Saturday April 2, 2011
The Toronto fans followed up Friday's opening day sell out with a showing of 27,194 today to watch 23 year old Kyle Drabek make his season debut against the Minnesota Twins and Francisco Liriano. Drabek delivered, going seven innings giving up only one run on one hit while striking out seven and walking only one to capture his first big league win. The Jays beat the Twins 6 to 1.
I didn't see all of today's game, but from what I did see Drabek is definitely deserving of the spot he earned in the Jays rotation this spring.
The Jays offense was provided by some unlikely power sources, and a few timely hits. Jose Molina homered on a ball that bounced off the top of the wall in left field in the third inning, and newly acquired Jayson Nix homered to deep left field in the fourth inning. Farrell started Nix at third today because he has good career numbers against Liriano. In the fifth inning Edwin Encarnacion singled to bring in Bautista, and then Travis Snider came off the bench to hit a two run double scoring Lind and Encarnacion making it 5 to 1. Toronto's last run came in the eighth when Hill hit a sac fly to left that brought Molina home.
Minnesota's only run came from an RBI ground out from Justin Morneau.
What amused me about today's performance, is that Drabek thought he should have done better. "The control of my pitches wasn't the best today" Drabek said. "It was just the situations where I needed a good pitch, it was there. I think that helped me out a bunch this game."
This statement sort of sums up how I feel about this team. They are a young, motivated, close group who expect the best from themselves every time out. I love the fact that the starting pitchers all hang out together at and away from the ball park. I love to hear stories like the one from spring training about Yunel Escobar. How after trying to make a flashy play, and then botching it, John Farrell had gone into the club house to talk to him about it. However when Farrell got there, he found Edwin Encarnacion already scolding Yunel so to speak. Telling him that this is not how we play here. I love that they appear to no longer be one dimensional offensively. I love the confidence that some of these young players are emitting.
If we have learned anything over the years from teams like the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, it is that young, motivated teams can be very, very dangerous.
I've said it before and I will say it again. I am really excited to see what this team can do this year.