Live Blog of the Blue Jays’ Season Opener

Title: Live Blog of the Blue Jays’ Season Opener
Date: April 1, 2008
Original Source: The On Deck Circle
Synopsis: After the season opener was rained out, I gave it another shot for Game 2 (Game 1, just a day later). A live blog/running diary ensued.

9:40
Scutaro grounds out and the Jays go down 3-2. Rod Black says this will go down as Melky’s night. Personally, I think it will be remembered more for being the last home opener at Yankee Stadium, but I guess time will tell on that one. Great game for the opener, though a day late.

Screw a post-game wrap-up, I’ll let you guys do the job in the comments section.
 More wicked-awesome Jays coverage after the jump!
9:39
I got really really excited with that swing of the bat. I even double-yelled “FUCK Yeah” but it died in center into Melky’s lap. Two out, Scutaro up. Things look bleak, but there’s a chance.

9:36
Overbay Ks. n-OOOOOOO.

9:31
Ground out by Giambi, great rebound there by Downs and a good call by Gibbons to walk A-Rod and ride Downs for three lefties in five at-bats. 9th inning and we’ve got Overbay, Hill, and Scutaro.

9:28
Great play by Overbay and the Jays look Damon back to third, two away. Gibbons stays in the dugout…I’m hoping they walk A-Rod, and it hurts that I agree with the Jays announcers. Downs will face Giambi with 2-on, 2-out.

9:27
There is an ad behind home plate for Stolichnaya Russian Vodka. I wish. Downs gets a chopper for an out. 

9:25
Scott Downs is in to face lefty Johnny Damon and possibly righty Jeter and lefty Abreu. Damon smacks what should have been a single, but Wells dives and misses, giving Damon 2nd and 3rd base, too.

Like I said, I would have stayed Halladay, but with two lefites in three hitters I guess that’s the right call.

9:22
Thomas goes down swinging on a 97 MPH fastball from The Hut. Let’s see how Gibbons plays the pitching hand here. I’d go Halladay, but I’m intelligent. 

9:20
Alex Rios steals second on a called strike three that was very high. Rios gets the Jays’ 3rd steal of the game but we lose an out. This is borderline a Jays record for steals and steal attempts in a game.

Keenan Thompson is in the crowd and I just called him a homeless man’s Anthony Anderson (without the jump shot, of course).

9:18
Who’s that Mexican and where’s Marty Pevey? 

9:15
I’m gonna punch Rod Black. He just said, and I quote, “it was like someone lathered him up in peanut butter,” with respect  to the flies from last year’s playoffs. Rios battles back from 1-2 with a lot of fouls to take a walk. Great at bat right there.

9:14
Yatz Pennycook has a similar story about his name (that we’ve never heard before) to Joba, who’s real name is not Jaba. P-Cook is now Yatz, and you can count that. Man this thing has slowed down…I hit the wall, and I’m sorry. My spring training only has me up to 6 innings of live blog stamina.

9:09
Wang is prompty pulled for Joba Chamberlain. Yup, I know what I’m talking about folks. Alex points out that Joba comes out to a Guitar Hero song, and I hate Joba slightly more now. 

9:07
Halladay gets out of the inning with his third K. Halladay has thrown 95 through 7, 92 for Wang. I think we’ll see them both in the 8th. 

9:06
A bunch of weird shit goes down that we don’t really see because of the video problem. Then Hill bobbles a grounder so we only get one out instead of two, scoring a run and making it 3-2 Yankees. I hope that’s not scored as an error, because that was a tough ball to get to and turn two on. 

9:04
Alex is DEFINITELY Lil’ Kevin. He just played Let’s Play Ball and danced to it. I don’t even know what to say. I’m embarassed for him, really badly. He might get fired for this. 

9:02
Becuase it’s a little slow right now, I’ll reiterate – I cannot believe that Zaun threw somebody out. The video is out. The crowd cheered, but I can’t be sure why.

8:59
Black tells us A-Rod has a flare for the dramatic and he promptly bloops a single. Black or Tabbler says, “that’s just what he does.” Do I really miss Jamie Campbell? Can’t Wilner do this job? Where’s Rance Mulliniks? Jesse Barfield? Buck Martinez??

8:55
Stu burnt his sub and Eckstein makes it 0/4. Alex finds Stu’s loud burnt sub hilarious and I’m embarassed for him. Maybe he’s Lil’ Kevin.

