The Toronto Blue Jays outlasted the Cleveland Indians 7-4 in the longest opening day game in MLB history
The Toronto Blue Jays' 2012 season kicked off today against the Cleveland Indians. Fans were expecting a great game from the new-look Jays, as they look to make the jump into the playoffs after decades out.
What they probably didn't expect was a record-breaking game, but that is exactly what they were treated to. The game set a new Major League Baseball record for the longest Opening Day game in history, as it took 16 innings to decide a winner.
Eventually, the Blue Jays would come out on top thanks to some J.P. Arencibia heroics. The Jays' catcher hit a three-run home run in the top of the 16th to give them a 7-4 victory.
Here is an inning-by-inning breakdown of the historic season opener.
Starting pitcher: LH Ricky Romero
SS: Yunel Escober
2B: Kelly Johnson
RF: Jose Bautista
1B: Adam Lind
DH: Edwin Encarnacion
3B: Brett Lawrie
LF: Eric Thames
C: J.P. Arencibia
CF: Colby Rasmus
Starting pitcher: RH Justin Matherson
CF: Michael Brantley
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
RF: Shin-Soo Choo
C: Carlos Santana
DH: Travis Hafner
LF: Shelley Duncan
1B: Casey Kotchman
2B: Jason Kipnis
3B: Jack Hannahan
Yunel Escobar falls behind to an 0-2 count after fouling off the first two pitches. Fouls off an 0-2 fastball before striking out swinging for the first out of the game.
Kelly Johnson quickly falls behind 0-2 after taking a first pitch strike and swinging through a second. Takes a ball high and away to make the count 1-2, before swinging over the top of a sinker for the second out of the inning.
Jose Bautista takes a sinker low-and-away and a fastball high-and-away to get ahead 2-0. Justin Masterson comes back with a fastball on the outside part of the plate and a sinker that Bautista fouls off to even the count 2-2.
Batista takes a slider away to fill the count. Bautista is unable to check his swing on a 3-2 sinker, and Masterson strikes out the side.
Ricky Romero quickly falls behind 2-0 to Brantley before getting his first strike of the season with an inside fastball and evening up the count after Brantley fouls a pitch back. Romero blows a high fastball right by Brantley to get his first strikeout of the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera takes a high fastball for strike one, and Romero loses the handle on an outside fastball to once again fall behind 2-0. He would get Cabrera to pop up to Johnson at second for the second out of the inning.
Romero with a low strike to Shin-Soo Choo and then another strike to jump ahead 0-2. Choo will hit a soft grounder right back to Romero for the third and final out of the inning.
Score after first inning: 0-0
Adam Lind takes a curveball away for ball one and an inside strike to even up the count 1-1. Lind would then drive a pitch to right field for a leadoff double and the first hit of the game.
Edwin Encarnacion takes a first-pitch ball before popping up to Indians' first baseman Casey Kotchman for the first out of the inning.
Brett Lawrie takes a first-pitch sinker for ball one and a high fastball for the first strike of the at-bat. He hits a slow grounder to second base for the second out of the inning. He would move Lind over to third base in the process.
Eric Thames takes a high breaking ball and an outside sinker to get out to a 2-0 count. He would then chance a sinker down in the zone before hitting a sharp grounder right back to Masterson for the third out of the inning, leaving Lind stranded at third base.
Carlos Santana takes a first-pitch fastball on the outside corner for strike one before taking a low-and-away breaking ball to even up the count. A low and inside fastball is called a ball before Santana fouls the 2-1 offering off his foot to even up the count.
Romero's breaking ball misses low and outside to get to a 3-2 count. Santana would foul off the first 3-2 pitch before drawing a lead-off walk.
Romero quickly fell behind Travis Hafner 2-0 after missing outside and low with his first two pitches. J.P. Arenciba comes to the mound to calm Romero down, and on the next pitch Hafner fouls the ball to left field.
Hafner would also foul off the next pitch, this time into the bleachers behind home plate. Romero would get Hafner to chase a breaking ball down and away for his second strike out of the game.
Romero falls behind Shelley Duncan and then throws over to first to keep Santana honest. He then gets Duncan to swing through a 1-0 breaking ball to even the count before falling behind again with a fastball that missed inside. Duncan hits a 2-1 line drive down the left field line for a double.
