Game 26: Baltimore at Toronto pregame
One storyline that hasn’t received a whole lot of attention this week has been the return of catcher Gregg Zaun, who spent the past five seasons with the Blue Jays. Last night, Zaun received a mixed reception from the crowd, but there were plenty of boos.
“Thats pretty flattering, too,” Zaun said. “It’s been a long time since I was booed that vehemently. It’s been weird. It’s been kind of surreal.”
It was also a bit strange for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to have to face Zaun, especially considering the veteran catcher knows the right-hander’s repertoire inside and out. Two pitches into their first meeting on Friday night, Zaun drilled an 0-1 offering into center field for a two-out double in the second.
One writer jokingly asked if Halladay grooved a pitch to Zaun for old time’s sake.
“No, but I thought about hitting him in the ribs,” Doc quipped.
Halladay did say facing Zaun presented a unique challenge.
“He’s a smart guy,” Halladay said. “There’s a little bit of cat and mouse, because you know he’s got a good idea of what you do and you’re always trying to stay one step ahead of him. The whole time he was here, he was an intelligent hitter, and he’s always had good at-bats, quality at-bats.
“It’s never fun facing guys like that.”
Halladay got Zaun to ground out to short in the fourth inning and he struck him out in the seventh.
“He gave it to me the next two at-bats for sure,” Zaun said.
UPDATES: LHP Ricky Romero (sidelined with a right oblique strain) threw 40-45 pitches in a bullpen session on Saturday morning and felt good, according to manager Cito Gaston. Toronto’s skip said Romero will throw another ‘pen on Monday and will likely be sent out on a Minor League rehab after that. … Gaston rested 3B Scott Rolen on Saturday and gave the nod to Jose Bautista. While it won’t be this way every time, Gaston said he will probably give Rolen the day off on day games after night games throughout the season. It’s a way to hopefully guard against the right shoulder injury that has bothered Rolen late in the year in recent seasons. … Gaston said RHP Robert Ray is able to throw 100 pitches, even though his latest Minor League start was only 4 1/3 innings. “I hope that gets us through eight,” Cito said with a smile.
1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Adam Jones, CF
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Aubrey Huff, 1B
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Luke Scott, DH
7. Lou Montanez, LF
8. Gregg Zaun, C
9. Cesar Izturis, SS
Starter: RHP Brad Bergesen (1-0)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Jose Bautista, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Raul Chavez, C
9. Travis Snider, LF
Starter: RHP Robert Ray (MLB debut)
Blue Jays righty Robert Ray
Former Blue Jays righty A.J. Burnett