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. Come on, give me a break. Wasnt the big knock on JF that he didnt play matchups? Wel Gibby played matchups. Rasmus had a 99% of striking out vs. the left hander. He played the natchups and it didnt work out. Yoh cant shit on him for the result if the process was correct.

    Now personally, I wouldnt have done it, only because its a tie game and you dont want to worsen your defense at he expense of whatever upgrade Davis provides. Plus Davis on the bench as a PR in a close game is a weapon. But lets not pretend that the mve of PH for Rasmus vsm a LHP is a bad one

    • 7th inning is a little early for a marginal offensive increase and large defensive decrease.

      • +2. And.. of course it ended up that Rajai had to face a RHP in the 9th with the game on the line (auto out).Package him and Lind together for Joe Schlobotnik. At least we’d get free Peanuts from LUcy

    • Yeah, but not at that point in the game. In the ninth, sure I would do that move. Gibby ended up screwing the team by allowing davis to face reed in the 9th. And boni playing center fuuckk.

    • It was way too early and neutralized Rajai’s biggest asset, which would have played out perfectly in the 9th.

    • Biggest issue for me is how short the bench was. In retrospect Davis as pr for Lind would have been nice. But, of course, hindsight is always 20/20. Nice start from Johnson. Lots to like in spite of the loss

  2. Stoeten defending Gibbons AND Davis tonight….impressive

    • The beginning of the Wilner career path.

      • You’re probably going to be asked to clean out your desk before being escorted to the front door.
        Also, in place of a golden parachute, expect a golden shower from on high instead.

      • +1.

        If Wilner becomes full time play by play for the Jays,

        Would Rogers hire Stoeten & Drew as new Jays Talk co hosts.?

        It would be hilarious having Stoeten blast Jays talk callers

  3. Anyways, boni and davis needs their asses stapled to the bench. I dont give a fuck about their speed if they cant get on base which they havent done over the course of their careers. They are catering to them way too much when they frankly havent earned it. They both strike out a shitload and suck on d. Im sick of them. I would have rather kept wells and dfa’d davis to be honest.

  4. Way too many holes in our lineup right now to be a winning team. When your lead off hitter has an OBP of .225 (and is horrible on D) that is some scary shit.

  5. Not enough people getting on base. Solo HR or bust.

    • And.. unfortunately, on offence, it is looking like the last couple of years again- ie HR for all our runs, and, because of low OBP in general, they are mostly solo shots.
      Look we have three guys playing most nights who have absolutely horrible walk to so ratios Bonifacio ,whose ratio is about the same on defence it would appear), Rasmus and Lind, and you know Arencibia will be there too.
      I heard , most of last year, from the likes of Wilner, that it is early, they’ll come around, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters etc ( except other teams are mashing, even the massholes with Farrell).
      Look, we better improve our overall OBP as the averages, except for Reyes who is injured, do not look good and I question how much better they will get, and our defence is the worst in baseball at this point, and hopefully will get better.
      I was real gung ho 2 weeks ago, still clinging to the belief that they;ll get this going but Jesus Fuck, even before all the injuries last June they were just a fukin .500 club.
      Frankly, they have for the most part, been tough to watch this year, not scoring, and making some errors that I would bench a guy on my Bantam team for.
      I hoe the fuk we are still in it when Reyes gets back-at leaast he works the count as welll as hit the fukin thing…….Out here in the fields I found a HITTER!

    • It’s 2010 Cito HR Ball all over again but with better pitching.

  6. Terrible game. Another big loss . . . I don’t care what Stoeten says, if we want to win 90+ you have to get games like this at home right now.

  7. lots of holes in the lineup, that’s why this loss sucked. they need to squeak out wins while they have the opportunity. need to keep head above water when they have injuries and get on a run when they have the full squad.

    • +1. The yankees are still winning games with Jays rejects.

      I have a bad feeling that we end up losing the dvision after a heroic game winning streak in August & September when Reyes is back.