8:51
Giambi with a nice snag on a Scutaro line drive, and then he hard-stares Hill on 2nd…or Jeter. Probably Jeter.

We just had a conversation about some guy at school I’m pretty confident is retarded. This one has ‘Sunny in Philadelphia’ written all over it. “Lil’ Kevin, it’s one of those ironic things maybe.” “Does he have a little hand?” “I was just gonna say his foot seems a little small?”

8:49
Rod Black tells us that Aaron Hill is a flamer. Or, at least…his bat is. Black is not only a shitty announcer but a bigot too.

Cabrera misses a diving catch and Hill gets a double. Melky has lost his “Jay Killer” tag for failing to rob us again. Alex chimes in with “take that, bitch!” 

8:47
2-2 through 6 innings, and we’re 2/3 the way through this game…making us 0.4% done the season.

8:41
Melky Cabrera goes yard and is officially a Jay Killer…tonight. Two great catches and a solo bomb, 2-2 tie. That gets a curtain call for being the last home run that will ever be the first home run of a season at Yankee Stadium. Some quick research tells me that he hits .299 against the Jays for his career with 10 RBI and 5 SB (3 in one game I attended). Add 1 HR, and sure, let’s call him a Jay Killer.

8:36
“How good are the Raiders gonna be next year?” – Alex
“I can’t wait for that Monday nighter week 1.” – Stu
“…” – Blake 

Clearly, the game has slowed a bit.

8:34
Hopefully, Dave Power just called for a V-Dub home run. D-Pow has an uncanny ability to predict Wells home runs…it’s unreal. No other players, no other plays, just Wells homers.

Guess not…ground out. 

8:31
Stu wants to know if you can die from drinking lighter fluid becaus Alex offered him $5 to try it. In other pointless news, the Leafs lead 2-0.

Eckstein makes a great stab to save a hit. Rod Black calls him “Little Eck” and I punch myself in the face. 

8:30
The Mets have a rally in the 4th and my parlay looks a little brighter, 4-3 Marlins. Halladay K’s another. That’s 2 in total, for the counting impaired. Not quite pizza territory…yet.

8:26
Speaking of cell phones, Rod Black introduces some stupid Home Opener Contest where you have to take pictures with your phones for a signed jersey. What’s with every contest now being cell phone based? Even Wrestlemania voting was cell phone based. Am I really the only person left without a cellie? 

8:24
Rios goes down swinging at a nasty sinker. That thing has serious life. Jays lead 2-1 halfway through the game, making my prediction feel pretty good.

A really weird cell phone commercial makes me wonder—why won’t you assholes give me cell phone purchasing advice? Then I realize nobody is reading this. 

8:21
Chingy had the 3rd most ground ball outs last season, we’re told. Of course, Stewart grounds out, but it cashes a run, 2-1 Jays! Alex asks and I answer that yes, that does count as an RBI. The only time it doesn’t is in the event of a double play that scores a run.

8:17
Eckstein grounds out and fails to cash the run. Alex doesn’t think that was what we needed. I agree, with profanity. There is some seriously witty banted that a live blog can’t do justice. Too bad Stu’s dry-and-shy sense of humor isn’t around to add to it.

8:14
Zaun singles and we’ve got something brewing with runners on the corners and nobody out. Let’s see how plucky Eckstein is with runners on base. P-Cook says, “people seem to forget that Ming-Wang got shelled in last year’s playoffs.” I say, he got shelled against the Jays last year, too. I also say, please only call him Chingy. P-Cook’s fortune cookie says ‘Jays win,’ and I make some Asian jokes I can’t publicize. 

8:12
Scutaro walks. New lead-off hitter? If he steals here, book it. Eckstein clearly sucks and Scoots is clearly the man, using a 4-inning sample size.

AND he steals! 2/2 on the basepaths for Marco, helped out by a bad throw on the second.

8:09
Double play and a choppy grounder. Four innings done in an hour, that’s Roy Halladay for you. Doc is the man, homie, what the fuck happened to you? Giambi came out to nWo Wolfpack music…seriously. He is now an ODC favorite.

8:07
Make Abreu 2/2 after a .500 OBP in spring training. A-Rod comes out to “This is Why I’m Hot,” obviously because he was a huge fan of the ODC when it was The ‘This is Why I’m Hot’ Corner. 

