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. O’Day looking like he has PTSD when pitching to JBats.

    Time for EE to fuck him up.

    • Used to see that sweaty, shaky look on pitchers facing Delgado all the time. Jose is scary like that. One missed spot and BOOM.

  2. Ha ha ha O’Day lip read: “motherfucker”

  3. Jose was getting a fucking hit, dammit! Obviously frustrated with being pitched around.

  4. Jose is so fucking good at baseball.

  5. What is up with opposite land?

    HR from the number 9 hitter and then that from the 2-3-4?

  6. our pitchers have to lear to give up homers and THEN walk people. not the other way around. would save us a few runs here and there.

    • Other than Hutchison, I don’t think any of these starters are going to be “learning” anything. They are what they are.

      • im obviously joking about this. i dont actually think they can choose the order of negative events i’ve laid out. Im merely highlighting our pitchers tendencies to give up homer with runners on.

      • Bull, McGowan is learning what to throw in what situation. If he can work on pitching to bad contact he could really kick ass.

  7. Well when our pitchers shit the bed they don’t fuck around.

    • True. But putting in Redmond (gives up his share of home runs) against Cruz was asking for it. Dumb move.

    • You know the other team’s batters have trained their entire lives to hit baseballs, right?

  8. Bautista has a 28.4% BB%

  9. Santos looking dirty again.

  10. Fuck off Wieters

  11. Let’s do this and finish it.

  12. Anyone else find it odd that the orioles have their worst relief pitcher as their closer?

  13. Holy shit! The snag was awesome but he moved like spiderman to get it to second.

    The mustached fucker is agile as a cat on meth.

  14. Fucking Lawrie is unbelievable. If he ever figures out how to hit consistently for average he could be something REALLY special

  15. Nice play there Lawrie

  16. Walkoff time.

  17. At least francisco looks good tonight

  18. Donair!

  19. The fuck, were people at the ballpark actually booing Juan Francisco when he swung and missed for strike TWO!??

  20. Dinner!

  21. Cleatus!

  22. come on got this fat fuck last time.

  23. Dinner…

    I like this portly gentleman

  24. Navarro keeps clogging up the bases. Tsk Tsk

  25. Come on Cletus you fucking hillbilly

  26. Yessss!

  27. Colby will score on a double

  28. Go for the win Brett!

  29. Buck you idiot

  30. Not down to the last strike… it’s 1 out, Buck.

  31. Down to their last strike? Martinez has fucking Alzheimers

  32. Atta Kid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Lawrie hits. Now how big was that strike 3 call on Francisco that was off the fukin plate-fukin umps

  34. Just gotta say it’s mildly concerning that Diaz is coming up to the plate.

  35. The mustache is actually a Viking Talisman of great power.

  36. Go insidious ‘stache!!

  37. Buck is so drunk. + on pills. + senile. Just…all the things.

  38. Lean into an inside pitch Diaz!

  39. Diaz is a cunt

  40. Damn… it was close.

  41. Phhhhhhhhhhhhhaa

  42. Blahk.

  43. Can’t wait for the Jays talk tonight.

  44. bench is a little short.

  45. Fuck

  46. That sucked but going into this series a Tillman vs McGowan matchup… you kinda expect that to be a loss. Unfortunately, that might be the case for a lot of _____ vs McGowan games.

    The offense did their job. The pitching blew it. Just win tomorrow.

  47. Why the fuck wouldn’t they just have Diaz take the strikes to get to Reyes??


      I have to say though as entertainment the finish of this game was pretty great. Yay sports!

    • Good point. Diaz shouldn’t be allowed to swing in that spot.

      • Obviously we’re hoping for the walk as fans, but all you can really ask is that he doesn’t chase bad pitches. And fuck, two feet over, that’s a dive and maybe – maybe – an infield hit.

    • thats not how it works in the majors. unless you are a pitcher hitting, you cant tell your guys to take two strikes …..unless its maybe 3-0. he had a good chance to tie the game with a single and was up 1-0..he knew he was going to get a meatball..he did…he hit it to the wrong place.

      what i was surprised about was how slow he was

    • I was thinking the same thing. There was a chance Diaz might have gotten walked.

    • Because that’s a shitty idea. That reduces your probability of winning the game.

  48. This is what happens when you have a shit bench

  49. Diaz. Don’t swing at pitch you can’t handle. Better to strike out with Reyes coming up than….do….that.

    Oh well, win tamarrah and it’s all good. Except I think the Dusty experiement is about to end. Great, feel-good story but just….no.

