The Toronto Blue Jays’ pitchers were (mostly) outstanding on the first day of the season but the Tigers’ hurlers were even better as the Jays fell 2-0 to Detroit in their season opener in Toronto.
Marcus Stroman tossed seven shutout innings, giving up just two hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. For Stroman, it was a bit of vindication, coming back after an injury-plagued 2018 to be able to throw so many pitches well. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game, “He’s just filthy. He’s a competitive guy. He seems to read hitters really, really well.” For Blue Jays fans, the opening outing by Stroman also bodes well for a season in which he has a lot to prove, and by proving it, will give the Blue Jays a greater chance of keeping their heads above water.
It was only in the 10th that the Tigers were able to solve Blue Jays’ pitching as Niko Goodrum took a 2-2 pitch to right field for a line drive to lead off the inning off of new Jay Daniel Hudson. Hudson then threw an 0-2 slider that didn’t slide to Christin Stewart who deposited it into the right-center field seats to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Hudson settled down after getting a fly out and hitting a batter after he was visited by Pete Walker and struck out Mikie Mahtook and Josh Harrison on three pitches. Getting two called strikes on his slider to Mahtook and then four consecutive fastballs that were swung and missed on, all four of them sitting above 96 miles per hour.
The Blue Jays’ batters had just two hits including the perfect-game destroying infield single by Teoscar Hernandez with two outs in the seventh and Brandon Drury‘s one out single to left field in the ninth. Rowdy Tellez had the club’s only walk.
Game 2 of the opening series goes on Friday at 7:07pm with Matt Shoemaker making his Blue Jays debut against former Blue Jays lefty Matt Boyd.
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