Alright, here’s where all our bluster about how terrible the Minnesota Twins are comes home to roost, because the Jays finally get a crack at Jose Bautista’s most favouritest opponent (1.941 OPS over six games in 2011), and now they’d better get it goddamn well done against the lowliest of the low, otherwise the hysterical moron brigade is going to have something new to spew about real quick.

Not that I don’t like the Jays’ chances sending Henderson Alvarez to the hill against Jason Marquis, it’s just… holy ugh-ing fuck, what a disaster it would be to stumble against the Twins with the Rays and Yankees waiting for the Jays at SkyDome next week. We’re a million miles from must-win territory, but next week sure sets up a whole lot more fun if getting crushed by our division rivals doesn’t put the club into that much deeper of a hole.

At the same time, that’s fucking loser talk! The Jays are doing alright, and Bautista hasn’t even started to hit yet. There is no goddamn good reason they can’t run the table here for a week and wind up somewhere down the line at the magic 27-14 they were a couple years back, before reality decided to rear its ugly head. Only this time, we’ve got Vladdy coming to take us up fifteen notches offensively mid-summer. PLAYOFFS!!!!!1!

Um… just don’t expect it.

Scuttlebutt

I know we shouldn’t poke the Baseball God-shaped bear, but seriously, Minnesota. Starting ex-Jay Darrin “Pat” Mastroianni in left? And actually having a guy in your lineup you’d hit below him? Below the guy who, last year, couldn’t slug .390 in Vegas?!? Dear lord…

He may have wiffed like Adam Lind against a lefty on his age (Lind is 28 and will be 29 in July, which is most definitely not 27), bubbly Eno Saris of FanGraphs calls the Jays’ signing of Vlad Guerrero “a beautiful idea.”

Before today’s big news, Mop Up Duty had a different idea for taking the bat out of Adam Lind’s hand against lefties– platooning him with the left-hitting David Cooper, on account of the fact that Copper has reverse splits. Of course, even if he didn’t, pretty much anybody is better than Lind at this stage.

Guy Spurrier of the National Post reports on the Guerrero (not ”Guererro”– who knew?!?) signing, and has a bit of a different take. “It could be that the Jays want Guerrero’s right-handed bat to come off the bench or to possibly platoon with Adam Lind, he writes, “although that would be far-fetched for a club that appears to be invested in turning Lind’s bat around.” I’d be more intrigued were it not for the fact that said investment looks more and more every year like a Ponzi scheme.

If the game somehow goes south and you’re looking for something to ease your tension, how about Alex Speier of Boston’s WEEI wondering whether the Red Sox actually have the talent to be all that much better than they’ve shown.

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

K. Johnson 2B
Y. Escobar SS
J. Bautista RF
E. Encarnacion DH
E. Thames LF
B. Lawrie 3B
C. Rasmus  CF
A. Lind 1B
J. Arencibia C

H. Alvarez RHP

Minnesota Twins

D. Span CF
B. Dozier SS
J. Mauer 1B
J. Willingham DH
R. Doumit C
T. Plouffe 3B
E. Komatsu RF
D. Mastroianni LF
A. Casilla 2B

J. Marquis RHP

 

Image via Brad White/Getty.

Comments (245)

  1. Public Service Announcement with the annual Memorial Cup bitchfest coming up:

    For those of us who are too cheap to shell out for Sportsnet One, it appears to be on free preview until December 31st (!) according to my Rogers guide.

  2. I have perhaps the most faith in Alvarez out of all our pitchers, to keep it close at the very least. Lets go Jays!!

    • well you’ll soon be disappointed. with his poor K rate and unsustainably high strand rate Alvarez is about to come crashing down to earth. maybe not today but soon…

    • You mean other than Morrow and Romero right?

  3. Red Sox trailing 7-1 to the Chief Wahoos.

  4. Final line for Josh Beckett:

    2.1 IP, 7 H, 2BB, 2K, 7 ER.

  5. Ugghhhhh… Did anyone else just see Jamie Ginger and Greg Zaun brutalize the use of LOB%????? If not, it went something like this:

    Jamie: Look, 3 members of the Jays starting rotation are in the top 5 for LOB% in the league. Gee Whiz they sure are good at preventing runners from scoring.

