Archive for the ‘Game Threat’ Category

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!

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This here is a pretty lame Game Threat for a Thursday night and a big game that the Jays really probably want to win in order to keep the margin of their lead in the AL East from getting too uncomfortable, but… well… it’s the World Cup. So… y’know. Four years from now it’ll be the same story, so deal with it.

Plus! I’m about to head off to be part of a terrific panel at PITCH: #4, featuring the less-hung-over-than-I-am-I-guarantee Morgan Campbell, Michael Grange, and Jonah Keri. So I won’t even be seeing much of this one until later, which might not be the worst thing in the world, seeing as Brett Lawrie is getting the day off with his sore hand, Adam Lind is still out with a sore foot, and Steve Delabar is back with the club after Brett Cecil ended up actually having to hit the DL with a groin injury, a g-g-groin, a g-g-groin, a g-g-groin injury.

Fuck, are they ever due to win at this corporate shithole stadium, though. So that could work, too.

Go Jays!

Holy shitting crisising hell! Look at that record on the Jays! How will they ever possibly come back from it??!!?!?

Season’s over, you guys. Might as well look like garbage against Australia at this point, for all that beautiful start was worth, eh?

Scuttlebutt

Colb. Eh.

Adam Lind could “maybe” pinch hit tonight, but the player himself sounded less sure, per a tweet from Brendan Kennedy.

Brett Cecil tweets that Barry Davis is ready to go tonight, if called upon. Er… hold on. Other way around.

Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets a link to his (?) piece on Brandon Morrow, who felt good after playing catch whenever it was that he played catch. Surgery perhaps not necessary? Cue the Jays rushing to call his return “as good as a deadline addition,” or some such bullshit.

Ben Wagner informs us that Sean Nolin is on the Buffalo Bisons’ DL. Ugh.

Probably some other stuff, too. (Samardzija extension talk and shit, for example. Come on, Cubs, don’t make my Photoshop useless this fast!)

Bluebird Banter spoke with Kevin Kennedy, who is running Toronto’s outstanding PITCH: Talks series. Hey! And speaking of…

Don’t forget: PITCH #4 is tomorrow night! Thursday, June 19th! and for those of you who missed the announcement, I’ll be one of the panelists, along with a much more talented group, featuring Jonah Keri, Michael Grange, and Morgan Campbell. Tickets are still available, so grab yourself some here, and be sure to follow @PitchTalks for all the info you need.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ 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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
2B Brett Lawrie (R)
DH Juan Francisco (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
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)
3B Yangervis Solarte (S)
2B Brian Roberts (S)

RHP Chase Whitley

tanak-homewhite

TANAK!

Fuck Masahiro Tanaka has been good so far for the New York Yankees. And frankly, for their sake, he’s had to have been. The names in the lineup that you see below are certainly intimidating, but offensively the Yankees have struggled this year. So far. They’ve produced the third worst wRC+ of any American League team, and the Jays have four hitters with higher numbers in that stat than the Yankees’ best hitter, Mark Teixeira. There are six Blue Jays — Bautista, Lind, Encarnacion, Francisco, Cabrera, and Steve effing Tolleson! — who’ve produced more wRC+ than the Yanks’ second-best hitter.

Hey, but at least they’ve got terrible infield defence and the regression-due Chase Whitely going tomorrow night against Mark Buehrle, and a less-than-favourable matchup in Thursday’s series finale with David Phelps taking on Drew Hutchison, right?

Well, yeah. And yeah, they’re pretty old, so it’s not a given that some of those bats will heat up, but will all of Beltran, McCann, and Jeter continue to hover around 80 wRC+? Will they find some way to mortgage whatever prospects they can scrape together — prospects they don’t really need that in the same way the Jays do, since the Yankees fill their big league roster with free agents anyway — and find a piece that can help them keep clawing back the Jays’ division lead?

It’s not out of the question.

It’s still early. So many folks, in a dipshit rush to declare the Jays fucked and to satiate their need to be shitty, negative shits in peoples’ cuts, didn’t want to hear that last year, but it was as true at this point then as it is now. Fortunately for the 2014 Jays, as anyone remotely realistic fully acknowledged — another thing suckholes didn’t want to hear — having a long season ahead doesn’t mean that it’s not terrifically difficult to claw back a bunch of games.

Just don’t get swept. More than anything about “a big series” or a “statement” or anything like that… just don’t get swept.

That’s not to say that losing series’ is acceptable — obviously the Jays will have to keep doing better than that — but if the Jays lose all three the Yankees go from 4.5 back to within a game and a half, and but if the Jays win just one, the best the Yankees can do head into the weekend 3.5 games behind.

Yeah, it’s just simple math, but it’s also perspective.

And shit, with Marcus Stroman going into his home town, under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium, facing an almost hopeless task against one of the best pitchers in the world right now — though, it should be noted (as it was on Twitter several times early today by the Jays’ beat reporters), Tanka’s lone loss so far this year came in the only other game in which he was facing a team for a second time — why the hell couldn’t he pitch his ass off tonight? I’d believe it.

But even if they only win one of these three, even if it’s obviously not ideal, I can live with that.

Scuttlebutt

This Stroman-Tanaka matchup is baseball’s most watchable this evening — or so says Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs and his NERD Game Scores.

Not mentioned (at least not by me in the earlier Delabar item) was the fact that John Gibbons mentioned today that R.A. Dickey is fine. He, of course, left his last start early due to a leg or groin thing or something. I don’t know. Everything’s been a blur since Holland 5 – Spain 1, honestly.

Another thing not mentioned here: Sergio Santos has been activated, and Darin “Pat” Mastroianni has been optioned back to Buffalo. No, really! It happened! (Unless it was a DFA, but I don’t think so.)

did mention, though, that Cecil could go “in a pinch” today, while Lind will hopefully only need a couple of days. And Colby Rasmus is getting real close, too. “It could be any day,” Anthopoulos says, according to a tweet from Brendan Kennedy. So that’s not bad.

