Tonight’s Rays starter Matt Moore was the crazy-special rookie pitcher with the fantastic stuff who, after a spectacular call-up last year, was going to come into 2012 and blow away the fucking world with his stuff, while Drew Hutchison, who goes for the Jays, was an intriguing down-the-road prospect who got a brief look at the end of the Minor League season at New Hampshire, where he was slated to pitch this season, after spending the bulk of 2011 at Low- and High-A ball, with Lansing and Dunedin.

Yet here we are, with the two rookies taking the hill in mid-May, a struggling otherworldly prospect with everything moving in the wrong direction– negative fWAR, walking more, striking out less, ground balls turning into flies, a FIP over five and an xFIP of 4.72– and a stupendously green pitcher getting by, with mostly better, though hardly spectacular, peripherals, a 3-1 record (for what that’s worth), and averaging over five innings per start.

It’s unfair to Hutchison to say that you’d expect these guys to both start going the opposite way soon– the Jays 21-year-old right-hander certainly has plenty of development left in him– but at some point their trajectories are going to cross. It’s just… if the fact that Moore retired the last 10 batters he faced in his last start is the most optimistic thing the Rays can find, maybe it’s not quite yet. Fingers crossed!!!

Scuttlebutt

In case you had any doubts that Matt Moore is a left-hander, check the right-heavy lineup John Farrell is trotting out there tonight, with only Kelly Johnson and Colby Rasmus hitting on the pitcher’s left side. Of course, at this point this might be the best lineup they’ve got regardless.

Also: your first hitter of the game? Yes, it really is Carlos Pena. (Er… well… the bottom of the first. Whatever!) Love that Joe Maddon– shit, even his alter-ego, Barry from Storage Wars, is one hell of a slice of humanity.

ESPN is projecting the Jays as having the second best odds of making the playoffs in the American League, behind Texas. Run differential huzzah!

At Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers doesn’t like the fact that the Jays said they’d make a move yesterday, and then didn’t, suggesting that it shows they don’t trust their evaluations, deciding that Yan Gomes needs more time in the Majors than they’d intended to give. Thing is, his idea of having the courage of their convictions is to bring up David Cooper or Mike McDade to take a piss in the ocean. The other thing is, rather than Gomes’ play, I wonder if the real change happened when Travis Snider, after looking like he was starting to come back around late last week (homering and doubling in back-to-back games), sat himself back down over the weekend with more wrist soreness. Hmmmm…

TV: Sportsnet One

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
J. Arencibia C
B. Lawrie 3B
C. Rasmus CF
Y. Gomes 1B
R. Davis LF

D. Hutchison RHP

Tampa Bay Rays

C. Pena 1B
B. Upton CF
M. Joyce LF
B. Zobrist RF
L. Scott DH
S. Rodriguez 3B
D. Sutton 2B
C. Gimenez C
E. Johnson SS

M. Moore LHP

 

Image via Tom Pennington/Getty.

Comments (184)

  1. Let’s go Jays! Just win 6 out of 10 games- the order doesn’t matter…

  2. The Rays are good at picking first overall players?? Riiiight.

  3. Bautista watches two meatballs again. What the fuck.

    • You have yet to learn enough patience to observe the outcome of an AB before opening your vomitous mouth… what the fuck.

      • You are a retard.

        Throwing your bat at a pitch down and away and HAPPENING to bloop one into right field does not mean you were right to lay off the fastball down the middle that you probably could have put into the bleachers.

        Only dumbasses go “well, he got a hit, so ipso facto his approach was correct.”

        Then again, you’re a dumbass. So I guess it’s expected.

        • You need to watch more baseball. I have seen Ichiro and Guerrero have many a similar AB. You conclude on the basis of two pitches (or three, whatever) that his plate approach is “take a meatball”, because we have seen that pattern in the last few games. Ipso facto Bautista is “watching”.

          The one aspect of José’s game which even a fuckwit like you should be slow to discount is his judgment. Think about it… if you can.