With runners at second and third and one out, Romero jumped ahead of Kotchman with a first pitch fastball and then got him to chase a curveball. Arencibia did an excellent job of blocking a curveball in the dirt, but Kotchman would then hit a grounder to Lind for the second out of the inning, driving in the first run of the game.
Romero would continue his struggles, falling behind Jason Kipnis 2-0 before getting in two consecutive fastballs to even up the count at two.
The next pitch is a curveball in the dirt that Arencibia did a nice job of blocking to run the count full. Kipnis fights off a breaking ball and then a fastball to stay alive before taking a breaking ball in the dirt to draw the two-out walk.
Romero's control continued to be an issue as he missed on two straight high fastballs to fall behind Jack Hannahan. A meeting at the mound occurs and Romero gets two consecutive foul balls to even up the count. Romero hanged a 2-2 breaking ball that Hannahan drives over the right field wall for a three run home run.
Romero would once again fall behind 3-1 to Brampton. Brampton would take the 3-1 offering and drive it over Thames' head in left field. A poor read from Thames, who broke in two-and-a-half steps before retreating. A ball that really should've been caught.
Romero jumped ahead 1-2 against Cabrera after drawing two swinging strikes. A cutter missed inside to even the count at 2-2 as Luis Perez is warming up in Toronto's bullpen.
Romero gets Cabrera to hit a grounder to Lawrie at third, who then had a low throw to first, but Lind was able to pick it out of the dirt to end the disastrous inning for the Blue Jays' ace.
Score after second inning: 4-0 Indians.
Arencibia fell behind 1-2 before taking a high fastball to even up the count. He then takes a fastball on the outside corner for the third strike.
Colby Rasmus took a first pitch breaking ball for a ball and then a fastball on the outside part of the plate. He hits a weak grounder back to Masterson, who makes the easy throw over to first base for the second out of the inning.
Escobar quickly falls behind to Masteron 0-2. He fights off an outside fastball to stay alive before striking out on an 0-2 slider for the second punch out of the inning and fifth of the game.
Romero jumped ahead of Choo with a 1-2 count before losing control of an inside fastball, which hits Choo in the lower back, allowing the lead-off batter to get on for the second inning in a row.
Romero's control issues continued to be a problem as he fell behind 3-0 to Santana. The 3-0 offering is inside, and Romero walks Santana for the second-straight inning. The first two Indian batters get on base without swinging the bat.
Romero opened up with a strike at the knees against Hafner and then gets him to swing through a fastball to jump ahead 0-2 in the count. Hafner doesn't bite on the low fastball.
Romero does get him to bite on a change-up down in the zone and Hafner hits a grounder to Johnson, who turns the double play. Choo advanced to third base in the process.
Romero jumped ahead 1-2 against Duncan. Romero threw a curveball in the dirt, which Arencibia does a great job of blocking. Choo tried to score on the ball in the dirt, but Arencibia is able to get back in time and tag out the runner for the third out of the inning.
Score after third inning: 4-0 Indians
Johnson just avoids getting hit by an inside fastball on the first pitch. The second pitch is another close call inside, and this warrants a warning from the home plate umpire as Masterson looks to be trying to send a message to the Jays after Romero's hit batter in the third.
Masterson evens up the count at two before getting Johnson to swing over top of a sinker for his sixth strikeout of the game.
Bautista takes a first-pitch strike. He then takes a slider up in the zone and drives it just over the left field wall for his first home run of the season and the Jays' first run of the 2012 season.
Lind bounces a grounder to third, and Hannahan makes the easy throw across the diamond for the second out of the inning.
Encarnacion falls behind 0-1 before taking two straight balls to jump ahead in the count 2-1. Masterson throws a sinking fastball that completely fools Encarnacion to even up the count.
Encarnacion takes a ball low and away to run the count full before striking out on the same low and away sinker to end the inning.
Romero jumps out to a rare 0-2 count on Duncan before getting him to strike out on a foul tip.
Romero again jumps out to an 0-2 count on Kotchman. Kotchman fights off a pitch, fouling it off of home plate. Romero misses with two straight breaking balls to even up the count and then misses with a fastball for a full count. Kotchman hits an easy grounder to Escobar at short for the second out of the inning.
Romero would again get ahead of his third straight hitter before inducing a ground ball from Kipnis. Romero gets off the mound quickly, makes a diving stab and throws out Kipnis from his knees for the third out of the inning.
Score after fourth inning: 4-1 Indians
Lawrie hits a first-pitch grounder to Cabrera at short for the first out of the inning.