    Zaun: Yeah I don’t know what to make of this LOB%. Its one of those new fangled stats! I like WHIP!

    No mention of the fact that a LOB% in the high 80s is likely to regress back to the 70s and those pitchers have been getting pretty lucky…. well I suppose at least Zaun didn’t agree with Campbell’s inane assertion of how great it is to have a hgih LOB%.

    • While it’s good that Zaun ignored the ginger’s interpretation, he only did it because he’s a curmudgeon. When Zaun shows he actually understands how to read stats, his interpretation is meaningless, IMO.

    • Having a high strand rate is not a terrible stat. Many of the top starters in the game maintain their good periphials by succeeding in stranding baserunners in scoring position at a rate that is above average.

      But if used in the wrong context, as you are suggesting Campbell was doing, having a high LOB percentage is not a stat to write home about.

  6. Same as last year, random Jays games don’t work on Rogers Anytime TV website. Today, it says the next game is tomorrow. Last year, everyone in the west couldn’t watch the last month of the season. Rogers said it was an issue with MLB and they were “diligently” working on it…..but nothing was done.

    • Ya man just logged on at work and says no game tonight. What a FUCKING JOKE.

      • Shouldn’t you be doing work?

      • The thing that pisses me off about this is that they say they will provide a product so I base my other purchases (TV Packages, etc…) on that. The service is unreliable, they don’t even bother providing games they say they will, and I don’t trust them.
        They also have the smartphone app but absolutely gouge you on it.
        I’ve been willing to pay a reasonable fee (for many years) to watch the games on the go or on the computer – legally. However, they continue to make it difficult or impossible.
        They need to realize at some point that the world has changed and their current model of blacking out the entire country is unreasonable.

        • The anytime tv didn’t work for me either but I updated the date and time on my computer’s calendar and for some reason the game then started working. It might be that the app validates the date based on the calendar’s date and time, though that would be awfully stupid.

  7. Moths?

  8. Cookie?

  9. God I hate this camera angle.

  10. Geez Bautista.

  11. HAHAHAH! nice work Buck!!

  12. Bautista must be so embarrassed/pissed.

  13. I love how he says April had more fastballs for Edwin, when the graphic says May has more. Then he stops talking, probably because he then saw the graphic, and kinda corrects himself with a horrendous segway. Fuck a duck, Buck.

  14. “Bert” Lawrie with a linedrive basehit.

  15. Omg look at that pic of Ryan Doumit. I’ll have nightmares. Get it off!!

  16. Remember when Lawrie was supposed to be a terrible defender?

    Good times.

  17. Alvarez’s inability to strike guys out sure is frustrating.

  18. Slow motion replay doesn’t make that look any less impressive, wow.

  19. Just how they drew it up.

  20. Hehe

  21. The old Statue of Liberty play

  22. Lololol running on Bautista arm from 2nd to 3rd with two outs. Twins….this is why you suck.

  23. That looked real ugly there! Love the Bautista arm from left

  24. KJ baited him by lolly-gagging after it. Whatever works, I guess.

  25. Tim Welke is a fucking idiot.

  26. Alan Ashby just said “Tit!”

  27. WTF IS THAT SHIT, WELKE?

  28. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

  29. So is this the rare case of a retaliation against the ump on the Jays part? Hit that fucker in the mask. Fuck that makes me angry

  30. WHAT KIND OF AXE DOES WELKE HAVE TO GRIND AGAINST BAUTISTA AND THE JAYS?

    THAT WAS ABSURD.

  31. Wow. Escobar! Butterfield is fucking amazing.

  32. Haha. That was probably the worst call I’ve ever seen in my life.

  33. I love Butters

  34. That was so FUCKED UP! That dude straight up threw at him

  35. Ok, that was a fucking brilliant call by Butterfield. Credit where credit is due.

  36. That sneaky old bastard Butterfield! Always making good calls with the runners!

  37. Also, just me or was Bautista safe at second?

  38. Love how Alvarez is so cool. He must have watched a lot of Clint Eastwood movies as a kid.

  39. The Twins are just giving away bases and runs. What a fucking trainwreck of a team.

  40. Maple boners all around!!

  41. The Red Sox will look like this in a month.

  42. Well now I just feel sorry for the Twins.

  43. Wow. Is this a Little League team?

  44. Nice to see most of them hitting the ball…

    J-Baut not so much. I wish they’d sit him down for a couple of days just to get his head straight. He carried the team last year and the year before and I’m not surprised that weight has taken its toll on him. But he needs some time off real bad in my opinion.

