Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers

Here we are, hurtling towards the midpoint of an otherwise disappointing season, looking for a sweep of the mighty Texas Rangers. A win will vault the Blue Jays into that magic position of just six games below .500. All joking aside, three straight wins and a shot at four today kinda maybe tips the needle of optimism in the right direction just a little.

With yesterday’s marathon 18-inning win, and a taming of the Yu in the books, it’s almost like holy shit the Blue Jays might be able to salvage this thing with a run of decency starting right now.

Josh Johnson takes the ball for the home team, while the visiting swine send M.F. Grimm to the bump.

Scuttlebutt

After throwing four effective innings in yesterday’s marathon, Brad Lincoln finds himself heading back to Buffalo for fresh arm. “That’s the crap part of the game,” Lincoln told reporters.

Thad Weber has been recalled, the club announced via press release.

A number of injury updates from AA’s media session today:

Brandon Morrow will throw a bullpen tomorrow, via Mike Wilner.

Darren Oliver will be activated tomorrow, Scott MacArthur tweets.

Jose Reyes will begin a rehab assignment in 10 days, Brendan Kennedy tweets.

Kennedy also notes that the Jays are only committed to Chien-Ming Wang for Tuesday’s start, and he’ll be on a start by start basis beyond that.

TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.comAnd for those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app

Toronto Blue Jays

LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
3B Andy LaRoche (R)
2B Emilio Bonifacio (S)
SS Munenori Kawasaki (L)

RHP Josh Johnson

Texas Rangers

SS Elvis Andrus (R)
2B Jurickson Profar (S)
C A.J. Pierzynski (L)
DH Adrian Beltre (R)
RF Nelson Cruz (R)
LF David Murphy (L)
1B Chris McGuiness (L)
3B Leury Garcia (S)
CF Leonys Martin (L)

RHP Justin Grimm

Comments (339)

  1. JPA isn’t in the starting line-up. Who will lead this rudderless ship now?!

  2. Hold on a sec… That lineup looks pretty… solid. Put Reyes at the top & delete Kawa & it’s a bit of a powerhouse, now that Lind’s hitting & Rasmus is OK.

  3. Here’s LaRoche’s chance to earn some playing time. Let’s hope he makes the most of it.

  4. On my way down with the family. Looking forward to a seeing the JJ we traded for and an unfettered Thole.

    Spuds, how many innings are you calling for today? Should I push my reservation back to 8 PM?

  5. Love not seeing the human strikeout, rally killer in the lineup. I’m hoping for thole to play well.
    P.s. can the media stop calling blanco dickeys personal catcher? Didn’t thole catch for him a while before blanco started catching him this year?

    • Thole had not played for Toronto until this weekend. He’d been in AAA the whole time.

      • I think he means the time at the Mets when they were together. Thole has caught him like 55 times, most of anyone in MLB.
        But not as a Jay, I imagine that will change in a couple of days.

        Btw, Henry Blanco was a bad mofo though. Too bad he stinks at hitting baseballs.

        • Definitely meant their time in ny. He caught consistently through the last couple of years. It’s just annoying when people in the media call blanco his personal catcher when he caught maybe 5% of the games thole has.

  6. Always appreciate when a writer can work in a late 90′s underground hip hop reference in there. Good job.

  7. Reyes BEGINS a rehab in ten days? so it will basically be july then before he is back here. right on the originally expected date

    • He doesn’t have to be rehabbing for 30 days. They just need to see that he’s fine and good to go, 30 days is just the max. for a rehab assignment. Could be back well before time is up.

      • True – the 30 days usually doesn’t get maxed out, except in a case like McGowan where they need all the time they can to figure out if he can handle the workload…hoping Reyes only needs a few games to find his swing and can be back before the end of the month…

      • The return of Reyes for Canada Day would be very nice.

  8. Adam Lind walks by JPA and winks, ‘Things might get better kid’.

    A short story by;
    Tom W

  9. I realize I should just be happy that Reyes is going to beat the initial estimates for his return, but I was REALLY hoping they’d have him in a rehab assignment this week…there’s a BIG stretch starting on the 21st where they play 10 straight against the east, but it sounds like he’ll miss most of it…maybe he can be back for the 4-gamer against Boston to end the month?

  10. After throwing four effective innings in yesterday’s marathon, Brad Lincoln finds himself heading back to Buffalo for fresh arm. “That’s the crap part of the game,” Lincoln told reporters.

    The link you provided has Gibbons saying that, not Lincoln.

  11. 9 wins and 2 loses over the next 11 games……..

    Back at .500 and a slate of AL East teams to follow to get back in the race.

    Reyes and Morrow return to boost the troops shortly after.

    Yeah I said it. No jinx here. I fucking believe it.

    Anyone who’s been on the boat since the Tampa come back knows this team can do it.

    Never get out of the boat.

