Welp. The bullpen let the Jays down again yesterday, provoking the anticipated piss-fest from the types of fans who can’t grasp how this year’s early struggles have nothing to do with last year’s, and that there are far higher quality pitchers for the Jays to rely on, and that everything is going to be totally fine back there.

Of course, the bullpen was hardly the only culprit in the loss. Manager John Farrell left Darren Oliver out there for a long time as the game was coming undone for the Jays. Smartly brought in to face lefty Nick Markakis, who got an it happens single, Oliver was left in to face right Adam Jones. While he could hardly be called a pitcher with reverse splits, Oliver has been effective against right-handers over the last couple of seasons, just not nearly as much as he has against lefties. Still, he got Adam Jones to strike out, and was allowed to continue against Matt Wieters– a switch hitting catcher who has had more success in his career as a right-hander against lefties than the other way around, especially so in his breakout 2011 season, where he OPS’d 1.124 against left-handers to .662 against righties.

Leaving Oliver in to face Wieters, who drew a walk, was a mistake. But one that still set the Jays up for some measure of success, as the left-handed Oliver forced the switch-hitter Wilson Betemit to bat from the right , where he holds a career .686 OPS. In hindsight, bringing in Casey Janssen to face Wieters may have been the better move, but the way Farrell played it wasn’t terribly egregious.

Of course, none of this would have been a concern if Brandon Morrow had been able to command his fastball, which he was leaving up all night, which resulted in home runs from Adam Jones and Robert Andino, plus a Nolan Reimold double that ended up producing the game’s first run on a Markakis sac fly. If Morrow pitches the way he could and should the bullpen issues are a moot point.

Scuttlebutt

“It just felt like 50,000 people having my back,” says Colby Rasmus in a great feature by Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, speaking about the sequence during last Monday’s Home Opener that saw him make a spectacular diving catch– receiving a standing ovation for it, at least in my section– then knock a triple down the line and eventually score the game’s first run.

Rasmus had perhaps the most impressive of the Jays’ four home runs last night, homering the opposite way and showing off the re-worked swing mechanics that the Jays are hoping will very soon make fans forget about the awful two months he put in at the end of last season.

If they were struggling I’d be the first to point out that it’s way too early to take anything seriously, but did it give me pleasure to watch three of the Jays most maligned hitters of 2011– Rasmus, Kelly Johnson, and Edwin Encarnacion– go deep last night? Yes, it did. Yes it very much did.

TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.com. And for those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with Score Mobile

Actually… in the lead-up to the game I’m going to be one of those folks who is out and about, so I don’t have the lineups yet in front of me. I’m sure you’ll find them somewhere. On the pitching front, we know that it’s Henderson Alvarez (RHP) for the Jays versus Jason Hammel (Shitballer) for Baltimore’s Baltimore Orioles of Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy.

Comments (276)

  1. I hate when managers get into these ‘routines’ like Farrell reflexively taking out thames to put davis into the game with a lead in the later innings. its a ONE FUCKING RUN LEAD DUDE..THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU WILL NEED MORE RUNS.

    so now what you have is

    1. no davis to pinch run.
    2. davis facing a right handed pitcher while thames is on the bench.

    stop with the fucking ‘routine’ ‘mindless’ managerial moves dude.

  2. If we lose, Lawrie will have lost this game.

    • Not really.

      • Should have had at least three runs in that inning, prior to the asinine steal.

        • Whether we should have doesn’t mean we would have. Bautista could of likely made an out. Lawrie has had a bad game but we don’t have to go on saying things that aren’t true.

          • Yes. That Lawrie play was dumb. But there has been some not too great pitching from Jannsen and Cordero as well that has something to do with the score right now.

  3. That’s the sound of James’ TV being thrown out the window. (Albeit not solo.)

  4. Just wonderful.

  5. I feel more like Nolan Reimold won this than Brett Lawrie lost it.

  6. Nolan Reimold is basically a fucking Hall of Famer against the jays. between he and that fuck brett gardner, the jays are helpless

  7. We might lose to the Orioles again. I can’t emotionally handle this.

  8. A potato on the field instead of a waffle? In honor of that useless fat fuck coco… gay pornstar shithead.

  9. might have something cooking here

  10. 3-0 on JP… don’t swing….don’t swing..