Thames would also hit an easy grounder for the second out.
Arencibia refrains from swinging at the first pitch, but it makes no difference as Kotchman makes a diving catch on the Arencibia grounder and makes the flip to Masterson for the quick inning.
Romero continues the streak of jumping ahead in the count by getting ahead of Hannahan with a first-pitch strike, which was his fourth straight batter.
However, he would quickly fall behind by throwing two straight balls. Hannahan would hit a line drive to center field off of a hanging breaking ball, but Rasmus would get a great jump on the ball and make a superb diving catch to prevent the extra-base hit.
Romero would get ahead 0-2 on Brantley. Brantley gets jammed on an 0-2 cutter inside but manages to foul it off. Arencibia would do another excellent job of blocking a curveball in the dirt, and Romero would finish Brantley off by getting him to hit a weak grounder to Johnson at second.
Romero's streak of first-pitch strikes would come to an end against Cabrera but he would get two consecutive foul balls before getting Cabrera to swing-and-miss on a 1-2 changeup for his second consecutive one-two-three inning.
Score after fifth inning: 4-1 Indians
After making the stellar defensive play in the top half of the inning, Rasmus would lead off the bottom half. He would take a first-pitch ball, foul off a second-pitch sinker and then hit a weak grounder to Kipnis at second for the first out of the inning.
Escobar fouls off two straight pitches as right-handed relief pitcher Jason Frasor warms up in the Jays' pen. Back at the plate, Escobar will hit a grounder to second for the second out of the inning and seventh straight Blue Jay in a row.
Johnson makes great contact on a first-pitch sinker, but unfortunately for him it is right at Cabrera, who makes the catch and records the third and final out of the inning.
Jason Frasor would come into the game in relief of Romero, who went five innings, giving up three runs on four hits.
Frasor throws a first pitch fastball for strike one and then gets Choo to swing at a high fastball out of the zone for the second strike. He tries the high fastball again, but Choo doesn't chase this one, nor does he chase the next pitch, a changeup in the dirt.
Frasor misses inside with a fastball, and the count is full. He would then miss with a high fastball for the leadoff walk, despite jumping ahead 0-2.
Santana, now batting left-handed, watches a first-pitch strike from Frasor. Frasor gets Santana to swing through a fastball, and Arencibia makes a snap throw down to first, but Choo is able to get back just ahead of the tag. Frasor gets Santana to go down looking on a changeup at the knees.
Frasor gets a first-pitch fastball across for a strike but would not get Hafner to bite on the slider inside. However, he would get Hafner to fly out to Rasmus in center for the second out of the inning.
Choo would try and steal second on a 1-1 count, but Arencibia would throw him out from his knees as Johnson does a great job of quickly applying a tag.
Score after sixth inning: 4-1 Indians
After hitting a home run in his last at bat, Bautista runs the count full. He would draw the leadoff walk after refraining from swinging at an outside fastball.
Lind takes a sinker low for ball one but would hit a weak chopper to the mound, and Masterson fields it and makes a quick throw to short. Cabrera makes a great job of turning the double play despite Bautista's hard slide at second.
Encarnacion would go down swinging on a 1-2 fastball for the third out of the inning, and the heart of the Jays' order is unable to cut into Cleveland's lead.
Frasor comes out for his second inning of relief work and quickly falls behind Duncan 2-0. He would answer back with a slider on the outside plate for the first strike of the at bat. He induces a fly ball in foul territory, but it would just carry enough to go out of play behind Toronto's dugout. Frasor misses with a 3-2 slider to give up his second straight leadoff walk.
After the walk, Frasor is replaced by Blue Jay newcomer Darren Olivier.
The veteran lefty jumped out to a quick 0-2 start after getting Kotchman to look at a strike on the outside corner and then swing through a fastball inside. Kotchman manages to just check his swing and avoid the strike out on an outside changeup and then barely fights off a breaking ball low and away.
Oliver misses with an outside fastball to run the count full. Oliver gets a grounder to Escober who quickly tags second and makes the easy double play.
Oliver gets two swinging strikes on Kipnis, one with a breaking ball and one with a fastball to get ahead 1-2. He just misses his first strikeout with Toronto as a high fastball is called a ball. Unfazed, Oliver comes right back and gets that punch out on the next pitch as he painted the outside corner with a heater.