  4. Pena leading off? What’s the rationale there?

  5. well that was a dominating K

  6. anyone have a link to stream the game tonight online?

  7. Really could have gone for Moore struggling for one more start.

    • Jays make all struggling starters look like Cy Young for a night for some reason. If they pitching good or at least decent then no problem for the Jays. But if you’re doing shit and are some AAA bush leaguer then look out.

  8. The jays had better get their timing down on that fastball because Moores stuff looks dirty tonight. He’s painting corners early.

  9. June draft can’t come soon enough. It’s so exciting to have new players to obssess over.

  10. Matt Moore is scaring me right meow

  11. My goodness.. How many k’s for Moore tonight?

  12. They’ve had the Bottoms Up beer at the Rogers Centre since last year. I guess Buck and Pat don’t go to the concessions when they drink during games.

  13. Damn he hates umpires. 4 more games

  14. Drilling umps with helmets and now foul balls. Lawrie’s really trying to piss off the umps lol

  15. What are the fucking odds.

  16. Too bad it wasn’t Bill Miller.

  17. Karma?

  18. I know he’s been pretty good defensively but it’s surprising more people aren’t getting on Lawrie and his general shitiness at the plate this year. He’s even got a lower OPS than Eric Shames. Funny how he’s getting a mostly free ride for his struggles at the plate. Hopefully he snaps out of it but in a way it’s ironic because when he came up everyone wet themselves in fear about his defense and got a boner about his bat. These days it’s the complete opposite.

    • It is being noticed ,quietly.
      But as always,just as with Snider,right now the reasons are “he’s still young and learning” and all our favourite “small sample size”.
      It’s hard to really evaluate until he’s goes through the league twice and see how he adjusts to the book on him.

      • Well the interesting thing for me is that his stats look a lot like his A and AA stats regressed for the major leagues. It’s starting to look like all this bs about 30 hr’s that people were predicting was just that. Hopefully he can boost those to the minor league level of around an .800 ops with great defense. I’d be happy with that though it’s a long way off the super offensive stats people were saying he was a lock to achieve.

    • His numbers were fine 7 games ago, in the midst of a big slump, add that to better than expected defense and some memorable baserunning and you earn a little more leeway to stumble.

    • It’s actually quite humorous after “the interview” him and Arencibia did when he was hitting .625 or whatever in spring training.

  19. Are Buck and Pat seriously going on about how AL East hitters are somehow fundamentally different hitters than hitters in other divisions?

  20. That should be more than enough run support. Sorry Hutch, guess you didn’t get the memo that a perfect game would be required tonight.

  21. Well we won one game at least that ups our winning percentage vs Tampa as sad as that is.

  22. Pats a prophet and the game is over.

  23. Well that’s it for me, at least we won yesterday :)

    Later folks.

  24. Well, that takes care of this one.

    Ricky’s going to throw a gem tomorrow.

  25. ok, that’s it!!!

  26. I blame Hutch’s high school coach.

  27. I hate the Rays.

  28. This just in… Hutchison should not be in the bigs…

  29. Well…thhhats all folks! Winning 2 out of 3 at the trop is like a sweep for the jays.. Get em tomorrow

  30. So… generally speaking once the game is a blowout the Jays offense starts to wake up…

    Any chance of that happening tonight?

  31. when did 5 innings become such a barometer of ability? seems like a bullshit stat to rationalize mediocre starters to me. wasn’t the definition of a quality start once 7 innings and 3 runs or less?

    • “when did 5 innings become such a barometer of ability?”

      It was August 24,2008.
      A slightly overcast day,temperature of 22 C,as I remember.
      At 5:30 PM ,the quiet was disrupted by the winds of change.
      BAM it happened.
      Quality starts would never be the same again.
      A sad day in Mudville for the local nine.

  32. lol guess I can go do something else tonight. As for Hutch looks like he’s continuing his trend of one bad inning that kills him.