  11. fuck man

  12. The Baseball Gods just pulled the rug out from under us.

  13. JP Arencibia is a piece of garbage, 7 games in and he’s dead to me.

  14. fitting end to a weird ass game

    somebody even threw a potato on the field

    we saw it all today – including the dumbest steal of home i have ever seen

    • 2 things I saw at the game for PVR review:

      1. Umpire Jim Wolf say he was going to put the potato thrown on the field in his pants (at least that is what my lip reading skills tell me); and

      2. The blonde over Lawrie’s shoulder just before he stepped into the box for his last AB in the 8th should have her seats upgraded to always sit behind homeplate.

  15. So much for oriLOLes. Fucking brutal. Actually might be a good wake up call for this team that this isn’t spring training and for all the “swagger” they might have they still need to execute to win.

  16. I really dislike Nelson Rye-mould

  17. So glad to see the BlownSaves bullpen is SOOO much better than last year.

    Still 23rd in payroll, still a .500 team at best.

    • Right, because if we had a higher payroll then the extra spent money would animate, and strangle Nolan Reimold so he’s not allowed to hit that home run.

      • Right, because the Rogers apologists are seeing just how not spending money loses games.

        You just can’t admit defeat when it’s staring at you right in the face.

  18. Really, really nasty two losses. I could live with the blown lead last night, but back to back really stings.

  19. This doesn’t change how fucking annoying these last two games were, but at least the likely AL East/Wildcard competition are all having their issues and frustrating starts too. Bos, TB, NYY and LAA are all .500 or worse.

    • like, a lot

      complaining about game to game issues is worse than useless – last year at this time the DFA EE chant was deafening. Settle in its a long season. Re: the bullpen – the opening day 11 inning shut out is too far away to court some goodwill??

      I will say this about Farrell’s decisions – whither Luis Perez??????

      • Yeah. Every team has strings of games that fucking suck, and strings that are great. These two have sucked.

        It’s SUCH a long season. Just have to try to forget it.

        • Having written that, I’m having a real hard time letting go of the fact that if even just 2 of the 3 late inning blow ups we’ve seen (home opener, yesterday, today) didn’t happen – the Jays would be 6 – 2. Arg.

  20. You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor. Take her away!

  21. I might be the only person in the world who thinks this, but I actually think Lawrie’s attempt at stealing second was worse than his attempted steal of home. The steal of home came on an 0-2 count, and he got a fantastic jump. You can often catch people of guard with that, because it is so unexpected. And you are guaranteed to look stupid if it fails, so it takes some guts too.

    On the steal of 2nd, there were 2 outs and I-can’t-get-on-base-to-save-my-life-right-now Arencibia batting. You make the steal, Arencibia is likely to get out (say 9 times out of 10 at this moment), inning over. You miss the steal, and suddenly you have Arencibia leading off the next inning, which is just about the worst person you could possibly have starting your inning. Sadly, you almost have to treat Arencibia like the pitcher at this point.

    And, bullpen, we know you are better than this. Can you please get some quality games in so you can shut all the people up who are complaining about you being no better than last year. Thank you.

    Anyways, some encouraging signs for the hitters today, and after the 1st inning Alvarez was really really good, except for about 3 pitches, 2 of which were crushed. Biggest at bat of the game was Kelly Johnson in the second, who had 2 fastballs right down the middle after a 3-0 count and missed both of them. If he gets a hold of one of them this is a completely different game. Those things happen. That’s why we need 162 games to figure out which teams are the best ones.

    • Lawrie’s lead didn’t look that fantastic to me. It also seemed to breathe some life into Hammel, probably a coincidence, but Hammel went from shaky to lights out after that dopey play.

  22. See you in 2014 guys.

  23. So the team that got swept at home by the Yankees is in good shape to do the same to the Jays. My headache really started coming on when Lind the Special Olympian refused to let Ayala walk him to lead off the 8th. Lind, per usual, preferred the strikeout. A stroke inducing game only got worse from there.

  24. And if JP keeps hitting the way like he is, instead of impersonating Tim Kurkjian, he’s going to be sitting next to him

  25. Scratch scratch ffs scratch meet the new boss scratch same as scratch the old boss scratch ffs

  26. Hey, gang. Shitshow here. Miss me yet? I know it’s been a while, but I still have great memories of sombreros and double play balls. And it’s only April, but I’m hitting .429 for a contending ball club, while my meagre replacement talks about how burned out he was from standing around at first base for nine innings a night.