Score after seventh inning: 4-1 Indians
Masterson continued to deal into the eighth with a first-pitch strike on Lawrie. Lawrie would draw to straight balls to get a favourable count before Masteron answers back with a sinker to even up the count at two. He would then throw a sinker down and away, and Lawries chases it for Masterson's ninth strikeout of the game.
After falling down 0-2, Thames battled back to even the count at two. He would then get a fastball in the middle of the plate and drive it to left-center, but unfortunately for him Duncan tracks it down and makes the catch.
Arencibia would fall behind 1-2. He would end up swinging and missing on a slider down and away, but Santana was unable to block the ball in the dirt and Arencibia ends up at first.
Rasmus got a hitters count at 2-1 but is unable to make good contact with the sinker, fouling it off. He would then hit a hard-line driver to right filed, but like Thames earlier in the inning, he ends up hitting it right at Choo for the third out of the inning.
Casey Janssen becomes the fourth Blue Jay pitcher of the day as he comes in relief of Oliver.
Janssen falls behind Hannahan 2-1 before throwing an excellent fastball right at the knees on the outside part of the plate to even the count at two. He then gets Hannahan to hit a grounder to Johnson at second for the first out of the inning.
Janssen quickly falls behind Brantley 3-0 before answering back with a strike on the outside part of the plate. He then jams Brantley with an inside cutter, and Lind makes the backhand stab at first to record the second out.
Janssen falls behind 2-1 to Cabrera. On the 2-1 offering, Cabrera hits a hot liner over second base for a two out single.
Choo hits a blooper to left field, and despite the cutter breaking Choo's bat, he is able to get a single to extend the inning and also move Cabrera to third in the process.
Santana takes a 1-1 breaking ball and hits a sharp liner to right, but it just falls foul, saving a run from scoring on the Jays. Janssen is able to get out of the jam with a high fastball to strike out Santana and keep it a three-run game.
Score after eighth inning: 4-1 Indians
After going eight brilliant innings giving up just two hits, one run and striking out 10, Masterson is replaced by Cleveland's closer Chris Perez.
Escobar lead off the inning with a base hit to center as Perez was unable to get the fastball low enough in the zone.
Johnson took a high fastball for ball one and an outside fastball for strike one. He then swung over the top of a 1-1 changeup. Johnson fought off two straight pitches to stay alive. He then hit a sharp line drive past a diving Kipnis for a single, moving Escobar to third.
Bautista, who has homered already in this game, took a first pitch strike. He then jumped out of the way of an inside fastball that just misses hitting him. He drove a low fastball to center that scores Escobar from third on the sacrifice fly and also moved Johnson from first to second, which eliminated the possibility of a game ending double play.
Lind took two straight low pitches, one a ball and the other a strike. He then took an outside fastball to get a hitters count of 2-1 and laid off the inside breaking ball to get ahead 3-1. Perez painted the inside corner with a fastball to run the count full. Lind is able to check his swing on an outside fastball to draw the walk.
Encarnacion stepped to the plate representing the leading run. He took a first pitch breaking ball and an inside fastball to jump ahead 2-0. He was taking all the way, despite the belt high fastball that came and then takes another ball, this time low and away to get ahead 3-1.
Encarnacion then hit a high fly ball off the left field wall, just missing a home run. Despite that, he was able to drive in Johnson from second and pinch runner Rajai Davis all the way from first to tie the game at four.
Lawrie just gets underneath a belt high breaking ball, fouling it back and falling behind 0-2. He continued to battle, fouling off a tough outside fastball to stay alive. He then hit a sharp grounder but unfortunately for both him and the Jays, it is right at Perez. Encarnacion, who broke on contact, got caught in a rundown and thrown out at second.
Thames jumped ahead in the count 3-0 as Perez continued to struggle with control. He laid off an inside fastball to draw a four pitch walk and spell the end of Perez's time. Vinnie Pestano comes into the game.
Arencibia took a first pitch breaking ball for a strike and then held off on a high heater to even the count at one. He then hit a hard grounder down the third baseline but Hannahan is able to catch it on his backhand and throw out the slow Arencibia at first to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Francisco Cordero became the Jays sixth pitcher of the game and Rajai Davis, who pinch ran for Lind in the top of the inning, is in right field. Bautista moved from right field to first.
