What’s that? Brett Lawrie hitting fifth? Adam Lind way down in seventh? It… it must be… it…

Oh, lefty Bruce Chen is pitching for the Royals tonight. And Rajai Davis is hitting sixth.

Well… baby steps, I guess.

Scuttlebutt

The Royals have been good for what ails the Jays, and tonight’s starter Brandon Morrow must certainly be hoping to get in on the party, after maybe not looking himself so far this season. It would be easy to look at Morrow– as is often lazily done– as having a good self and a bad self, and to ascribe his first starts of 2012 to the presence of Bad Brandon, but the reality is not quite that simple.

In 2011 Morrow struck out four or fewer batters in just three of his 30 starts, and induced ten or more ground balls only once. Already in 2012 he’s induced 10 or more grounders twice, and he’s yet to have a start in which he’s struck out more than four. Has he magically turned into some non-strikeout groundball machine? Hardly: he’s given up five home runs over the course of his last two starts. He’s just… not been very good. Kind of.

Two starts ago against Baltimore, for example, he threw 71 strikes over 106 pitches, walked only one, struck out four, and yet gave up four runs on six hits. This year he’s held opponents to a .208 average, he’s got a .158 BABIP, his WHIP is 1.10, and yet he finds himself with an ERA of 4.50, a FIP of 6.99, and a bunch of fans and media wondering what’s wrong.

Basically, the numbers are a bit of a jumbled mess at this point– as they’re probably going to be after three starts. Anecdotally, though, it’s seemed a bit like Morrow has been playing with fire, making too many mistakes, and leaving too many balls up in the zone to be crushed. Has that really been the case? I don’t even fucking know anymore. Probably not.

I’m sure Morrow will end up pretty much exactly where we expect him to be, and Kansas City is as good a place as any to start heading there.

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
K. Johnson 2B
J. Bautista RF
E. Encarnacion DH
B. Lawrie 3B
R. Davis LF
A. Lind 1B
J. Arencibia C
C. Rasmus CF

B. Morrow RHP

Kansas City Royals

C. Getz 2B
A. Gordon LF
B. Butler DH
E. Hosmer 1B
J. Francoeur RF
M. Moustakas 3B
B. Pena C
M. Maier CF
A. Escobar SS

B. Chen LHP

Image via @BlueJays.

Comments (324)

  1. Back stayed a lot calmer this time lol

  2. FEAR THE MOTHERFUCKING BEARD!

    Now another horrendous streak will probably commence.

    • Is it Monday or is everyone horribly negative tonight? For complaints about Morrow, he’s worked out of jams two innings in a row. Complaints about Bautista, he’s hit a home run tonight. They broke the tie and and everything still going downhill.

      • Regarding Morrow, I think it’s more about the Royals being completely awful than Morrow’s abilities. RE; Bautista, yeah, maybe a little much on my part.

      • Ive actually been really impressed with the way Morrow has worked out of jams. Especially those two 1 out K’s with a man on third.

  3. welp, thats encouraging. his timing and mechanics looked good there

  4. HEEEESS BAAAAAAAAAAAACK..

  5. Gotta love it. Lester gives up a 2 run dinger and minutes later, Jose lights up Chen for a 2-run scraper.

  6. Fucking bunts.

  7. Nice job working back from 3-0 on Francoeur.

  8. Kelly Johnson made the most hilarious throw to Yunel on that play. Silver lining.

  9. Morrow’s K rate is still down, but I’ll take this start.

    • His stuff is much sharper tonight..his fastball has the old riding appearance to it. im very encouraged by what i’ve seen tonight. most of the hits are to the opposite field

  10. Thank god for the incompetence of the Royals. Doesn’t seem to matter how many chances you give them…

  11. Nice job on getting out of that inning again.

    • I can’t figure out how much credit should be given Morrow, as opposed to putting much of it down to the general shittiness of the Royals.

  12. 5 base runners stranded, including at least 3 who were in scoring position with none being allowed to come around and score. That’s fantastic for Morrow. Or any pitcher for that matter.

  13. 91 pitches for Morrow through 6. Back for the seventh?

  14. Awww… Colby’s interacting and laughing with his teammates.

  15. Is it me, or is Tabler a even more annoying than usual tonight?

  16. Adam Lind says: Those 1-4 nights really build your average”.

    Whenever your first baseman can manage an infield single in four or five at bats you should win.

    • I take my cue from the classic steelers teams….a solid ground game is what you need to wni championships

  17. The only thing more incompetent than the Royals’ability to score runs is Tablers ability to speak semi-intelligent English.

  18. For all the talk about how bad Arencibia has been lately, I’m surprised to find out he’s gone 8-for-17 in his last five games, with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, and only 3 Ks.

