Record for the month when I attended a Blue Jays game: 4-1 (9-7 overall for 2010.)
July 26 – Blue Jays 9, Orioles 5
Did I sit in the 500 Level? Yes, in section 518 – first base side, row five at the aisle.
Roof status: Open.
Player printed on ticket: 2B Aaron Hill, who would go 2-for-4 with a three-run home run.
Noteworthy because: Tonight’s game was deemed as 80’s night (to replace the now-discontinued Flashback Fridays), as the ballclub would don their baby blue road uniforms from that time period, as well as reminders from that era – along with the Pac-Man video game font – on the big screen! This would be the fourth straight game I would see RF Jose Bautista hit a home run – this one was a 426-foot bomb to left field, scoring three runs. I would see this game in its entirety, since it was my day off. This would be the fourth time I’d see Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow (second straight game for me) and the third time he’d win. My presence a good luck charm? I’d like to think so.
July 10 – Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 5
Was I in the 500 level? Yes, but not via the season’s pass – I had gone with two friends, and we had bought seats from a scalper (who actually charged us less than face) outside Rogers Centre.
Roof status: Open.
Player printed on ticket: CF Vernon Wells (who would go 0-for-4 with a walk.)
Noteworthy because: This would be the last time I would see SS Alex Gonzalez play in a Toronto uniform, as he would be traded during the All-Star break following this Red Sox series. He went out with a bang, getting three hits (including a two-run home run) and driving in three runs. This would also be the first and only time I would see the Blue Jays defeat the Red Sox in person this year. I went with two buddies – Yves, a co-worker and Yankees fan who cheered against the Red Sox, and fellow Blue Jays booster Paul (we both went to the same high school). Yves may be a Yankees fan, but he knows his baseball. He also cheered for the Blue Jays – but then again, they were facing the Red Sox. Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow only lasted one batter into the fifth inning, unable to qualify for the win when Toronto scored in the bottom frame.
July 8 – Blue Jays, 8, Twins 1
Was I in the 500 level? Not today; my friend Marco let me use his company’s season tickets and I got to sit down the third base line, five rows up! I took my dad with me.
Roof status: Open.
Player printed on ticket: DH Adam Lind (who hit a 412-foot home run and struck out three times.)
Noteworthy because: Blue Jays starting pitcher Brett Cecil was quite efficient, going seven innings of four-hit ball, only allowing one run. The offence was five solo home runs – one each from Lind, LF Fred Lewis, 1B Lyle Overbay, C Jose Molina, and RF Jose Bautista – and a three-run double by SS Alex Gonzalez. All homers (except Lewis’ dinger) travelled at least 384 feet. Being the day off, I got to see the game in its entirety, but I encountered many an obstacle to pick up the tickets from Marco. First, I confused Wellesley for the street I was supposed to meet Marco at, then I had a hard time figuring out the name of the restaurant where he was standing in front (Ki?). Nevertheless, Marco and I go way back, and I was glad he thought of me when he wasn’t able to make today’s matchup. Unfortunately, I forgot to put my memory stick in my camera, thus depriving me of duplicating the view from the posh seats. Thanks, Marco!
July 7 – Blue Jays 6, Twins 5
Roof status: Closed.
Player printed on ticket: Second baseman Aaron Hill (who did not play for the second straight game).
Noteworthy because: It was the return of the alphabet starter, as lefty Marc Rzepczynski toed the bump for Toronto in making his 2010 debut. Former Blue Jays second baseman Orlando Hudson fell a double short of the cycle; O-Dog was also caught stealing on the back end of a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play in the first inning. Nice peg on that play by catcher John Buck. Jose Bautista continued his monster season by hitting his league-leading 22nd home run, an inside-the-park-job that eluded Twins outfielders in the left-centerfield gap. Since it was my night off, it was the first game I saw in its entirety since June 2nd. This game was also the final appearance (though no one knew it at the time) in 2010 for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who suffered a concussion while sliding into second base and John McDonald’s leg. The effects of that innocent-looking play caused Morneau to miss the remainder of the Twins’ regular season and subsequent playoff series.
July 6 – Twins 7, Blue Jays 6
Roof status: Open.
Player printed on ticket: Second baseman Aaron Hill (who did not play).
Noteworthy because: This was the first game I’d see the Blue Jays with a losing record (they had a 41-42 record before playing Minnesota). It’d also be the first time I’d see Blue Jays starting pitcher Jesse Litsch pitch since 2008. The pudgy right-hander threw well for four innings, but was scored on five times by the Twins offence in the second and sixth innings to depart said game with a no-decision. New Westminster (B.C.) native and Twins first baseman Justin Morneau hit a homer in the sixth inning to satisfy the Can-Con portion of the game. This was also the day that the reserves were announced for the American League All-Star team that was to play the National League next week in Anaheim. Catcher John Buck, centrefielder Vernon Wells and MLB home-run leader Jose Bautista were the Blue Jays representatives headed to the All-Star Game; the trio combined to go 0-for-9 during the game. I left shortly after the Twins broke a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning because I had to get to work for my 11 pm shift.