Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers

The Jays continue their four-game set against the White Sox from Rogers Centre tonight, and they’ll be without Jose Bautista once again, as the crucial slugger is still being bothered by back pain– and also, apparently, an ear infection. The lineup is buoyed, however, by the return of Brett Lawrie, who will be playing at third base and hitting sixth, behind J.P. Arencibia, Edwin Encarnacion, and Adam Lind.

With Bautista not on the field, it means there will be all the more eyes to focus on Josh Johnson, who is coming off a start in which he flashed perhaps the lowest velocity of his once-dominating career, averaging just 90.73 on eleven four-seamers.

And that would be a hell of a depressing stat, too, if it weren’t for the fact that he was pitching in a driving rain at a temperature just above freezing. If he’s that low tonight, then you can actually probably feel free to go ahead and start thinking of panicking… if it happens again. But there’s really no reason to believe that he will be.

Which isn’t to say that he’ll be fine. He’s still not yet shown the form that had some folks thinking of him as a darkhorse AL Cy Young candidate– at least not since the club broke camp– but he was a three-and-a-half win pitcher last year while only just starting to come to grips with how best to utilize his repertoire in this new, slower era for him. I’m still of the mind that, as long as he’s healthy, he’s going to be fine. For whatever that’s worth…

Scuttlebutt

Gibbers says, “I wouldn’t look for that,” when asked about Lawrie playing second base, according to a tweet from Chris Toman.

Despite the back spasms and ear infection, according to a tweet Scott MacArthur, John Gibbons hopes that Jose Bautista will be available to pinch hit tonight, if needed.

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

RF Emilio Bonifacio (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
C J.P. Arencibia (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmsus (L)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
SS Muenenori Kawasaki (R)

Josh Johnson RHP

Chicago White Sox

CF Alejandro de Aza (L)
2B Jeff Keppinger (R)
RF Alex Rios (R)
1B Adam Dunn (R)
DH Paul Konerko (R)
3B Conner Gilaspie (L)
LF Dayan Viciedo (R)
SS Alexei Ramirez (R)
C Hector Gimenez (S)

Dylan Axelrod RHP

Comments (456)

  1. A lot of you guys have been crapping all over JP and Colby before the season started…to me, they’re looking pretty good…maybe the change in hitting coaches has helped? Who knows? But I sure feel better about them than I did before the season started

    • They’re still way, way too low on the OBP front, but both have always been guys who can hit the ball a LONG way.

  2. Here’s to J.P. as the DH in a couple starts. I’ll take the risk in losing the DH for these sweet, delicious dingers.

  3. Holy shit…tuning into this game on tv. Where’s the other half of Lawrie??

  4. well Lawries hitting it hard at least

  5. Did Lawrie look like that in spring? I never watched any of the ST games.

  6. Fuck.

  7. They call everything a strike on 3-0, why throw it right down the middle?

  8. This is why you throw strikes before tossing 3 balls.

  9. Shame JJ gets a no decision after this start.

  10. KAWASEXYYY
    LAWRIESEXYY

  11. Now that’s a 3rd baseman.

  12. Orange Julis = Breaking pitch.

  13. I really could go for an Orange Julius while I drive my Honda to the nearest Home Hardware.

  14. Now I’m interested to see how Davis looks in the 9th when that spot in the order comes up again

  15. Why the fuck did Gibby pinch hit for Rasmus?

    • Tough lefty?

    • sad that my wife (not a baseball fan) just asked the same thing and even reasoned, why would you pull someone who is hot? I tried to justify by saying davis had some speed to get on and could steal for winning run and her response was, why wouldn’t they just use him as a pinch runner then?
      im starting to think she is watching ball all day while I am at work.

  16. Del the Funky Middle Reliever

  17. So where oh where is this Mottola Magic I’ve heard about for the last two years? I mean they way it was explained to me here was that Murphy was the root of all evil when it came to the Jays hitters woes over the last couple of years. Mottola was the supposed to be the magic cure for all their ills lol Was I wrong to believe the Mottola Messengers?

    At least Johnson looked decent tonight.

    Here’s hoping Mottola starts being a little more liberal with his pixie dust from this point on.

    • Err what are you expecting? Besides Encarnacion and Bautista’s slow starts most players are playing where you would expect them.

      Mottola isn’t all of a sudden going to turn Rasmus into a complete hitter or Lind into a reliable non-platoon guy.

