Live Blog: Jays vs. Tigers

Live Blog: Jays vs. Tigers

John McDonald

Keep refreshing this page for live updates between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers Grapefruit League Game, beginning at 1:05pm.

10:46: The game today breaks down like this:

TORONTO (8-13) at DETROIT (11-11-2)
at 1:05 p.m. ET at Joker Marchant Stadium

Reed Johnson, CF
Shannon Stewart, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Rod Barajas, 1B
Matt Watson, DH
John McDonald, SS
Hector Luna, 3B
Sal Fasano, C
Ryan Klosterman, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch

Curtis Granderson, CF
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Gary Sheffield, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Carlos Guillen, 1B
Jacque Jones, LF
Ryan Raburn, 2B
Brandon Inge, SS

PITCHING: LHP Dontrelle Willis

1:09: Dontrelle seems to be having some control problems early.

1:10: Willis is falling behind in counts forcing him to throw a meatball to Barajas who smokes it up the middle.

1:13: With runners on first and second, Willis is able to get DH Watson to ground out to end the inning, although it was an 8 or 9 pitch at bat for Watson (who I have never heard of before). Willis does not look sharp. I will have to keep this in mind for my fantasy draft tonight with our Crankette friends over at Babes Love Baseball.

1:17: Litsch is quite the contrast to Dontrelle as he is hitting his spots. Interestingly enough, Jays C Barajas is playing first. I didn’t know he played there, maybe I am ignorant, but he doesn’t look all that comfortable there. I’ll keep you posted. As I say that Gary Sheffield TATTOOS a line drive home run off Jesse Litsch. It looked to be a hanging breaking ball that hung there forever.

1:21: I can confirm that Cabrera has slimmed down. Litsch is pitching around him. Cabrera works an 8-9 pitch at bat but Litsch comes back to strike him out on what looks to be a slider. 1st inning over, Detroit 2 Toronto 0.

1:26: The D-Train is all over the place, bouncing pitches in front of light- hitting Johnny Mac. McDonald works a 5 pitch walk.

1:28: Interesting note: only 2 Jays managers have more wins than John Gibbons: Cito Gaston and Bobby Cox. Brandon Inge is playing SS and makes a nice play to get Hector Luna at first. J-Mac on second.

1:30: Johnny Mac gets picked off by Dontrelle, Sal Fasano up.

1:31: My boy Fasano almost hits one out, but it hooks foul. I hope this guy can get a major league job, he seems like such a good guy and knows how to handle a pitching staff. Again, Dontrelle is all over the place and beans Fasano.

1:37: Litsch looks to have settled down. He mows through the Tigers 1-2-3 and strikes out Ryan Rayburn on a nasty hook.

1:40: Reed Johnson up and goes to his bread and butter laying down a PERFECT bunt for a base hit. Love it!!!

1:44: Dontrelle = no control. Walks Rios on 4 pitches.

1:46: With Dontrelle struggling to throw strikes, Barajas is overly aggressive and swings at a ball to fly out. Not impressed. Willis is able to work out of the jam.

1:52: Despite my dire predictions about Jesse Litch last season, he is looking very sharp today and I might be forced to eat my words. Yes yes, I know it is only Spring, but his cutter has nice late life to it and his breaking stuff is very sharp. He just struck out Inge swinging. For a finesse pitcher, he already has 4K in the top of the 3rd.

1:57: Dontrelle walks McDonald AGAIN! Rios scorches one to third that Cabrera is able to knock down. Runners on first and second. Fasano up.

2:01: Fasano is BATTLING! Working an 0-2 count to 3-2, then strikes out. However the runners advance on a double steal. McDonald on third, Rios on second.

2:04: 2 run single for Ryan Klosterman ties the game at 2-2. Willis has thrown 75 pitches and we’re not even done the 4th inning yet.

2:06: Apparently the scouting report on Willis is that you can run on him. Klosterman gets a great jump on Willis and swipes second with ease.

2:08: Reed Johnson gets good wood on a fastball and knocks a double to the gap, scoring Klosterman from second. Jays 3 Tigers 2 with Shannon Stewart up.

2:09: Not to be outdone by Johnson, Shannon Stewart hits a run scoring double of his own. Rios up and knocks a base hit through the left side. 4 consecutive hits against Willis, looks like he is about to be pulled for Zack Miner.

2:14: Pudge catches Rios stealing second.  Following that, Barajas hits another run scoring double to the left field corner. He is a slow, slow man.

2:17: Miner gets out of the inning. Jays 5 Tigers 2.

2:20: Despite Sheffield making Litsch’s breaking ball his Bitsch (woOOoo), Litsch continues to feed him breaking balls.  ONIONS!!!

2:22:  Earl’s favourite, Hector Luna, makes a nice spinning play at third to get the Jays out of the inning.

2:25: Brandon Inge makes a Jeter-esque play at short. Jester-esque in the way he was not able to get John McDonald at first

2:32:  Litsch is dealing. He strikes out Carlos Guillen on one of his nasty breaking pitches. He has retired 14 in a row.

2:42: Nothing doing really, Zach Miner goes through the Jays 1-2-3. Cabrera doesn’t look as bad at third as his reputation says he is. Perhaps the ultra-slim-fast has helped his mobility.

2:44: In come the subs for the Jays. Wayne Lydon in LF, Justin Jackson at short. Litsch continues to Pitsch. (wooOooOOo)

2:46: 41stWraith’s best friend, Curtis Granderson, is battling against Litsch. He flies out to Wayne Lydon

2:51: Pudge hits a bomb to left field off another one of Litsch’s hanging off-speed pitches. Pudge looks like he has put on some muscle in the offseason and has hit 7 ding dongs so far this spring. This is also a contract year, which I will mentally file away for my fantasy draft tonight…..

2:53: It appears the Mop Up Duty server is having some issues. Hopefully I can keep on truckin’. Pudge’s HR was a solo shot and the score is now 5-3 in the Jays’ favour.

3:06: I just went to make a sandwich and missed whatever just happened. I caught the last Jays pitcher, looked like left hander Brett Cecil. Whoever it was, he dominated Tigers hitters mowing them down 1-2-3.

3:08: Former Jays closer Aquilino Lopez is pitching for the Tigers!! Apparently he is having a great spring and did quite well in AAA last season too. He looks pretty much the same guy as when he was in Toronto.

3:14: Corey Patton is up for the Jays. He is exhibiting poor strike zone judgement.

3:18: Okay I was wrong, it wasn’t Cecil it was Jesse Carlson. He is showing different arm angles, from three-quarter to sidearm to lower than that. He looks to be extremely tough on left-handers.

3:24: These Detroit broadcasters aren’t all that bad but they aren’t too good either. At this point they are straight mailing it in and talking mindless baseball chatter amongst themselves and neglecting to inform me that half the Jays squad has been substituted for. I don’t mean to nitpick but just let me know who I am watching.

3:40: Jesse Carlson mows through the Tigers 1-2-3 and strikes out Marcus Thames to end the game. Jays win, 5-3.  All in all not a very exciting game, but it is still baseball nonetheless. Hopefully Litsch will sharpen up his breaking pitches so there aren’t any more hangers for the regular season, though he did face one of the most feared offensive lineups in baseball and didn’t do too badly for himself.

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