8:03
Great catch by Melky to rob Overbay of a potential doubleand they play Smooth Criminal to get the crowd…excited? We get an anecdote about Damon’s arm and holy fuck The Melk Man makes another great grab. Back-to-back thefts by Cabrera.

8:00
Frank Thomas fails to beat out an infield ground ball. It’s a good thing for New York that Jeter is such a wicked-awesome shortstop, or Hurt could have beat that out.

On the out of town scoreboard, the Mets are fucking my cash game up, down 4-0 to the Marlins.

7:58
Jeter hits a very overrated single. Was that single underrated, Jack? I mean, I’m all for calling overrated players underrated (see: Kevin Durant and OJ Mayo), but Jeter? Come on man, you’re better than that. 

HOLY FUCK Zaun just threw someone out!! Wow, Jeter is gone. Very underrated baserunning by Jeter ;).

7:55
Rod Black is complaining about the smell at Yankee Stadium. He claims it reeks of nostalgia. 

7:52
Wells grounds into a close fielder’s choice. I read just now that Eric Hinske will platoon in right for the Rays. This is both great news and…less great news. Obviously, I’m a huge Hinske fan, so this is just fantastic. On the other hand, I own Gomes in fantasy and was hoping he would have a good year….should I pick-up Hinske and platoon them? I’ll let you decide! 

7:50
Eckstein strikes out in an ugly way. Shannon Stewart grounds out. The Pirates aren’t playing tonight, sadly, but at least the Leafs are winning, 1-0, on a Darcy Tucker goal. 9 points out, 3 games to go, let’s do this Leafs! Rios maintains his 1.000 OBP with a walk. I hope he steals here, let’s set a precedent!

7:42
They just showed a clip of Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra throwing out the first pitch. This seems as good a time as any to mention that last year’s ESPN series “The Bronx is Burning” is absolutely fantastic and worth a download and watch. I watched it this fall and loved it. 

3-6-3 double play and then a Matsui ground out…nice to have our boy Roy on the mound.

7:40
I can’t believe someone got the green light on this team! Hopefully it’s a sign of green lights to come. Rod Black reminds us that the Jays had trouble with RISP last year…apparently he’s reading Erik’s comments for his banter. Right on cue, Zaun grounds out, stranding Scoots. 

7:38
Zaun rips a potential double down the first base line…foul. Looked like he’s back on the juice, perhaps, that’s the best foul line drive he’s hit since 2005.  Scutaro steals second!

7:35
How many times do you guys think we’ll start Johnny Mac at third just to get him playing time and spell Scutaro before Rolen returns? On a similar note, Marco “Invisible” Scutaro hits check-swing fielder’s choice, scoring The Big Hurt and tying the game.

7:31
Overbay smacks a single down the third base line. His hand is feeling fiiiine. OOOOOOOO!

Hill flies out, Thomas takes third. The wheels!!

7:28
Frank Thomas says don’t worry about his bad spring or notoriously slow starts. He smacks a single and steals second. Seriously.  (Editor’s revision: not seriously.)

7:27
Inning over as Giambi flies out. I just explained to Sean that Giambi is only worth his contract when he’s on the juice, but he cycles off too often and for too long for the contract to be worth it. He is looking big again, though… 

7:24
A-Rod smacks a double to the gap and Abreu scores. Insert A-Rod hating joke here. Halladay’s ERA is now 13.50, but I’m confident that will go down by the end of the season. 

7:22
Abreu has now gone 12 consecutive opening days with a hit, putting him 2 shy of Will Clark’s Major League record. Halladay’s perfect season is no longer in tact. 

7:21
Halladay gets robbed of a 6th straight strike. Tabbler thinks it’s because Jeter dances in the batter’s box. Grounder to the Doc, 2 down, and he’s now on pace to throw 108 pitches and still have a perfect game. Just a note that the blog pace will not stay this rapid throughout the night. 

7:19
The Doc sits down Damon with three strikes. Watchu know ’bout that, yeeeeah! The Doc is on pace to pitch the whole game on 81 pitches with 27 strikeouts.

