You know what really used to agitate me? Back before the internets, computers used to rely heavily upon the CD-ROM. One of the most popular CD’s was Encyclopedia Britannica. I think it came free with every computer from 1990-95 sorta how those hats in Caddyshack came with a free bowl of soup. Anyway, when you typed “baseball” into the search engine for Britannica, a clip of Joe Carter’s walk-off is the ONLY video that pops up. It’s a great moment in baseball history but isn’t this supposedly America’s game? Alright, truly I don’t really care and I’m not a xenophobe or anything like that, I just thought it was ironic in a little way. Now that we got that business out of the way, lets take a look at your 2011 Toronto Blue Jays starting lineup.
Left field: Travis Snyder. 2010 splits: .255 average, 14 home runs, 32 RBI, .767 OPS. Brief: Pedestrian numbers in ’10 for the 2006 first round pick. Still, Snyder just turned 23. I’m 23 and I consider purchasing groceries an accomplishment so I can’t judge too harshly. Nonetheless, a kid with first round pick potential needs to live up to it. Maybe Snyder can flourish in the Great White North when the eyes of the baseball world are fixated elsewhere this season.
Center field: Rajai Davis. 2010 splits: .284 average, 5 home runs, 52 RBI, .697 OPS. Brief: Big shoes to fill for Davis with the departure of superstar Vernon Wells. However, Davis is no slouch himself. My man can absolutely scoot, 50 STOLEN BASES last year…HOLY CATFISH! If he gets on base he’s going to run, plain and simple. The Jays are going to need as many runners in scoring position as humanly possible. That speed also helps him cover gap-to-gap in center field as well.
Right field: Juan Rivera. 2010 splits: .252 average, 15 home runs, 52 RBI, .721 OPS. Brief: The former Angel should enjoy hitting in Rogers Centre, a friendly ballpark for right-handers. Nonetheless, Rivera, age 32, seems to be the starting right fielder until a young up-and-comer can take his spot.
Third base: Jose Bautista. 2010 splits: .260 average, 52 home runs, 124 RBI, .995 OPS. Brief: THE CHAMP IS HERE! Bautista came out of seemingly no where to win the home run title in ’10. This dude hits some awe-inspiring deep balls. The kind that make baseball fans a little weak in the knees as they watch them soar into the upper deck where Blue Jays fans often like to dress up like empty seats. Just a fun player to watch.
Short stop: Yunel Escobar. 2010 splits: .256 average, 4 home runs, 35 RBI, .655 OPS. Brief: Escobar finally got away from Bobby Cox’s clutches in Hot-lanta. He needs to get on base more, plain and simple. He’s not going to hit for power but only a .337 on-base percentage? –not going to cut the mustard..if they even use mustard in Canada…crazy Canucks…
Second base: Aaron Hill. 2010 splits: .205 average, 26 home runs, 68 RBI, .665 OPS. Brief: Crazy stat for Hill in 2010: .196 batting average for balls hit in the play…I don’t know what he did to agitate the baseball gods, but it had to be something extremely heinous. Hill diligently obeyed Murphy’s Law last season. Maybe he bounces back in’11 with a few more friendly hops to get his mojo going.
First base: Adam Lind. 2010 splits: .237 average, 23 home runs, 72 RBI, .712 OPS. Brief: Not terrible numbers for Lind, especially in the second half when he batted .267.
Designated hitter: Edwin Encarnacion: .244 average, 21 home runs, 51 RBI, .787 OPS. Brief: The direct translation for Encarnacion is “in the flesh”. That has absolutely no impact on his projections this season, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. What does project is 21 home runs in less than 350 at-bats. Depending on the transition by Lind to first base and thus, Bautista’s status at third base, we’ll have to wait and see if DH is Encarnacion’s position to lose.
Catcher: J.P. Arencibia. 2010 splits: .143 average, 2 home runs, 4 RBI, .532 OPS. Brief: If those numbers don’t make Jays fans salivate then…well frankly I don’t blame them. However, Arencibia hit .301 with 32 home runs in triple-a last season. The numbers are there for the first round pick, if only he can get them to translate to the big leagues.
Alright, see you next week for a starting rotation and reliever preview. One.
The Blue Jays dropped the 2nd game of the 3 game set with the New York Yankees on Wednesday night, 5-1. The loss evens the series at 2 games a pieces and both teams will look to take the deciding game on Thursday. The Jays now look at a 32-29 record and continue to sit in 3rd place in the AL East.
The offense only collected 6 hits in the game and out of those hits they could only record 1 run. The run came off the bat of Scott Rolen who went 1-for-4 getting his 15th RBI of the year. Rolen now has his batting average at .304 this season. The run that was scored came from Alex Rios who went 2-for-3 with the lone run scored. His batting average is now up to .266 which was helped by getting his 13th double of the year. Not much else can be said about the offense for the Blue Jays as they were pretty much shutout throughout the game.