  45. Oh Dear. Mr. Itchybody was so upset when Mr. Bautista got hit with the ball that he walked away muttering and scratching furtively. Do any of you fellows happen to have some Calomine lotion handy?

  46. Oh man, I feel bad for the Twins. They’ve just lost it completely.

    • I’ll wait to feel sorry for them until we leave with 4 wins. Then I’ll feel their pain.

  47. I thought bautista was safe as second too

  48. Cletus keeps the line moving.

  49. This is amazing.

  50. I love playing the Twins lol (knock on wood)

  51. This is awfull. its like they’re a HS team. but its till early cant pretend this game is won and done yet

  52. Now this is what I like to see, a little small ball capabilities!

  53. Twins look like a high A ball team.

  54. 5-3 Buck?

  55. These Twins aren’t even doing the little things right. So much for “The Twins Way”.

  56. That ball made it about 2 inches.

  57. That was perhaps the shallowest ball in play in major league history by the former Jay

  58. wtf is up with the echo chamber at this field?

  59. Think*

  60. Its not just low strikeouts for alvarez, count how many swings and misses he gets. Im counting none thus far.

    • Against the Yankees, it might be an issue, but he’s eating those innings like a fat-ass in a bakery right now.

  61. According to Buck the most important part of Escobar scoring from 2nd is that it got EE another RBI.

    Yes. The RBI is the most important part.

  62. Buck: So Escobar scored from second on a fielder’s choice and the important thing was he got Edwin Encarnacion an extra RBI

    …or that he SCORED you fucking dolt Buck! The stupidity of this guy never ceases to amaze.

  63. So according to Buck, the low strikeout rates are by design. someone please show these guys the chart that PROVES balls in play early in counts results in more pitches thrown per inning!

    • I had a lot of problems with that article. For one, it made its assumptions on the idea that every at bat ended in a strikeout. Rather then the reality where 30-35% of runners are going to reach.

  64. If Alvarez actually develops a strikeout pitch, he’s going to be awesome.

  65. Henderson Alvarez is a great debunking of the myth that “pitching to contact” is more economical than striking guys out. if he had a strike out pitch he’d have thrown 10 less pitches tonight.

    • And his 84 pitches through 8 innings last start? (97? after 9)

      • shhh

      • and Brandon Morrow threw five more pitches and struck out five more guys. what’s your point?

        the knock is that guys that K guys throw more pitches or are more inefficient in some intangible way.

        • But Morrow wasn’t pitching for strikeouts in that game though. He just has swing and miss stuff, and took advantage of situations when K’s were appropriate. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of “pitching to contact” gets grosst exaggerated but I believe there is a kernel of truth to it.

          • Grosst = grossly

          • im curious: what’s the kernel of truth?

            i think pitching to contact is really misguided. the guys were talking about it on the podcast today how much the Twins fucked Liriano up by changing his approach in that way.

            in order to be successful as a major league pitcher over a career you need to miss bats and can’t rely exclusively on the BABIP gods and the genius of Brian Butterfield. i worry about Alvarez. at some point he’s going to have to get his K rate up around 6… if he can’t i dont think he’ll last in the AL East.

          • In terms of pitch efficiency. Obviously, a pitcher with strikeout stuff is going to succeed more on average then one without. Alvarez for example cannot sustain these results unless he starts missing more bats. However I think your optimum case is someone who can induce a lot of ground balls and then have the stuff to get K’s when they try for them. Setting up guys for K’s simply takes more pitches as it requires more “waste” pitches. I read that study on BP or fangraphs or wherever it was from but like I mentioned a couple posts up, I had some issues with it.