  19. I agree with taking Morrow out now.

  20. Yeah I knew this inning was going too smoothly. Have to get those runners into scoring position…

  21. Can’t fault Perez for that squeeker

  22. Good ol’ Royals

  23. Nice, more runners in scoring position stranded.

  24. Man, we are playing with fire. Even the most incompetent of teams is going to eventually cash in some runners.

  25. If the game goes into extra innings can they bring Morrow back?

  26. Apropos of nothing: My Blue Jays twitter experience has improved immeasurably since unfollowing Mike Wilner.

    For those on it, I suggest giving it a try, just continue to follow guys like Lott, Davidi, Stoeten, etc.

  27. I think Johnson is lucky his shoes are still on after that last swing on that K.

  28. Every time I hear the last name Crow, I yearn to watch Sons of Anarchy. Good ol’ SAMCRO

  29. Im bracing myself got the loss.

  30. Anybody really feel safe with cordero closing out the 9th tonight?

  31. Im going to take a couple of petpo bismol right now in preperation of Frank Francisco Cordero pitching the ninth

  32. Please score some more runs. Only two for Cordero against the Royals? Not good.

  33. Holy gold glover Lind at first! He can’t hit for shat but that defense…hubba hubba!

  34. I loved that “game within a game” in the bottom of the 5th; Morrow slowed things down, kept the runners close, got the pop up and then the ground out. Pitching, not just throwing. Sweet.

    BTW, I don’t know if everyone already knows this, but I decided to finally checkout the game on RogersOnDemand.com. One added feature I like is Pitch FX. I am not downloading the necessary applet for the DVR functions like slo-mo, pause, etc (as I hate putting unnecessary shit onto my computer) but it looks good tho.

  35. Damn. I thought that was going to be Lawrie’s first double of the year.

  36. Oooohh, Lawrie with a mofo xtrabase hit, nice

  37. Big run.

  38. Lawrie is tough as nails Butterfield gives him the stand up sign…”fuck that shit im sliding bro”

  39. A timely entry on Lawrie Stoeten. Nice three bagger. Now to steal home.

  40. Amazing how the team can hit once you take out a shit baller

  41. Even though the throw beat him, it looks like he got his hand in there – even on a pitch out.

  42. oh, I just discovered another built-in feature of the ROD version of the game – a Twitter box where game-related tweets are displayed. I am reading Royals fans lament Broxton – noice.

  43. Davis so f’n safe. Bad call ump from a bad position!

  44. seriously 98 mph? no way post operative broxton is throwing 98.

  45. mooooooooooooooooooooosssee

  46. Okay so what’s the over/under on number of baserunners in the bottom of the ninth? I’ll set it at 3.5

    • more like what is the over under on how many chalupas cordero ate between yesterday and today’s games.

  47. If they’re going to play that kind of shift on Lind why not just bunt, especially if they were doing it with Davis on 1st. That would have been an easy 1st and 2nd with nobody out. I get not wanting your big power hitters to bunt (although I still think there’s plenty of times they should), but Lind doesn’t fit that mold.

  48. I never used to think the old uni’s were that bad. Now that they have the new ones I realize the error in my ways.

  49. For a moment I was afraid he was going to leave Perez in like Tabler was suggesting instead of bringing in the closer.

  50. One thing I think Sportsnet definitely improved on over last year is the in-game score box. It is a so much better as the narrow band near the bottom of the screen with the pop-up velocity (I like it better than what you see on NESN and YES – except I like the pitch count feature they use).

  51. Would have preferred Casey here. His corner throwing fastball would have been perfect for this umps strike zone.

  52. Hold on to your dicks!

  53. There’s one….

  54. nice change up by cordero. nothing like slow pitches up in the zone

  55. Im hanging this loss on Cordero.

  56. Ooh double play. But now what’s coming…..

  57. Just imagine how you would feel right now if you were a Royal’s fan…..cant get a hit with RISP and everytime someone gets on, double play

  58. I dont care if kansas sucks, a 4 game sweep is good.

  59. Well finally a faily easy inning.

  60. This is the saddest sweep ever!

  61. Scary Coco time queue the spooky music.

  62. Sweeeeep! And a big 4 game one too!

  63. Solid series Jays! Keep it going vs. dem O’s!

    • I fucking hate the Orioles. They think they are good this year because they have gotten off to a not so shitty start. That ends tomorrow. It’s the beginning of their death spiral into last place. Get ready

      • A not so shitty start is catnip to the OriLOLe’s. Wait ’til they see what a 4 game sweep is to the Jays.

  64. Jays were never 4 games over .500 at any point last year.

  65. Well Morrow certainly walked the tightrope tonight and did well to not fall off. Much better command tonight and even some of the hits were more of just get a piece of it and drive it the other way type. That said I seriously WTB a start like this at home next time out.

    Lawrie seemed to have more of an uppercut in his swing tonight.

  66. Oddly enough I felt completely confident with Cordero on the mound. Though that had more to do with the Royals than it did Cordero, but still.

    • Well, I did think the Jays would win (it’s the Royals, after all) but I thought they’d at least get the tying run on base.

  67. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Jays came in and kicked a team right in the teeth while it was down. The KC broadcast put up a graphic that since 2000 Toronto was like 978-978, hopefully the twelve year mediocrity ride is over. Keep it going, gents!