    As for him not being ready, could be true but have to remember he’s had 7 starts – 3 very good ones and 4 bad ones. 3 of the bad ones vs supposed playoff teams (Angels, Tex and Tampa). More than anything he probably needs more time developing his secondary pitches. Unfortunately for the Jays they don’t have a lot of other options right now for 5th starter.

  33. Hutch belongs in the ‘pen.

  34. 12 months ago id be getting really excited.

  35. Every time the Jays load the bases Buck’s first comment is always about how many grand slams the next batter has, or how many the team has that year. Every. Fucking. Time.

  36. Fuckin A Jose

  37. Every team has these nights. Hutch as the fifth man is okay for the time being. Between 1b / lf / dh this team needs another bat. The rotation and bullpen are holding steady enough for time being but it’s been obvious all along that the team would need one more bat and another #2 pitcher (for a playoff run). How serious is management and ownership to get these pieces for this season is a legitimate question that reporters should be on them about.

  38. 6-2 Rays? Steve Simmons is not impressed.

  39. Moore getting up near 100 pitches in the 5th, nice

  40. Yes, Rays tight Defense baesball, fucking clown ball

  41. HOLY FUCK!

  42. T-Ball game broke out

  43. EE standing on third after basically grounding out to 3rd, 2 runs score – Sean Rodriquez threw away 2 runs last night too

  44. woot! shitty tampa bay defense strikes again!

  45. Nothing is over just give me something to drink

  46. Betcha KyleZ is sorry he left the game early.

  47. Top 5th: 4 runs, 1 hit, 2 errors

  48. Must suck to go from the best 3b in the league to the worst 3b in the league because of injury

  49. Alomars HIV, that is a ridiculously smirk-inducing handle.

  50. What happened to Longoria?

  51. That was an epic display of defense lol Right back into this thing.

  52. Seems like a lot of ppl in here are always ready to pack it in half way through the game if the Jays are behind.

  53. Crawford is back. I like seeing pitchers who get hitters out.

  54. I guess Crawford pitching is a good indication of Farrell’s confidence that we might be able to win this game. Kind of discouraging to come back to make it close (even though it had zero to do with the Jays’ hitters) and have your manager concede the game anyway.

  55. Farrell with the right idea to not tire Hutch out too much. 86 pitches through 4 innings is a lot. 86 pitches through 8 innings is cruising.

  56. crawford looks like the dude from the hangover

  57. conceding a game by putting in shitty pitchers in a 2 run game against a divisional rival would be idiotic. The Jays need to fight to the very end against teams like Tampa.

  58. I’m back!

  59. Thanks, Alomars HIV. I must have forgotten about it.

  60. A pitcher like the sausage king can really show his worth by locking down a game when the team is down one or two runs and give the Jays time to mount a comeback.

  61. Ouch. Important run for the Rays.

  62. 1 run per inning—for Crawford, I think that’s considered successful.

  63. Did that “out” call by Joe seem a little overly enthusiastic – he stepped to Sutton and kind of stared him down – “don’t step to me Joe”

  64. nice one

  65. Very impressive, Yan.

  66. Yanni, master of the wood flute – nice HR Gomes

  67. Yan has a younger brother named Juan? No shit.

  68. Gomes continues to make this an interesting game!! Too bad he didn’t have anyone on base.

  69. Jesus, what’s with this Gomes kid? And man, Farrell’s choice of Crawford now looks even worse.

  70. I would have rather seen Davis.

  71. I know the hype for Gomes is crazy right now but you have to like that swing.

  72. Not sure what the upside is by pinch hitting in this situation with Fransisco hurt.

  73. Someone teach Gomes how to play LF please

  74. Crawford has a 7.11 ERA and has already given up a run. What the hell is he still doing in?

  75. Really he keeps Crawford in bad back and all? Shaking my head here.

  76. Oh good, the twit sent Crawford back out

  77. John Farrell: “guys, I feel bad scoring all these runs on errors, please dine on this AAA reliever as penance”

  78. Good for JP

  79. Seems like Farrell has a man crush on Crawford. Fuckin’ moron.

  80. Home run. Fuck you Farrell.

  81. AND YOU GET A HOME RUN! ANNNND YOU GET A HOME RUN!!! EVERYONE GETS A HOME RUN!!!!!!!

  82. Who wants to win this game less, John Farrell or TB Players?

  83. Farrel has to treat these games like playoff games. Nice fucking job, we have a well rested bullpen with depth and he sends out a reliever again after having a shitty inning.