    • Just to be clear, you’re bashing the Murphy-haters only and not Mottala as well right?

      • I have nothing against Mottola I am just tweaking the Murphy bashers a little lol Considering we’re only two weeks into the season, it would be silly to draw any hard conclusions on Mottola’s work. Almost as silly as it was bashing Murphy’s results in the first place.

    • NM, I asked the same question a week ago.
      It’s still early but Mottola has been working since the end of Feb.
      We’ll keep an eye on it.

  18. Oh yeah…Tabby likes the length from Johnson…

  19. Man I missed this kid.

  20. Wow…
    lawrieee

  21. kinda glad Lawrie’s back at third.

  22. Oh range at third base, how I’ve missed you.

  23. Lawrie gawdamnn, sick plays. So good to have him back.

  24. To get that bum Rios no less

  25. Now the wife says, why does this bonafacio always try to bunt?
    I said, because he sucks.

    • I was just thinking how it seems like every at bat he squares to bunt, then pulls it back for a strike. Is that like his thing or something?

      • Actually he has two plays: that one, and then the one where he bunts it foul.

        • What about the one where he strikes out on 3 pitches? I think that’s his personal favorite.

      • After watching him so far this year with great sadness, he may as well. All he’s gonna do is whiff if he swings properly about 110% of the time anyways.

        • Remember when the big trade happened there was some journalist from a florida paper on with McCowan saying that bonifacio was the sleeper in the deal and might turn out to be the best player in the deal…what the shit was that guy smoking?

    • Encourage her to post as well.

      She could be “yes i did bruce.”

  26. Lawrie is goddamn cyborg.

    My mancrush is reaching epic proportions.

  27. Is it me, or does Santiago remind you of a bad guy in a movie that we’re not sure how our hero is gonna defeat because he’s so beat up and tired. The only way he can win is by tricking him into stepping on the wood chipper on button, or something to that effect.

  28. holy shit!
    That girl in the commercial with Aaron Cibia is cute!

  29. The hell is with bonafacio?

  30. Be sure to tune into the Honda post game show!

  31. Ball? The fuck?

  32. Awful ball four call.

  33. Shit, the man in white had turned heel, supporting those filthy Chicagoans.

  34. This isn’t going to end well.

  35. Good thing Delabar has swing and miss stuff.

    Right ,Tabby?

  36. Ump sure is pinching that strikezone on Delabar.

  37. That’s 80 years of bullpen warmup right there.

  38. Ump screwed us on Konerko and even ball 4 on Dunn was a strike. Now in a jam, we have Oliver and Ortiz going in the bullpen…not feeling good about this.

    As I type this, though, nice K.

  39. Now if that had been Cletus…

  40. Fucking hell, Delabar left in to throw way too many pitches, you could see this coming from a mile away.

  41. Needed Rasmus there. No doubt about it.

  42. would Colby have had that ?

  43. What about those splits now? I’m convinced pinch hitting for Rasmus cost us the game.

  44. I hate to say it, but Rasmus would have had that.

  45. Fuck boneface. Cletus catches that

  46. No way Rasmus catches that, it was a line drive to the track.

  47. Really wish Rasmus was out there…thats the shitty part about pinch hitting for him

    • Yeah. Bad move. Davis looked like he had as much chance of getting a hit in that at-bat as Bonifacio had a chance of catching that ball. Bad all around.

  48. Rasmus catch that?

  49. Radio implies play butchered by Bonifacio.

  50. Fuck. yes, rasmus would have got that.

  51. Free Cleatus!

  52. Even if Cletus doesn’t make that play, does he make it close enough and then make the relay quick enough to at least have a play at home?

  53. Why have Casey up and warming with the heart of the order due and then not even call on him? Surely the lead-off walk calls for your stud reliever in that situation.

  54. and bautista would have nailed the runner. fuck fuck

  55. Now if that had been Jose…

  56. Rajai fucking davis, shallow with konerko running come the fuck on

  57. Nice throw Rajai…man, with average defence we have at least 2-3 more wins this year.

  58. They keep saying that Davis has a good arm….if it was closer than 10 feet wide JPA makes that tag.

  59. Rajai Davis… Why the fuck are you still here?

  60. Yeah, this has been gibbons worst
    game of the year by far. Even from an offensive standpoint, pinch hitting davis at that spot doesnt make sense. If it was a big point
    in the game, then sure but otherwise davis fucking sucks and rasmus is a better hitter, period. Then leaving delabar in for 30+ pitches when hes not used to it. He got tired and threw a meatball.

