TORONTO -- Aaron Loup got his first taste of what it's like to pitch in front of a sold-out crowd during his 1 1/3 innings of work on Tuesday night versus the Indians.
Loup managed to fight through the nerves by not allowing a run. It was Loup's first time being on the mound for Opening Day following last year's mid-season callup.
The pressure might have gotten to other second-year pitchers, but not Loup, who has an even-keel approach on the mound and never seems too rattled. But it was still an adjustment, and one that Loup's glad he now has under his belt.
"The buzz that has been around the city and the whole time I played here last year, the stadium definitely wasn't packed like that," Loup said. "To be out there in front of the fans that were rooting for the team, the excitement around the team, it was definitely fun.
"It's kind of tough. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't excited and had a little bit of adrenaline going. But you just try to collect yourself and stay as calm as you can out there, just go out there and pitch the way you know how to pitch."
Loup received an unexpected surprise from the hometown crowd prior to the eventual 4-1 loss to Cleveland on Opening Night. When Loup was introduced, the crowd started a loud "Loooooooup" chant that couldn't help but bring a smile to the face of the middle reliever.
It's a chant that the Blue Jays have tried to start before, but Tuesday night marked the first time the crowd embraced it on their own.
"Casey Janssen and Darren Oliver, they always mess with me and when they see me they go "Looooup" and it was like 'Man, we gotta get that started in the stadium,'" Loup said. "When they introduced me last night, they did it and it took me back for a second and you go, 'Oh, that's pretty cool.' I wasn't expecting it at all."