Brad Litsch took the mound for the Jays and had a rough outing. He worked 5 1/3rd innings allowing 10 hits, 4 runs, all earned, 2 walks and 1 homer. He was given the loss for the game bringing his record to 7-2 with a 3.45 ERA. Shawn Camp came in for some relief work and also had a tough night. He pitched just 1 inning giving up 1 hits, 1 run and 1 walk. Mike Mussina pitched for the Yanks and had his way with Toronto hitters. He pitched 6 innings allowing 5 hits, 1 runs and 6 K’s. He got the win for New York improving his record to 9-4 this season.
A little bit of a disappointment considering how well the Jays played in game 1. both pitchers and hitters can take blame for the poor play in this one and will need to improve to take game 3 from the Yanks which will take place on Thursday.
Toronto took the 1st game of a scheduled 3 game series against the New York Yankees, 9-3. The win gives the Jays a 3 game lead over the last place Yankees. They now look at a 32-38 record and sit in 3rd place in the AL East.
The game was close until the 7th inning when Toronto put together 6 runs to take a 9-2 lead. The Yanks added a run in the bottom half to make the score 9-3, which ended up being the final. Rod Barajas had the most impressive game for the Jays going 2-for-5 including 2 doubles with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. The RBI give him a total of 19 this season with a .303 batting average. Alex Rios also had a nice game going 1-for-5 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. His batting average is now at .261 with 24 RBI this season. Marco Scutaro chipped in for an RBI as well going 1-for-5 including the RBI with a run scored. He now has 21 RBI this season with a solid batting average of .270.
Roy Halladay took the mound for the Blue Jays and pitched a strong game. He worked 6 inning allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, all earned, 1 walk and 3 K’s. He earned the win for the Jays bringing his record to 7-5 this season with a 2.94 ERA. The next 3 relievers that got work only allowed 3 hits in a total of 3 innings of work.
A strong win for Toronto and its even better that it comes off a division rival like the New York Yankees, whether their struggling or not. The teams will face off again on Wednesday night with the Yanks looking to even the series.
Toronto lost their 2nd game in a row on Sunday against the LA Angels, 4-3. The LA win gives the Angels the series 2 games to 1. The Jays now look at a 31-28 record and sit in 3rd place in the AL East now 5 games behind the division leading Rays.
The Jays had the game in hand until the bottom of the 9th came and B.J. Ryan couldn’t hang on. Marco Scutaro had a solid game despite the loss going 1-for-4 with 1 RBI. The RBI is his 20th of the season and his batting average now stands at .272. Rod Barajas also chipped in with a RBI when he hit a solo-homer with 2 outs. The homer was his 5th of the season and his RBI count now sits at 17. Scott Rolen put up some good numbers as well going 3-for-4 bumping his batting average to .310.
A.J. Burnett nearly went the distance in the game pitching a gem. He work 8 inning allowing just 3 hits, 2 runs, all earned, 3 walks and 8 strike outs. When the 9th came B.J. Ryan entered the game looking to close it out. Unfortunately he had a little bit of difficulty going 2/3rd inning giving up 3 hits, 2 runs, a walk and the game. He received the blown save giving him 1 for the year and making his record 1-1.
The Jays couldn’t have asked for a better performance from their starter. The offense even had a solid game getting 10 hits. Too bad for us and the Blue Jays is that closer B.J. Ryan had a forgettable game and lost it in the 9th. Hopefully the team has a short-term memory and can get ready for their next series with the Yankees.
Toronto opened up a 4 game series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday with a 7-1 victory. The win is the Jays 2nd in a row and it now has their record at an even 25-25.
The offense had one of their better games this season compiling 10 hits and getting 4 of their RBI from one bat. Marco Scutaro had a great game for Toronto going 2-for-4 with 4 RBI. The RBI bring his season total to 16 and his batting average now stands at a respectable .270. Lyle Overbay also had a nice game for the club going 3-for-3 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. His season total for RBI now sit at 16 as well and his batting average is .287. Alex Rios also participated with a RBI going 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. He has his batting average at .263 and his RBI total up to 19.
Roy Halladay took the mound for the Blue Jays and pitched so well that manager John Gibbons decided to let him go the duration. Halladay pitched all 9 innings allowing just 4 hits, 1 run, no walks and 5 strike outs. He earned the win for the Jays bringing his record to 5-5 this season and his ERA to a very solid 3.11. This is exactly the kind of start you want to get from your ace and hopefully we see more to come.
Not a bad game for the Jays as they pretty much dominated every aspect of the game. They will now look forward to game 2 on Saturday at 1pm.