    • Then again, Delabar looks totally fine if the strike zone isn’t squeezed up a bit in that inning. I’ll have to check PitchFX, but I’m not convinced the ump made the same calls in the 8th and 9th innings even.

      I suppose when people point to how difficult it is to assess managerial performance, this is what they mean…

    • Still hard to blame Gibby when he’s trying to scratch out runs from an offense that has generally been awful so far this season. Can’t expect the pen to save the hitters bacon every night.

  61. The throws our outfielders make are hilarious. If i’m playing against the Jays i’m running on all of em.

  62. I just hope that Wilner doesn’t use the “this is an exciting team that had the tying run at the plate in the 9th” line.

    It really makes my blood boil.

    Losses are generally, unacceptable.

  63. That was some terrible OF play on both those runs in my opinion. Jose makes that throw, and even if Rasmus doesn’t get to the LD, he would have taken a not-brutally-terrible line to the ball off the bat…

  64. Good job for oliver, but fuck addison reed is nasty as shit.

  65. Rasmus probably doesn’t catch that, but he at least makes it interesting for 2 seconds instead of having me realize Bonifacio was in CF and instantly knowing the inevitable is about to happen.

  66. Fuck…Boney chases a ball that Cletus catches in his sleep. Davis throws a ball 10 feet wide that Jose can throw into a garbage can from 120 feet away, blindfolded.

    Yes, I like Boney’s speed – but there’s nowhere you can play him (other than left field maybe) that his defensive liabilities won’t bite you in the ass.

  67. Blah. Would have liked to see Delbar out of there after the first walk in the 9th. Gibby is generally excellent with the pen though, so whatever.

  68. Well got a little somethin’ cookin

  69. How do you get the comments section to reload from the bottom so you don’t have to scroll all the way down to the latest?

  70. Holy shit I figured EE was dead when he turned that corner for 3B

  71. i ask because i dont know but…any reason for boni > melky in CF? melky has played cf in the past

  72. pinch runner?

  73. I was writing that if Lind GIDP I was going to murder him so I think he heard me

  74. PH for Lind? No, I guess not. Fuck sakes.

  75. Davis should be standing at 1B and Rasmus should be standing at the plate right now.

  76. Fuck Rajai not so hard…

  77. So they pinch hit for Rasmus, Davis strikes out and then Bonifacio is in centre which leads to the runs. Bad managing there i’d have to say.

  78. No Bautista pinch hit for Davis?

  79. The TSN turning point of this game was pinch hitting Rajai for Colby. I love you Gibby, but that’s fucking us all over the map.

  80. Jose needs to be up there right now, ear or not.

  81. Now Lind is the tying run at 1st with no PR available and fucking Rajai is at bat. Just horrible.

  82. Gibbys genius bench management costing the game

    • Managers do nothing, most important is to have a nice guy that everybody likes.

      That was a complete fuck show.

  83. Fuck, should have put Bonifacio into Chicago’s left field, would have been a hit for Davis.

  84. what kind of apologies does wilner have tonight?

  85. I don’t mind losing a game, but its the WAY we’re losing.

    • Says every fan of a struggling team no matter how they’re struggling.

      • I’d much rather lose 7-1 than cough it up with 2 consecutive walks in the 9th, which were the winning runs. Delabar cost us the game.

        • Remember when the Jays did lose some games like that? When the starters couldn’t get out of the second fucking inning? Yeah, I’d much rather watch that game too. Give me a fucking break.

        • No way getting blown out feels better than this. At least with this one we could have won and can learn from (*cough* Gibby), whereas the blowout losses earlier in the year were just depressing.

  86. fuck sakes, raji…what the shit kind of move was that gibbons? damitt all, these kind of loses piss me off like no other, i wasn’t so wound up with the slow start, but fuck me, this loss sucks large and they fall again 2 games under 5. will be lucky to be back to 5 by the end of the month.

  87. Do I smell a ‘Dear, John’ post coming up?

    Gibbons, what the fuck are you doing?

  88. This game was fucked. I don’t understand PH for Cletus. WTF. Tied, late, and you take out arguably your best defender for a soft hitting speed guy? Makes zero sense. Farrellball flashback Tuesday.

  89. The turning point of the game was Delabar walking the first two batters in the 9th a lot more than Gibby pinch hitting Rajai for Rasmus.

