List of Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day starting pitchers

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Toronto, Ontario. They play in the American League East division. The Blue Jays first played their home games at Exhibition Stadium until 1989, when they moved into the SkyDome, which was renamed Rogers Centre in 2005.[1] The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honour, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season,[2] though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.[3] The Blue Jays have used 25 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 43 seasons. The 25 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 15 wins, 16 losses and 12 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

Roy Halladay, the Opening Day starting pitcher from 2003 to 2009

The Blue Jays first Opening Day starting pitcher was Bill Singer, who received a no decision against the Chicago White Sox. Roy Halladay holds the Blue Jays' record for most Opening Day starts with seven consecutively from 2003 to 2009, and has an Opening Day record of 3–3. Halladay also has the most starts at home with four. Dave Lemanczyk has the worst winning percentage as the Opening Day starting pitcher with a record of 0–2, both of which were pitched away from Exhibition Stadium.

Overall, the Blue Jays' Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 0 wins and 1 loss at Exhibition Stadium, and 6 wins and 4 losses at SkyDome/Rogers Centre. In addition, although the Blue Jays were nominally the home team on Opening Day 2001, the game was played in Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.[4] Esteban Loaiza started the game in Hato Rey and won, making the Blue Jays' Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record 6 wins and 4 losses, and their away record 6 wins and 9 losses. The Blue Jays went on to play in the American League Championship Series playoff games in 1985, 1989 and 1991, and won the World Series in 1992 and 1993.[5] Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key and Jack Morris were the Opening Day starting pitchers those years, and had a combined Opening Day record of 2 wins and 3 losses.

The Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians currently hold the record for the longest Opening Day game in Major League history. They set that record on Opening Day 2012, when Jairo Asencio of the Indians gave up a 3-run home run in the top of the 16th inning to give the Blue Jays the win. This broke the record of 15 innings set between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers in 1960.[6]

The Blue Jays would later participate in the ALCS in 2015 and 2016.


Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular Blue Jays season.
W Win
L Loss
ND (W) No decision by starting pitcher; Blue Jays won game
ND (L) No decision by starting pitcher; Blue Jays lost game
Pitcher (#) Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Blue Jays
* Advanced to the American League Championship Series
** World Series Champions


Roger Clemens, the 1998 Opening Day starting pitcher
David Wells, the 2000 Opening Day starting pitcher
Chris Carpenter, the 2002 Opening Day starting pitcher
Season Pitcher Decision Opponent Location Ref(s)
1977 Bill Singer ND (W) Chicago White Sox Exhibition Stadium [7][8][9]
1978 Dave Lemanczyk L Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [7][8][9]
1979 Tom Underwood L Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium [7][8][9]
1980 Dave Lemanczyk (2) L Seattle Mariners Kingdome [7][8][9]
1981 Jim Clancy ND (L) Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [7][8][9]
1982 Mark Bomback L Milwaukee Brewers Exhibition Stadium [7][8][9]
1983 Dave Stieb W Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [7][8][9]
1984 Jim Clancy (2) ND (L) Seattle Mariners Kingdome [7][8][9]
1985* Dave Stieb (2) L Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium [7][8][9]
1986 Dave Stieb (3) L Texas Rangers Arlington Stadium [7][8][9]
1987 Jimmy Key ND (W) Cleveland Indians Exhibition Stadium [7][8][9]
1988 Jimmy Key (2) W Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium [7][8][9]
1989* Jimmy Key (3) W Kansas City Royals Kauffman Stadium [7][8][9]
1990 Todd Stottlemyre L Texas Rangers Arlington Stadium [7][8][9]
1991* Dave Stieb (4) L Boston Red Sox SkyDome [7][8][9]
1992** Jack Morris W Detroit Tigers Tiger Stadium [7][8][9]
1993** Jack Morris (2) L Seattle Mariners Kingdome [7][8][9]
1994 Juan Guzmán W Chicago White Sox SkyDome [7][8][9]
1995 David Cone W Oakland Athletics SkyDome [7][8][9]
1996 Erik Hanson W Oakland Athletics Cashman Field [7][8][9]
1997 Pat Hentgen ND (L) Chicago White Sox SkyDome [7][8][9]
1998 Roger Clemens W Minnesota Twins SkyDome [7][8][9]
1999 Pat Hentgen (2) L Minnesota Twins Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome [7][8][9]
2000 David Wells ND (W) Kansas City Royals SkyDome [7][8][9]
2001 Esteban Loaiza W Texas Rangers Hiram Bithorn Stadium [7][8][9]
2002 Chris Carpenter ND (W) Boston Red Sox Fenway Park [7][8][9]
2003 Roy Halladay L New York Yankees SkyDome [7][8][9]
2004 Roy Halladay (2) L Detroit Tigers SkyDome [7][8][9]
2005 Roy Halladay (3) W Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tropicana Field [7][8][9]
2006 Roy Halladay (4) W Minnesota Twins Rogers Centre [7][8][9]
2007 Roy Halladay (5) ND (W) Detroit Tigers Comerica Park [7][8][9]
2008 Roy Halladay (6) L New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [9][10]
2009 Roy Halladay (7) W Detroit Tigers Rogers Centre [9][11]
2010 Shaun Marcum ND (L) Texas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington [9][12]
2011 Ricky Romero W Minnesota Twins Rogers Centre [9]
2012 Ricky Romero (2) ND (W) Cleveland Indians Progressive Field [9][13]
2013 R. A. Dickey L Cleveland Indians Rogers Centre [7][8][9]
2014 R. A. Dickey (2) L Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field [9]
2015 Drew Hutchison W New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [14]
2016 Marcus Stroman W Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field [15]
2017 Marco Estrada ND (L) Baltimore Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards [15]
2018 J. A. Happ L New York Yankees Rogers Centre [15]
2019 Marcus Stroman (2) ND (L) Detroit Tigers Rogers Centre [16]
2020 Hyun-jin Ryu ND (W) Tampa Bay Rays Tropicana Field [17]
2021 Hyun-jin Ryu (2) ND (W) New York Yankees Yankee Stadium [15]
2022 Jose Berrios ND (W) Texas Rangers Rogers Centre [15]


  1. "Blue Jays Ballparks". Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  2. Bastian, Jordan (March 22, 2010). "Marcum tapped for Jays' Opening Day". Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  3. Dilbeck, Steve (February 24, 2014). "Dodgers may not start Clayton Kershaw in Sydney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. "April 1, 2001, Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays; Box Score and Play by Play". Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  5. "Toronto Blue Jays History & Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  6. "Opening Day 2012". Huffington Post. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  7. "Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day Starters and Results". Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  8. "Blue Jays Opening Day Lineups". Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  9. "Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day History". Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  10. "Girardi debuts as New York wins final opener at Yankee Stadium". ESPN. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  11. "Jays bats come to Doc's aid". Major League Baseball. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  12. "Texas 5, Toronto 4". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  13. "Blue Jays 7, Indians 4". Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  14. "Blue Jays 6, Yankees1". Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  15. "Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day Starters". Baseball Reference. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  16. Couto, Melissa (March 28, 2019). "Jays bats frustrated as Tigers win pitching duel with 10th-inning home run". CBC Sports.
  17. Davidi, Shi (July 24, 2020). "Blue Jays' opening day win over Rays offers a reward after wild four months". Sportsnet. Retrieved July 25, 2020.

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