Oh, those poor Kansas City Royals. Not that I have too much sympathy for residents of the Paris of the Plains (Mayor: the Right Honourable Sly James)– 1985 and whatnot– but… man… after pissing away Friday’s contest, Luis Mendoza went out there and shat one onto a tee for Jays hitters yesterday. These are not good times for the Royals or their fans, unless the club’s aim was to make us folks here in Toronto not only feel better about the prospects for 2012, but for the club’s recent strategy of loading up on pitching talent in the draft, rather than a bunch of excellent position players who aren’t gonna win a whole damn lot with the likes of Mendoza on the hill.

Of course, today’s Royals starter, hard-throwing lefty Danny Duffy, has looked in his two starts this season that he might be turning a corner. His strikeout rate is up 13% from last year to 31.9%, and he’s generating swinging strikes on 12.4% of his pitches– better numbers than his counterpart today, Ricky Romero, but… um… I’d still be laying my bets on the Jays in this battle of lefties, even if John Farrell’s lineup includes the likes of Omar Vizquel and Ben Francisco. (His only lefty? Colby fucking Rasmus, whose blast off left-hander Everett Teaford yesterday raised his OPS vs. LHP in 2012 to 1.126 in a laughably-meaningless sample of 14 plate appearances.)

And the Jays still have one more game in which to pad their record against these Royals, Monday night!

Scuttlebutt

The big news yesterday was– apart from Drew Hutchison’s winning-ish MLB debut– of course, the placement of closer Sergio Santos on the Disabled List with right shoulder inflammation.

“Santos said his shoulder didn’t feel right in saving Friday night’s win, and when the pain got worse Saturday morning the decision was made to shut things down for a while in order to nip any potential issue in the bud,” writes Mike Wilner at Miked Up. “Manager John Farrell says the move is precautionary and the Jays don’t expect Santos to miss a lot of time, but you never know with shoulders.”

The revamped bullpen– especially with Francisco Cordero assuming the role of closer– sure doesn’t quite feel as solid without its electrifying closer at the back end, though… it’s not like Santos had looked quite himself yet this season anyway. Nothing to do here but hope for the best, I suppose…

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

Toronto Blue Jays

Y. Escobar SS
O. Vizquel 2B
J. Bautista RF
E. Encarnacion 1B
C. Rasmus CF
B. Lawrie 3B
B. Francisco DH
R. Davis LF
J. Arencibia C

R. Romero LHP

Kansas City Royals

J. Bourgeois CF
A. Gordon LF
B. Butler DH
E. Hosmer 1B
Y. Betancourt 2B
J. Francoeur RF
M. Moustakas 3B
H. Quintero C
A. Escobar SS

D. Duffy LHP

Comments (161)

  1. Of course the RoyLOLs have Betancourt hitting in front of Francoeur and Moustakas

  2. Cool to see Rasmus hitting 5th

  3. Colby hitting 5th is fun. But just because Omar is replacing KJ does he really belong in the 2 hole? That walk was spiffy though.

    • Permutations confuse Farrell.

      • Confuse him? If so, perhaps it is because there are so many permutations of meaningless whinging fan bullshit. After all a while it would all blend into a blended mush… like crushed potatoes.

    • It does seem like a rather curious choice. I’d have just batted Colby second and moved Lawrie et al. up in the order. On average number two hitters come up with runners on more often than any place in the order other than cleanup hitters and, obviously, get the second most plate appearances after leadoff guys.

  4. So Sergio Sirotka…er, Santos, is headed to the DL…hmmmmm

  5. Rasmus looking positively Lindian there. I’ll admit that I am not left-handed and have never played anywhere near the ML level, but it seems like it shouldn’t be THAT hard to recognize a breaking ball that will end up both in the dirt, AND 3 feet off the plate.

    • I can tell you that a great change up is nearly impossible to pick up on. They aren’t kidding when they say it drops off the table, especially when the fastball is 95mph.

    • I think that was a product of the camera angle. Duffy looked like he got really fucked around that inning and I can’t imagine both of those things actually happening.