Toronto took the final 2 games of the 3 game set in their first outing of interleague play against the Philadelphia Phillies. The wins bring the Jays record to an even .500 at 23-23 and puts them in 4th place of the AL East.
Saturday’s victory was because of 2 homers that catcher Rod Barajas blasted in the 2nd and 9th innings. The homers helped push Toronto to the 6-3 win. Barajas went 2-for-4 with 5 RBI and 2 runs scored. One of his homers was a grand slam that took place in the 2nd inning giving the Jays an early 4-0 lead. The jacks bring his total to 3 for the season and his batting average now stands at .254. Scott Rolen also had a nice game going 2-for-4 including a double and a walk. His batting average has now climbed to a strong .312. A.J. Burnett took the mound in game 2 and pitched a very strong game. He worked 6 1/3rd innings allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, all earned, 3 walks and 8 Ks. He earned the win for the ball club bringing his record to 4-4 this season. B.J. Ryan came in to close out the game and did just that getting his 8th save of the season striking out 1 in the process.
The final game of the series was won by the Blue Jays because of back-to-back 3 run innings in the 5th and 6th. The win gives the Jays the series against the Phil’s as they win the set 2 games to 1. Shannon Stewart had a strong game for Toronto and he was a big part of the 3 run innings. Stewart went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. He brought his RBI total to 10 on the season and now had his batting average at .248. Rod Barajas had another good game going 2-for-3 with 1 RBI and a runs scored. His RBI total now stands at 10 and his batting average climbed to .273. Lyle Overbay came into pinch hit for one of the pitchers and hit 1-of-3 including a 2 run homer in the 5th inning. The homer is his 2nd of the season and his batting average is at .272. Due to a 2 and a half hour delay that was caused by rain, both teams had to go through 13 different pitchers to get though the game. Shawn Marcum was scheduled to get the start and he did but he only got the opportunity to pitch for 1 inning. In that time he allowed 2 hits, 2 runs and 3 Ks. The win was given to Jason Frasor who pitched 1 1/3rd innings giving up no hits, 1 runs and he struck out 1 as well. He was given the win for the ball club bringing his record to 1-0 and his ERA to 4.11. B.J. Ryan came in and got his 9th save of the season bringing his ERA to a stellar 0.64.
A strong weekend for the Jays that brings their record to .500 and are now places them back into the AL East race just 1.5 games back from 3rd place. They will now open up a 3 game series against the LA Angels on Tuesday looking to continue on their 2 game winning streak.
Toronto came into interleague play looking to extend their 4 game winning streak to 5 but such just wasn’t the case as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Blue Jays 10-3. The loss increases the amount of wins the Jays will need to get to the .500 mark from 1 win to 2. Toronto’s record now stands at 21-23 and despite the loss they are still in 4th place in the AL East over the New York Yankees.
The offense seemed to sputter its way through the game only getting 9 hits, 1 of which was for an extra base. Only 3 runs were produced, which with some solid pitching it might have been enough to at least make this a game, but unfortunately the pitching staff had a very difficult time getting Phillie batters out which shows in the score. Alex Rios had a solid game for the Jays going 2-for-4, including a double with 1 RBI and a run scored. His batting average is now at .260 and his RBI total sits at 17. Scott Rolen also had a nice game going 1-for-3 with 1 RBI and a walk. His batting average now stands at .301 and his RBI total is 10. Marco Scutaro also contributed with an RBI and hit 1-of-5 bringing his batting average to .245. Not much else to speak of offensively as the game was pretty much out of reach after 3 innings when the scored read 8-0.
Pitching, if you can call it that… Was pretty shaky AT BEST. David Purcey was given the start to begin interleague play and didn’t exactly impress with his showing. He only made it through 3 innings allowing 5 hits, 8 runs, all earned, 4 walks, 0 Ks and 2 Homers. He was given the loss for the game because when he left his club was already in the hole 8 runs. The loss brings his record to 0-1 and his ERA is at an ugly 11.05. The good news is that he is still young and it’s also good that these sorts of things are happening early in the season. We definitely don’t want to see these types of performance when the Jays are making a run towards the playoffs. Too bad for us is that the poor pitching didn’t end with Purcey. Jesse Litsch also worked 3 innings allowing an equal 5 hits. He did however only give up 2 runs, 1 homer and he struck out 4.
We’ll see if Toronto can recover from this beating and try to get back to their winning ways on Saturday in game 2 vs. the Phils. They were actually making their way up the AL Easy ladder before hitting this speed bump. The Jays are now just 2.5 games back from catching the O’s who stand in the 3rd place spot.
P.S. If you are a fantasy baseball type listen to this stat line: Jayson Werth, Outfielder for the Phillies, hit 3-for-4 with 8 RBI and 3 runs scored. As you may have guessed, all 3 of his hits went yard. Werth took his RBI total from 18 to 26 in 1 game!
