Archive for the ‘Game Threat’ Category

dickeylook

The Orioles have already lost once today (they’re playing a doubleheader with the Rays), bringing the Jays’ lead in the AL East back up to 2.5 games, with a chance for it to grow even more, as they send R.A. Dickey to the hill to face the Chicago White Sox. Hopefully the knuckle is dancing, because guys like Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn could certainly do some damage with one swing of the bat.

On the other hand, a win ensures at least a tie in this four-game series, which is a good thing with Chris Sale going for the ChiSox tomorrow. And Sunday’s starter, Quintana? That creep can roll.

The Jays counter with Marcus Stroman and Mark Buehrle in those games, though, so it’s not like they don’t have a chance. Should be a good weekend of #PITCHING… y’know, once we get through this one. Is Dickey seriously currently the Jays’ fifth best starter??!? Until Happ lays another egg, I think he is! So… not for long, most likely.

Scuttlebutt

I know Bautista and Lawrie being out makes it considerably worse, but this Jays lineup against the left-handed Jon Danks? Woof. Let’s see some Chase Headley! (And no, let’s not see some Adam Lind against a lefty, for fuck sakes. Quit that dumb noise.)

Hey, hold on, Happ threw a gem despite his magic personal catcher being sent down. Super weird!

Barry Davis tweets that Bret Cecil threw a bullpen session today, and Brandon Morrow played catch again as well. They’ll “see how he feels today,” says John Gibbons (via a Megan Robinson tweet). “Shouldn’t be long.” He won’t be eligible to come off the DL until next weekend, when the Jays visit Oakland.

Davis adds that Cecil said the session went well, and that he hopes to pitch for the Bisons in Syracuse on Tuesday.

Mike Wilner tweets that Colby Rasmus isn’t in today’s lineup because John Gibbons wanted to give him a day off, seeing as he just returned from a hamstring problem. He adds that ol’ Gibbers says he went with Munenori Kawasaki today over Juan Francisco because he preferred someone who is at least likely to make some contact.

Megan Robinson tweets that Jose Bautista “will workout tomorrow, get treatment, and be assessed. Could be put in on Sunday to DH or pinch-hit, if OK.”

Megan also tells us that Steve Tolleson won’t have to use those glasses anyway — a couple eye drops from the specialist completely cleared up his issue. OK then.

John Lott tweets that Dalton Pompey has been promoted to New Hampshire. Those footsteps you hear… only exist if you’re Anthony Gose or Kevin Pillar.

Lott also tweets a link to his piece on last night, regarding Dioner Navarro’s awesome, hilarious adventures in baserunning. “I might kill Luis if he sends me again,” the Jays’ catcher says.

Rather than save this for a Daily Duce that I’m sure I’ll finally get around to doing next week, Chris Toman tweets a link to his piece at Gamereax in which he looks at Marcus Stroman, who has been the Jays’ best pitcher since he made his first start, back on May 31st.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 1:07 PM ET vs. White Sox; Sunday, 1:07 PM ET vs. White Sox

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)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Dioner Navarro (S)
RF Brad Glenn (R)
3B Steve Tolleson (R)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)
C Josh Thole (L)

RHP R.A. Dickey

Chicago White Sox

CF Leury Garcia (S)
2B Gordon Beckham (R)
3B Connor Gillaspie (L)
1B Jose Abreu (R)
DH Adam Dunn (L)
SS Alexei Ramirez (R)
RF Dayan Viciedo (R)
LF Alejandro de Aza (L)
Tyler Flowers (R)

LHP Jon Danks

happsterbackground

This is your semi-regular reminder that Hipster J.A. Happ is pretty much genius. To wit:

Follow him before Happ gets traded away and we forget he even existed (though… honestly… we were always more into his early stuff anyway).

Oh, and something something baseball. Let’s hope the fucking White Sox are prepared to give the Jays the same kind of gifts they gave the Orioles all week.