    • I’m sure I speak for many, when I say that you obviously have no clue about anything. Your comments here are fucking ridiculous and I hate your name.

  6. Brett should batting ahead of Colby. Colby is batting in a position of fail.

  7. “Anytime you put nine runs on the board it’s a good night,” Farrell said.

    I really hope that this quote from yesterday’s recap was a shot at Boston. I couldn’t have rubbed it in better myself!

  8. It’s too bad the Royals fans have one of the cheapest owners in the league. If they were able to get a couple of decent free agent arms to go with those position players they’d have a good shot in the next year or two.

  9. Moosekaka!

  10. Fuck off wind.

  11. The wind. She giveth and she taketh.

  12. Duffy at 60 pitches through 3 without even giving up a hit. Outside of Masterson I can’t recall an opposition starter going 8 or more innings against us so far, the jays are working the count like crazy so far.

  13. Attaboy Ricky!

  14. So much for that “experience” on the bench, right Buck?

  15. Given how well we’re hitting in this game and how many baserunners we’ve had thus far, I definitely think that a risky, low-percentage steal was the appropriate move.

    FIRE FARRELL

  16. That was a patient intelligent at-bat by Francisco. Worked the count like they’re all doing, got the first hit, got himself on base for the second time today. Like.

  17. Attaboy Yunel!

  18. So regarding Hutchison’s start yesterday and how he went out for the sixth, Buck and Tabs claim that it now makes TOTAL SENSE since Santos was not available due to his shoulder issue.

    Umm..really? It makes sense to push your 21 year old puppy starter beyond that which is reasonable and prudent because you dont want to use Casey Janssen for one inning of a fucking April game?

    Im not sure what is dumber, what Farrell did or Buck/Tabs acting as if it makes total sense.

    • Have to agree with you completely. With someone like Villanueva that can give you multiple innings or even Jansen and with Crawford due back today that’s pretty much bunk.

    • The much bigger mistake was calling up Hutchison in the first place. He hadn’t forced a callup, and for a short term replace,ent there was no reason to start Hutchison’s options clock. Moreover, Hutchison was a Ricciardi draft pick and those haven’t turned out well.

      • Your first point is arguable, but I don’t understand shitting on Hutch because of who drafted him. AA has fully adopted him. Hutch is not a holdover from the prior regime to be discarded.

      • I’m not worried about his option clock at all. With the trend of teams locking up their good players to long-term contracts well before free agency there’s a good chance it won’t be that much more expensive and money should not be a problem for this team.

        It’s also a great sign that this club wants to win now whether that’s completely realistic or not, as a fan I can appreciate that. Prior years would have seen some shit baller like Laffey getting the starts.

        With the huge number of high ceiling pitchers on their way up it also serves to show what these guys have. Sooner or later they’re going to have to find out. Better to know now instead of possibly making a mistake and trading a valuable piece away or not valuing one too much.

  19. Omar with the eternal AB…

  20. There we go.

  21. Attaboy JoeyBats!

  22. Great slide J.P!

  23. Just turned it on to see bases juiced for Colby. COME ON

  24. This ump gives Duffy the strike on anything near the outside of the plate.

  25. Tough day for Colby to get moved up in the order.

  26. Attaboy Brett! U da’man!

  27. At least we should be done with Duffy after this inning, 112 pitches and counting.

    Maple Boner time!

  28. That’ll do!

  29. Duffy…..great stuff…not great results. i wouldnt bet against him long term though.

    Thinks about what a difference it makes simply having Lawrie out there instead of a total shit bag like jason nix

  30. Oh God, there we go..having to listen about this being an ‘energized’ team.

    yes, they are energized because they are playing well…they aren’t playing well because they are energized.

    • How does one play energized? Like Lawrie? Or Colby? I agree with ur point?

      • It’s just usual bs talk from these guys tabler and buck…they cant really discuss anything intelligently about the plays before them, so they resort to shit like “this team is playing with no fear….”

        or “they are playing with lots of energy”

        yada yada.