The Blue Jays continued their winning streak on Thursday and completed the sweep against the Minnesota Twins with a 3-2 victory. The win puts them just 1 win away from getting to the .500 mark and it puts them ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. Toronto’s record is now 21-22 and they now sit in 4th place.
Both team offenses were quiet for pretty much the entire game which led to the clubs going into extra innings when the Jays took the game in the 11th. Scott Rolen had a good game for the Jays going 2-for-5 including a double with 1 RBI and a run scored. His batting average is now at an even .300 and his RBI total is at 9. Alex Rios also contributed in the win with his 16th RBI of the season going 1-for-5. The game winning RBI came off the bat of pinch hitting Joe Inglett who hit a single, driving in a run, and finishing the game in the 11th inning.
Dustin McGowan got the start for the Jays and pitched a solid game. He threw 5 innings allowing just 2 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks and 3 Ks. He didn’t earn the win because the game was still tied when he left but his ERA is now at 4.38. Shawn Camp did get the win though pitching just 1/3rd inning walking 1 batter in the process. His record is now 1-1 this season and his ERA is at 5.00. B.J. came in to close out the game and did just that getting his 7th save of the season while keeping his ERA at 0.00.
Good win for the good guys especially since the loss of Vernon Wells, which some expected the team to become even worse. It actually seems that they have come together and are looking to make a run towards the top of the AL East, which isn’t very far from away.
Toronto won their 3rd straight game Wednesday night against the Minnesota Twins 6-5. The win gives the Blue Jays the series against the Twins winning the 1st and 2nd game of the 3 game set. Toronto now has their record at 20-22 but are still looking up at everyone else in the AL East.
If you just looked at the box score you would think that Minnesota won this game because they collected 11 hits to the Jays 6. Toronto owes the victory to the 1st inning where they managed 4 runs off the bat of DH Matt Stairs who hit a 1 out grand slam giving the Jays a 4-0 lead. Unfortunately the big lead didn’t last long because they gave up 3 runs of their own in the bottom half of the 1st. The rest of the game was close throughout with Toronto adding 1 run in the 4th and another in the 8th to give them the final score of 6-5. Matt Stair is my player of the game going 1-for-4 with 4 RBI and a run scored. He now has his batting average up to .304 and his homer total at 6. RF Brad Wilkerson also had a good game going 2-for-4 with 1 RBI and a run scored. He led the game off with his poor batting average at .224. Scott Rolen pitched in scoring 2 runs, hitting 1-of-3 and stealing his 2nd base of the year.
Toronto ace Roy Halladay took the mound for the Jays and pitched a tremendous game going 6 2/3rds innings allowing 9 hits, 4 runs and 8 Ks. He earned the win for his team bringing his record to 4-5 and his ERA to 3.49. Scott Downs came in to close the game up and did just that earing his 5th save of the season keeping his ERA at 2.60. Boof Bonser got the start for the Twins and didn’t have as much luck as Toronto pitchers. Bonser pitched 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks and the 1st inning grand slam to Matt Stairs. He was given the loss for his team bringing his record to 2-5 and his ERA up to 5.37.
It seems the Jays have hit a nice grove and got exactly what they needed from their Ace. They will need to keep up this improved play because they are running into teams that have above .500 records and will need to bring their A game.
Toronto won their 1st meeting of a 4 game series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday in a 2-0 victory. Blue Jay pitchers nearly shut down the Sox completely only giving up 2 hits in the game, both hits came from the same player. The win is the Jays 2nd in a row and now brings their record to 13-17 keeping them in last place in the AL East.
Not many offensive highlights in this one as the Jays only collected 5 hits themselves. Shannon Stewart, taking on the DH role, went 2-for-3 with the only 2 RBI in the game. The RBI give him 6 for the season and he no has his batting average at .226. Vernon Wells also had a nice game hiting 2-of-3 with a run scored. His batting average has begun to sink a little but he has it at .257. The only other run scored in the game came from Scott Rolen who went 1-for-3. Since returning from injury Rolen has his batting average up to .308.
Shawn Marcum had a fantastic game for the Toronto ball club. He pitched 6 and 2/3rds innings giving up just 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks and 9 K’s. He earned the win for the Jays bringing his record to 3-2 and his ERA down to 2.70. Jeremy Accardo, Shawn Camp, and Jesse Carlson all record holds in the game working a combined 1 and 2/3rds innings without giving up 1 hits. Scott Downs came in to close out the game and did just getting his 2nd save of the season bringing his ERA to 3.65.
A great game for the pitching staff, picking up the slack for the hitters who had a hard time getting their game together. These are exactly the types of games the Jays are going to need if they want to claw their way back into the AL East race.
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