Scuttlebutt

John Gibbons tells reporters that Jose Bautista will work out on Saturday to see if he can pinch hit. He’s getting there, and still hopeful about avoiding the DL, but he’s still not ready.

Steve Tolleson had an eye issue that was being reported after last night’s game, and apparently it has turned out to be some kind of an allergic reaction to contact lenses he had been given. Seems like a thing he might have noticed right away — eye troubles immediately after he got new things he was putting in his eyes? — but… whatever, he’s alright now, and wearing glasses tonight. Fortunately for him, despite being on the DL, Brandon Morrow is with the team these days, so he’s not going to be alone in getting ragged on for looking like he’s into book learnin’.

Moises Sierra in the house!

Griff with the tweet of the week.

These ChiSox have won three times in ten games. DON’T FUCK THIS UP!

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET vs. White Sox

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)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Adam Lind (L)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
RF Anthony Gose (R)

LHP J.A. Happ

Chicago White Sox

CF Adam Eaton (L)
2B Gordon Beckham (R)
1B Jose Abreu (R)
LF Dayan Viciedo (R)
SS Alexei Ramirez (R)
3B Connor Gillaspie (L)
DH Paul Konerko (R)
RF Moises Sierra (R)
C Adrian Nieto (S)

RHP Scott Carroll

hutchthrowsblue0608

BIG HIROK!

OK, so obviously that’s not a picture of Big Hirok above there, but it is a picture of his mound opponent, Drew Hutchison, who is having a very nice year so far for the Jays, even though of late he’s alternated between good starts and bad. One earned over 5.2 against the Red Sox, then five in five against the Rays (albeit in a win). Seven three-hit shutout innings against the Tigers, then five runs in three innings against the Cards. Seven strong and none earned in Baltimore, then four in 4.1 against these bloody Yanks.

So… I’m not super into this pattern continuing, but if it wants to for just one more start, considering he’s due a gem, I can live with that. Especially since it would obviously be real fucking nice to return the favour that the Yankees did to us last week and sweep them.

Right? So let’s do it!

Scuttlebutt

First off, Drew’s piece for theScore in which he interviews Marcus Stroman is awesome, and even though I’m going to link it again the next time I do a Daily Duce, I can’t wait that long to share it. Read it.

As you can see below, Edwin Encarnacion is evidently fine, as he’s in the lineup. Adam Lind is apparently OK to play through some pain, too, because he’s in at first base while Edwin — who John Gibbons told reporters last night merely had a “fat lip” — takes a night at DH. So, the Twitter doctors can slither back down their holes now, I guess. It’s possible to hit your head pretty fucking hard and not get a concussion, by the way.

John Lott tweets that even Edwin himself is amazed that he suffered no ill effects of the blow from Teixeira.

Speaking of the lineup, um… I cannot fathom there being an actual, reasonable, non-microsplit reason for Colby Rasmus to be hitting below Navarro and Francisco tonight. Can. Not. (Gibby still the best, though.)

I really should have used this as the image in last night’s Half-Assed DJF Post-Game (HADPG? Y’know, the ol’ Had Pig), because it remains amazing.

Barry Davis tweets that Jose Bautista says his hamstring is feeling better, but that he won’t be available for at least the next few days. Ugh.

On the possibility of Jose pinch hitting, Megan Robinson tweets that John Gibbons says it’s possible, but he really wants to make sure his star slugger is “good to go” before using him.

Megan also tells us that, when asked at what point he starts to get excited about where his team is in the standings, Gibbers replied, “three weeks ago.” NAILS MUCH?

Back to Drew, as he tweets that the fans in the stands at the Rogers Centre were clapping as Tim Lincecum got the final outs of his no hitter today, which was shown live on the Jumbotron. Cool stuff, though… the folks there that early probably tend to be the more eager baseball fans, right? I’m kinda just making that up, but… seems reasonable. (Also of note: TimmyTheBest.)

Pro tip: Search FanGraphs for “Big Hirok” and after Kuroda the suggestion is “Big Jeff Pfeffer”. (He was 6’1 185, FYI).

