The First O' Many - Hopefully!

Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 03:22 AM EDT

Contributed by: #2JBrumfield

A lot of positive firsts in the Jays 5-1 victory over the Evil Empire Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre.  It was the Jays first win over the Yankees in their first meeting of 2009 and it was the first complete game for Roy Halladay as he became the majors first seven-game winner.  Just as importantly, it was the first loss of the season for you know who on the Yankees mound and it was the first game the Yankees regular shortstop was not in the lineup.  It might also have been the first time a pro-Jays crowd showed up for a Yankees game since the glory years as 43,737 showed up to take this one in at the building formerly known as Yankee Stadium North.  

"Doc" set the tone in this one but he did get some help from Travis Snider in the first inning.  The rookie left fielder threw out Johnny Damon in a bang-bang play at second after the former Captain Caveman tried to stretch a single into a double.   After they were set down in order in the first, the Jays had an opportunity to score in the second when Adam Lind drew a one-out walk and that was followed by an Alex Rodriguez error that allowed Scott Rolen to reach.  However, Lyle Overbay flew out and Rod Barajas grounded out to end the rally. 

The Jays were retired in order again in the third but they busted through in the fourth when Alex Rios led off with a double to center and he was joined on the basepaths by Vernon Wells and Lind, who each drew a walkAll three runners came in to score as Rolen doubled to left field to score Rios and Wells while Lind slid home safely on a Barajas sacrifice fly to shallow right.  Had Yankee catcher and former Jay Kevin Cash held on to the throw from Melky Cabrera, Lind would've been a dead duck at the dish.  Cash is up from AAA Scranton to fill in for the injured Jorge Posada, who is out with a pulled hamstringIt was also a pulled hammy that caused Hideki Matsui to leave the game after one at-bat against Halladay.  Nick Swisher took over as DH the rest of the way.  Maybe Matsui was suffering from the "Halladay flu" as Doc retired 17 Yankees in a row until Damon doubled and came home to score on A-Rod's single in the seventh. 

Toronto put the game away in the eighth when Aaron Hill connected for his ninth home run of the season.  Rios then walked, advanced to second on a Lind groundout on a hit and run, and then crossed the plate when Rolen punched one up the middle for his third RBI of the night.  Poor you know who had to leave the mound for Jose Veras at that point!  Halladay gave up just two more hits the rest of the way and finished with a complete game five hitter, striking out five and getting a whopping 16 groundouts.  He threw 72 strikes among his 103 pitches.  Scott Downs was warming up at one point but there was no way Doc was going to give this one up.

I think a tip of the cap also has to go to the defence, specifically to Overbay.  He made a couple of nice picks on groundballs by Robinson Cano to end the second and he made a nice unassisted putout on Ramiro Pena to end the sixth.  Overbay had a busy night around the first base bag as he teamed up with Halladay for a trio of 3-1 putouts and he made four unassisted plays on the night, including the game-ending groundout by Mark Teixeira.  In addition, Hill made a leaping snare on a Damon drive in the fourth.  And of course, Snider got that big assist from left field on that 7-4 putout of the Yankees left fielder in the first.

The Jays collected eight hits and four walks with Rolen getting three hits and Hill getting two.  Everyone contributed something to the mix except for Marco Scutaro, who had an 0-for-4 night and a dirty uniform when he tried to beat out a dribbler in front of the plate in the third inning by sliding into first.  Cash wound up throwing him out.  Why can't players get it through their thick skulls that sliding into first slows them down?   Clearly, it's time to bench him and bring in Johnny Mac!  :D Remember him?

A couple of other observations.  A Sportsnet update on the big screen at the Rogers Centre indicated the return of B.J. Ryan is fast approaching and that news wasn't warmly received by the crowd.  It's like 2006 never happened!  Also, some idiot chucked a foul ball off the bat of A-Rod back onto the field.  At least the crowd appeared to be better behaved than the debacle from Opening Night.

Tonight, Scott Richmond will face lefty Andy Pettitte in a 7:07 p.m. EDT contest at the Rogers Centre.  I'm setting the over/under on tonight's attendance at 25,000 and I'm taking the under.  Place your bets accordingly.


In other TDIB notes........

*  The Red Sox rally to beat the Angels 4-3.  They will be without Kevin Youkilis for the next while.

*  The Orioles beat the Rays 7-5 in spite of former Jay Mark Hendrickson.

*  A former Jay steals home to help the Phillies beat the Dodgers 5-3.

*  A former Jay pitcher maintains his innocence.