Thursday, July 04, 2013


Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer-At the Ball Park

Happy Canada Day, everyone!


What better way to spend a First of July! Sit back, relax, and watch the Blue Jays hammer their way to a victory over the Detroit Tigers by a score of 8-3, with almost 45 000 friends at the Rogers Centre.


It certainly helps to have R. A. Dickey on the mound to start the game for the Jays.

But long before the first pitch was thrown, the festivities began for fans attending the game. They lined up for free face painting, free ice cream, free balloons for the kids, and a host of other goodies. The first 20 000 fans who entered the park received a red Blue Jay hat, compliments of Honda. Many sported red Blue Jay shirts that they received last year, on Canada Day.


Once seated, almost two hours before game time, the fans were treated to all of the typical pre-game activities on the field. By far the most popular event was supplied by the Tigers’ Prince Fielder. He stroked massive home runs into the netherworld in right to the “ooohs and aaahs” of those who arrived early at the park.


He has had trouble finding his home run stroke, as of late. He did have one dinger on June first, but that was the first in 80 at bats. His practice did pay off, as he launched a hit in the fourth inning that cleared the fences. Incidentally, he played his 424th game on Monday, currently the longest active streak in the major leagues.

The Tigers added a couple of other runs in the game, but the Blue Jays counteracted with more than enough fire power, and another great pitching performance from Dickey, with assistance from the bullpen.


The Jays got on the board in the second inning, and added four more in the third to chase starting pitcher Jose Alvarez. His replacement, Luke Putkonen, did not fare much better, as he was tagged for three runs in the fourth.


Jose Reyes, thankfully back from the injury list, smacked a long home run into the second deck in the third inning. Mark DeRosa contributed three RBIs with a home run in the fourth.


The Tigers’ potent lineup was kept at bay, for most of the game. Last year’s triple crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, was held hitless, striking out twice in the process.

Munenori Kawasaki has become a fan favourite in Toronto. He certainly is a sparkplug, showing great enthusiasm on all occasions. His single in the third inning plated the Jays’ first run.


The Jays played without Edwin Encarnacion, their home run leader, who has been sidelined with a hamstring problem. Rajai Davis proved to be a more than adequate replacement, collecting two hits in his first three at-bats, driving the Tigers’ pitchers crazy with his threats to steal bases.

The Jays have their work cut out for them in order to enjoy post season play. Their bullpen has been magnificent, their starting pitching improving steadily. Timely hitting and error-free defence will fit nicely into the scheme of things.

One game at a time. At the halfway point in the season.



James Hurst


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