Game #4 postgame
Well, Jo Matumoto finally made his debut with the Blue Jays. Unfortunately, the ol’ fairytale ending to his story is going to have to be postponed. Matumoto — the Brazilian pitcher of Japanese descent Toronto signed recently — entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and wound up giving up two runs on one hits in 1/3 of an inning. The 36-year-old lefty walked three and hit another batter.
Nerves were likely a factor. Could you blame him for being nervous? The guy toiled away in the industrial leagues in Japan and then on teams in Brazil before FINALLY getting a shot at making a big-league team. He won’t make Toronto’s roster, but simply a call-up to The Show at some point would make his a tremendous success story.
Seeing Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg head out to the mound for a visit with Matumoto was interesting in itself. Toronto had infielder Ray Olmedo, who speaks Spanish and English, translate Arnsberg’s words for Matumoto, who speaks Portugese, Spanish and Japanese. Quite a sight.
John Thomson, Shaun Marcum and Victor Zambrano all looked good. After his outing, Zambrano actually said he believes he could leave Spring Training as a starter. That forced smiles from Arnsberg and Jays manager John Gibbons, who know it’s probably not realistic, but who like hearing the pitcher has that kind of attitude. He’s a little over nine months removed from reconstructive elbow surgery.
Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay, 7-4, but we all know wins and losses in the spring don’t carry much weight. Before the game, Gibbons was meeting with reporters in the dugout and pointed at Adam Lind as he walked by: "There’s boy wonder," Gibbons said with a chuckle. Well, Boy Wonder added another triple in Sunday’s game. Catcher Curtis Thigpen chipped in a two-run homer in the ninth.
All right, that’s all for now. I’m sitting outside in the open-air "pressbox" at Progress Energy Park in St. Pete, where I can see sailboats drifting along in the bay as the sun sets behind me. Time to call it a day…