    • Well that’s going to be key going forward. If they just improve to .500 vs the other beasts in the East and take this types of games from teams they should then 85+ wins is possible.

    • Exactly. I hate to see them play tough against the Wankees and the Red Sux (in recent years) and then drop two of three to a sub-.500 team.

  68. Haters can hate, but a sweep on the road? Boom! They keep this up against the Orioles and they sittin’ pretty atop the AL East

  69. i could only imagine what this place would be like right now if the Jays only took 3 of 4….good teams get wins when they are not playing their best.

  70. Santos MRI says no structural damage, but is on a no-throw for 10 to 15 days, per Barry Davis tweet. ETA is mid-May. Get used to the Coco show for the next foreseeable time frame.

    • Its all about holding your own until injured players get back and good players get rolling.
      I would say a 4 game sweep on the road is holding your own.
      It will be fun to watch meaningful baseball in august this year, book it.

    • Coco is 2 for 2. I could get used to that, scary or no.

      • I don’t mind Coco. Has an assortment of pitches and knows how to do the job. He just likes to give fans their money’s worth. Hence = Coco Show.

    • Sounds like he’ll be gone for a month to 6 weeks then. They were saying a day of rehab for everyday off. Might be a bit much but I can’t see the Jays rushing him with a shoulder issue.

  71. GFG. That was probably the most important game of the series. Now on to Baltimore, where the Jays need to take off the belt and show the Oriels who the Boss is.

  72. Chen is always a total asshole against us. I hate when we face that soft-tossing jerk. So glad the Jays beat him. This start and the Hutchinson one against their “ace” were the games that that the Royals really needed in this series and they didn’t get either of them.

  73. Blue Jays: Tied for 4th in MLB in Runs, tied for 5th in HRs, 6th in OBP (cough,Kelly Johnson,cough – he has 20% of their walks) but around 9th in OPS, so it is obviously their batting average issues we are noticing (around 17th in MLB).

    • Playing in cold weather in Cleveland and in so-so weather in a big ballpark in KC will do that. Not worried too much about the hitting. The Jays season will live or die with the starting pitching.

      • I disagree. The starting rotation is a bigger concern but the hitting is far from perfect. Too many streaky hitters in the lineup who hack away. I dont trust this offense to go on a long rally. Chen is a pitcher a team like BOS, NYY or TEX would beat the crap out of. We could barely beat him. Thats an indication the offense could use another bat.

        • I disagree with your disagree. Look at the Giants. Anorexic hitting with great pitching. The Jays have great hitting….just needs time. But if the pitching is there, look out muthafuckas in the AL east.

  74. Coco, the fatty-faced Panda has been getting the job done, and not tossing tee-balls to hitters like Rauch was @ 90 MPH and at the heart of the plate.

  75. remiss in not noting that Bautista is also another 20% contributor to the walk total for this team, the actual OBP leader.

  76. So with all the Phaillies injuries, I hope AA is calling Ruben to find out the price on Roy Halladay to give him an opportunity to play for a playoff team. He is just being wasted there. . . … . . (payback).

    • I know that it’s unlikely to happen, but if Halladay returned to the Jays in July, the city would explode. The Rogers Centre would be sold out .Halladay could lead the Jays to the playoffs & would solidify the rotation. Halladay as a Jay in the playoffs would be electrfying. The prodigy returns home.

      On the other hand I think Ricky Romero likes being the leader of the pitching staff so .I wonder how he would react to the return of Halladay

      • I still believe Doc will finish his career as a Jay. Way on down the road, unfortunately for the team right now.

      • i made this same comment last week.halladay wanted a championship.wouldnt it be funny if the jays got there first.

  77. Last night I was shocked walking out of the local Lotte Mart to see some dude with the Blue Jays old toothpaste T hat on. I was too shocked to talked to him.

  78. The Halladay comment was very much a joke on my part, would never happen, but frustrating for Doc to see his team implode around him, I am guessing).

    Now, this is not a joke -but a seemingly pathetic rumour-mongering bullshit comment to try and get JF riled up at Jays management (AA perhaps?). So, the Boston Globe reporter drops an anonymous quote that “there is some questioning of John Farrell’s pitching moves at times according to a major league source”. Umm, pretty sure the same statement could be made about 100% of the other managers in baseball – “questioning . . . moves at times”. Holy Fuck. The Bahsten manager is loathed beyond belief (altho Youkilis hasn’t exactly made Valentine eat his words), may not last the season and they want to stir up shit here??!!??!! Next we’ll hear that it is internal Jays rumbling, you know to make some Macbethian palace intrigue poison the AA-JF working relationship.

    Hey Cafredo (my Godfather reference for him), stop doing Larry Luchino’s wet work, keep your character assassination in Massholia – stick to digging up dirt on Funny Valentine for the inevitable blame game you guys play there.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/04/cafardo-on-peavy-white-sox-twins-liriano-rays.html

  79. Blue Jayas are gonna be on Monday night baseball next week. I think it’s against Darvish.

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