  31. Is there any question that D rew hUTCHison’s nickname should be DUTCH?

  32. No no no Ricky that’s not how it’s done. When they score 4 for you, you shut them down the next time up.

  33. Oh no Romero … no

  34. what a shit give back inning.

    one ball was hit decently and three runs are going to score for sure, maybe more

  35. I still dont understand how a high pop up ten feet behind second base falls in

  36. those two runs should be charged to escobar.

    one for being a douche bag and worrying too much about dekeing francour instead of just catching the ball.

    and the second for his not even close throw to first which he then tried to blame on quintero somehow

  37. Quickest two outs ever (both of which included slips). Damn.

  38. Let’s get a few more runs so there is more wiggle room for gasoline alley

  39. Bautista a pickin’ machine… I mean walkin’ machine today

  40. Rasmus was red hot yesterday, stone cold today.

    • Not his fault. I blame Farrell on this one. Colby is batting in the spot in the order where there’s too much onus on him to do something. He will eventually be batting higher in the order but for now he should have still been batting 8th.
      Bad line up by Farrell! But if jays win all will be forgiven!

  41. read that aj burnett pitched a fuckin gem for pitt last night.he might piss off the yanks even more.i think he is in a contract year.rat face just keeps getting paid

  42. I don’t know if it has been mentioned elsewhere, but I see no national coverage of Josh Hamilton’s conquering his inner demon this year so far, despite last years massive coverage of it – and by his inner demon I am of course talking about Daytime Baseball (wait, what did you think I was talking about???)

    4 HRs during day games so far this year in half as many night games where he has an additional 3 HRs (also higher average, smaller K-rate).

    Did he get those baby blues blacked out over the winter?? Curious minds want to know!!

  43. and in other news, BoSux prayers have been answered, Mother Nature had mercy on their poor souls and sent Rain Miser out early to cancel tonight’s potential shamefest.

  44. Lawrie finally steals home!

  45. That’s a little league ploy!

  46. Jesus, KC, that’s the oldest trick in the book. Nice though. 3 runs might be enough for the pen to hold it.

  47. gETTING WARM FUZZIES!

  48. Ricky Ricky Rick Ricky Ricky Ricky!

    Should he go nine?

    • I don’t see much reason to let Romero go nine if a) it’s not a shutout situation; and b) it is a save situation. But then Santos is injured, so maybe its best.

  49. Chickity China the Chinese chicken.

  50. Gotta say the reaction would be different if Lawrie had been called out at home yet again. I see that he doesn’t let failure get to him though, lol.

  51. Here we go again ..

  52. Coco time be scary time. We probably have 3-4 weeks of looking forward to coco putting men on in the 9th.

  53. ok the warm fuzzies just gave birth to the jitters.

  54. coco, better than Rauch, but still can’t get 1-2-3 innings against bottom dwelling teams FFS…

  55. P R O S P E R I T Y – Jays pitchers I am sure you can stand it if you give it a try. It’s really a neat thing!

  56. Winning is contagious.

  57. Way to go Coco! Next time pls not so interesting

  58. And the dreaded Jacob Two-Two curse is broken! 3 in a row!

  59. Does EVERY Cordero inning have to be scary? it’s getting a little nuts.

    • He’s like Kevin Gregg that way. Except he’s different from Gregg in that his success is genuine and not dumb luck.

    • He’s also got a 95 mph fastball he throws up after all that low to mid 80′s crap….Gregg had a lame ass, flat and straight , 91 mph at best.

  60. Even innings where he gets a quick out and jumps ahead 0-2 or 1-2 on the next guy, and you think oh okay maybe it’ll be fine, next thing you know a run’s in and a couple runners on base only one out and it’s all scary again. Jeez. Just like Rauch.

    • Just like Rauch, except that Rauch hasn’t given up a run this year in 8.1 innings. Where was that last year?!

      • I’m sure Rauch had a run of 8.1 scoreless innings at some point last year. The National League is a lot nicer to pitchers than the AL East, but I’m sure we’ll see the same Rauch we all know soon enough.

        • Gotta love how Rauch’s last outing was a blown save and he was awarded the W too. Hooray for meaningless stats!