      Having Bautista missing games is hurting the team

      Why couldn’t he be a pinch hitter tonight?

  8. I fall in the middle, the people that are totally panicked right now and think the season is over suck. The people that are laid back saying don’t panic and have no worries suck too.
    The problem with the “its a long season” crowd is, at what point in the year do you look at it and say, shit things do look bad, we might be fucked now. Obviously not in April, but you have to admit, no one would have predicted an under 500 team at the end of april.

    • It’s mid April still

      • being 2 games under on april 17th means you will have to do well to get to 500 by months end.

        • they’ve had 2 bad turns of the rotation out of 2.5 so far (not even 1/10th of the way through the season), missed games from their 3 best hitters and are still this close to 500. anyone who doesn’t see this as being evidence that they are contenders is miromanaging their fantasies a bit too much

    • +1 Bruce,

      The team’s slow start could come back t o hurt them.

      the white sox at home are a beatable team.

      The good news is the starting pitching is coming around to keep the Jays in games.

  9. Can’t wait til Davis is a bench player, and both Boni and Izturis are playing every other day. Boni has speed, but hasn’t shown any discipline to be a lead off hitter. I’m very impressed with Kawasaki’s defense, but it’s his plate discipline and ability to fight off tough pitches late in the count. I know it is not what we envisioned, but I think they should give him a chance. Plus he is a lefty, if Boni is ninth in the order, you can go switch, lefty, switch, righty, for you 9-1-2-3 hitters. He could fill the role admirably til Reyes is available. It’s better than watching Boni go 0-2, or 1-2, knowing that he hasn’t been making much contact so far this season.

  10. If EE’s bomb had landed fair at KC, and Davis made a half-decent throw home today, we might be riding a 5-game win streak. It’s a great sign that the pitching is keeping us in games despite fairly anemic offense, but it would’ve been fucking awesome to pull that one out today.

  11. When the hockey season is over and the Jays are on a 8 game win streak, this comments section is gonna be totally nuts.

    • Hoping the leafs do well in the playoffs, that will get us to the end of june here anyways.

    • I would love to see an 8 game winning streak, but with the injuries to various players 7 the daily DFA rster moves by AA , it’s hard to see how that happens.

  12. Isn’t it nice to be able to reasonably expect 6+ solid innings from every single starter? Last year, if anyone other than Morrow did that, you felt like you were playing with the house’s money.

    • Bang on

    • I remember a 10-9 win at Milwaukee last season where the pitching was absolutely god-awful, but the Jays outscored their problems with a barrage of home runs. Exciting to watch, but clearly not sustainable for long-term success. And sure enough…

      It’s reassuring to have the rotation already looking solid in mid-April, especially after the last two weeks.

  13. Wow…I don’t even need to download Wilner’s Jay’s Talk tonight…just need to read the last 60-70 comments.

    Fuck off with the whining on the Davis PH and leaving Seattle’s own Stevie Delebar in the game for one too many batters. Its gonna be a long season filled with a few shitty endings…and with any luck more go the Jay’s way than not.

    • Yes, how dare I assess the in game decisions afterwards. Only bandwagon fans do that.

      • Yes…how dare you. Please go back to telling us stories of waking up in a puddle of your own puke, pants pulled down and blunt objects…..NM

        Each to their own opinion and a place to air it.

        • Hahahah,

          I pity you

          • no no….I pity you FOOhl.

            Yes Romo….no post game discussion. Suck it up and move on and most especially if you’re going to dress up like a Jay’s Talk caller and jump off the bridge and tell us that you would much rather watch a blowout than watch your team lose it in the ninth.

            Suck it up like Kylezzz, wipe your mouth off, dab gently and pull up your panties.

    • Wait, so we aren’t allowed to discuss pivotal managerial decisions that alter the balance of the game? Should we just go “ah well, better luck next time” after every close loss? What’s the fun in that?

      • This is gonna be fun in the comment section this year.

