I’m having a pretty good year of seeing baseball so far – a couple of early season games in Chicago, a recent game in Boston, and back in May, my Dad and I took in three Blue Jays games in Toronto. This is the second time over the past few years that we’ve moved into my sister’s downtown apartment while she was away, stocked up the fridge with a few days supply of Steam Whistle, and then spent most of our time down at the place formerly known as SkyDome.
For the first of the three games, the Phillies were in town to start a short two game series. Dad and I were camped out way up in the 500 level with vertigo-inducing seats:
What on paper looked like a nice pitching match-up (Buehrle vs Lee) was exactly that for the first six innings. My dad (a lefty) loved watching the two left handed starters mow down batter after batter until the Jays exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the 7th for a 10-0 win. Cliff Lee lost total command of his pitches in the 7th and gave up three home runs. Here is Juan Francisco rounding the bases after his 2-run HR:
So game one gave us a lot to enjoy – 6+ innings of great pitching followed by offensive fireworks. For game two, also against the Phillies, we had much nicer seats on the 200 level on the third base side. No oxygen masks needed on this night:
We were pretty happy with how the pitching matchups landed for these games. Our second game saw Dickey getting the call for the Jays against their former starter AJ Burnett. This game was a struggle for both pitchers, and very entertaining with runners on base all night long.
We got to see six home runs, including five by the Jays. Encarnacion had two himself: these games were when he caught fire for the monstrous month of May he had. The Jays won again, this time 12-6.
Onto night three. SkyDome (I refuse to call it by its corporate name) is really a pretty sterile place to watch baseball with the lid closed, but comes alive when it’s open to reveal the sky and the views of the CN Tower. Unfortunately, with Toronto under a cold spell in early May, the dome was closed for all three of our games. A bit of a disappointment for us, but not to worry, as Dad and I were having a good time regardless. Here we are laughing about something, possibly under the influence of a pregame Steam Whistle or two:
For this third game, the Los Angeles Angels were in town. They have a lineup full of guys that can crush the ball. We took up prime seats to watch their batting practice and it didn’t disappoint. Ball after ball went rocketing into the bleachers all throughout BP. Pujols and Trout hit a couple of moon shots off the scoreboard in centre field.
For this last game, we were back up in the cheap seats and were treated to a close game for the only time on the trip. The Jays tied up the game at 3 in the bottom of the 8th on a Jose Reyes solo HR just inside the right field foul pole. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the Angels off the board in the 9th and ended up losing 4-3.
As both Dad and I are Jays sympathizers more than true fans (we’re both still holding out hope of a return of the Montreal Expos before we commit to another team), the loss on this night didn’t bother us much. And really, the baseball games were just a great excuse for a few days together up in Toronto.