  84. There’s only one explanation for this: Tank Nation.

  85. This is the second time that Crawford puts on a shit show. Back to back home runs against Texas and this one. We got lucky here. Could have been 2 run home run.

  86. Yep I’ve defended Farrell quite a bit this season but leaving Crawford in there for a 2nd inning was just wrong.

    • I actually like the fact that he stretches the starters. But a handicapped struggling relief pitcher for two crucial innings? That’s madness.

  87. I just dont see how crawford merits being in the big leagues vs the Japanese fire baller or Beck. Because he’s left handed? Well he doesnt really get used as a situational lefty. And do we really need THREE lefties in the pen?

    the guy has some pretty mediocre stuff. the kind of stuff that JP riccardi would have jumped at the chance to draft.

  88. Great game by Jose tonight.

  89. FREE RYOTO MOTHERFUCKERS!

    • seriously, what is there fascination with evan crawford. if they fall well back out of the playoff, go ahead and see what evan can do..let him develop. untl that time, fuck it.

  90. That’s more like it Jose. Let’s at least get something out of this shitshow of a game.

  91. Oh look the Wilner-tard is defending the manager.

  92. Can someone tell me why JP is so high in the order? Higher than Lawrie or Rasmus?

    • its called riding the hot hand

    • Guessing being on fire for the last 10 days or so (AL Player of the Week last week) has something to do with it. Lawrie and Rasmus aren’t exactly lighting it up.

    • AL Player of the week JP Arencibia? I have no clue why you’d want that.

    • Fair enough. But after a history of hitting in the low .200s, I’d expect to see some regression to the mean after a stellar week. As we are seeing.

    • First Lawrie doesn’t deserve to be any higher in the order plain and simple. Look at his stats and his current streak of shitiness. He’s a high % ground baller with a low slg%. Basically he’s your glorified singles hitter right now.

  93. big spot here for M. Cibia…

  94. JP’s a Run Producer, people.

  95. JP swing is crazy long. All those couple of home runs he hit were off of soft shits. Can’t catch up to high fast balls.

  96. wtf, Lawrie playing RF?!?! that was funny…

  97. I don’t think Farrell understands what makes a situation high pressure. He’s too stick in the mindset of 6th inning guys, 7th inning guys 8th, 9th whatever. I usually defend him but this crap has been bothering me lately.

  98. Theory:

    AA’s been around for quite awhile and has seen the Jays get undone with unsustainable hot starts (case in point: 2009) that get the fans all in a lather for no reason.

    He feels the Jays aren’t ready to make a serious push this year, but knows that if they stay in playoff contention until July, he’ll be under serious pressure to make a short-term-oriented move (remember, it will have to be a three-month rental; Rogers has already stated they’ll never pay for a top-tier free agent for a full season). He doesn’t want to end up in a situation where we trade guys like Gose, Hutch, or D’Arnaud for somebody like Hamels who will be gone after the season, only to miss the playoffs anyway or get beat in the play-in game.

    So he and Farrell do the little things to ensure that we stay just far enough back that fans realize we don’t have a realistic chance. It’s not tanking per se where you try to lose every game—you just try to stay a few games over .500, and put yourself in a position where you’re at least 6+ games out of playoff position by the trade deadline.

    This would explain such masterful decision-making as: Lind in the cleanup spot; Coco in high-leverage situations; and Crawford and Thames still being on the team at all.