      • +1. Stoeten got mad at fans for criticizing the team ‘s performance early in the season.

        It’s true that the team has time to catch up & could go on a record setting winning streak to end the season.

        Is that likely? No.

    • -1.

      It was a winnable game, that was lost.

      If fans can’t complain about losses till September then Stoeten should go on holidays till August.

      The division is much tighter than expected. Jays could end up with 86 wins & missing the playoffs .

      The excuses will be injuries, & the team not “gelling” because of new additions.

      • Yes, 86 wins could miss the playoffs. Or if Tampa Bay gets back on track, 90 wins could win the division. Not probable, but totally in the realm of possibility. It was a winnable game, but like a race car, you need to run some laps in regular season play, to see how the car is running. Push your limitations (Delabar), see what tricks you may or may not have up your sleeve (Davis isn’t classified as potent hitter, and Boni isn’t the CF Rasmus is), and determine what adjustments need to be made to get this beast to the finish line ahead of everyone else. By adjustments, it’s not talking about just the players, but Gibbons too. He is still learning about the players he has and their abilities in regular season play. Could his PH’ing of Rajia be because how much pop Rajai showed early this spring? Maybe. There have been too many under achievers on this team to start blaming Gibbons for losses.

        It’s not the start Jay fans envisioned, but it isn’t the end of the world. I don’t think we’ll see Delabar going more than an inning in any meaningful games for the rest of the season, and I bet Gibby will think twice before asking Rajai to PH in late innings situations for some time. As the season continues, and if the regulars can stay healthy for the most part, I think that Jays fans will live with what ever Gibbons short comings are because it will be minimal compared to the good decisions he makes late in games.

        To be honest thou, it really is to early to tell. If Gibby is running Delabar out there for multiply innings and using Davis to PH on a regular basis, then we should be worried. I doubt either will happen for some time.

        • @Digital Jays.

          You make some good points.
          What scares me is that every day there are “mysterious” illnesses to key players.

          Bautista now has an ear infection & back spasms?. How did he get back spasms? . Playing 3B.

          Two day ago, the plan was to have Jose at 3B, Lawrie at 2B. Kawasaki/izturis at SS.

          Now, Bautista gets back spasms, & the team is in disarray.

          Lawrie s/b everday 3B. Bautita can go back to RF & if he is tired he can DH.

          There is too much confusion with daily roster moves.

          One day , Jays need casper wells. Next day he’s gone because we need Ortiz as insurance for buerhle.

  14. Is there an argument to be made that Oakville69 isn’t a troll that we’ve all gotten so bored with we don’t even see it anymore? Because I’m having a hard time coming up with one.

    • No i dont believe so.
      A troll is someone who stirs up shit just to get people wound up.
      Oakville69, i think, believes what he is saying.
      A troll isnt someone that you just diagree with.

    • And here I thought 85% of the comments here were trolling. Hell, I’m probably trolling right now.

    • Could be Stoeten but I don’t think so.He sees it through his eyes.Although there is a “Chicken Little” aspect to the comments,it’s more reactionary than anything else.Add some stubborness to the mix, some selective hearing and voila.
      Reminds me of the old JB, a little bit

      • Thanks for your support RADAR. Yes, I admit to being reactionary at 1 30 am watching the game late . Bautista is our strongest weapon on offence & I am shocked that the back spasms issue then the ear infection which apparently happened on his way back from KC.

        I thought the ear infection was mysterious because it wasn’t discussed after he missed his first game. Only his second game. Now he has missed 3 games. Playing with a short bench hurts the team. he was supposed to be available for pinch hitting, then he didn’t pinch hit.

        I wanted to know if the back spasms issue was related to him trying to play 3B. If so, the experiment was a failure. Bautista will end up back in RF Lawrie stays at his best position 3B.

        Last year the team averaged 1 more run per game with bautista in the lineup.

        That helps.

    • He just isn’t very smart (i’m being kind).

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