          • Haha, I missed that masterful one out win in his last game with his sparkling -.297 WPA. It seems that Rauch has helped Francisco towards his 8.53 ERA.

      • Rauch’s fastball didnt hit 90.

  61. Re: clean innings…

    Mariano Rivera last year faced four or more batters in 25 of his 64 appearances, and in each of the three appearances over one inning, he faced more than the minimum. So let’s please stop pretending closers are automatic 1-2-3 guys and not worry about this so much.

    • That would be an interesting article for FanGraphs. What’s the percentage of clean innings by closers/set-up men the last few years and who are the leaders.

      • I’d really like to see this, especially to wave in the face of those derpy fans hollering for a “proven closer” every time there’s a couple of baserunners in the ninth. I suspect they may not be pleased by the results. I wonder what Valverde’s record would be.

    • There’s a difference between expecting a clean inning from a closer vs expecting your closer to not walk Betancourt…

      that was a save in name only as Coco gave up a run, had the winning run at the plate despite a three run lead to start a clean inning, AND only got out of it because Pena hit an absolute rocket right at someone.

      the only thing Rivera and Cordero have in common at this point is that they are right handed pitchers.

  62. Really noticed Lawrie’s tendency to hit ground balls this year. Even when he seems to square up, the majority end up as hard grounders. Totally not driving the ball for some reason. His line drive rate is actually up a couple percent but his ground ball rate is up over 20 percent. Yes the sample size is small but it should merit some additional attention going forward. Jose and Thames are also showing increases though Thames is the worst by far at 65% and Lawrie is right behind him at 60%.

  63. Living here in Ohio where I can follow the Reds closer than I really want to, I can attest that the highwire act you saw from Coco today is par for the course. He drove Reds fans nuts. I don’t mind him as a setup guy, but he scares me as our closer.

    How about the Royals? 0-9 at home to start the season and could be 0-10 tomorrow. I saw their home opener on TV here last week against the Tribe and the Royals brass was talking about 85 wins and a second place finish. This season is blowing up fast. One more week of this and the manager will be gone. The fan base had a ton of enthusiasm just a few days ago, you get the impression that their faith is dissolving very quickly. Here I was unhappy with the Jays 4-5 homestand.

  64. I really hope someone writes “This is a sinking ship” and “Play for yourself” on the white board in Boston’s clubhouse! We should start a “pick the date Bobby V get’s fired” pool!

  65. Speaking of the the AL East Beasts, is it just me, or has Nick Squisher trumped Gay-Roid as the biggest cocksucker in Major League Baseball?!!!!

    That tongue shit he does after he hits a double and the shit eating grin he bears while doing so makes me want to organize a right field, Drunk Jays Fans, heckle fest next time the Evil Empire are in town. Its not often that I have felt so vile toward a player, not since Ricky Henderson was with the A’s.

  66. What I learned today from reading this blog:

    The sample size is small……

    • The small sample size police have a point…we get it…..but guess what? a baseball game is in and of itself a small sample….so basically we shouldnt even talk about a game. we should only have a drunk jays fan game threat for every 100 or so games and then we could talk about ALL one hundred games at a time and not have to hear about small sample size (although even 100 games isn’t much)

  67. So looking beyond all of the criticism I’ve read here today…a day that we WON, it’d be nice to look at some positives. Tomorrow we’re in line for a 4 game sweep over a team we would have been lucky to split the series with last season (we had a 3-4 record vs them). Ricky fucking cruised again, except for a small blip inning that wasn’t his fault, and he battled through. Lawrie makes insane plays at 3B. Even though I despise how often Buck and Tabby talk about his range, it is fucking true. He can get to any ball, and knocks them down with his fucking chest. He is the opposite of Roger Dorn. We are tied for 1st, yes it’s April 22nd, but who gives a fuck? It’s still fun! Let’s hope Morrow brings it tomorrow, we get some more Colby-bombs to shut dickheads like McCown up for good, and we sweep our way into Baltimore on a high note. Go Jays!

    • Amen. This team is so much fun to watch (when we’re not getting destroyed by Tampa Bay, at least).