Hafner hits a 2-1 fastball to center and it drops just in front of Rasmus, who was shading the left hander to right field. Rasmus was unable to stop the ball from going behind him, which allows Hafner to move from first to second. The Blue Jays' center fielder was charged with an error. Jason Donald came into the game as a pinch runner for Hafner.
Aaron Cunningham came into the game and laid down an absolutely perfect bunt to move the runner to third with only one out.
With the winning run just 90 feet away and only one out, the Blue Jays bring both the infield and outfield in against Kotchman. Cordero quickly falls behind in the count 2-0. Kotchman hits a soft grounder to Bautista at first and he records the out without allowing the winning run to come home.
Cordero with a first pitch strike to Kipnis and then is unable to get him to chase a breaking ball down in the zone. He is able to induce a ground ball to Johnson at second and the Jays are able to prevent the leadoff double to come home and win the game.
Score after ninth inning: 4-4 tie
Rasmus gets ahead of Pestano 2-1 after laying off a very good slider. He would foul off a low fastball to even the count back up. Rasmus popped up basically the exact same pitch as the previous one, but this time it was in play and Kipnis made the out just behind second base.
Escobar quickly falls behind 0-2 after taking a first pitch strike and fouling off the second. He then chases a slider down and away to strike out for the third time in the game.
Johnson is just barely hit on the top of his back foot by an inside slider that Pestano losses control of the pitch.
Bautista takes a first pitch strike and follows that up by just missing on a home run cut for the second strike of the at bat. He fights off a high fastball to stay alive. He then goes down and shoots an outside breaking ball into the hole between first and second for a two out hit, moving Johnson to scoring position.
Davis, making his first appearance at the plate, takes two straight balls to get ahead 2-0. Pestano answers back by painting the outside corner with a fastball and on the next pitch Davis fights off an inside fastball. Davis fouls back a high fastball to stay alive. Davis is unable to do anything with a second straight high fastball, popping out to Cabrera.
Carlos Villanuva makes his first appearance of the season and quickly jumps ahead to a 1-2 count and then a filthy breaking ball inside freezes Hannahan for the lead off strike out.
After missing with a curveball up in the zone, Villanueva answered back with a nice fastball low. He would then get Brantley to hit an easy grounder to Johnson at second for the out.
A 1-0 changeup gets Cabrera to ground out to Johnson and end the inning.
Score after 10th inning: 4-4
Joe Smith came into the game as the third Indian pitcher and jumped ahead of Encarnacion 1-2. Encarnacion fought off a foul ball before taking a high fastball to even the count at two. He would then fight off a low sinker and then take a thigh high pitch and drive it past Carbrera at short for a leadoff single.
Lawrie has an inside sinker shatter his bat, but he is able to hustle down the line and avoid a double play.
Thames fell behind 1-2 but continued to grind it out by fouling off tough pitches from Smith. He would even up the count at two before fouling off yet another sinker down and away. Smith would eventually get Thames to hit the ground ball he desired and the Indians turn the double play to finish the inning.
Villanueva would work his second inning and get Choo to fly out to Thames in left.
Santana jumps out to a desired 2-0 count on the Blue Jay reliever until Villanueva would get him to watch a knee high pitch be called a strike and then foul off another to even the count back up. Santana hits a weak liner to Escobar for the third out.
In his first at bat of the game, Donald would work a 3-1 count against the Jays righty and then drew the two out walk by laying off a pitch high and inside.
After the two out walk, Villanueva fell behind Cunningham 2-0. He fought back and evened the count back up at two, only to run the count full on a breaking ball outside. Villanueva would get Cunningham to fly out to Rasmus to end the inning.
Score after 11th inning: 4-4
Arencibia was quickly retired by Smith.
Rasmus would drive a ball to right but Cunningham would track it down and make a catch over his shoulder for the second out of the inning.
Escobar quickly fell behind 0-2 before taking two straight pitches away to even the count back up. Escobar would go down and drive a ball to right center for a two out double, which marked the end of Smith's day.
Left hander Tony Sipp came into the game with two outs in the inning and jump ahead of Johnson with a first pitch strike. After a high fastball was called a ball, Sipp lost the grip of his next pitch and it bounced in the dirt well before crossing the plate. After jumping ahead 3-1, Johnson was sitting on a fastball but Sipp crossed him up with a curveball for strike two. Johnson would take a full count walk to put runners at first and second for Bautista.
The Indians would decide to intentionally walk Bautista to load up the bases, despite the fact that the open base was third, not first.
