2012 Opening Day in Cleveland

Wow! What a game! What a thrilling first game of the 2012 season! The 2012 Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday April 5, 2012 just played the longest Opening Day game in Major League history! A three-run homerun by young catcher J.P. Arencibia decided the game in the 16th inning, and at the bottom of the 16th newly acquired closing pitcher Sergio Santos shut down the Indians.

But, this was a team win. For example, after No.1 starter Ricky Romero gave up four runs in five innings, seven relief pitchers threw 11 consecutive scoreless innings, the best coming from Luis Perez, who threw four innings. Also, at the bottom of the 9th inning, the Jays were down 4-1 with Cleveland’s closer Chris Perez on the mound and with their last chance to bat. Jose Bautista, who homered earlier for the Jays only run, hit a sacrifice fly to score the second run. Then, Edwin Encarnacion hit a mammoth shot off the wall that looked like a homer, but instead got a double that scored in two runs, and tied up the game. Arencibia may also have saved the game by blocking a wild pitch in the dirt, tagging out Shin-Soo Choo on what would have been Cleveland’s fifth run in the third inning.

Even manager John Farrell had played a part. In the bottom of the 12th inning, Farrell substituted Omar Vizquel for the Jays left fielder then brought him into the infield as an unconventional fifth infielder because the Indians had men on first and third base with only one out, and it was a do-or-die situation. Asdrubal Cabrera swung at the first pitch, and the Jays pulled an easy double play to end the inning.

Read Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot’s blurb about the interesting after-game clubhouse chat

The MVP of the game must be the bullpen though, as many baseball critics have already said that the Jays have one of the best in baseball this year.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to our bullpen, who went out there and gave us all those scoreless innings. They were unbelievable today”, catcher J.P. Arencibia said.

This game is a sign of more wonderful things to come for the Jays in 2012 !!

J.P. Arencibia tags out Shin-Soo Choo in the 3rd inning