    • bob mccowan clucking his tongue is pure torture.half the show these supposed men are yapping about their fuckin clothes or haircuts.but the asshole made sure he pointed out the weakest parts and said they would fail.typical toronto media bullshit they didnt predict the sox falling fast.

    • Even the worst teams win baseball games and do win against the best teams. So if the Jays do pull off a 4 game sweep in Kaufman stadium, it will be a pretty big win.

      There have been fantastic Aprils in Jays’ history. Aprils where the team finishes the month in first place only to go on to have rotten seasons. This one feels a little different though because of the way the team is winning. It’s not just dumb luck or hitting taters at some unsustainable rate. The team is just playing good baseball and when one player is off his game, someone else picks him up. When Bautista is the worst part of the lineup and the team is still pulling out wins (even against the Royals), it’s a good time.

      The Jays are a really fun team to watch this year and I hope they keep things interesting. September *might* even be fun this year.

    • So looking beyond all of the criticism I’ve read here today…a day that we WON…

      You’ve got a point there. And it’s the third straight game won. What I like besides Romero and Lawrie looking good is that the team has just obviously improved over last year. No Corey Patterson/Jayson Nix/Juan Rivera/Jo Jo Reyes.Johnson and Rasmus are clear upgrades. The bullpen isn’t any worse and if Santos gets back and performs that’ll be a clear upgrade too. Even Fire Farrell might admit that he’s an upgrade on Cito.

  68. Fun to think what the team will be like when Jose gets back on track and the other pieces fall into place.
    Morrow is pitching on the road tomorrow so possibilities it could be a good outing after what we seen from him last time.

    No matter how bad a team is, if you can get a 4 game sweep you did well. 4 game sweeps are rare.(anecdotally anyways, sorry to the stats guys that i cannot quote you percentages)

  69. Now that we’re tied for 1st, how long before Rogers starts mentioning “First place Toronto blue jays” in their ads?

    • they really cant this year because the jays and the others are going to fluctuate all year

    • How long before fans in Toronto start showing up for games at the Rogers Centre?

      • A lot longer than this. They’re playing pretty baseball but we’ve all been burned before. The casual fans need to be convinced that this version is for real. And I’m not convinced that this version is for real yet!

        Also Bautista is continuing to hit the way he did after he broke his ankle. I am really concerned about that.

        • Hi isabellareyes!

          • Hi back :)

            The team is undoubtedly better than last year. Better than I thought it would be. And if E5 keeps up I will gladly eat all my words about him. I think Farrell gets the award for most improved Blue Jay. He’s done a couple of things I was head-scratchin’ over, but on the whole he’s much better than last year.

        • Bautista didn’t break his ankle. He merely twisted it. I don’t think he even went on the DL due to it.

        • With regards to Farrell -

          I think one thing fans get too caught up in is the single-game aspect of managing. It’s all well and good for us to sit here, especially with relievers , and say “He should have used *this guy* against *that player*… it makes too much sense not to” witout taking into account all of the other variables involved: What’s been said to the player, scheduled off days, who’s pitching tomorrow, player availbility, etc.

          While it’s the most visible part of his job, there’s so much more to managing than in-game match-ups… He has to manage players in order to keep them performing throughout the year… that means taking a chance every now and then with a less than ideal match-up, IMO.

      • Attendance isn’t going to go from 20k a game to 35k + a game over night.

        These things are generally incremental.

        If you look back through ESPN, you’ll see that the April crowds this year have been a few thousand bigger than what we’ve seen the last few years at this time. If the team keeps this positive buzz going forward or competes for the playoffs we’ll see good crowds.

  70. BOOSHWA!

  71. I’m hoping for a sweep today. If Brandon can’t beat the Royals, especially after getting hammered by Tampa, then he shouldn’t be the number 2.

    Speaking of the order of the rotation, is that something that is just unilaterally set by the manager or do the player and his agent have to agree on where the pitcher fits in rotation, so that it would be in his contract that he’s the number 2? If Farrell can change his spot in the rotation I think he should if Brandon doesn’t win tonight.

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