The strikeouts are low, the walks are high, the BABIP is crazy, the ground ball rate is off the charts, the ERA, FIP, and xFIP aren’t exactly stellar, and it’s all underpinned by a luck-flaunting HR/FB rate, but Dustin McGowan hasn’t been close to terrible since his late insertion into the Jays’ rotation — certainly not by the long-rope standards of R.A. Dickey, for example — and his stuff still provides more than enough for Jays fans to dream on.

That isn’t to say I think he’s about to get himself on a roll, but you could certainly convince the optimist in me that he might — just as, if we’re being honest, you could convince that same optimist that even if he doesn’t, Marcus Stroman is looking awful good down there in Buffalo, eh? Eh???

And that’s sort of where we’re at with McGowan at the moment. The peripherals haven’t looked so hot — certainly not like the 3.5 win guy he was over 27 starts back in 2007 — but the results have been passable, and nobody should have expected him to jump back in the rotation and re-assume the mantle of the Next Great Jays Starter, either. It’s a process, and you can understand giving him some extra rope, given that McGowan didn’t come out of spring nearly ready enough to be the kind of guy who so far exists solely in our hope of hopes. Obviously it’s not difficult to see why people think such things about him, but his lack of seniority and tangible success make him the man with the most tenuous grip on his rotation spot — the loss of which wouldn’t exactly be a shock, given the way that he got here in the first place (i.e. essentially by default). I mean… you’d like to believe that the Jays will give him a long, long look, but you can fully understand that they need to start getting more innings out of their starters, and that the McGowan experiment may eventually produce enough bad to outweigh the good. Can’t you?

With that as the backdrop, each start for McGowan feels somewhat pivotal — at least as far as his role on this club goes — and while a clunker tonight most likely won’t spell the end for his days in the rotation, hot damn, would the kind of terrific performance we know he’s capable of really put some wind in this club’s sails, or what? Let’s fucking do this! 


The Blue Jays “clearly made the right call,” tweets Shi Davidi, as the Padres announce that “Josh Johnson will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow.” Sucks for him. What a talent — and we barely saw a fraction of it. Good on the Jays, though.

Mr. Fancy Access himself, Drew Fairservice, was down at the Rogers Centre for batting practice today, and he reiterates, via tweet, something that Fan 590 Baseball Central co-host Kevin “Mr. Hazel Mae” Barker has been saying since Juan Francisco’s promotion to the Jays: that man “is a 5 o’clock all star. Damn.” I believe it. Now lets see some of that shit in games!

Drew also tells us that Buck Showalter went off on some kind of epic rant (about rosin?), and — apropos of nothing — notes that Adeiny Hechavarria is pretty much the worst base stealer. So… there’s that.

“It’s early, of course,” tweets Chris Toman, “but ESPN has Bautista projected to walk 203 times. Bonds is the only player to draw more than 170 BBs in a season.”

Brendan Kennedy tweets a picture of the Jays’ pitchers taking batting practice in preparation of next month’s interleague games. Get your shit together and get a DH already, National League. Enough of this garbage where you just hand every team a virtually-automatic out once every nine batters.

What’s this? Dirk Hayhurst writing for theScore??? About the Pirates-Brewers brawl? Yep. Sure is. Read it, and welcome, Dirk!

Things aren’t changing in this particular corner of theScore universe (read: at DJF), save for some cosmetic stuff, I promise, but if you’re wondering about just how awesome the turn we’ve taken is, how about reading Drew on how Manchester United became just another club? Yes, it’s at theScore.

Elsewhere over at some place called theScore, Chris Creamer of takes us through ten MLB teams that wore uniforms for a city other than their own — and the Jays are among them. When and why? You’ll have to click the link and find out.

Seriously, though: surely you can tell from the fresh coat of paint that you’re on the new-look, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a tonne still to check out. Very soon we’ll have links to all the other sections in the navbar here, but in the meantime, hit the link in the previous sentence and go to town, then download the app, then go to town some more. Nobody asked me to say this, but seriously, if you’re a sports fan (and, FYI, you are) it’s the best — I have people say to me all the time how much they love it, before they even know that this is the company in which DJF Island resides. We’re excited, OK??

Lastly, it’s the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field’s opening, and only Andy Gray of @si_vault celebrated appropriately.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game: Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET, vs. Baltimore

For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.

And now, the game one lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Juan Francisco (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
CF Colby Rasmus
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
SS Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Dustin McGowan

Baltimore Orioles

RF Nick Markakis (L)
DH Nelson Cruz (R)
1B Chris Davis (L)
CF Adam Jones (R)
C Matt Wieters (S)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
3B Ryan Flaherty (L)
2B Jonathan Schoop (R)
LF David Lough (L)

RHP Chris Tillman

Comments (542)

  1. Fack.

  2. Jeaus fuck!

  3. Let’s all road trip to Baltimore and wear white in CF next time the Jays are in town.

  4. That was above the letters.


  6. Speechless.

  7. I just really hate Nelson Cruz…

  8. Conventional managing fucks us


  9. Fuck you, Rogers. I’m working for the Orioles now.

  10. FML

  11. What the fucking fuck?

  12. Game’s not over yet.

  13. I’m not good with the reading.

    Does that say Redmond or Jeffress on the back of his jersey?