  12. Just did some quick arbitrary end pointed maffs.

    Since May 4 (8-1 L to Seattle, 11 games sub .500, low point of the season) Jays have gone 17-13, a .560 winning percentage.

    If they keep this pace up through the rest of the season, they’ll end up with 84 wins.

    To have any kind of shot at the playoffs, they’ll need *at least* 88 wins.

    • @AEP, I was doing some similar number crunching.

      I think the team has a shot at above 500 which would be very successful based on the April mess.

      I assume Rogers will let AA fix the problems that happened this year, & rebuild for 2014, with a playoff team.

      I assume Hutch,Drabek,Romero & Happ will be depth for 2014.

      Does AA lure Josh Johnson with a 2 year plus incentive laden contract???

  13. Thole starting! So excited with feelings! And not just because it means a day off from Strike3bia. Genuine positive excitement.

    Today the Blue Jays are not just unsweepable – they might just sweep! And the Texas Rangers totally don’t suck! So…that definitely wouldn’t suck!

    In the boat…

  14. Looks like the bullpen is going to get involved again today…

  15. So far I really like Thole’s receiving skills…strong yet soft…Tabler’s wet dream…

    • I’ll wait for Tabby’s official seal of approval. They seemed critical of him early on.

      • Zaun thought he was pretty good; especially setting the target and keeping it still. I agree. The kid is better – at that anyway – than JPA. Tabby was going on about where he was setting up, I didnt think it was that bad as long as the target was in the right place.

  16. You can thank me for leaving to go to work after the top of the 18th.

    And don’t get used to Laroche…somebody has to go down for Wang.

  17. Thole can make contact. That alone is an improvement over JP.

  18. I’m thinking the Jays are going knock the piss out of this kid the second time through the order.

  19. Huge ovation for Reyes when the camera went to him. He came out of he dugout for a cap tip.

  20. Who’s available tonight?

    Weber for 4 or 5
    Cecil for 2
    Janssen for 1
    Rogers for 1?
    Delabar for 1
    Wagner for 1
    Perez for 1
    Loup no
    McGowan no

  21. Thank you, bare carpet!

  22. Real grass please.

  23. Steady Eddie indeed.

  24. I give you The Man from Muncie, in all his glory.

  25. Taking the sleepy cat for a walk!

  26. Smooth

  27. Is Adam Lind can get fixed, them what’s to say JP can’t be fixed?

  28. What’s up with Melkys gestures in the dugout?

  29. We will look back on these days as the time the 2009 Adam Lind came back to the Jays.

  30. Has that sumbitch become our best hitter??

  31. Why is Lind not hitting 2 or 3? All he does is get on base and all Jpa does is strikeout behind him.

  32. Jays are running out of time to make a run. They gotta make that run now if they want to make a serious run at the playoffs. June is, typically speaking, the last month a team can make a run to .500, as after June playoff teams start going several games over .500.

    There was that year a few years ago the Tigers made a run later than June and no one believed until the last week of August when people started realizing “hey the Tigers are for real” and then they went 1-6 and knocked themselves out of contention.

    Anyways, today is looking like a good first step towards a long winning streak.

    • You know this makes no sense, right?

    • @Canard

      I think a playoff run will be tough given the AL East opponents.

      Stoeten made a prescient comment prior to the season that 4 AL East teams could end up above 500 , & the Jays could be first or fourth.

      Sadly, the Jays are 5th, but I think that the Jays would need a collapse from multiple teams in the AL East ahead of them to get a wildcard spot.

      I believe that most fans would be happy with watching the Jays play competitive games from now till september. If they played at a a 530-550 clip from now till the end of the season, that would be OK.

      Today is an example of a competitive game. 4-2 in the 4th.

  33. I love Jack Morris’ pitch to the score philosophy. He’s a proven winner.

    • Generally agree with the criticism, but in this case Jack’s point made sense.

      It was 4-0 so you have to be aggressive and throw strikes with no one on base.

  34. Right now his OBP is: .423

    Best OBP of a blue Jay ever: .395 – John Olerud

  35. That solo home run by Cruz really killed the rally here. Thank god it wasn’t a double.

  36. The bullpens getting work again for both teams

  37. What’s wrong with Josh Johnson?

    Why is he wearing a jacket?

    Why did Poulis take him into the clubhouse?

  38. Boneface strikes out on a lot of really bad pitches.

  39. I just cant stand watching bonicrapio anymore. Swings at garbage, plays bad d, cant get on base. AA send this clown back to the NL, please.

  40. I swear Tabler thinks everyone will be a home run hitter some day. Andrus has never had power, and he never will.

    I bet he thought David Eckstein was going to hit 30 homers while with the Jays.

    • Jays have the magical ability to turn just about anyone into a home run hitter.

      Just power swing anything remotely close to the strikezone, and pull it just fair. Low average, high K, high HRs.

  41. love watching Thole receive.

    • The booth humbly disagrees with you. They’ve been bagging on Thole for the whole game. Maybe they are the true JPA fanboys.

