Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
I'm going to try to post one of these little quick thoughts after as many games as possible. By doing so, I plan to list what I thought was worth highlighting, both the positives and negatives (but I'll try not to focus so much on the negatives unless they're glaring). With that, here are a few things that I noticed for tonight's game against the Orioles on April 5, 2017 -
- Justin Smoak got the start at first base tonight, while Steve Pearce started in left in place of Ezequiel Carrera. Carrera was scratched due to the ankle tweak that occurred Monday, but Gibby said he'd be good to go if needed. Carrera ended up being a pinch runner for Smoak in the 8th, moving Pearce to first and Carrera taking Pearce's place in left. Although Smoak provides above average defense at first base (except the error in the 1st inning didn't help support that claim, huh?), seeing him at the plate tonight made me cringe. However, without being overly filled with negativity (you guys should try it!) Smoak was pretty ok tonight at the plate, with 2 hits (one of which was a ground-rule double) and 1 strikeout. I'm not suggesting we can start to look into it and say "this is what he'll be!" I'm just trying to look on the bright side. To say it's early is a ridiculous understatement. You hate reading/hearing it; so do I (even though I just wrote it. Ughhh...)
- The rewind/fast-forward audio mishaps during the MLB.tv broadcast is super annoying and needs to be addressed immediately. I mean, c'mon!
- I love seeing Pillar make those types of catches as much as the next person, but it only takes one time for it to be very bad news. Mmmiiiggggghhhhtttt want to scale it back just a smidge.
- Despite the two bombs, Happ wasn't bad tonight. Facing 26 batters, Happ pitched 7 innings, giving up 3 earned runs, 9 K's, 5 hits, while retiring five straight before exiting. I'm not worried about the kind of production he'll provide for the Jays this season, and neither should you.
- On the flip-side, Bundy kept the Orioles in it, as the Jays hardly got any good contact. His approach to the meat of the lineup was to pitch away, while the majority of what went down the middle were breaking pitches. Unfortunately for the Jays, the approach was extremely effective. It's frustrating, but expectations ought to be tempered, especially at the start of the season. The bats should come alive as the Jays get acclimated.
- The foul-tip that hit Martin's right hand is going to be something to monitor. It's not something the Jays are going to want to mess with. The bright side is Martin stayed in the game, but it wouldn't shock me to see "Saltimbocca" tomorrow to give Martin a day to rest it.
- Tepera continued to be successful following a strong Spring Training, having a 3-up-3-down inning in the 8th.
- Christ, baseball is deceptive AF, isn't it? Bautista and Morales each with lead-off singles, and a walk by Martin in the 9th to load the bases with the Jays down by 2 runs... next time just kick me in the balls. It would have been wonderfully poetic if Pearce could have hit a grand slam off of his old team, but that's just baseball.
- Jays were a bit off with RISP (I'm downplaying it). It sucks, but this pretty much sums up your approach when looking at it, courtesy of the Tao of Stieb -
You can talk to me about the Jays' numbers with RISP after the season is over. One game isn't even data. It's an anecdote.— Tao of Stieb (@TaoofStieb) April 6, 2017
- Chug a beer. Recoup tomorrow against Tampa Bay.
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