Davis would hit a deep fly ball to the warning track, but like Rasmus earlier in the inning, Cunningham was able to run the ball down and keep the game tied.
Kotchman took a first pitch strike and then fouled off a second pitch breaking ball from Villanueva, now in his third inning of relief work. After trying to get him to chase a breaking ball in the dirt, Villanueva eventually gets him to swing over the top of a breaking ball at the knees.
Villanueva fell behind Kipnis 3-1 and on the next pitch Villanueva would issue the walk on a pitch just low and away.
Villanueva drew the ire of the crowd as he threw over to first twice to keep Kipnis honest. When he delivered home, he painted the bottom outside corner with a first pitch fastball. Hannahan drove the 1-2 offering past Johnson into right field for the single, moving Kipnis to third and spell the end of Villanueva's game.
Luis Perez would come into the game to face Brantley with runners on the corners and only one out. The first pitch from Perez was a rising fastball that Arencibia was just barely able to get a glove on.
Perez would then miss inside to fall behind 2-0. Perez lost control of another pitch, this time in the dirt, but Arencibia is able to block it and prevent the runner from advancing, despite the ball rolling up the third baseline. The 3-0 pitch was another ball and Perez loaded up the bases on a four pitch walk.
Omar Visquel, who spent 11 years with the Indians, came into the game in relief of Thames for defensive purposes. The decision to go with only two outfielders and five infielders would pay off as Cabrera grounded out into an inning ending and game saving double play.
Score after 12th Inning: 4-4
Encarnacion jumped ahead to a 2-1 count and got a little too aggressive swinging at the 2-1 offering, missing on the home run cut. He fought off a changeup away to stay alive, but could not make contact with the high heater and struck out on the next pitch.
Lawrie took a first pitch fastball and then was way out in front of a second pitch changeup to fall behind 0-2. He just barely fouled off a high fastball to stay alive. He would again swing and miss on an off speed pitch to strike out for the second time in the game.
In Visquel's first appearance at the plate he quickly fell behind 0-2 but was able to lay off the outside breaking ball and foul off the next pitch to stay alive. He showed excellent patience to lay off an inside fastball to run the count full, but would slap a liner right to the third baseman for the final out.
Visquel would move to first base, Davis moved to left and Bautista back into right, where he started the game.
Perez jumped ahead of Choo 1-2 and looked to be settled down after a rough last inning. He would get Choo to fly out Davis in left.
He fell behind Santana, who is back batting on the right side, 3-1. After a nice 3-1 fastball high and inside picked up the second strike, Perez would lose him by throwing a pitch in the dirt on the next pitch.
Perez's control problems persisted against Donald, quickly falling behind 2-0 on two high fastballs. Two fouls balls in succession evened the count back at two, and Donald would foul off another pitch as Perez was unable to get it down in the zone like Arencibia wanted. After four straight fouled balls, Perez would get Donald to swing over the top of a breaking ball for his first strikeout of the season.
Escobar would pick up the third out on a shallow pop up to left center.
Score after 13th inning: 4-4
Jairo Asencio would come into the game in relief of Sipp.
Arencibia goes after the first pitch but hits it off the end of the bat and flies out.
Rasmus would work the count in his favour, jumping ahead 3-1. He took a good rip at a 3-1 fastball down and in, but he was unable to put it in play and instead fouled it back into Santana. The next pitch had Rasmus out ahead of a changeup for the strikeout.
Escobar would roll a 2-1 pitch to short and Cabrera threw him out at first after Kotchman did a great job of digging it out of the dirt.
Perez would jam Kotchman which led to an infield pop out to Johnson.
Perez missed with a 1-1 changeup to fall behind in the count, but evened it right back with a sinking change that Kipnis swing over the top of. A shoulder high fastball got Kipnis to strikeout for the second out of the inning.
Hannahan got jammed by an inside fastball to start the at bat and later swing right through the same pitch to fall behind 1-2. Like Kipnis before him, Hannahan would chase a high heater to strikeout.
Score after 14th inning: 4-4
Johnson would work himself to a 3-0 count and was taking all the way. He took a fastball down the pipe, but on the next pitch drew the leadoff walk.
Bautista would just barely make contact on an 0-1 off speed pitch and then show great patience by laying off a very close outside fastball. On the 1-2 offering he fought off a tough changeup down in the zone and muscled it into center.