  27. In 1980, a young writer made the mistake of asking Mark Belanger, the Orioles’ brilliant defensive shortstop, if he could try on his glove, just to see how it felt. Belanger said, “I would kill you before I’d let you put my glove on your hand.”

    Even pitchers are finicky about the glove they use. Greg Maddux used a really big glove in hopes that a bigger glove would help him catch that ground ball up the middle that another pitcher might miss; Maddux won 17 Gold Gloves, the most of any player at any position.

    from a nice story on gloves by Tiny Tim:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7801082/the-personal-nature-player-glove

  28. I think we can say this outfield defence is going to be so much better w/r/t run prevention than what it was last year. Defensively, maybe the best outfield in the division.

  29. First of all, I got to say Arencibia is a fucking brutal hitter. Besides power, he brings nothing as a hitter. I think him and Jannsen are probably the two most overrated players on our roster by the fanbase and media. Why is fucking janssen with his fringy stuff and no out pitch considered one of our better relievers? Hes not if we have a deep bullpen. Every time i see him pitch he either gets lucky or gets shelled. Hes basically a right handed brad mills out of the bullpen. If arencibia struggles for another month maybe its time to bring darnaud up. Im just pissed because I see these two players as weak links on our roster but nobody in the Jays front office sees them as that.

  30. What a frustrating game to watch… but its also only 8 games into the season.

  31. Base runners stole the bat out of hitters hands tonight.Jose gets no respect again from the umps, can’t questions MLB umps or it only gets worse.No player in the majors should be hitting .071, even a pitcher.

  32. Ok Jays fans, lets look at the positives, Johnson, Rasmus, Alverez were excellent and you want strength down the middle – we have it. JPA can’t get any worse offensively, and our base running (which has been fucking awful at times already) will get better. Jays in a walk tomorrow – book it!

  33. If JPA keeps having years with obp under .300 and a batting average under 230 do you think we may actually have him AND Travis D playing for the jays at the same time? If he has a year equal to or worse than his year last year i can’t see us getting much value out of trading him.

  34. I agree about Jannsen. I think it’s because he shot through the minors so quickly and he’s a home grown player. It’s the same for JP. To be honest, the major league team hasnt been anything to write home about, so most loyal fans are BIG into the minors and player development.

    Jannsen was a whiz in the minors and JP was MVP of his league. The desire to see them succeed at anything and protect them from criticism becomes a bit inbred.

    As far as their talent goes, Jannsen is very fringy; but he manages to be quite consistent in his job. A useful piece, but I think a 6th or 7th guy. He’s not a player who handles power hitters well though, and you have to live with him giving up singles and doubles because he has to challenge hitters without much of an out pitch

    JP is a nice catcher with power but limited defense and a poor eye behind the plate. He’s the equivalent of a crash davis for baltimore. He is not expected to hit much this year (besides hit home runs) so I don’t know why people are surprised.

    • Janssen has more strikeouts than any reliever on the team right now and has had a K/9 in the mid 8s over the last two seasons. Let’s maybe not try drawing large conclusions based on one or two appearances here.

  35. At least the starting pitching has been better than advertised. Going into the season that had to be easily the biggest question mark. 5 out of 8 starts have been good, 6, if you count Morrow’s yesterday.

  36. To be honest, what we have is a bunch of mistake hitters. It’s our biggest problem offensively. Look at a team like Boston. They don’t have much depth in their lineup–but because of the way the top end hitters don’t get themelves out, they still get the job done.

    In our case, our hitting is decent in many places but we are missing at least 1 but more helpfully two super patient elite hitters like the Sox and many other teams in this division have.

    Escobar (a great hitter but very impatient)
    Johnson (patient but only slightly above average)
    JBau (perhaps the best hitter in baseball when locked in–if not very impatient)
    Lind (impatient)
    Encarnacion (he migth be among the MOST patient but still, he’s a .260 hitter, which is pathetic)
    Lawrie (rookie–most patient on the team–even more pathetic)
    Thames (below average)
    Rasmus (average)
    Arencibia (nuff said about him)

    This team is very impatient despite themselves. This is going to lead to a lot of blown chances and frustration. Yes I know they’ve executed well in the first eight games given their opportunities, but that is unlikely to be sustainable. This team needs a middle order bat or two, an elite starter, and a scott downs in the pen.