  14. Why the fuck is Redmond still out there?

    • Probably because they didn’t count on him shitting the bed this hard, you usually don’t expect the guy you bring in to look worse than the one you just pulled.

  15. Get him the FUCK out of there!

  16. I decided to watch the inning from the break room, and I saw that grand slam. It was one of those ‘you can turn the tv off and return to work’ moments.

  17. bases loaded, no outs, likely most critical moment of ballgame: Let’s throw out our soft tossing long man.

  18. Only a 3 run dinger behind?.no probleeemmm

  19. So McGowan is kinda fucking terrible like we all thought he would be. Shit.

    I still can’t believe that the management hopes to contending with someone like him in the rotation.

    • Fifth starters aren’t exactly Cy Young candidates.

      • He shouldn’t even be a 5th starter. Is there any half-decent team in this league that McGowan would start for?

        And if all the Jays have is a bunch of #3 or 4 guys… you kinda need the #5 guy to be solid.

        • Which #5 is solid?

          • Not many. But other teams actually have top starters that compensates for having a crap #5 guy. The Jays don’t even have a #2 caliber guy like Lester. Unless you don’t care about the Jays being a good team and are ok with mediocrity. I’m not.

            • What team has a solid #5 to compensate for a bad rotation? Wouldn’t that make the #5 a #1 then?

              • What?

                If you don’t have an ace like David Price or even a #2 guy like Jon Lester (which the Jays don’t) then the “oh but no team has a good #5″ argument means less because those teams can afford to have someone shitty in the rotation. The Jays cannot. When your best pitchers are going to be Dickey and Buehrle (both solid but not great pitchers) then you probably need a less shitty than usual #5 guy if you want to contend.

    • Why is it you only post to whine when things go bad?

      Is it because you’re an asshole?

      • Maybe you should pay better attention because I post positive stuff too. You apparently just have some weird defensive stance when it comes to someone bashing the Jays.

        McGowan stinks. It is what it is. I’d love for him to be effective but come on. To go into a season with someone like him as a starter is kinda ridiculous when you already have a somewhat weak rotation.

        • Yer an idiot

        • It’s a gamble. Unfortunately, its not one that’s working out all that well. Well, pretty soon he’s going to have to go back to being a bullpen weapon.

          • Totally. And I was all for giving McGowan a shot. I mean, given the other options at the time, why not? He just doesn’t have the stuff anymore to compensate for shaky command like he once did.

  20. Thinking it wouldve helped if they didnt leave Redmond sitting on his ass for a week in the pen… he doesnt need any rust as is

  21. Thanks AA. Thanks for trading away all the prospects one year, then not signing anyone the next. Worst of both worlds. Now all we have left is to watch all the great pitchers we almost had on other teams, and all the other great ones we traded away.

  22. I’m just really sad. And I was so happy…

  23. If Happ wants to work his way back into the rotation, throwing strikes would be a good start.

  24. What a fukin pitching dispaly here. I hope the 5th spot in the rotation ain’t like this all year. Now Happ will pich the rest of thegame I guess. SAme old same old-walks followerd by HRS. Tillman may get a win out of this-fuk me

  25. Nice walk Happ,.
    Deja vu Minny styles?

  26. I go to the LCBO and a giant shitstorm happens.

    Well, glad I have booze now.

  27. Thing that really hurts about that inning is that it started with the 7-8-9 hitters getting on and the 8 hitter hitting a very make-able double play ball if McGowan just gets out of the way.

    This shit aint over though..

  28. Let’s go fatty!

  29. so post-Pineda toss, Oil of Olay Buchholz goes Saturday vs Morrow – get your binoculars out for that start

  30. Stroman next week?

  31. Those last two swings by Rasmus… Oof

  32. Surely the gym downstairs will only have hockey on so I’m hoping things turn for the Jays by 9:30, when i’m done PVRing Modern Family and can turn the game back on.

    Are there any good portable AM radios out there?

  33. So not saying he will or I think he will but if McGowan goes back to the pen, Janssen comes back, and they go back to a 7 man bullpen (probably the least likely of this list) we’d probably end up seeing Rogers, Happ, and Redmond on waivers anyway…

    It was worth a try with the out of options guys but I’m not sure how much longer theyre gonna last

  34. J.A Happ sucks a fucking dicks. Why hasn’t AA pulled the trigger on Hanrahan yet? Fuck sakes… there’s a need for something in that pen and fucking quick.