  50. Hey Kids

    That was a good old fashioned Donnybrook of a game, a brawl. I’d rather come within inches of winning 11-10 than get three hit by a cheeseballer.

    They lost but that game was a ton of fun and they will come back tomorrow knowing they can club it.

    • Not going to disagree with you, that was an exciting game.

      Also, Jose Bautista is awesome.

      • In baseball terms we are really blessed to watch the man ply his trade. He is one of the freakiest, oddest superstars you will ever see.

  51. Bah. Damn shame but we’ll get em tomorrow. Diaz….just….blerg

  52. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

    • You lose a lot of them, even if you’re in first.

      I doubt the Jays are muttering obscenities under their breath after that one. That’s a good loss.

  53. I can’t believe they let Diaz swing until he had at least 1 strike. It’s possible Hunter may have walked him , hit him or thrown a WP but we never gave him the chance to pull a SAntos.
    Well, it;s back to win tomorrow or we fall behind these asses with the BOSOX coming. We can’t keep givin away games that are winnable then maoning about having to play catch up in June.
    Forward Soviet guys!

  54. Hey Smasher, how was Dylan last night?

  55. So what now then? McGowan & Happ change spots?

    • McGowan stays

      • He’s been crap. Even in the shutout against Baltimore he wasn’t that good. Even Dickey has had a decent game or two, but I’m not seeing a whole lot of positives from Dustin’s starts.

      • Ahh ok, now I get it. You’re some fanatical McGowan fan/apologist. That explains the previous posts here. Gotcha.

        • You claim not to be, but not are you trolling

          • * boy are you trolling

          • I’m not. I may overdo the bitching about the rotation and how inactive the management was in fixing a team that is supposed to “win now” but it’s frustrating. It’s very improbably that a team with this rotation will do anything significant. Obviously I’m still holding out irrational hope as a sports fan but the management deserves to get ripped for the roster going into this season.

            • Morrow basically didn’t pitch last year. McGowan pitched an inning at a time last year. Hutch is coming off of TJ. Give them more than 4 starts to get into a rhythm. The team is disjointed and hasn’t fired on all cylinders yet, but has a winning record. I’ll take it and see how shit shakes out.

              • I’m not worried. Dickey will settle in, Buerhle will Buerhl. Hutch looks decent, Morrow will at least be 60/40 on the good start angle. I think McGowan is stretching out too and will improve.

                No one has great pitching in the AL East. The Yankees are probably the best but their infield is a travesty that will bite them.

                Meanwhile the Jays have a cohesive team with pretty damn good defense. Jose and Melky are owning the league right now with Reyes, Edwin, Cletus, Dinner all huge threats.

                Seriously, are the Yankees, Rays, Massholes actually better?

      • certainly take McGowan over Happ for the foreseeable future, but he really hasn’t thrown the ball well in any of his outings this year. even in his last start against Baltimore there were a bunch of deep flies that might have been dingers in warmer weather. very stark contrast between quality of stuff and results so far.

        if he continues to struggle in his next 2-3 starts and Stroman continues to throw the ball well, they’d have to seriously consider it.

  56. blargh…

    bad pitching. McGowan was garbage, although not too much different than his other outings to be perfectly honest. bad command leading to hard contact and inevitably extra-base hits. even his outs have been loud this year.

    i agree with Zaun (thankfully not a permanent condition) that Redmond was the wrong choice for a bases loaded nobody out scenario with the game very much on the line in the 5th inning. would have preferred Loup, who ended up pitching in the game anyways. Redmond just doesn’t keep the ball on the ground or in the ballpark well enough to be trusted in that spot.

    • Yeah, that was the ballgame right there. Almost anyone else in the pen would’ve been a better option.

