Recap: Twins Blank Blue Jays 7-0 in Doubleheader Opener

R.A. Dickey surrendered five earned runs and failed to make it out of the fifth inning as the Blue Jays (8-7) fell 7-0 to the Minnesota Twins (7-7) in game one of their day-night doubleheader.

Stock_Thole02 (Dickey)Dickey, pitching in extreme cold for the first time in his career wasn’t sharp, and as a result he’s off to a poor start for the second year in a row.

He threw 62 of his 105 pitches for strikes, which simply isn’t good enough from an “ace”. He was both helped and hindered by a wildly inconsistent strike zone, but his five walks hurt him in several ways. John Gibbons probably left him in the game just a little bit too long. He had a much quicker hook for Brandon Morrow two nights ago, and as a result, was able to keep the deficit at two runs, and the Jays came back to win.

But this afternoon he allowed Dickey to load the bases, then surrender a 2-run double, making it 4-0. Todd Redmond came in and gave up a sac fly, the first inherited runner scored allowed by the Jays bullpen this season (they were previously 17-for-17). Even with a second game in the same day, the bullpen was fresh, and there are eight arms down there, so there was no reason for Gibbons to be hesitant to make the call.

In Dickey’s three losses this season: 16.1 IP, 18 H, 16 ER, 14 BB, 12 K (8.83 ERA, 1.96 WHIP). Those numbers are simply attrocious.

It hasn’t mattered much that the Jays have given him just 3 runs of support over his 4 starts (while he’s in the game). It’s certainly not time to push the panic button, or even consider removing him from the rotation, but the walks are troubling. He leads the American League in that category, and is on pace to issue over 100.

Todd Redmond went the rest of the way, allowing just two unearned runs on three hits, striking out three over three and two thirds. He’s done a great job for his role, sporting a shiny 0.68 ERA over 13 innings this season.

The offense, like the weather in Minnesota (it was -1C at game time, the coldest game starting temperature in Minnesota’s history), was frigid. The Jays managed just four hits. Two came from Colby Rasmus, making his return to the lineup, and two came from Josh Thole. The backup catcher is now hitting .455 in his four games this season, which is everything you want and much more from a guy who’s going to play only once every five games.

And here’s a shocker: the Blue Jays got dominated by a pitcher they’ve never seen before. How many times have we seen this movie before? Kyle Gibson was fantastic, going 8 innings, allowing just the four hits.

The Jays have a couple of hours to re-group and come back for the night cap. It’ll be Dustin McGowan (1-1, 4.00) against Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 7.84) in what is now the rubber match of this three-game set with the Twins. We’ll have pre- and post-game coverage right here.

If you missed it earlier today, there’s some injury updates. Check out the bottom of the preview of game 1 for info on Jose Reyes, Adam Lind, and Casey Janssen.

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