  35. See rogers this is what you get when you try and penny pinch for starting pitching

  36. Jays still have four innings to hit.

  37. That was the shitswing of Lawrie’s, late and under.

  38. Goins Going Gone.

    Save that in your archives.

  39. Hahahahahahahahaha hell yeah!

  40. GOINS? GOINS!!!!?

  41. Icymi ryan goins just hit a home runs so … No.. its not over

  42. LMAO! A Goins home run?

    Sense. This game makes none.

  43. Did I just dream that? Holy fuck Goins!

  44. I like to think my suggestion last night that Goings get demoted directly motivated him and thus that homerun.

  45. Holy fuck?? Goins??
    Growin’ a ‘stache as well?

  46. Baseball is fucked.

  47. “two hand finish”

    it’s an interesting technique

  48. Seriously wow, I would be embarassed if, I was Tillman right now lol

    • He’s been throwing 85mph fastballs down the pipe all night, even Goins can put one out.

  49. Melky gonna get 260 hits this year

  50. I’m actually pretty surprised they pulled Tillman, he’s looked good after the second and their bullpen is hot garbage.

  51. Buck just called him Timlin. I’m not sure Buck knows where he is most nights….

  52. A Ryan Goins home run? This demands a GIF.

  53. Come on EE

  54. EE home run coming up.

  55. Like I said, EE will strike out.

  56. I wonder what excuses Wilner will come up with for this one

  57. Time to start batting Bautista 3, Cabrera 4?

    • Edwin will deliver and Melky is perfect where he is.

      • If Edwin doesn’t settle in at more than 80% of what he’s been the last two years, the Jays are fucked anyways, regardless of where Melky hits.

        • Edwin will be fine. He’s just off to a slow start, he doesn’t look messed up.

          • He may take a while to warm up. He had wrist issues late last year, which can mess up a hitter, especially a power guy like EE. “It’s still early”

            • It’s his timing and pitch recognition right now. The dinger he hit last night was the fourth longest of his career, and he hit the Bernie brewer slide in Milwaukee which is way the fuck up there. The wrist seems fine.

        • this.

  58. Should we be expecting a McGowan/Happ swap in the rotation at some point soon?

    Wasn’t that the plan before Happ started the season on the DL?

  59. Lawrie, Reyes, Goins, Davis, Cruz, Cruz, Wieters. Did I miss anyone?

  60. Come on AA just call up Sanchez and Stroman and release Happ, Rogers and Redmond before the season is lost

    • Really. Get back under the bridge.

      • Why? The jays would be smarter to call both of them up release those three scrubs and move McGowan and Dickey to the bullpen. I am sorry but with the way Dickey has been pitching he doesn’t deserve to start

        • Sanchez is not ready. He’s a valuable asset and needs more time in the minors. I hope we see Stroman before the super two.

          Redmond is fungible, freely-available talent. Happ and Rogers aren’t going anywhere.

          • I think Sanchez is ready he performed very well in spring training and his last start which was against the Rays starting lineup pretty good IMHO

  61. what was stoeten calling us idiots for just 1 bad loss, then 2 bad losses? and now it’s 3 bad losses in just 3 weeks?

    • We’re 11 and 9 and one game out of first. Step back off the ledge.

      • About to be 11-10 and with the jays inconsistent pitching other than Hutch and Buehrle the Jays will most likely finish in last place. The bullpen is already burnt out and the jays are second last in the AL when it comes to ip for starters not very good

        • pitching by definition is inconsistent. the O’s just had their best pitcher tagged for 7 runs and 3 dingers. Jon Lester was rocked yesterday.

          there are options for this rotation if guys prove they can’t get the job done or get hurt.

          the offense will continue to get better.

          therefore, no reason to abandon ship on a 11-9 team in April.

          • No, no reason to jump off. But it’s very improbable that this team does anything significant with the current pitching staff. They just aren’t talented enough compared to other teams.

  62. I’m missing Kittenface.

  63. Dioner “DQ” Navarro

  64. They keep mispronouncing Navarro’s name.

    Dinner. It’s Dinner.

  65. it’s great that we have sierra rotting on the bench since we’ll never use him for pinch hitting any lefty

  66. Rasmus looking like 2012 Rasmushere. Fukin futile or what-geez coby hit the all!

  67. We still have a chance in this one, but I imagine McGowan doesn’t. He might get one more start, but I think it’s time for the Stroman era.

    With that said, I also imagine that Happ will get a chance before Stroman, just out of respect.

  68. So we all agree that the O’s are using cheater bats obviously?

  69. Lawrie with another?

  70. Forget the moustache, it’s that mendoza OBP making my little cup brim with tiddles!

  71. they cant let sierra face the sidearmer. that will be a shit show of epic proportions

    unfortunately, they have what? josh thole and diaz left? id risk it and go with thole.

    the odds of the catcher getting hurt are pretty low relative to the odds of losing the game if you dont score here.

