Marcus Stroman was perfect. The numbers in box score don’t indicate that, but he performed in a way that was a perfect start to the season. He worked quickly, he changed speeds and he commanded the game from the first pitch on. The strikes were plentiful, the fastballs were low in the zone and the off speed cruelly disappeared from bats.
Rays manager Kevin Cash described it perfectly:
Marcus Stroman is also full of sauce. It’s part of the persona, Little Big Man or Napoleon as John Lott deftly describes him. And because he is full of sauce, he’s going to get some sauce back. Reciprocal sauce. Exhibit A is Logan Morrison. Marcus Stroman isn’t talking to him, man.
It’s funny how something that would make a person avoid someone on the street is somehow perfectly explainable on the diamond. "I forgot he did that whole 'yell at himself' thing...."
What's that, comment section?
I love this person.
Thrown into the mix was some excellent D from the Jays, a two hit game from spring training-less Encarnacion and a bomb from Troy Tulowitzki, which was also the first homer hit in 2016 overall.
Chris Archer, with his 12 strikeouts, was Chris Archer for all but the first inning, which is all the offense needed. The two of them are two of the most entertaining and exciting pitchers in the majors so this game was a must-see by default.
Because it was the Trop and because the Rays have to Ray (sneaky offense, solo bombs, little flairs, general peskiness) the ninth was a little tense.
Russell Martin called for a pitch up (you can see it in the video), which was promptly rocketed into the stands to make it 5-2. I appreciated how mad Martin was for that call. He appeared to apologize to Stroman at the mound as Stroman left the field, and then swore. Martin wanted the complete game for his starter and a united front this early is a good sign. Osuna came in and allowed Stroman’s last baserunner to score, but otherwise pitched quite nastily.
161 more, please.
That's the stuff.