It seems tonight is a homecoming of sorts. The Rangers, the assumed best team in the American League, come into Toronto to take on the red hot Toronto Blue Jays. Texas sends Yu Darvish, who you may have heard of, to the hill against Kyle Drabek. A stern test indeed for the young Jays hurler.

Judging by the outrage after the Rangers won the posting (and second round today in the form of WHAT HAPPENED AA? columns making the rounds), the Blue Jays made an egerious error in not posting for and then signing Yu Darvish. This may well be the case, he looks like the real deal so far in his big league career. But the kind of money he commanded requires a level of production the Jays apparently thought he could not achieve.

The weird level of certainty with which Blue Jays fans fixated on Yu Darvish is due in no small part to breathless reports from big time reporters and opportunistic wannabes alike, as John Lott captures perfectly right here.

Because it made sense in theory and the only real barrier between the Jays and Darvish was money, it is very understandable for hungry fans to latch on and refuse, much to the tight-lipped Anthopolous’ chagrin, to let go. Thus fuelling even more resentment and a palatable sense that Darvish just might have been the one who got away. Which he has become in the minds of some.

Lost in the spinning Darvish yarns is the fact that, with or without him, the Rangers are very good and present a very serious challenge to the ongoing rebirth of Kyle Drabek. Even without Josh Hamilton, the Rangers lineup is exactly the type to chew up and spit out a pitcher like Drabek. It could, potentially, get ugly. In a hurry.


Despite Edwin Encarnacion killing everything and Eric Thames showing uncommon signs of life, Adam Lind slots in comfortably into the cleanup spot again. Which is cool, for real.

Infield Fly has a great look at Brandon Morrow’s new approach. You should read it.

Here is today’s Getting Blanked show, you should watch it.

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at 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 Seattle Mariners
1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Kelly Johnson 2B
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Adam Lind 1B
5. Edwin Encarnacion DH
6. Eric Thames LF
7. Brett Lawrie 3B
8. Colby Rasmus CF
9. J.P. Arencibia C

Kyle Drabek, P

1. Ian Kinsler 2B
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Michael Young 3B
4. Adrian Beltre DH
5. David Murphy LF
6. Nelson Cruz RF
7. Mike Napoli C
8. Mitch Moreland 1B
9. Craig Gentry CF

Yu Darvish, P

Comments (250)

  1. Drabek pitched like an ace tonight. His best start, imo. Very encouraging.

  2. Crawford was just used yesterday, why not used the experienced Oliver or Perez? Instead of a young guy with really limited experience.

  3. Between beguiling the Jays and the game long ESPN knob job Darvish should be exhausted.

  4. Agree with all on great start by Drabek, but would have liked to see what he had in the seventh.

  5. Someone send Jose some video of kemp hitting the ball with power the other away.. Couldnt hurt Jose to at least give it a try could it?

  6. If we didn’t have Jose that three run lead would be worrisome.

  7. if they had a bid for kicking zaun in the nuts. i would pay a $1000 and get off the couch


  9. nice job frasor.slow as hell but a better result than i expected especially with bases juiced

  10. Great thing about Frasor pitching: was able to go take a piss, grab a beer and get myself some chips and get back in time for the at bat to finish

  11. Edwin’s getting it any way he wants it.

  12. “Not a lot to cheer about in this beautiful city” — Quote of the year, from one of the ESPN guys, after recapping the blight of the Leafs, Raps, and Argos.

  13. need mathis now

  14. fuck farrell wake up.mathis is on fire

  15. Anyway great game by Drabek regardless of the outcome. Should give him a shit load of confidence going forward if he doesn’t nitpick too much. Just a pity the offense has been mediocre to down right awful so far this month.

    • It’s true.

      The young starting pitching of this team is the one real, exciting positive of the season so far.

  16. farrell is pissing me off sitting on his hands

  17. yanks took down the o’s 2-1 yayyyyyyy and seattle is tied in the 9th with tb

  18. It’s only been the first month and like almost every team, it’s not perfect and has it’s holes. We need to come back in another month and then evaluate (unless it’s an obvious Mencherson situation crying for a solution).

    I do wonder whether some stats like hard hit balls can lead the team down wrong decision paths. I think Thames is the posterboy for this. I don’t know what other things they track (especially for pitchers). It looks like velocity and movement (but what are the thresholds though?) could be primary ones (duh…).

