Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/8/13
Fans usually have a straight-forward agenda upon entering a ball park. Saskatoon’s Mike Sieben sat with his wife Whitney with a more complicated agenda in section 17 at Target Field on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Wearing his No. 19 Jose Bautista jersey Sieben had two goals. “I’d like to see Andrew Albers pitch real well and then the Jays win it beating up the Twins bullpen” said Sieben part of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Nation which made up the crowd of 29450. Sieben got his wishes. The North Battleford Sask. lefty pitched seven scoreless and nine pitches later thanks to Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes the Blue Jays had broken a scoreless tie on their way to a 2-0 win for a sweep of the series as one Saskatchewan fan waved a broom. “Pretty impressive” Jays manager John Gibbons said of Albers. “He has a good feel for pitching. His fastball had a little skip to it compared to the numbers you saw on the board.” Proving once again velocity is not No. 1 — changing speeds is a starter’s best asset — Albers fanned: Rajai Davis on an 87 m.p.h. sinker J.P. Arencibia on an 88 m.p.h. sinker and two innings later Arencibia on an 87 m.p.h. sinker Brett Lawrie with a 66 m.p.h. curve and Adam Lind with a 79 m.p.h. slider. Sieben played for the Saskatoon Giants and often faced Albers and his North Battleford Beavers in the provincials. “I might have had a couple of hits against him but he usually got the best of me” said Sieben 27 a mechanic for CN before Albers was introduced to a standing ovation from the Saskatchewan faithful. “He looks about the same” said Sieben watching Albers work the first inning from down the left field nation some fans wearing Blue Jays blue others wearing Roughriders green. “He was always a tall lanky kid. It looks like he’s filled in ... he wasn’t throwing 89 m.p.h. back then when we were 16-to-18.
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