Davis would attempt a bunt to move the runners to second and third, but he popped it in the air. Instead of running, he assumed that Hannahan would catch it and stood still, which resulted in the Indians turning a double play. A huge blown opportunity for the Toronto.
Encarnacion would ground out to third and the Indians escape the inning without giving up a run.
Perez would get a grounder from Brantley to Lawrie, who would bobble the ball but recover in time to throw across the diamond to Visquel for the first out of the inning.
Perez fell behind Cabrera 2-0 before getting him to swing through an excellent fastball on the outside corner and then answering with a fastball on the lower half of the plate. Cabrera just managed to check his swing on a high heater to run the count full. Perez would get him to pop out to Bautista in right for the second out of the inning.
Perez would lose control of a fastball, that Arencibia wanted down and away, almost hit Choo in the head. Choo would get hot and start saying some words and walking to the mound. With the game being in the bottom of the 15th inning, there was clearly no intent from Perez to hit Choo, but being hit by Romero earlier in the game, Choo was not impressed. Cooler heads would prevail and the game got back underway. Perez would end up walking Choo.
Perez would jump out to a 1-2 lead in the count against Santana. The Indians catcher would do an excellent job of fouling off pitches, but Perez would eventually get him to pop out to Bautista in right and we have officially set a new MLB record for the longest Opening Day game in history.
Score after 15th inning: 4-4
Lawrie took a high breaking ball to get a full count after battling back from an 0-2 count. He would draw the leadoff walk.
Blue Jay manager John Ferrell called for a hit-and-run with Visquel at the bat and it paid off huge. Lawrie was able to beat out the throw to second and not only avoid the double play but safely advance. Visquel would safely reach at first as well to make it runners at first and second with nobody out.
Arencibia tried to bunt with a 1-1 count but fouled it back On the very next pitch Arencibia would hit a three run home run over the left field wall to give the Blue Jays a 7-4 lead.
Rasmus would pop out to Hannahan just inside foul territory for the first out of the inning.
Escobar would take a 3-1 offering and hit it sharply to short, but Cabrera would make the catch for the second out of the evening.
Johnson got ahead in the count 3-1 but fouled off the next pitch to run it full. He would get frozen by a very good breaking ball for the third out of the inning and 15th of the game.
In a relatively surprising decision, Toronto did not bring in their new closer Sergio Santos, but instead deciding to bring back Perez, despite Santos being ready in the pen. There seemed to be some confusion as Santos was halfway to the mound before being called back.
Perez would jump ahead of Donald 1-2 with a nice breaking ball, but would lose the handle on a fastball to even it back up. The next pitch rose up again to make it a full count. Perez would get Donald to ground out to Johnson.
Ferrell would come to the mound and call in Santos after the confusion of earlier and Blue Jay fans would get their first glimpse at their new closer.
Santos would quickly fall behind 2-0 but painted the bottom corner with two straight fastballs to even up the count. He could not get a third consecutive fastball across and ran the count full. The next pitch missed and Santos walked his first hitter, the 11th Blue Jay walk of the game.
After missing with three straight pitches down in the zone, Santos would get the call on fastball up in the zone to even the count at one against Kotchman. The next pitch would be fouled back, as was the next one as Kotchman fought to stay alive. Santos looked to pick up the strikeout with a fastball on the outside corner, but surprisingly it was called a ball, which ran the count full.
Kotchman would foul off another pitch to stay alive. On the 10th pitch of the at bat, Santos got the grounder down the first base line for the second out of the inning.
With the Indians down to their final out, Kipnis would take a first pitch ball. Santos would get Kipnis to ground out to Johnson at second.
Final score: 7-4 Blue Jays.
After being an Achillies heel for the Blue Jays last season, their bullpen was superb in the first game of the 2012 campaign. They did not surrender a single run in their 11 innings of work which gave Toronto the opportunity to pick up this thrilling come from behind win.
Control was an issue as they did issue nine walks, but they showed excellent battle by not allowing any of those walks to come around and score.
Romero showed excellent growth by not getting rattled after his poor second inning. In years past he let those kind of innings get in his head, but today he was a fantastic job of putting it behind him and shutting down the Indians for the rest of the game.
Arencibia was excellent behind the plate for Toronto. He was doing a great job of managing the game, had five or six impressive blocks on balls in the dirt and, of course, came away with the clutch home run in the top of the 16th to give the team a win.
If this game is any indication, it is going to be a very wild season for Toronto.