April 7, 2012
Jays' bullpen did the job
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
In the loud and celebratory Blue Jays clubhouse on Thursday, all had praise for the work of the bullpen in the epic, 16-inning, 7-4 opening-day victory.
In fact, manager John Farrell emptied said bullpen as all seven members saw action. Overall, the seven relievers posted 11 shutout innings, held the Indians to just four hits -- all singles -- walked six and struck out five.
The most heroic effort was posted by lefty Luis Perez. He didn't allow a hit over his four innings, walked three and struck out three. He fully deserved the win.
Even with Friday's day of rest, Perez would seen doubtful for Saturday's game while the others should all be ready to contribute.
READY TO RUMBLE
Right-hander Joel Carreno will be the starter Sunday for the series finale in Cleveland and he is over the surprise of being picked to be a part of the starting rotation on the final day of spring training.
Carreno made the grade due to the fall from grace of lefty Brett Cecil.
As far as expecting to be nervous on Sunday, he said he's over that, having been called up at the end of last season and making 11 relief appearances.
"No, I'm not nervous," Carreno said. "Maybe the first time I was called up I was a little nervous, but everything is good right now."
J.P. Arencibia clearly was the hero of the day Thursday, what with his play back of the plate as well as his timely three-run home run in the 16th inning.
Arencibia was terrific at blocking a number of pitches in the dirt and also made a nifty throw to second base from his knees in the sixth inning to catch Shin-Soo Choo attempting to steal second. In the third inning, he showed his quickness and athleticism by grabbing a ball that bounded away from him and diving back to the plate to tag the sliding Choo and prevent him scoring.
On the day, though, Arencibia was just 1-for-7 at the plate. His homer turned out to be the lone hit accomplished by the bottom four batters in the Jays order -- Brett Lawrie, Eric Thames, Arencibia and Colby Rasmus. The four players combined to go 1-for-24.
Omar Vizquel came on as a defensive replacement for Thames in the 12th inning and went 0-for-2. So that was an 1-for-26 from the bottom of the Blue Jays order.
They still won.