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET vs. White Sox

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)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
1B Adam Lind (L)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
RF Anthony Gose (R)

RHP Drew Hutchison

New York Yankees

LF Brett Gardner (L)
SS Derek Jeter (R)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
1B Mark Teixeira (S)
DH Carlos Beltran (S)
RF Ichiro! (L)
2B Brian Roberts (S)
3B Kelly Johnson (L)
C Francisco Cervelli (R)

RHP Hiroki Kuroda

buehrleross

Welp. Got a nifty post that’ll be up tomorrow morning because I couldn’t get the damn thing done in time to get this done, which I don’t have enough damn time for now because I spent so much time on the other thing stupidly believing that an end was in sight. Gah!

But shit! The fact that I’m whipping up a Game Threat at least means that baseball’s almost on. And the fact that I’m talking about whatever bullshit this is means that I’m at least not dredging up whatever nonsense I can about the poor numbers Mark Buehrle has against the clothes he’ll be facing tonight, as though his success or failure against the likes of Tino Martinez and Tony effing Womack has any bearing on anything.

And Marcus Stroman nailed life last night. The Jays beat the Yanks. They’re eight games over .500 and first place with fucking Canada Day in sight. The Dutch avoided Brazil. Ronald Belisario and the White Sox fucking suck for giving up that walk-off to the Orioles, but they’ll be bringing that act here for four games at the end of the week. And… well… actually, yeah. I’m good. I’m totally good. Let’s fuckin’ do this!

Scuttlebutt

Mike Wilner tweets that, despite thoughts when his name wasn’t in the lineup that he might have been banged up after last night’s great catch against the fence, Anthony Gose is fine, but Kevin Pillar will play tonight in right field because, even thought he’s a right-hander, David Phelps is particularly tough on lefties, according to John Gibbons. That’s not entirely true, but the truth is even better. Phelps has allowed a .289 wOBA to the last 141 LHBs he’s faced. His last 145 RHBs? .374. GibbyTheBest.

Wilner also notes in that tweet that Brandon Morrow was in the building today. Barry Davis tells us that Morrow will stay with the team as he continues to work towards a rehab assignment. Morrow met with the media and said he’s hopeful he’ll pitch again this year, and that he’s thrown four times off flat ground already — and was spotted doing so as well today (25 throws at 60 feet, Davis tweets). Still a long way off, most likely.

From the scrum with Morrow, Wilner tweets: “Only way to know if Morrow will be able to avoid surgery is by rehabbing. If it pops again, it pops. If not, he comes back.”

Wilner also tweets a picture of the splint Morrow is now wearing on his finger as it heals.

Brendan Kennedy tweets that Gibbons says Jose Bautista “could” “maybe” pinch hit tonight. Sounds like we shouldn’t expect it, though.

Barry Davis tweets that Edwin Encarnacion will not compete in the home run derby at this year’s All-Star game. Says he wanted to last year, but isn’t into it anymore. Whatever Eddie wants…

“Man, this guy looks like Mark Buehrle a bit,” said John Gibbons to Fairservice today. Killing him. Killing him.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET vs. Yankees

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)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Adam Lind (L)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
RF Kevin Pillar (R)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)

LHP Mark Buehrle

New York Yankees

LF Brett Gardner (L)
SS Derek Jeter (R)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
1B Mark Teixeira (S)
RF Alfonso Soriano (R)
DH Carlos Beltran (S)
C Brian McCann (L)
2B Brian Roberts (S)
3B Yangervis Solarte (S)

RHP David Phelps

stromandome

Let’s try this again, eh? Just don’t get swept, and the Yankees can’t pass you. Win the series, gain ground. It’s simple stuff. Stuff that isn’t nearly as difficult to accomplish as the poor insufferable souls already convinced the Jays are fucked are pathologically desperate to think, I’m sure. Stuff they may well not accomplish, in fact. But simple stuff.

