Today in Dunedin, Florida, a very long conversation about Blue Jays third baseman and confirmed Maple God Brett Lawrie took place between the Blue Jays’ Sportsnet FAN 590 broadcast crew of Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby. Somewhere in the background of this conversation, those same Blue Jays played their first “competitive” spring training game. Plan the parade folks, your Blue Jays defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1.
Manager John Farrell employed one pitcher per inning, starting the game with lefthander Brett Cecil, then going to Kyle Drabek, Jim Hoey, Scott Richmond, Danny “Lord” Farquhar, Ryan Tepera, Jerry Gil, Luis Perez, and Joel Carreno. The only run given up came off of Farquhar in the top of the fifth on a single to Pirates catcher Michael McHenry. Only Farquhar (2) and Carreno (1) gave up hits.
The aforementioned Lawrie had a very good game, at least offensively. He went two for three with two two-run doubles; he also booted a ball at third. M-V-P, M-V-P. Jose Bautista started in rightfield and took the first pitch he saw deep over the leftfield wall, unfortunately, it was foul. He did hit a bloop single, but also struck out twice. Eric Thames, who is battling with Travis Snider for the starting leftfield job, launched a first-pitch fastball from Chris Leroux to the opposite field for the only home run of the game by either team.
Obviously none of this means anything, but just being able to write something about an actual baseball game feels amazing.
The only televised game today took place in Clearwater, Florida between the Phillies and the Yankees; the Yankees took the game 8-5. Curtis Granderson and Hunter Pence each hit a home run while Cole Hamels gave up a run on three hits in two innings of work.
Tomorrow, the Blue Jays travel to MacKechnie Field in Bradenton for a rematch with Pittsburgh; Henderson Alvarez is expected to get the start. On the television side, there are three watchable games if you happen to have an MLB.tv subscription. The Yankees host the Phillies and the Nationals host the Astros, both at 1:05pm, while the Red Sox host the Twins at 1:35pm. Bryce Harper, y’all.