Claudio Vargas started for the Bisons and he gave up six runs. Marcus Stroman started for New Hampshire and he gave up six hits and two runs in four innings. Neither of them appear to be ready to step in for the Jays, but what do I know? Scott Copeland had the best start of the night but the bullpen blew his lead. Dustin McGowan pitched two thirds of an inning, with better results than the last time. John Stilson pitched two shutout innings.
The Bisons lost, having never lead, the Fisher Cats were suspended in the fourth inning, while Dunedin blew a two run lead in the ninth.
I believe the 4:30 start time is a new experiment for the Blue Jays. Day games are usually 7pm unless it is a getaway day when the game is 12:35.
Mark Buehrle takes the hill for the Jays. Buehrle has pitched better over the last few starts, can he sustain that today?
While I was in Dunedin I saw parts of six extended spring games. On the first two days there were intra-squad games at the Jays minor league facility. On day 3 the Jays played two games at the Yankee complex in Tampa. While there were six extended spring games played while I was there they were all doubled up. As I could only watch one game at a time I saw some of all six games. Call it the equivalent of three games seen by me.
Here are my notes on what I saw and remember I only saw a pitcher throw once, it might have been a good day for him or a bad day.
Game 2. Can Ramon Ortiz continue to pitch like the ace of the staff? When will the bubble burst? The Jays trot out the usual lineup as of late. No Izturis, Bonifacio is at second base.
There has been a lot of talk about the Dickey effect, meaning the pitcher who pitches the day after Dickey has a benefit. I could possibly see a benefit if the following pitcher was Brandon Morrow or Josh Johnson, both of whom are very different pitchers to Dickey. I am not confident that Ortiz will have a Dickey effect.
Will the Jays reverse course? Tampa are 8-2 over their last ten games. Will home cooking work for the Jays? Can Dickey do it?
The answers to these, and many other questions, will be revealed over the next 3 hours.