Yes, it’s gonna be a grind if they’re going to stay in this fight. A “grindddd,” perhaps, if Brett Lawrie was still here. But, of course, he’s now on the DL with a fractured finger.

The White Sox then a very good Brewers team are next, followed by trip to Oakland, Anaheim, and the house of horrors in Tampa before we go into the All-Star break. The season won’t be made or broken here in the next three weeks, but a replay of their awful last two-ish — with eleven losses in 15 games — could go a long way towards the latter. Yes, somewhere in the incoherent goo oozing forth from out of their keyboards, the doomsayers have a tiny kernel sense: the Jays can’t keep playing like they have. It’s just… y’know… it’s as dumb to believe that they will as it was to have believed they’d always play like they did in May, or that the ghosts of 2013 will surely haunt us, as if the team isn’t stronger in the rotation, stronger in defence, stronger in left field and at catcher, and — even counting the recent troubles with injuries — better health. Oh, and… uh… not to mention that they’re in a ridiculously better position, too.

It’s gonna be a fun ride. Now let’s see what these guys can do! A little bit of adversity never hurt anyone. And a chance to watch Marcus Stroman tonight? Sold! Go Jays!

Scuttlebutt

Sticking with the injury stuff, the Jays announced earlier today that Lawrie is officially on the DL, and also that Erik Kratz has been optioned back to Buffalo, with Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose both being recalled.

Chris Toman tweets that John Gibbons says the doctors figure Lawrie will be out three-to-six weeks. “Doctors here will check him out and we’ll get a little better idea on that,” he said, referring to the club’s doctors here in Toronto.

This latest bout of injury news is not all bad, though. In fact, “we lucked out,” says Gibbers according to a tweet from Mike Wilner, regarding Jose Bautista’s MRI results. The slugger has a “mild” strain, and hopes to only miss two or three days. There are no plans as yet to place him on the DL.

It’s not out of the question that Bautista could land on the DL, though. Wilner tweets that Jose “wouldn’t say for sure that he’d be back in 2-3 days, but hopes he can play at some point in this series.” John Lott quotes him as saying “there’s a really good chance I can avoid this, yes.”

Brendan Kennedy tweets that Jose says there’s a pretty good chance he could pinch hit at some point in this series if needed.

In Jose’s absence, Shi Davidi tweets that the club intends on platooning Gose and Pillar in right field — at which point, he adds, one will be sent back down. The club will also continue with Kawasaki and Tolleson platooning at second, and Francisco manning third (though he’ll occasionally be spelled by Tolleson as well).

Asked if it wouldn’t be a better option to have Gose play centre on the days in which he’s in the lineup, I explained it thusly: “Tactically, yes. Politically, no. I’d lean towards tactics, but I get it.” Right?

Aaaaand more injury stuff: John Lott tweets that Adam Lind says it will be “a little while” before the foot he fouled a ball off of last week will be fully healed, but it turns out he’s a trooper. Lind will DH and bat third tonight. “Playing doesn’t help,” he tells Lott, but at this point he has no choice.

Better news: Jose Reyes is in the lineup and says, according to another Lott tweet, that his leg is “nothing to worry about.”

Moving on, Bautista tweets that he’s been chosen as the AL’s captain for the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game, and requests help from fans in selecting his fellow participants (*COUGH* Edwin *COUGH*).

And lastly — and bestly — Jose has a message all those doubters out there in Blue Jay Land, via a Mike Wilner tweet: “If they want to root for the Yankees or Red Sox, be my guest. They shouldn’t be Jays fans.”

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET vs. Yankees

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)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Adam Lind (L)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
RF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP Marcus Stroman

New York Yankees

LF Brett Gardner (L)
DH Carlos Beltran (S)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
1B Mark Teixeira (S)
C Brian McCann (L)
3B Kelly Johnson (L)
2B Brian Roberts (S)
RF Ichiro! (L)
SS Brendan Ryan (R)

RHP Chase Whitley

griffbag

Another week, another Griff Bag — aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star — and… I… uh… here it is? Whatever, you know the drill!

