West coast baseball! As a night person, I’m all for these outstanding start times — nine o’clock today, four tomorrow, ten on Saturday, and four again on Sunday. It’s perfect! Thing is, though, thanks to the Jays’ long history of futility over the last two decades, and the fact that these trips don’t usually happen until deep into the season, they’re not usually this bloody daunting.
Or, they are, but the potential consequences aren’t always so very real. The Jays lead the AL East by just one game over the Orioles, and while the Orioles head into the All-Star break with one tonight in Texas (in which the asshole Rangers scratched Yu Darvish over uncertainty with the weather), three in Boston, a four-game home-and-home with Washington, and three with the Yankees, the Jays get the potential horror show that is the Oakland Coliseum for four, three with the Angels, then three more at Tropicana Field, where they’ve done so abysmally poorly in recent years.
A little too much is probably being made of all this, though, to be honest. Sure, west coast trips are always tough, but neither club’s schedule is particularly easy, and heading out of the break? The Jays host Texas and Boston, then go to the Bronx and Fenway, before closing out the month with the first of a four-game set in Houston. The O’s head out of the break going to Oakland, Anaheim, Seattle, then finish the month hosting the Angels at Camden Yards. It’s not like this stuff doesn’t even out. And when the Jays make their next trip west, and play the Mariners, it’s practically going to be a home game for them. I can live with that!
For now, though, yes, it’s not going to be easy. If the Jays end up five and five in these ten games, I can live with that too. But hoo boy, if doing better than .500 is gravy, let’s get to the damn gravy as soon as we can, and start off a damn win tonight. Sonny Gray and the Jays’ continued lineup issues won’t make it easy, but R.A. Dickey in that ballpark surely has more than just a fighting chance.
Let’s do this!
Yes, Edwin Encarnacion is back out in left field. Hey, he didn’t have the chance to field a ball yesterday, so… found money, right? I don’t know.
Good news, though, Barry Davis tweets that Jose Bautista tells him that he feels much better and could play in right today, but the club has elected to err on the side of caution for at least another day.
And no, that’s not a typo: Colby Rasmus isn’t in the lineup. He “tweaked” his wrist hitting the wall yesterday, says John Gibbons, via a Barry Davis tweet. It’s not serious.
Davis also tweets that Brett Cecil is headed to rejoin his teammates. He’s eligible to be activated from the DL tomorrow, and evidently that’s what’ll happen.
Gregor tweets that it’s not just Cecil who is coming, but that John Gibbons strongly hinted that Erik Kratz could be on the way. Kratz’s arrival could be tied to Colby’s status, Gregor adds, because the Jays would need to stick with five outfielders if Colby needs more than just a day or two. But if Rasmus can be back quickly, Gregor figures that sending down a couple outfielders would make sense (they’d likely be Glenn and Mastroianni).
Not related (directly, at least) to the Jays or this game, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that CC Sabathia has had a setback. Ruh-roh!
Next game(s): Tomorrow, 4:05 PM ET @ Oakland
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 lineups…
Toronto Blue Jays
SS Jose Reyes (S)
RF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Jose Bautista (R)
LF Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
RHP R.A. Dickey
DH John Jaso (L)
3B Alberto Callaspo (S)
LF Yoenis Cespedes (R)
RF Brandon Moss (L)
SS Jed Lowrie (S)
C Stephen Vogt (L)
1B Eric Freiman (R)
2B Eric Sogard (L)
CF Craig Gentry (R)
RHP Sonny Gray