Jays From the Couch brings you everything you need to know from Toronto Blue Jays game action as the Blue Jays beat the Phillies in Dunedin
Spring Training is funny. Some folks will tell you that things don’t mean anything since it is really just exhibition play. Others will tell you that there is indeed meaning behind the goings on in the game, even if the final score doesn’t mean a whole lot. The truth is somewhere in the middle. There were aspects of each side of this on display for the Blue Jays in today’s game against the Phillies in Dunedin.
Blue Jays: 9 Phillies: 6
What You Need to Know:
Drew Hutchison did not exactly make a statement today. That is to say that the statement he made wasn’t a positive one. In a spring where he will have to prove himself, his command was lacking. He walked the bases loaded in the 2nd inning. Given that it is this early in the spring, you want him to just throw strikes. In speaking on the Sportsnet broadcast, Hutchison said of his efforts to gain a rotation spot: “For me, it’s all about consistency”. But, he felt good about his showing: “Was trying to work on my sinker. I executed a lot of good pitches today and take away a lot of positives”.
Steve Delabar did a good job of stating his case early. He came to the mound in the 3rd inning and was pumping the zone with heat. If it weren’t for a Darwin Barney error, he would have escaped much quicker. This will go a long way to him making a claim on a bullpen spot. You’ll recall that if the club options him to AAA, they will have to expose him to waivers. Effectiveness avoids any kind of difficulties that would bring.
Michael Saunders did his best to impress a Canadian TV audience with a 2 home run, 5 RBI day. If he is healthy, this kind of bat from the left side is going to be very interesting for the Blue Jays. He would end the day 3 for 3 as he added a single in the 5th. During the broadcast, he said: “I feel like a kid again; like this is my first big league camp. I’m trying to go the other way. Today I got myself in some good hitter’s counts.”
David Aardsma took the mound for the Blue Jays. He gave up a carrying solo home run, which falls under the category of results looking worse than the actual performance. But, even if the results are ugly, can we really say we were expecting much from Aardsma? He was brought in as a depth move.
We got to see Conner Greene take the mound and he might have been more excited than we were. He showed signs of being amped up, hitting 98 mph. He also seemed to be rushing and forcing his delivery. But, his stuff showed signs of excitement with a nice strike out to start the 7th. He followed it with a walk to J.P. Arencibia.
Play of the Game:
Saunders provided all the offense the Blue Jays would need. Pulling the ball with authority was nice to see. This kind of power will fit in nicely in this lineup. Today, it carried the club.
MisPlay of the Game:
Philly defense. The Phillies combined for 3 errors in the game. Though saying that isn’t as bad as it sounds. The Blue Jays made 2 of their own. That said, the Blue Jays are the kind of team that can, and should, capitalize on mistakes to put some runs on the board. They did that today. On the other side of the ball, Barney’s error, while rare was costly for Delabar. It won’t matter to the final outcome of the game, but Delabar would be justified in shooting a dirty look or two toward second base. A lot is riding on the former teacher’s results. The good news is that those kind of errors will be few and far between. So, if you’re looking at the box score, or the results, remember that, Delabar looked better than the runs scored.
The Turning Point:
The game was going the Blue Jays’ way right from the beginning. We haven’t even talked about the home run from Troy Tulowitzki to start the scoring on the day. But, it was Saunders’ first blast that set the tone for the game. It was smooth sailing the rest of the way. There was no drama, tight situations or anything like that. Just scoring early and often to control the game.
Is there anyone else? Michael Saunders takes home this honour.
*Featured Image Credit: jcsullivan24 UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER@JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE JAYS NEST PODCAST
Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.