  72. O’Day, O’Day O’Day O’day…

  73. Wait–are we allowed to do that? Remove a pinch hitter before he takes an at-bat? Or is that rule that Sciochia was all about last season the other way around?

  74. Oh god easy out

  75. Oh Thole, you make my heart super happy.

  76. Wow I stand corrected

  77. This ump’s strikezone is horrendous.

    • Some of his strike calls have been awful – O’Day didn’t throw one strike, but Reyes had to swing, prob would’ve been rung up anyway.

      • I know, that was a shit pitch but so were 2 of the other strike calls in the count, he’s not even being consistent which is the most annoying thing.

        • Low strike to Davis… ball? Such bullshit! I know we’ve gotten a few pitches too, but ya the consistency. Either nothing on the outside corner, or everything – he’s picking and choosing, kinda not in our favour either

  78. Come on Reyes get them back in this

  79. that’s it cost the jays their replay

  80. Saw the Cubs blow a three-run lead in the 9th today so I’ll see this one through.

  81. Two run game with two innings to play. Getting deep into the Orilole pen.

    Strange happenings are afoot at the Circle K

  82. Fuck well at least they are only down by two now with the two best hitters they have right now on deck if their shitty pen can hold this

  83. We are getting squeezed here

  84. Nope their done Happ can’t throw a strike

  85. Late to the party…Come on Happ, don’t suck for once

  86. Just wanted to say Kudos to gibbons for bringing in Thole to pinch hit. Alot of mangers, dumb fucked as it may be, would not risk burning the back up catcher.

    so ..yeah…give him some props for bucking convention.

  87. Oh, waht we wouldn’t have done for 8 runs in the first 2 weeks-woulda been auto win. Now, we’ll need double digits, like last year, when the cream puffs of the pitchinstaff are out there.
    Well, at least we get a good look at the auditioning Happ. Can’t believe we pay Happ 5.1m. AA must ave been on drugs. And…..Carlos Villaneauva wanted to start for FFS bt we had Happ-Geezus another wise move. Carlos regularly went 6 innings, something which would now make him a star on this staff.
    Speaking of Happ, nice concession of the Sac there. Pitiful effort

    • Charlie V has an ERA over 10 this year.

      • Yeah, he does so he’s not great but he does eat innings, However almost all of those runs came in one start ( 9 runs in 3 innings I believe,) and then he thru a 9 inning SO in a 0-0 game so…….stillbetter than our spot and likely to continue that way. I guess I’m just pissed at all the catlle that have grazed here and go on to greatness, while those we have kept have lrgely turned into heffers

      • Charlie V

        The poster child of the 4.5 inning starter. Third time through the order he gets killed.

  88. Loup in to face the pederast. Nobody fucks wid da Jesus

  89. Melky with the leather and the wood!

  90. Anyone watching the O’s feed? Did they just say ‘Makes a luck grab”?

    Fuck these guys.

  91. Loup induces a little looper, Melky doesn’t ‘make the same mistake with the little looper.

  92. What the hell was that “ball?”

    • According to the striketracker, the Jays have not had a single series where the calls have gone their way. However, the rate against them has slowed.

      So I guess that’s something.

  93. Just a hypothetical question what do you think the Jays could get for Melky Buehrle, Encarnacion and Bautista at the deadline if the jays are out of contention sorry about the negative comments just frustrated with the team as, I am sure you are as well

    • We have a winning record and just got Reyes back and he looks good and Lawrie and EE are coming to life and Janssen will be back soon. I have no idea what you mean.

    • You do realize that the Jays have a winning record at the moment, right? Here’s a hypothetical, do the Jays trade for Price of they’re leading the ALE at the AS break?

      • If the Jays are leading at the all-star break, they probably won’t need Price.

        Now a real second baseman, on the other hand…

    • I bet we could get a reliable, steady starter, a power hitting right fielder with a good arm, and a steady first baseman who also hits for power. What do you think?

  94. Every time I hear that guy say “little looper” it makes me want to hurt myself. Fuck. Popups are little loopers. Line drives. Everything.

    Oh and now I have to listen to Zaun. Fuck. I’m going on strike.

  95. Zaun does have a point, but after Minny I get why Gibby might have been a little gunshy.

  96. WHOA..zaun actually making some sense there. saying you bring in a high leverage reliever rather than a long man in the 5th inning with the bags juiced because that could very well be the game right there. i agree..however how would you know to warm the guy up that fast?

  97. Hot girl. Creepy cameraman.

  98. Big inning coming. I feels it!

  99. does buck understand the meaning of see saw battle? the orioles have been ahead since the 5th. thats not really an operational see saw. its a see saw with a fat kid on one end..and erkel on the other end.

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