45 years later…a first
If I told you that for the first time in 45 years, I sat in the stands with my wife Corrie, watching a regular season major league baseball game, would you believe me?
After all, I’ve been attending major league ballgames since 1969…
But it’s true.
Last weekend, my wife Corrie and I took the train to Toronto and we attended the last two games the Blue Jays played against the Texas Rangers.
Did I enjoy the experience?
I surely did enjoy sitting next to Corrie… listening to the comments by fans around us… sipping on a cold beer with a baseball steak… and meeting with fans from Montreal after the game and talking baseball with them.
But it was much different than sitting in a broadcast booth with colleagues, going into the clubhouse before the game or being on the field to talk with players and coaches from both teams.
Same old… same old…
If one thought that the All-Star Break would help the Blue Jays shed away the bad habits they had contracted in the weeks prior to the break, the first game of the second part of the season did not show any improvement as the Blue Jays lost 5-1 to the Rangers.
True, they had a formidable opponent in Yu Darvish on the mound, but nevertheless, they did not get any hits in ten opportunities with runners in scoring position.
You’ve heard that song before, haven’t you?
R.A. Dickey held the fort over the first five innings as he gave up only two runs, including a solo homerun by Adrian Beltre.
But in the seventh innings, the former Blue Jay J.P. Arencibia knocked him out as he silenced the boo-birds with a three-run blast, only his second homerun of the year.
Dickey suffered his 10th loss of the season while Darvish, who struck out 12 in less than seven innings, recorded his ninth win.
Colby Rasmus and Munenori Kawasaki got two hits each and Rasmus prevented the shutout with his 13th homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh inning.
Still without the trio of Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, the Jays suffered their ninth loss over their last 11 games and were tied with the Yankees in second place.
On Saturday, Marcus Stroman came to the rescue as he pitched seven strong innings, shutting out the Rangers on four hits, no walks and seven strikeouts, on his way to his fifth win of the season.
Melky Cabrera led the attack with three hits while Colby Rasmus added two and Dan Johnson drove in two runs.
But Brett Cecil and Dustin McGowan almost spoiled it in the eighth inning as they gave up one run… and the bases were loaded when McGowan struck out Jake Smolinski to end the threat.
The Jays won the series on Sunday as they held on to win 9-6. It was far from being easy.
Leading 5-2 in the sixth inning, Mark Buehrle ran into trouble and the Rangers came back to tie the game, 5-5. At one point, Buehrle lost his footing as he was delivering a pitch. He was charged with a balk and since the bases were loaded, it cost him a run.
Once again, the « Melk Man » came to the rescue, launching his 12th homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning and for good measure, the Jays added three more runs in the next.
They did need the extra cushion because the Rangers made it 9-6 in the ninth inning and had two runners on base when Loup, in relief of Casey Janssen, got the final out as Arencibia hit a pop-up.
For a second game in a row, Cabrera led the attack with three hits while Reyes, Kawasaki, Navarro, Johnson and Antony Gose added two each.
Todd Redmond got the win, his first of the season as Buehrle was touched for five runs on eight hits and three walks, getting another no-decision.