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, unless it’s about fucking Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Dear 2014 Toronto Blue Jays

Much is said about a team during a season. Certainly the media have a very large microphone and the myriad anonymous tweeters, bloggers, commenters chirp a non-stop deluge of… noise.

This is a letter from a fan. One who would like to believe represents a solid core of the people that are Blue Jay fans in this city. Who are we? We are the fans that grew up with the only baseball team that achieved any success in this city. They taught us the game. They won our hearts. They were beautiful and graceful in victory, and in defeat. They were the ’84-’94 Blue Jay teams.

They taught a generation of fans what good baseball clubs look like, act like, are managed like, shine like, win like. They created an educated fan base. We witnessed baseball excellence – from the playing field to the front office. And the results spoke for themselves. So yes it has been hard to lure us back as fans because we’ve been taught what good teams are made of. And let’s face facts: The last twenty years there’s been something or other missing.

This is a new group. We sense that. It has its own identity.

We know this team has what it needs to stand up and compete. And really, that’s all we want.

Stand and be counted. Represent us. This city. This country. These peoples.

Don’t go to win or lose

The victory

Is in each step forward

Of Body, Mind and Soul

With deepest sincerity,

A Blue Jay Fan

Oh please. A nice poetic flourish at the end, I guess, but try as it might to pull it back the other way, this syrupy nonsense pining for a past that never really existed sounds more like it comes from someone who is a fan of some vague spectre of misremembered “excellence,” not baseball. Someone trying to justify why they’re just now poking their head out to see if the club is worth frontrunning for once again, for the first time in a very long time.

OK, maybe it’s not. And even if it were, that’s fine enough — the club needs those kinds of fans to build from and to make the whole experience of Jays fandom a bigger and better thing — but let’s not let the cheap attempt at emotional resonance hide what’s really going on here. Because this is certainly not written by a fan allowing him or herself to remember things like the collapse of ’87, the “chokers” label the club was saddled with through its many playoff defeats in that era, the Cito-bashing, the Jimy Williams firing, the necessity of big name free agent acquisitions and a franchise-altering trade to setup their greatest achievements and forge the sort of identity we’re being asked to pretend can be so clear to see, or just how “educated” the fairweather fan base of his or her dreams really was.

That isn’t to say that things weren’t better then, or that it isn’t nice to read from a fan imploring other fans to get on board and to not simply be in it to win or lose, but you can’t reduce history to a few schmaltzy greeting card lines and expect intelligent people not to know better. I suppose the heart is in the right place, and I can certainly relate to the wish that people would quit it with the destructive noise sometimes, but to me the answer is never, ever about getting farther from reality and deeper into… well… this. There’s absolutely no reason to ever try to con people into liking anything.

Read the rest of this entry »

eejbcincy
Holy shit, last night. What a hell of a thing.

And not only did negative dickholes learn a lesson about maybe thinking twice before venting dumb-as-fuck horseshit like spoiled children, THE JAYS CAME BACK AND WON, TOO!!

Now let’s do it again. Or… well… without the going down 8-0 first maybe.

I mean, shit. That was wild enough I could even understand if people wanted to talk about not rolling over and focussing and stepping up and pulling together and making a statement and all that horseshitty magical narrative bullshit that usually doesn’t make a goddamn bit of sense to pretend anyone can divine through their TV, or, y’know, exists (or… well, focus obviously does, and good on the Jays for continuing to do their jobs, taking good at bats and pitching like it mattered, even after such a demoralizing second inning… which ought to be par for the course for professional millionaire ballplayers, but we know isn’t always). It was a hell of a fucking thing, and if that kind of self-belief can give this club even the most marginal, tiniest boost — and let’s not pretend it would do much more than that (clear enough that I believe in talent first and foremost?) — sure… fuck… I’m on board with whatever crazy intangible-based narrative anyone wants to invent. Last night was that ridiculously awesome!