7:17
Family Guy is our back-up. Normally I’d be slightly disappointed, but it’s the one where he plays for the Pats, which means I get to see Tom Brady. Suddenly, McGowan and Rios don’t look so cute… 

7:16
Alright, what the hell was that? Rios was at second when Robby Cano caught that, easy double play. Stu and I wonder if that goes down as a GIDP, FIDP, LIDP, or DPBRWPA (Double Play Because Rios Wasn’t Paying Attention).

7:14
Rios strokes a beautiful single to left field. I really hope he inks that deal this week (which apparently is a done deal, they’re just holding off on the announcement) so I can throw him on the back of a new-look Jays throwback.

Alex asks if Stairs is coaching first base. No…that’s Ernie Whitt. Ladies and gentlemen, your platooning left fielder! 

7:12
Shannon Stewart with an infield single! A-Rod should have watched that the whole way. Regardless, Reed Johnson does not get a hit against a righty in that situation, BYEAH! Send Stewart! 

7:10
Second pitch and David Eckstein grounds out. A real ‘hustle/plucky/grinder/gritty’ player would have beaten that out, for sure. Let the McGloving supporters get going already.

7:09
Chingy is warming up and we’re almost ready to go. The Jays’ lineup is, as I revealed in my preview: Eckstein, Stewart, Rios, Wells, Thomas,  Overbay, Hill, Scutaro, Zaun. For the Yankees, it’s: Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Giambi, Cano, Posada, Matsui, Cabrera.

7:07
Erik is correct, the new jerseys are sick. But ohh, how I long for Rod Black’s mustache to return. I wish I was drinking.

7:00
We’re about to get going. When you’re bored between innings, pitching changes, etc, please refer to the suggested discussion topics below. Also, I am really hoping for a lot of ill-hearted chirping of me, each other, and all of baseball.

6:55
Is everyone ready for Rod Black and Blue Jays baseball? …what about Pirates baseball? Last night was a barn burner in the mold that only the Pirates can sculpt in. 

6:50
Just a heads up that the game is on TSN, not Sportsnet, because Sportsnet feels that a meaningless Leaf game is more important than the season opener of a team they, ipso facto, own. 

6:40
I am in position. I am ready to go with a different Jays jersey than yesterday (Orlando Hudson black). I have a Roasted Turkey Ciabatta sandwich, a medium coffee, and a cookie. I am 100% good to go, except that we have yet to determine a servicable back-up channel in the event of a rain delay.

Game time in 20…crack a beer, pour one for your homies who couldn’t be there, and dig in to the couch like it’s the batter’s box. 

5:15
Paul wants a weekly mailbag, to which I say…dude, once a week is a bit much. However, I’d really like to try at least one. Details to follow in the post-game wrap up, the only time I’ll be wrapping anything up all summer! Ohhh! 

4:55
My prediction is staying the same as yesterday, however misguided it may be. Jays win 4-3 and score me my 2nd straight MLB parlay victory. To answer my own question yesterday, a rain out counts as a push for gambling purposes. The Dodgers and Mets came through for me, so let’s hope the Jays, Mets, and Padres all can tonight, too. 

4:50
If the Jays are going to win (or even play) tonight, gimme an Oh Hill Yeah! I’m going to give this thing a second shot tonight, with a few changes to the plan. First, in lieu of the anal raping that has become by last month of University, I will not be getting drunk while I do it. Instead, I’ll hit the library afterwards. The plan was a beer per inning plus a shot for any home run hit, but that fantastic drinking game will have to be shelved for another time, just like the ‘Drink for a strikeout, walk, or run, double shot for a homer’ drinking game or the ‘Total Bases’ drinking game. Ahh, baseball and beer, a more lovable duo than my favorite WWE tag team, Cryme Tyme, who returned on Raw last night (they are hilarious black stereotypes, that’s their gimmick). The other change is that I don’t think Degrassi is on as a back-up, but we can hope. Anyways, I’m at the library now but re-join me at 6:30 for the Live Blog kick off, and get active in the comments section.

Some Possible Comments Topics
-How would the Jays finish in another division?
-Thoughts on individual players/pitchers this year
-Should I do a Mailbag column?
-I’m buying a cell phone for the first time since Grade 9 in the next few weeks. What companies are hot right now (read: cheap)?
-Nicknames for players without them.

Some Resources to get You Amped
Yesterday’s live blog attempt
My mammoth Jays season preview
Jack’s AL East preview
Erik’s running diary of a spring training game
Last year’s attempt at a running diary for the opener

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