    Makes a lot of sense, actually, and can almost be justified as being in the long-term best interest of the franchise and AA’s desire for sustained success.

    • I think Farrell having shortcomings is more likely the answer there Sherlock.

      • Lawrie has to shut the fuck up and play the game.

      • Quite possible, but ultimately he answers to AA. You can’t say Farrell is a moron and then simultaneously say AA is a genius, because if AA sees all this stuff happening and doesn’t agree, he can overrule Farrell or even fire him. If Farrell’s moves are idiotic, then AA is equally idiotic—unless it’s part of a larger strategy.

    • And Farrell would agree to tarnish his reputation as a new manager why?

      • Wants to keep his job? Don’t think any other teams (other than maybe Boston) would exactly be falling all over themselves to hire him.

        • Cause managers get fired all the time for refusing to throw games. It’s not like that would come out as a huge scandal. I hope you’re trolling and not this thick.

          • I don’t think we really have any idea why managers get fired and what GMs are trying to do. I also highly doubt that if Farrell did get fired (for this or any other reason), his first move would be to tell everyone that he got canned for refusing to throw games.

            Again, the point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t make sense to say Farrell is a moron and AA is a genius. Either AA is just as much of a dumbass as Farrell for letting these terrible decisions continue, or there’s some strategic reason why he’s choosing to let them continue. I’m trying to advance one possible theory that would explain the latter, while everyone else is taking the former position while refusing to acknowledge the contradiction.

        • If AA seriously implemented this retarded plan — which if it was somehow discovered would result in a fan revolt that would destroy the team and ruin the Jays reputation across baseball — then he would do so knowing that it could hurt his players development, entirely eliminate any chance of the playoffs (while there is some if he doesn’t implement such a plan, and if the Jays did make the playoffs he would look like a genius), and so on.

          so in conclusion you are dumb to propose such an idea

          • You act as though this would be written in a handbook prominently displayed in AA’s office: “My Brilliant Strategy to Shave Wins.”

            In reality if it were “discovered” it would have about the same effect on the Jays’ reputation with fans and the media as the man in white controversy did last year—in other words, not much. There would be tons of plausible deniability.

            How many teams have been accused (whether or not it was true, which can never be proven anyway—that’s kind of my point) of tanking to change playoff matchups and/or get better draft picks? TONS. How many such accusations have “destroyed” the teams so accused, or resulted in any official sanctions? NONE.

            I’m not saying it’s definitely happening. It’s a theory.

        • “I’m not saying it’s definitely happening. It’s a theory.”

          A very, very, very bad one.

    • Is there a DJF hall of fame for terrible posts?

    • Easy on the sauce their Jamie I think zaun is getting to you. If they really wanted to keep losing they wouldn’t have banished Lind to vegas and Cordero would still be blowing saves. AA also gives off the impression he doesn’t give a fuck what the fans think, he isn’t going to feel any external pressure to make a short sighted move, he has worked way too long to build this team the right way, he isn’t going to fuck it up now.

    • You came up with that theory all on your own?

    • “To every complex problem, there is an answer that is simple, easy to understand and wrong.” (Christopher Hitchens)

      • think that arrogant mouthpiece douche is seeing god now. funny how the cancerous prick left the option open just before he died.fuck you hitchens.cowardly bastard

    • I highly doubt they are trying to dump things on purpose. People bought into so much hype at the start of the year thanks to a stupid good spring training. Then there’s the additional hype for Lawrie. I can see people doing it with Gomes too.

      Don’t get me wrong, we have a good team but we’re in such a tough division and coming from a reasonably low place it’s still going to take a while. Let’s be honest, prior to tonight’s game we were on pace for a 90-91 win season. If you told people that before spring training that the rotation would have Drabek, Alvarez and Hutchison in it they’d think you were crazy.

      With injuries and wash outs (Thames) starting to show themselves now I’d be more than happy with an 86 win season from this group as it stand now. Of course the beauty about this team is that if they actually play with some consistency for a change they just might get to 90 wins.

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