Here we go, folks. Brandon Morrow, who was rusty at the start of camp but came out firing during his last tuneup, in front of a big Montreal crowd last Saturday, and looks to keep the momentum going as he makes his first big league appearance in over ten months. And he does so with about as much on the line as you could expect out of the first game of any given season.
I say that only half seriously, because I really don’t want to make too much of game four of 162 — plus, I’m sure there will be all kinds of narrative-based drivel availabel out there for anybody who wants to indulge in it — but would it ever feel fucking good for this club to start the season 3-1 with a series victory in Tampa and a fighting chance to do well over the weekend against the likes of an overanxious Masahiro Tanaka, Michael “New York version of Dustin McGowan” Pineda, and the old grey mare who ain’t what she used to be that they call Sabbathia. Then the Astros come in!
Things are setup well to get off to a good start of the season, in other words, but saying so means getting well, well ahead of ourselves. A lot of work will have to be done, and a lot of pitching questions will have to be answered in a positive way, if the Jays are going to find themselves in Baltimore on April 11th feeling pretty damn good about their record– and the first big one is asked of Morrow, and it will be answered tonight.
Though we all know enough to not make too much of how a team plays in the early season, wins is wins, and if the Jays start banking them now, that would be a very good thing. A tough Tampa team stands in the way, which is OK, since a loss would hardly be anything remotely catastrophic, but holy shit, let’s get this monkey off our fucking backs and start to fucking roll already. Why not us?
According to a team release issued this afternoon, the Blue Jays will be opening the gates early tomorrow — at 5 PM ET — in order to better accommodate the sold out crowd that will fill the Rogers Centre to watch McGowan take on Tanaka. So if you don’t drink, get out of our way, because we’re loading up on booze and sure as shit aren’t going to sit in the stadium for two hours before the game paying $13 a pint (or whatever it costs these days).
Worse news for those of you headed to the games on Saturday and Sunday, as the TTC tweets that stations will be closed those two days from Bloor Station to St. Andrew. From Bloor to St. Andrew! No Union. No Yonge line. They’re telling you to transfer at St. George, then take it to St. Andrew and walk. I’m telling you to get there early, because it sounds like a real clusterfuck in the making.
According to a tweet from Barry Davis, on the radio this morning, John Gibbons explained that Sergio Santos wouldn’t be available to pitch tonight, having taken us for a wild ride in back-to-back wins on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Though originally in the lineup, Wil Myers was removed due to flu-like symptoms, according to a tweet from Shi Davidi. The lineup below has been updated to reflect the change.
Don’t forget to follow DJF on Instagram, especially tomorrow, as I’ll be posting a bunch of pictures from the Home Opener — for real this time, not like from Opera Bob’s on Monday, where I pretty quickly made the call that I didn’t feel like documenting a wake. Will be good!
Says here we’ll do a podcast tomorrow.
Next game: Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET, vs. New York (AL). The Home Opener!
For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app. And now, the lineups…
Toronto Blue Jays
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
SS Ryan Goins (L)
RHP Brandon Morrow
Tampa Bay Rays
DH David DeJesus (L)
CF Desmond Jennings (R)
2B Ben Zobrist (S)
3B Evan Longoria (R)
1B James Loney (L)
LF Logan Forsythe (R)
RF Matt Joyce (L)
C Ryan Hanigan (R)
SS Yunel Escobar (R)
RHP Chris Archer