    .

    • I havent seen any patience from anyone other than the top 3 you mentioned. I disagree that EE is patient. Maybe a little this year abut I think hes going to revert back to his hacking ways. You are definitely right about missing one more bat in the 4th hole. A team like NYY or BOS is going to have more long term success on offense because of the grind it out style they play. However, you need special hitters to play that type of style. A team like the Jays cant adopt that style with the personnel they have.

    • How about injecting some stats to defend your point?
      % of Pitches swung at this season (League Average: 45%)
      Rasmus 57%
      Arencibia 52%
      Escobar 47%
      Thames 47%
      Encarnacion 45%
      Johnson 42%
      Lawrie 42%
      Lind 39%
      Bautista 37%

      Team total: 45%

      So let’s look at who you were right and wrong about:
      Escobar (wrong)
      Johnson (right)
      JBau (wrong, even with his recent struggles)
      Lind (wrong)
      Encarnacion (wrong, he’s right on league avg)
      Lawrie (right, but isn’t most patient on the team)
      Thames (right)
      Rasmus (wrong)
      Arencibia (right)

      If you’re just talking about the first week of the season (which I assume you are), being right about less than half the roster isn’t very good.

  37. Yeah, I meant patient as far as the Jays go (which is really, really impatient.) EE is improved, but I don’t consider him above average.. Its just that the others are SO impatient he looks half decent by comparison.

    Same goes for Lawrie. He will actually take close pitches some of the time (gasp) so he takes the prize. I suppose JBau when locked in is better but he has extended slumps. Johnson can take a walk but he’s average. When Jbau is hot, esco takes a walk. When he isn’t….

    We need a few more hitters who can simply take pitches more. And fouling off pitches isn’t going to do it (although it’s better than nothing.)

  38. Ever sit down and drink a beer, naked? It is incredibly liberating.

    An amazing feeling.

  39. A rare moment in DJF history, the recorded thought process of Lawrie’s thought on stealing home…”Ok for sure Hammel’s forgotten about me, he’ll never think I’d steal home now, Jose’s got 2 strikes on hiim, oh man the guys are gonna love me in the dougout when I do this! Ok Hammels got the ball, fuck he doesn’t even know I’m here , lead, stretching it, I can do this, NOW, run, run, run, I’m gonna make it….Dough

    • Definitely bad timing to make that move but if you look at the replay he would’ve been easily safe if he slid head first or even earlier/ got lower. The catcher was able to tag him really high with the high throw, if Lawrie was low he would’ve made it.

  40. Slightly off topic: Anyone seen this video yet? It’s on Mariano Rivera’s pitching, and why he’s so dominant.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/nikoguy1/the-most-interesting-baseball-video-in-history-5xy

  41. We need Billy Sheehan batting cleanup.

  42. Cole Hamels….errr I mean Cecil got his ass handed to him in New Hampshire again..against a bunch of wee AA hitters. Didnt know New Hampshire was at elevation like vegas. what else could explain why he got lit up again..or perhaps its because he sucks. swear to god people have been yukking up this guy for years and his BEST major league years were pedestrian. guy who throw 89 with an 85 mph change dont last pro ball, let alone the majors.

    Cecil has now been passed by about ten other guys. His ONLY shot is becoming a situational lefty in the pen which is another reason why the signing of that old fuck Oliver was stupid and a waste of money

  43. Oh, hey, hey, oh. If you just let what happens happen, when what you wanted to happen happens, you’re not going to know whether it happened or not.

    • It’s “Eh Oh, Oh eh”. The last time someone got it wrong, Samantha poured the drink over the douche who made fun of Tony.

      Tony, you sucked while you were with the Cardinals.

  44. Bautista really needs to stop whining at the plate with close pitches, making presumptuous ball four struts to first before the call is handed out, and being a whiny bitch in general. He’s not doing himself any favours and it’s not endearing to the fans. In my eyes, he’s had a lot of borderline strikes called against him because he’s developed a brutal reputation with the legion of umpires who visibly despise him.

    Great talent, but less bitching is needed. Bautista for Presidente.

    • Bautista’s been getting borderline calls for years now (and he’s been doing what you describe as bitching for years. too). I doubt he’s going to change, nor should he.

  45. That was a good piece on Rasmus, and being from cottage country I can understand that he wouldn’t feel comfortable in the big city…

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