Alex, Keep José Bautista!

Of course, I am referring to Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Well, I cannot help but feel a little bit like I was right. In my last post, ages ago at the start of the season, I stated how I was happy to see Roy Halladay gone, as this year may very well have been a distraction. Of course that is impossible to judge. Ideally, it would have been nice if he could have stayed with the Jays period, in that trade talks would not have been necessary if money to keep him was not an issue. However I am not too upset to see him gone, I digress.

Well, with José Bautista performing like a monster as of late, batting .353 in his last 12 since acquiring Yunel Escobar, and how he has clicked with Mr. Escobar, I certainly hope the Jays keep him. There’s no doubt he’d fetch some nice assets in return, and there is no guarantee as to how he will perform next year, the chemistry however cannot be purchased. I believe I heard the Jays announcers speculating on the potential numbers they could put up batting in the two and three spots. It is early, of course, yet I think I can agree. Since coming to Toronto Yunel is batting .386. Whereas month to month this year with the Braves, his best was .289 for June. .215 and .207 respectively for April and May. Thanks to being with the Jays, his July average has gone up to .308! Change of scenery sure can be good.

If the Jays can keep their winning ways into the next few crucial series, Yankees, Rays, Red Sox after three with Cleveland, they can gain some serious traction on making a run for the AL Wild Card. All of which, save for three against the Yankees are at home, before a West Coast road trip (three at LA, three at Oakland). Currently they are 10 GB for the Wild Card, with Detroit, Minnesota, Boston, Tampa Bay ahead. Their home record is slightly better than average at 25-20.

Being realistic, they will have to keep winning, no mucking about. And of course, it is best to not set our hopes too high, however remaining optimistic. As a Montreal Canadiens fan, I am used to nothing being done at trade deadline time, I certainly would be fine leaving the team as is. That includes keeping Scott Downs.


Jays Home Opener/Live Tweeting!

Well, it has been a while. I admit to being a semi bandwagon fan. When things started going bad last year, around the time of my last post, my interest waned. Even for a hardcore fan, it well, kinda sucks. I do always want them to do well, and beat the other AL East powerhouses.

I have been meaning to write an entry for a little while now. I was going to write about how I was glad that Roy Halladay was traded, as it probably would have been a disctraction, even if minor, and in the back of fans/players minds. It is still something. And impossible to measure the effect.

With Roy gone, the Jays can focus on winning. Being the underdog, sure, but not expected to do well removes pressure. And the young talent/veterans can perform all the better.

Anyway, I’ll be attending the first four home games, the opening series hosting the Chicago White Sox. That of course includes the home opener tomorrow night. Game time is 7:20 EDT, and the next three are 7:07 EDT.

I am planning on live tweeting the games, so you can follow me @baseball363!

For most of the time, during batting practise up to game time, I’ll have my Team Canada World Baseball Classic hat on. So you could always say hi!

Batting Average during 7 game losing streak

The Jays batting average over the seven game losing streak is .249. Whereas over the season, before the losing streak it was .289.

On May 20th, the Jays managed 14 hits, but only managed 3 runs, total left on base was 21, while team left on base was 11.

Bottom line they need to start hitting again, and with runners in scoring position, which to begin with means hitting with no one on.

I can not say as I know if there is a correlation between good hitting and good pitching, but surely it would help, as the pitcher would be more confident, bringing his best game, and being able to take chances, not having to worry about giving up a few runs.

Anyway, best to get the struggling out of the way sooner rather than later.

Red Sox sweep

Well that series did not go too well, at least as a team, which is what counts. I did not see any of it, as I do not get TSN2, only TSN, that is another story though.

Anyway, AL @ NL interleague for the Jays tomorrow. They will be in Atlanta.

All time the Jays are 14-7 all time against the Braves in interleague play. 8-4 at home, 6-3 in Atlanta. Last year the Braves were in Toronto, they won the first, and lost the next two.

Roy Halladay returns to the mound looking for his league leading 9th win, he already leads with 8!

So the matchup: Roy Halladay, RHP (8-1, 2.78) @ Kenshin Kawakami, RHP (2-5, 5.73).

Sweep complete, second real test awaits

Clayton Richard pitched well, but Scott Richmond pitched better. They both went 7 innings, and while Scott Richmond gave up 5 hits, and Clayton Richard gave up only 3, Richmond gave up 0 runs, and Richard gave up 2. The White Sox managed to tie the game in the top of the eighth, so Richard received a no decision. The Jays responded in the home half of the eighth with the go ahead run.

The Jays lost the series to the Yankees in Toronto, but now will be in Boston for a three game set.

Jays lineup as usual against a righty should be as follows

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Travis Snider, LF

Pitching matchup is Brian Tallet, LHP (2-1, 4.68) @ Tim Wakefield, RHP (4-2, 4.03).

Looking for the sweep vs Chicago

The Jays went on to lose the series against the Yankees, only their second series loss!

So far the Jays have won three straight against the White Sox, and go for the sweep this afternoon.

Scott Richmond will be on the mound against the Sox. He struggled against them, giving up 5 ER, and lasting only 1.2 innings. The Jays offense struggled as well against Andy Pettitte.

Richmond will face Clayton Richard. It will only be Richard’s second start this year. In his last outing against Cleveland he gave up 4 runs over 3.1 innings. Earlier this year he gave up two runs in three relief innings against Toronto, in Chicago.

So the matchup: Clayton Richard, LHP (0-0, 5.40) @ Scott Richmond, RHP (4-2, 4.28).

New York Yankees (Game #32 Road #19) at Toronto Blue Jays (Game #35 Home #16)

I meant to preview this game, oh well.

So a quality win for the Jays, the first meeting between the two clubs this season.

Of course this one was quite hyped just for the fact it was Burnett vs Halladay.

Roy Halladay retired 17 straight batters between Johnny Damon’s single (out at second stretching it out), and his double in the top of the seventh. Both of Johnny’s hits were with one out. So in the end Roy gave up 1 earned run, and a total of 5 hits.

I have been a bit lazy slow in writing here, so here is a quick update on recent Jays games.

In Roy Halladay’s last start, May 6th, in Los Angeles, he received plenty of run support earning his sixth win. The Jays lost the next game, therefore tying the short 2 game series. They lost the first to Oakland, and won the next two, to win the series.

So the only series loss remains the four game series against Kansas City to end April. So far the Jays are 8-3 in May. They were 15-9 in April.

Tomorrow will be LHP Andy Pettitte (2-1 4.38) vs RHP Scott Richmond (4-1 3.29).

Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays (Games 28 & 29 Home 14 & 15)

I caught game one of the two game series, one that could have gone either way, but went the Indian’s way.

The Jays were one strike away from winning in the top of the ninth when Asdrubal Cabrera singled to bring Josh Barfield in to tie the game. They managed two more runs, to go ahead 6-4.

Despite this, the Jays rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.

The Indians scored three more in the top of the twelfth. The Jays had another rally in the works, but it fell short, as they only managed to get one back in the bottom of the twelfth.

I did not catch the afternoon game today, but looks like it was a nice win, with Adam Lind hitting his sixth homer, and Rolen hitting his third.

Another two game series starts tonight against the Angels. It will be RHP Roy Halladay (5-1, 3.68) against RHP Anthony Ortega (0-1, 5.56). Luckily for the Jays, Vlad Guerrero is on the DL.