You couldn't ask for a better opening day matchup - the two best pitchers in the American League squaring off against one another.
Halladay won the Cy Young in 2003 and was on pace to win the award again in 2005 prior to being Menched. Santana won the Cy Young in 2004 and should have won the award last year except that the AL voters haven't stepped into the 21st Century yet.
While both are great pitchers Santana and Halladay get there in different ways. Santana is an extreme fly ball pitcher (0.8:1 in his career) who strikes out a shade over a batter an inning. Halladay doesn't strike out nearly as many batters but is an extreme groundball pitcher (2.2:1 in his career). Both walk very few batters although Halladay is a bit more stingy.
The Jays started their right handed lineup against Santana, which is also their defensive team. Cat, and Hinske are out; Johnson and Rios are in.
Top of the first inning:
* Stewart singles to left on a 1-0 pitch
* Castillo sacrifices 5-3; Overbay makes a nice scoop on the play
* Overbay boots an easy Mauer grounder
* White hits a deep fly ball that Wells runs down with a leaping catch crashing into the wall. Stewart scores on the sac fly
* Hunter grounds out 4-3
The Overbay error led to an unearned run. Halladay got ahead of hitters and only gave up the one single to Stewart, although White made a loud out on his fly ball.
14 total pitches through one.
Bottom of the first inning:
* Johnson grounds out weakly, 1-3
* Rios hits a line drive up the middle
* Wells pops up down the first base line on a full count
* Santana strikes out Glaus on a fastball up and outside
Santana only gave up the single to Rios but the Jays worked the ABs forcing Santana to throw 19 pitches.
19 total pitches through one.
Top of the second inning:
* Hill makes a nice backhanded play to retire Morneau
* Adams liked the Hill backhand so much he tried one of his own to retire old friend Tony Batista
* Another groundball to Hill retires Jason Kubel
Vintage Halladay - 3 batters, 3 groundballs, 3 outs.
Bottom of the second inning:
* Overbay strikes out quickly - he's 0-9 against Santana with 8 Ks lifetimeSantana has an easy inning.
* Hillenbrand puts the 6th pitch in play, hitting a chopper back to Santana
* Molina grounds out to first
* Castro hits a sharp single back up the middle on the first pitch
* Stewart hits into a textbook 6-4-3 double play
* Luis Castillo strikes out quickly
A leadoff single was quickly erased - the benefits of groundballs shine through.
Bottom of the third inning:
* Hill lines out softly to right fieldSantana had to work a bit that inning but escaped unscathed.
* Russ Adams draws a walk
* Johnson fists a broken bat single over SS
* Rios gives the ball a ride to the wall in right center - Adams advances to third
* Wells falls behind on a couple of changeups and then swings at a ball in the dirt to strike out
* Mauer hits an easy grounder to short and Overbay can't handle the throw. Mauer kicks it into right field (accidentally) and advances to second
* White ground outs to third and Mauer is forced to hold
* Hunter nubs one back to Halladay - again Mauer holds
* Morneau puts a bad swing on a pitch that rides in on him for the K
Halladay is in complete control right now. Every out has been a groundball or strikeout with the exception of the White flyball to Wells in the first inning.
Bottom of the fourth inning:
* Glaus goes the other way on a fastball low and away lining a double down the right field lineThe Jays got to Santana that inning. Glaus, Overbay and Molina all made great contact, and even Adams had a good AB that could have easily been a hit.
* Overbay snaps his hitless streak against Santana lining the first pitch to left field.
* Hillenbrand lifts a flyball deep enough to right to allow Glaus to tag up and score
* Molina goes off the facing of the FIFTH DECK off of Santana right down the left field line for a two run shot. on a hanging low and inside pitch
* Hill grounds out 2-3
* Adams reaches first when Castillo doesn't field the grounder cleanly (Blyleven claims Adams should be out because he turned toward second in fair territory, however, you have to make an attempt towards second to be able to be tagged out if I remember back to my Bath Ruth umpiring days).
* Stewart makes an easy catch look very difficult on a Johnson flyball to the track in left.
* Batista hits a lazy fly ball to leftDoc makes easy work of the bottom of the Twins order. He looks like he can go 8 innings tonight.
* Kubel grounds out to Hill
* Castro grounds out to Overbay
Bottom of the fifth inning:
* Rios continues to make good contact lining out to leftSantana got back on track getting three fly ball outs.
* Wells singles to right
* Glaus pops a pitch to center
* Overbay flies out to left field
* Stewart lines a ball back up the middleAnother easy one for Halladay, although the Twins went to deeper counts that inning. Halladay has given up just 3 hits and no walks.
* Castillo battled, but struck out looking on a close pitch
* Mauer grounds out 1-3 - Halladay bobbled it, otherwise it was a likely double play
* White strikes out looking
Bottom of the sixth inning:
* Hillenbrand lines a single up the middleFinal line for Santana - 5.2 innings, 10 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and 4 earned runs. 98 total pitches. The Twins broadcast notes that this is the first time that Santana has given up at least 10 hits in a game.
* Molina golfed a ball past Batista for a single
* Hill grounds into a 5-4-3 double play on a close play at first
* Adams scores Hillenbrand by slapping a single to right - Adams has looked good against Santana tonight
* Johnson gets another single, Santana is out of gas and gets pulled for Rincon
* Rios beats out a ground ball to 2nd base
* Wells strikes out
* Hunter lined out to leftHalladay missed the location on the Batista home run but otherwise is still in control. One more inning should be good with the light hitters coming up and then turn it over to Ryan for the ninth.
* Morneau grounds out to first
* Batista knocks out a home run to left - all or nothing with him
* Kubel grounds out 4-3
Bottom of the seventh inning:
* Glaus strikes out
* Overbay grounds out 6-3
* Hillenbrand goes the other way for a single
* Molina grounds out to second
* Lew Ford pinch hits and grounds out to HillGibbons doesn't take any chances and brings in the SS Loogy to face Mauer. Mauer has no career HRs against LH pitching.
* Stewart hits what looks like a lazy fly ball that went out of the park - 3 for 4 with a HR tonight
* Castillo hits a light grounder back to Halladay.
* Mauer grounds out 3-1.
Bottom of the eight inning: (Crain in for Rincon)
* Hill grounds out to third - the only Jay to go hitless in the openerA great two out rally - Johnson battled before getting a single and then Rios provided some nice insurance with the home run. An opposite field HR no less.
* Another grounder - Adams grounds out to short
* Johnson battles and ends up going the other way to right for his third hit of the night.
* Rios hits an opposite field 2 run HR
* Wells makes good contact but Hunter runs it down in center
* White lines out to Glaus------
* Hunter strikes out
* Ryan made Morneau look silly striking him out to end the game