget the Overbay-Buck-Encarnacion-Gonzalez combination?

Still, I think he’ll get better with experience, but I guess the jury’s still out.

Tomorrow at 2:05, Ricky Romero faces C.J. Wilson in the rubber match. Why should the Jays take this one? Because Wilson has 52 career saves and 6 career starts, while Ricky Romero should arguably have started on opening day. The Rangers’ ‘pen took a beating tonight. The Jays must take advantage of this, as they’ll already be facing a guy with questionable endurance.

@amgr86

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