Far be it from me to point out when someone is wrong, considering I'm, uh, not right 98.2% of the time, but the National Post's Bruce Arthur rained all over my optimism/pennant parade with his column on Tuesday, so I've no choice but to let him have it.
Here's some of what Arthur wrote yesterday (my emphasis in bold):
"... Of course, it's like this every Opening Day, even in Toronto, when Roy Halladay is pitching in front of 48,000 fans, and first place in the American League East is not yet conceded. If you could imagine that a healthy Dustin McGowan was following Halladay tonight, and Shaun Marcum was going tomorrow, and more promising young arms would follow after that, then you would be a happy Blue Jays fan, indeed.
"Instead the rotation turns to butter for the rest of the week, and the crowds will probably melt along with it. As one long-time Jays observer put it, 'the worst part about tonight is tomorrow.'"
Well, Bruce, butter David Purcey most certainly is not.
Toronto's new number two starter was certainly up to the task last night. He went seven strong on 101 pitches, striking out five, and giving up three runs - two of them earned - on five hits and three walks.
Yeah, he erred in the 7th inning when he failed to hit catcher Rod Barajas on an intentional walk attempt (the fuck?), and then threw the ball into centre field after the fact, but Scott Rolen and Aaron Hill picked up their pitcher in the home half of the 8th. Because they are heroes. And that's what heroes do - hit home runs.
Speaking of Hill, if he stays healthy this season, it will soon sink in, if it hasn't already, just how significant his loss to injury last season truly was. It gets me all hot and bothered to see him back on the field, and back at the plate. Hill's special.
I know, I know, B.J. Ryan blew the save. Let's not talk about it. Not right now, at least. The Jays picked up the win. Wins in April matter.
Anyway, here's hoping Bruce Arthur shows Purcey some love in his column today. Something along the lines of "I can't believe it's not butter!" would be suffice. He earned a no-decision, but Purcey was effective, even if he did rely almost solely on his fastball. Should the Jays have a prayer in 2009, that's how our friend David will have to pitch. Period.
And I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to tonight; Jesse Litsch, baby. And tomorrow afternoon; the Major League debut of one Ricky Romero. More promising young arms. Well, whatta ya know ...