    • Delabar should have given way to Jansen in the top of the 9th IMO.

    • At the very least, Delabar should have been pulled after the leadoff walk to Dunn. Walking the all-time strikeout KING shows a lack of control.

  90. The thing that i don’t like about baseball is when a team loses a game and its a bullshit loss, and the fans get pissed, the “experts” are all like, oh well its such a long season, everything evens out, you win some you lose some etc etc….instead of calling the team, player or manager out and saying yes that was a bullshit loss.

  91. Remember ladies [if there are indeed ladies present]: Jack Morris wants you to recognize the importance of a well-manicured mound.

  92. Really, what’s the difference if Rasmus stays in the game? Still probably doesn’t make the play in centre and has a 70 per cent chance that he’s the final out of the game. I’d prefer him in too, but it’s not like Rasmus staying in the game means an automatic win.
    Same for Delabar. Yeah he walked a couple, but those were borderline calls. He then got to two strikes, could have just as easily gone the other way and he gets out of it.
    Maybe not the best moves a manager ever made but they certainly didn’t “cost” us the game.

    • Hindsight is 20/20, but he could have been coming up with 1 out in the 9th of a one-run game and Rajai Davis pinch running for Adam Lind at 1B.

      • You don’t need hindsight to see that he would be up in the ninth again, probably against a right hander

    • It wasn’t just the pulling of rasmus from the game that screwed the game. A couple different mistakes from the gibber cost the game.

    • No it doesn’t mean automatic win but our chances are increased significantly. 1) Colby may have made that catch, it would have been a great catch, but not impossible 2) Boneface may have made that throw(as an aside, they don’t even try to score if Jose is in right) 3) Rajai looked just plain awful at the plate in the 9th he almost always does vs righties 4) even if he had managed to get a hit we were stuck with Lind trying to round the bases.

      just plain bad decision making by Gibby. I just hope he learned from it

    • Encarnacion at 3rd in the 9th, Lind at 1st, 0 out. PR Davis for Lind, Davis steals second. Lawrie hits sac fly, Encarnacion scores, Davis advances to third. Rasmus comes up and potentially ties the game with Davis on 3rd and 1 out.

  93. So I guess Bautista wasn’t available to pinch hit? If you somehow manage to tie the game and Joey Bats can’t play the field put De Rosa in the outfield.

  94. Why in the goddamn fuck is Ramon Ortiz on this roster and not another position player?

    A Melky, Bonifacio, Davis OF is perfect for hilarity and shattered dreams. I realize the Jays are not going to be a good defensive team this year but the moment you take Rasmus out of the OF, it’s ugly out there.

  95. Gibbons sucked that game.

    I remember being occasionally annoyed during his first stint and I think it’s all starting to come back to me.

    Last night, 2 on and nobody out and the bottom three or four due up. Maybe, just maybe, lets bunt and move the runners up. Despite what some people might think of bunting, there are times when you should play for the damn single run. A three run lead is more comfy than a 2 run lead.

    Tonight, a completely unnecessary pinch hit – Davis for Rasmus. Not great bullpen management. Cost us the game.

  96. 1st and 3rd, no outs in the 9th against a struggling righty, and Colby comes to the plate, having already hit a monster HR earlier in the game… oh, wait.

    Gibby, what the fuck?

  97. Something is telling me Bautista will be out longer than a game or 2…..as is becoming all too familiar, the Jays say a guy will be out 1 day, ends up 3 weeks…
    they said bautista would be available to pinch hit tonight if needed…well he was needed and a no show, so if he cant even pinch hit, he certainly wont be ready for a full game tomorrow.

    • you think DL?

      • No i don’t think DL i think bautista will be back by the weekend…..crossing fingers.
        But i don’t get how they say its no big deal he will be out a game and it ends up a lot longer.
        They even said he would be available for pinch hitting tonight. That was obviously not the case so why say it? a bit of BS there.

  98. Love the angry dudes that show up here at the end of the game to call for Gibby’s head. Leafs lost, I guess.

    • No one’s calling for his head. Still love the guy, but he screwed up more than once today.

      • I wouldn’t have pinch hit for Rajai, but still… the pitching has picked up, but the run support hasn’t exactly been great.

    • It was simply a case of overmanaging and the worst-case scenario played out with the play in centre, the poor at-bats and throw by Davis, and the fact that Lind is the tying run at 1st base with nobody to pinch run.

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