Swept Away

A few years ago my girlfriend and I sauntered into Queen Video just before closing time. We asked the clerk, who was eager to close shop so he could masturbate to Japanese anime in peace, if he could recommend a horror flick. He quickly remarked that the Madonna and Guy Ritchie cobomanation Swept Away was available for rent.

The Blue Jays finished a series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles today with yet another late inning comeback that earned Casey Janssen his third victory of the season out of the bullpen. Let’s think about that for a moment. Toronto has only played six games, and Casey Janssen has recorded a win in three of them. All three of his appearances thus far have resulted in a win.

So, obviously, Casey Janssen is the early frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award . . . at least in the minds of certain baseball writers.

No matter what conclusions those writers might draw from the number of wins a pitcher records over the course of a season, they’d be hard pressed to argue that today’s victory was the result of anything but power.

Despite an effective Kevin Millwood throwing almost eight innings of shitballs, the Jays hit four home runs, including back to back jacks from Jose Bautista and Alex Gonzalez in the eighth that chased the Orioles pitcher from the game. The Jays shortstop went yard on Millwood earlier with a solo shot in the top of the fourth.

So far this season, Gonzalez has gone 8 for 22 with four home runs and three doubles. But he’s not the only Blue Jay racking up extra base hits. Of the 47 hits that the Jays have collected, 28 have been for extra bases.

Even John BatDonald was getting in on the action today, going 3 for 4 with a double.

Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen and Scott Downs all pitched effectively, setting up Kevin “Moonraker” Gregg to lock up the 5-2 vcitory.

The Good

Marcum didn’t look his best this afternoon, but he managed to adjust his gameplan after giving up a leadoff triple in the third inning. He began throwing more first pitch fastballs to get out of the jam in the third and he continued to pitch shutout baseball from there, finishing with five strikeouts over six innings.

As mentioned, Alex Gonzalez is producing a lot more offense than anticipated. I don’t know what it is with recent Jays teams, but it usually takes a special sort of fibre to get that kind of power to burst out of the number two hole.

The Bad

Lyle Overbay is swinging up a storm, and it’s making him ineffective. I know it’s early, but even before today’s first pitch swinging from Overbay, he was swatting at 10% more pitches than he was last season, and only making contact on 0.2% more of them.

Aggressiveness is great and all when it works (see Gonzalez, Alex), but a patient approach to the plate brings better consistency (see Gonzalez, Alex in two weeks).

Note to baseball writers and commentators: Could we please have a moratorium on the Joe West jokes about speeding up the game? We get it. He probably shouldn’t have commented on how long it takes for the Red Sox and Yankees to complete a game. Now, can we all get over it, please?

The Ugly

If I’m honest with myself, I don’t want to tell Rogers Sportsnet their business, but if I’m more honest with myself, I do.

Is mentioning that the Jays home opener will feature a pitching matchup between Jake Peavy and Brian Tallet really the most effective way to promote the game?

Are Pat Tabler and Sam Consentino being cynical or sarcastic when they suggest that it’s going to be an incredible pitching matchup? They can’t honestly believe that, right?

Then again, what do I know. A blessed member of the DJF Monkey Army recently told me I was a moron for criticizing Sportsnet’s coverage of ballpark vendors before they go to break. According to the marketing whiz who set me right, Rogers shows segues of high school drop outs in Baltimore cooking sweaty sheaths of meat to increase attendance at Jays games.

Like, duh.

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