Monday, April 5, 2010

Marcum brushes with history on opening day

Shaun Marcum certainly knows how to make a pretty damn good impression. In his first regular season game in 565 days, he was absolutely lights out. This coming from a guy who was only one of three pitchers (Scott Erickson in 2002, Carl Pavano in '07) to make an opening day start after missing the entire season beforehand.

Marcum painted the canvas with perfect strokes, mixing speeds and using all sides of the plate without allowing a hit in the first 6.1 innings against the Rangers. The guy hadn't pitched a big league game in two seasons yet he was within 8 outs of recording just the second no hitter in franchise history. Marcum ran into a bit of trouble with one out in the 7th, walking Josh Hamilton before surrendering his first hit to Vlad Guerrero. With the Jays hanging on to a 3-0 edge, the lead was wiped out on one swing of the bat by Nelson Cruz. It appeared he barely connected when it left the bat, yet somehow Cruz managed to muscle the tying homer to right centre off of Marcum.

The 28 year old ace of the Jays staff was still in line for victory after Vernon Wells gave Toronto a one run lead in the 8th, but that went by the wayside following a brutal performance by Jason Frasor in the final frame. That's too bad, because it would've only been fitting that in his first start back Marcum would earn the victory.

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