  66. Buck really should be replaced after this season. We deserve someone who doesn’t insult our intelligence as baseball fans on a nightly basis. While we’re at it, let’s ditch “Tabs” too. The bright spot in the booth tonight is Ashby, who doesn’t take Buck’s bait…

    • Team’s have come around in so far as hiring statistical based analysis in their front offices, why cant we have the occasional stat Geek in the broadcast booth…they could say shit like

      “As we being the top half of the third, please recall that the run expectancy for the Jays is .55. We’ll update that figure based on what happens next…”

  67. The Twins are rubbing off on Toronto.

  68. Well that was some ugly defense.

  69. From Deadspin’s Better Know an Umpire: Tonight’s homeplate ump Bill Welke. http://deadspin.com/5900917/better-know-an-umpire-bill-welke?tag=betterknowanumpire

    • August 26, 2011. Welke ejected Toronto’s Jose Bautista for arguing balls and strikes. (Called strikes on Blue Jay hitters are shown as red triangles.)

      • “August 26, 2011. Welke ejected Toronto’s Jose Bautista for arguing balls and strikes.”

        Well, that explains a lot.

        • Good research. There is no way Bautista could get out of the way.

          Bautista is making enemies with umpires for acting up after each called strikeout, so they don’t like him.

  70. Case in point of the bullshit that can happen when balls get put in play. STRIKE SOME FUCKERS OUT

  71. Seriously, this is the first time since the championship years where i actually expect the Jays to have a four game sweep and will be disappointed if they dont.

    this team has shit starting pitching, shit offense, average defense. missing Justin Mourneu

  72. Buck going on about closer pedigree.

  73. No Alan, we all wish Buck was running the Yankees. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

    • That was cold of Ashby

      ouch

      • What did Ashby say? I am trying to catch up with the broadcast.

        • Buck was spewing out nonsense about how he would have had Soriano closing for the Yankees given he’s done it before and because moving Robertson to the 9th and Soriano to the 8th moves 2 guys out of their comfort zone. Ashby, possibly layering sarcasm, said that he’s glad Buck isn’t running the Yanks because they need him in the broadcast booth.

    • +1000000

  74. Buck has my permission to manage the Yankees. We don’t need him here.

  75. HAHAHA

  76. Mercy.

  77. HAHAHAHAHA

  78. HA HA HA

  79. WALTER MATTHAU JUST BELCHED ON THE TWINS BENCH

  80. This is almost hard to watch. I’d feel sorry for Twins fans if they weren’t coming off a decade of sustained success.

  81. This Twins catcher is like a one-man Three Stooges routine.

  82. LOL – the Twins are so cute.

  83. Wow! These Twins are definitely the Bad News Bears. Hoe Lee Shit!

  84. Lol Carlos Perez… Buck is on fire as usual

  85. I’m half surprised Lawrie didn’t call off the Twins infield and try to field that fly ball himself. It’s only a matter of time, really.

  86. Alvarez at some point HAS to strike some hitters out. Can’t keep getting made to order gidp forever.

  87. remember that shit welcke tried to pull with the HBP?

    think it might have had something to do with this incident last year?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/27/jose-bautista-ejected-umpire-toronto_n_938750.html

  88. Colby licking his fingers. Mmmm. Hushpuppies.

  89. Buck on Lawrie: “he is gifted with great speed.”

    Thanks Buck.

  90. “No Ks” finally gets one there.

  91. Alvarez is like the honey badger. Strikeouts? Alvarez doesn’t give a shit. Who the fuck cares right?

  92. Make nice with Blue, Jose.

  93. Why on earth would you ask a guy who has no idea how to hit presently to hit & run?

  94. Kind of surprised Escobar didnt get to that.

  95. Well that sure wasn’t a ground ball lol

  96. Alverez’s 1st mistake pitch since a loooong time….

  97. I think this game answers the troll meme pic above.

  98. Thames is going downhill quick recently.

  99. What happened around 8:53 where you guys are going nuts at Welke?

    • Bautista got beaned, but Welke denied the free pass.

    • Bautista was HBP and Welke originally called Bautista for not trying to avoid it. The pitch was a fastball square in the back lmao.

      • That beaning & the umpire not letting him take 1B was the weirdest play I have seen all year. bautista was in a normal stance at 1B

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