    • Yeah, this is a good point. It’s easy to get down on them after games like this.

      But the starting pitching is incredibly encouraging. If they can just start getting some hotter bats in the lineup.

      Plus, as you say, the Rays, Yanks, Red Sox and Angels (essentially the Jays’ competition for the AL East and WC are facing their own issues.)

  19. too bad AA has no trade buddies yet

  20. Well all we can hope for is another Joe Nathan disaster tonight.

  21. Only a good veteran professional hitter like Young could intentionally put that kind of spin on a ball

  22. washington can just sit back and eat seeds. reminds me of the 92 93 jays

  23. time for a goodnight irene

  24. Come on Jays, blast Nathan’s arm back to Dr. Andrews!

  25. and the opportunity missed is 2 on and a p hitter for jp. enough said.nope fuck farrell again

  26. I’d say that was a pretty good outing by the Jays considering how well Darvish pitched.

    Drabek was really good and the bullpen was able to get out of jams.

    Only negative was those two dingers Crawford gave up.

  27. So Mendoza and Lindsey Lohan best 3-4 hitters in the game right now or what?

  28. I do realize the boys faced probably the best pitcher ever shot out of an Iranian’s cock, but still. The offensive ineptitude grows wearisome.

  29. It’s somewhat telling when I walk away from a game and my only thought is “well, to be fair, I was expecting a lot worse.”

  30. No doubt darvish was tough tonight..but fuck the approach of taking the first pitch all night was a fucking disgrace. he threw first pitch strikes to almost every hitter, and the majority of the time it was the only hittable pitch. it really looked obvious that the jays were just taking all night and he knew ahead..then put them away with stuff well out of the zone.

    another solid start wasted.

  31. thank you seattle. a bomb inthe 10th. lose tb lose.maybe the jays dont slide a game.

  32. I start to question Farrell moves. Why did he bring in Crawford for the second day in a row? And the after he couldn’t get the lefty out why did he let him to pitch to another batter?

    • makes sense to use crawford if the other lefties are unavailable..but to use crawford and then go right back and use perez? waste. once they got down 4-1, there was no point in burning perez

    • I generally dislike Wilner’s apology making, but his explanation made sense:

      Moreland is a career .225/.295/.275 versus lefties, and Gentry is a career .259/.311/.357 and has never hit a home run off a lefty. That they both hit HRs is the outlier of outliers.

  33. At least Cordero is nice and rested for tomorrow!

  34. So..there are seven teams with positive run differentials in the American league.

    the leaders of the central.
    the leaders of the west.


    its fucking stupid

  35. after a 500 month against shit teams i have yet to see what the defined roles for the pen are. seeing this was confusing last year, i thought it was to be addressed. oh i know giving away more games than last year. can we get a pinch fuckin hitter for jp when a multiple run inning is on the line and tying or leading is possible with a hit?fuck off farrell.get some fuckin help to think

  36. not much faith in drabek from fairservice I guess.. can we put edwin in the 3-spot yet?

  37. Amazing how many people can accept losing already.

    We got beat by a better pitcher that could have been ours if the team wasn’t so goddamn cheap. There could have been this hype around the team every 5th game. The owners could have made a statement to the fans that they actually give a damn about something more than maximizing their profits. In the end, we get another 0.500 team.

    April was our easy month. Just wait until the 9 – 20 May. All the 90 win predictions will quickly turn into “they’re still young, wait until next year”. Spend some damn money on free agents. Pitching, hitting, something.

    Beeston promised the playoffs 3 of the next 5 years. The goal posts can’t be moved now.

    • I would fucking love to have Darvish, but really, I’m not sure the Jays record would be any different with him. Our rotation has been fantastic.

      When you factor in how good Texas’ lineup is, Drabek was probably just as good as Darvish tonight.

      • I think Drabeck did a fantastic job tonight. We couldn’t ask more from him. However, Farrell decision to bring Crawford in that tight situation and those two home runs really sucked the air out of the ballpark. I think the game outcome could have been different if it was a one run game going into eight and ninth innings.

        • Wouldnt have mattered who Farrell brought in…the team only scored one run. would have lost 2-1 instead of 4-1.

          fact of the matter is, this team is going nowhere with lind as the fucking cleanup hitter at first…

          JPA and his best case scenerio 290 obp ..

          LF position in flux..