    • Yep, nice feel good story and all. But really, he’s like aRHP Jay Happ. LOt of pitches, poor command and a lot of loud outs. Will have a decent game maybe 1 out of 5 with 4 shitshows of 2-4 innings each and that is about it. Basically, a shitballer, and we know how many of them we have had the last 5 years or so. Maybe, one more start, and then the pen likely swapping with Happ as he is making 5.1m and they have to showcase him in case they can find a sucker to take him in a deal of some kind. They have a tough deciaion or 2 coming down the pike when Janssen returns and when they expand the bench( when Lind comes back?) which means 2 pitchers have to go by end of May I’d say. Having to let Diaz hit with the sacks juiced in the 9th hurts. Fukin short bench, indeed

      • well i’m willing to give McGowan the benefit of the doubt for a little while longer. He has good stuff, certainly better than Happ, Redmond, Rogers, etc., but it’s just not manifesting itself in any kind of effectiveness yet.

        with Morrow, you realize lack of command makes him inefficient, but at least he still generates whiffs by the boatload to remain effective, even if he can’t go deep into games. It seems like guys go up hacking against McGowan because they know he’s around the plate and doesn’t have anything to keep them honest. his slider has looked toothless so far, just not getting any bite on it, and ditto for his changeup. I also find it mindboggling that his visually decent two-seamer can’t generate any grounders.

        the experiment can go on a while longer, just cause the alternatives are totally uninspiring, but if i’m the Jays i’m keeping an extremely close eye on reports out of Buffalo on Stroman.

      • I agree with you, Fukstik.

        PS: I also like to say ‘bases juiced’. Are you a child of the 80′s by chance?

        • Shit man, me, spuds and RADAR are children of the 60′s!
          One of the few things I did not do, however, was put flowers in my hair. Guess that was the hockey mentality in me at the time

  57. I’d be happy to give McGowan another start, but have Happ ready to take over if he fails.

    • They’ve given him 4 starts and he hasn’t looked good in any of them. Today the offense puts up 6 runs and he gives two of ‘em right back. And the pitch to the #9 hitter that went BEHIND him… ugh.

      He’ll be good in the pen. Redmond and Happ are just more reliable starting options at this point.

  58. Not saying the offense is to blame for this loss but when it mattered most, they were too undisciplined at the plate. Its been a recurring problem for a long time. Still, pitching sucked and that was the bigger problem today.

  59. On the one hand, this team is playing pretty well.

    On the other hand, the decent play has made the gaping holes at 2B and #5 starter all the more frustrating.

    Not to mention the bench.

    I can understand the need for an 8 man bullpen and 3 long relievers considering the rotation.

    But, fuck, if you’re going to deploy a 3 man bench, how the fuck can Sierra be a part of it?

    Thole & Diaz at least serve a purpose.

    • Yep, thats where rogers being cheap jackasses really hurt the team.

    • They’re playing pretty well relative the the rest of the division which has been mediocre. It’s tough to get any momentum going without quality starts, hence the pen, hence the bench, hence the arm tied behind Gibby’s back.

  60. I wish Buehrle could start every game

  61. I would have been slightly more hopeful with Kawasaki at the plate in that spot. Am I the only one?

    • nope this is exactly what happens when you have a GM who hides players on the roster for no good reason. sierra, diaz, happ are basically useless and have done nothing to help you win games. kawasaki in the 9th would have had a much better AB. what is the point in sierra if he never plays. everyone knows he’s going to get dfa’d, get it over with already

    • Nope, I was thinking the exact same thing. Same situatuion last year, and Kawa hit that 3 run double to fuk the O’s. Plus Kawa would have worked the count , maybe drawn a walk in that situation and would have taken at least 1 strike. Diaz swung at the first half decent one he saw and took us out of the game. Gutsu plucky play by the offence but some of our pitching warts are resurfacing. I’m not fond of Mcgowan( see above) but I guess they have to play this out once and for all. Barring an acquisition , the next few weeks will see he, Redmond and Happ on some kind of carousel of pitching death. Just hope the offence can score in bunches on those days cause scoring 8 and losing is terrible baseball

    • PS: Love your name. Ear-flaps are for wankers.

  62. I dont understand the logic of some of these major league players and managers.

    how can they claim that putting a foreign substance on your hands in order to better grip the ball, which is explicitly against MLB rules, is not cheating?

    so if you have control problems to the point where you cant throw a strike…and then put on some goop that then gives you control to the point where you can throw a strike..that ISNT an advantage gained illegally?

    its like when andy petttite said he used steroids to “heal” not to get an edge. how is accelerated healing NOT an edge?

    these people havent completed many logic proofs.

  63. I’m with you, ‘Sharts. That’s some Ill Communication, brah.

  64. A suggestion for Andrew Stoeten -

    It’s a bit difficult with the new layout to determine one post from the other because the font for the subheadings in your post (i.e. Scuttlebutt) are similar to the title. Maybe change the colour of these subheadings?

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