  42. And this is where Johnson shows us just how much he wants that next contract!

    100+ pitches through 4 2/3rds is crazy for Johnson though. He has to get that pitch count down.

  43. I’m guessing Johnson is done for the day at the end of this inning. Out with a whimper…

  44. Ugh. Five mediocre innings. I guess I’ll take it, but damn.

  45. Shitty white sox up next

  46. Lind continues to do real well. If he can really hold up with this then we’ve got a decent dh to go with the Melky/Bautista/EE threesome for a tough 1through 4 at the beginning of the order. Rasmus appears to be taking better at-bats as well. That would just leave JPA out there swinging a useless bat for another useless k.

  47. Really great to see JPA warming the bench today. Can’t really think of any downside to having Thole with the team at this point.

  48. Nice job running it out.

  49. We still have the lead. I’m happy.

  50. KAREN WHERE ARE YOU!? KAARRREEEN!?!?!!

  51. Solid execution there. #freethole

    On a more serious note, it happens. They’re still gonna win this one.

  52. Good ole Bonifantastico.

  53. Whatever you do, stay on the roller coaster and keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

  54. Offense needs to rise to the occasion.

  55. Jays hitters need to start stringing together good ABs. The bullpen is tired and when a bullpen is tired they fucking suck.

  56. Thole can begin building his legend here.

  57. Thole’s closing in on JPA for walks.

  58. Time for some presents

  59. I said in March Juan Perez was going to be a stud in this BP.

  60. Honus has some nasty stuff.

  61. Beltre is a rich man’s Edwin. Get it back now.

  62. WTF was that? did those 2 Bisons get the signals reversed????
    High and INSIDE dammitt!!

  63. Thats what happens when you overuse relievers. Theyre less effective. Wagners 3rd day in a row? Thats too much

    • When a Triple-A closer starts to face big league power hitters, homers are going to happen. Can’t really fault Wagner for giving up a solo shot.

  64. Come on, comeback!

  65. That’s some single!

  66. Does Kittenz have 2 3 run shots in him today?

  67. Everyone is changing their name!
    I think it’s bad luck!

  68. I’m really worried we might see Weber now

  69. “Dustin McGowan is not available back-to-back days.”

    Okay.

  70. McGowan’s career is over!

    The game is done. I’m out!

  71. Mcgowan’s stuff looks good. Amazing that he is still doing it to be honest.

    • Yeah seriously good for him…if we had let him go Tampa would have signed him and turned him into the best closer in MLB history…

  72. OK boys, see here!

    Get your shit together or I’m going to have to impose yet another extra-inning marathon.
    I’m serious.

    • I have even less going on today than I typically do + even then…not sure I can handle another marathon.

  73. They’re leaving the boat at the Dome. Apparently avoiding traffic trumps watching the whole game.

    • They’re all on their way to oakville’s favourite bistro.

    • When I was little we would only go to one game per year + without fail we would leave in the 8th inning every damn time. Pissed me off.

  74. I’m not ready to concede yet.

    One guy on against Nathan to get to Bautista. Not sure who they have to PH for Derosa though.

  75. I’ve got Derosa striking out, Kawasaki with a slap single to left field, Cabrera with a line drive single through the hole between 2nd and first, then a Jose Bautista 2nd deck bomb.

    Something about a boat.

  76. Got visions of bases on balls dancing in my mind.

  77. If they can get Jannsen we can get Nathan

  78. Which 590AM Jays commercial is worse? Colby and his dingers for a $2000 rebate on cars, or Lawrie’s “It’s gameday bro!” Spitz sunflower seeds?

  79. thank you!

  80. Table set.

  81. #astroturferrors

  82. Anybody know the run expectancy on a sac bunt in that spot? God I sure hope Gibby does.

    • I dont mind it just because Eddie and Jose are coming up…

      • Hate that bunt call. Your four best hitters are coming up with 0 outs. Down by 2. Don’t give away outs. Play to win.

        • I tend to agree. Giving up an out almost always lowers your run expectancy. I guess in this case you’re really only playing for 2 runs, not sure if that makes a significant difference to sway the result though.

          • But are you playing for 2 runs? You need three to win… and that means the batter needs to score too. In those cases, I would always take the extra out. Obviously in hindsight it worked out that way today. Would have been nice to have Melky take a productive AB there… but result aside I still think its a bad call.

    • I liked the bunt in my mind but the reality was a little more iffy. I think if it improves the probability of the tie you do it. You can win the game later, can’t tie it later.

  83. WTF is JOSE doing?

  84. Embarrassing. Hit the showers, Jose.

  85. Pathetic reaction from Bautista.

  86. I really do hope Bautista gets suspended for being a whiny bitch and throwing his shit.

  87. Bullshit on the check swing strike.

  88. The first strike call on Jose looked pretty good. Oh well, parrot walking time.

  89. Hooray for the ump show!

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