      • That wasn’t a knock against Drabek at all, but a knock against the owners. AAs JP like remarks before the game even pissed me off more. Basically saying if the fans want to see great free agent players, come and watch the opposition, because we’re too fraking cheap.

        • the jays bats arent exactly dangerous to measuring cy young guys. texas scored 11 runs for yu in his first not mad at rogers or aa for not buying him.their starters are looking ok.the pen is awful again and it shouldnt be and remember oswalt and another fa didnt want to come here. 100 mill is still a huge gamble for a japanese oitcher.not many worked out, remember. so relax they have all rear to work out the kinks.did you predict joses hitting issues?baseball is a weird game and injuries can wreck a year real fast.all east teams are 500 or better and close in the standings.its going tobe a turbulent ride.look at the sox.they are back again

          • You can say how great a game he pitched, but it’s still a loss. You couldn’t predict that Lind would still be Lind?

            There were tons of upgrades available at every position, yet Rogers counts it’s $$ and laughs. They son’t need to spin losses, all you apologists do it for them.

    • “Beeston promised the playoffs 3 of the next 5 years.”

      This is where expectations get wildly out of hand, and where fans hear what they want to hear.

      This is NOT what he said.

      Here’s what he said:

      “In the next five years, I would expect that we would be in it two to three times,” Beeston said.

      That is *not* a promise to fans that the Jays will be in the playoffs 3 of the next 5 years. That is his expectation as President of the ball club. That is a message to his GM of his expectations. It’s NOT a promise to you.

      • Apologist to the end.

        If that’s not a promise to the fan, then what is? When Beeston says he expects 2 -3 playoff appearances in the next 5 years, that’s not something that the fans should now expect Beeston to help make happen?

        Typical “wait and see” fan BS.

  38. fucking amazing

    bobby abreu gets released with 0 hr 5rbi in 24 ab’s .593 ops

    while lind has 1 more hr and 2 more rbi in 72 ab’s .656 ops and yet bats cleanup!

    what kind of bizarro world is this?

    • The Angels had a phenom universally regarded as a top 3, possibly the top, prospect in all of baseball waiting in the wings.

      The Jays have….David fucking Cooper.

      Now, there’s no excuse for having Lind pencilled in as the cleanup hitter every day, but there’s no real legitimate internal 1B/DH candidates to replace Lind in the every day lineup unless they’re ready to compromise Thames’ asset value and make him a full-time DH.

      Lind’s replacement is going to have to come from outside the organization, but before he does, Lind needs to be in the Rasmus role batting 8th against RHP, and 9th or on the bench vs. LHP.

      • I wonder how well Yan Gomes could do? I’m sure it’s not the right time to bring him up anyway.

  39. Drabek was great last night, compare the line versus Darvish and they are almost a carbon copy. Drabek faced fewer batters, struck out one less, gave up one more hit and one more earned run.This against the second coming ,give the kid some props!

  40. As bad as the Jays have seemed offensively, there are some decent signs. Fifth in homeruns (though all AL East teams are in the top six), fourth best BB%, third best K%, seventh in ISO, fourth most runs, and OPS, wOBA and wRC+ are all middle of the pack.
    Considering the offence has “looked” bad I think they’re in good shape. Especially with Escobar and Bautista struggling so badly, and a team BABIP of .267 (second lowest in AL).
    There’s only one player, EE, that can be expected to come back down to earth. The rest of the roster has either played more or less what is expected, Johnson, Thames (though maybe he’s overachieving a bit), or can be expected to improve.
    Does suck to be .500 after a relatively easy month, but I’m not terribly worried.

  41. Jays Stats 2012 vs 2011 For April

    2012 2011

    W/L 12-11 13-14
    RPG 4.57 (4th) 4.62
    AVG .239 (11th) .256
    OBP .313 (8th) .325
    SLG .394 (8th) .412
    OPS .707 (9th) .741
    HR’s 27 (6th) 29
    SB’s 13 (T6th) 30

    RPG 4.17 (6th) 4.37
    ERA 3.79 (5th) 3.79
    WHIP 1.252 (6th) 1.314
    HR’s 36 (14th) 25
    K’s 154 (10th) 207
    BB’s 85 (13th) 107
    Starters 3.41 ERA 4.44 ERA
    Relief 4.55 ERA 2.77 ERA

    • So basically the difference is Bautista’s lack of hitting and the relievers allowing home runs, and yet with one win in our next four we could have an equal record after 27 games than last season.

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