“Why not DL Lind and call up Dan Johnson? Why Kawasaki over Goins? ‘None of your business,’ Gibby said, cheerily,” tweets Brendan. OK then.

Barry Davis tweets that Alex Anthopoulos says that trade talk is — finally — starting to heat up, “but right now it’s just preliminary. Lots of team inquiring about prospects.”

More from AA: Scott MacArthur tweets that the GM says Brandon Morrow will begin throwing on Friday. Fingers crossed! Er…. well… not the one with the fucked up tendon sheath, but the others!

Scott adds that Anthopoulos says that he’s encouraged by the progress in negotiations with first round pick Jeff Hoffman.

Anthopoulos says that he’s not focussed solely on pitching in the trade talks that he’s having — he’d be happy to improve the club however he can. John Lott tweets this quote from the GM: “We’re basically canvassing the clubs to see who’s available. In some of the conversations, players we didn’t think were available are.” I know he always says that, but… hmmm…

Barry Davis tweets that John Gibbons was noticeably without chewing tobacco today, and that the Jays’ manager says that Tony Gywnn’s premature death this week prompted him to try to give it up.

Jose Bautista’s first inning at bat on Sunday was slightly terrific, if you ask me. He made a very demonstrative groan after thinking he’d walked on a 3-1 pitch that was a rather generously called a ball, then got back into the box, refocussed, and hit the next pitch — a second straight fastball, in almost in the same location — the opposite way into the right-centre alley for an RBI double. “A nice piece of hitting,” we were probably told by the TV broadcast. Or something like that. It was, though! (Here’s the strikezone plot via Brooks.)

So so so so so fucking weird that the Jays would be pitching so much better than last year now that they’re using defensive shifts again, innit? I mean, I know there are other reasons that are part of it, but seriously! Their starters are currently tied with the Angels’ group for the second-lowest ERA in the American League. Shit is fucked.

While we’re here, a reminder that our old friend Bergkamp makes awesome Dutch comfort food at The Ossington on Sundays, and he’s be kicking that enterprise into high gear for all of the Netherlands’ matches during the World Cup. There might even be more than three! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. What we can do, though, is throw on some orange and head over there tomorrow for the 12 noon display of frustration against a stingy Australian side. In the meantime, check out Borrel at the Ossington for a taste (see what I just did there?) of what you can expect. Hup Holland hup!

Don’t forget: PITCH #4 is fast approaching — it takes place this Thursday, June 19th — and for those of you who missed the announcement, I’ll be one of the panelists, along with a much more talented group, featuring Jonah Keri, Michael Grange, and Morgan Campbell. Tickets are still available, so grab yourself some here, and be sure to follow @PitchTalks for all the info you need.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ 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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
2B Brett Lawrie (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
DH Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP Marcus Stroman

New York Yankees

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

RHP Masahiro Tanaka

Sunday Threat: Jays @ Orioles

Win and you split the series, meaning the Orioles gained nothing from the weekend. I can live with that. Let’s do this!!

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It’s been a soggy day in Baltimore, with more rain expected in the area through the evening, leading some, at the time of this writing, to wonder whether they’re going to be able to get the game in. Which… since the time of this writing is right before the World Cup kicked off this afternoon, who knows what the forecast might now be bringing? Alls I know is… this here is a game right here.

OK, I got nothing.

Go Jays!

Scuttlebutt

One more time with feeling: tonight we’re having a little DJF shindig (read: getting drunk and watching baseball) at Opera Bob’s here in Toronto. Hit up the Facebook event page, if that’s your thing, for all the pertinents.

While we’re here, a reminder that our old friend Bergkamp makes awesome Dutch comfort food at The Ossington on Sundays, and he’ll be kicking that enterprise into high gear for all of the Netherlands’ matches during the World Cup. Head over there on Friday for the 3 PM rematch of the 2010 Final, as the Dutch take on Spain. In the meantime, check out Borrel at the Ossington for a taste (see what I just did there?) of what you can expect. Hup Holland!

This too: PITCH #4 is fast approaching — it takes place a week from today, Thursday, June 19th — and for those of you who missed the announcement, I’ll be one of the panelists, along with a much more talented group, featuring Jonah Keri, Michael Grange, and Morgan Campbell. Tickets are still available, so grab yourself some here, and be sure to follow @PitchTalks for all the info you need.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ 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 lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
2B Brett Lawrie (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP Mark Buehrle

Baltimore Orioles

RF Nick Markakis (L)
DH Delmon Young (R)
CF Adam Jones (R)
1B Chris Davis (L)
LF Nelson Cruz (R)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
3B Manny Machado (R)
2B Jonathan Schoop (R)
C Caleb Joseph (R)

RHP Kevin Gausman

stromanthrowswhiteSO

Give us some Stroman! Um… y’know… from a safe distance, that is.

I don’t say that because the curveball-that-looks-like-a-slider thing he throws is so disgustingly filthy that it might be lethal — though that would be a good guess.

No, I say that because this isn’t your little brother’s businessman’s special today. Or… wait– no! It is your little brother’s businessman’s special today, because it’s fucking Kids Day! Or School Day… or… whatever it is they call it when the Rogers Centre gets overwhelmed by shrieking children when I’m just trying to have a damn drink and enjoy some baseball!

But, actually, I kid. This maybe isn’t the day that I’m happiest to skip out on the office and take in some mid-week afternoon baseball, but I can’t begrudge the club for encouraging younger fans to take in a game. Good on them, I guess. It’ll keep the beer lines small if you do end up going, or it’ll give you an excuse to go watch the game with some cheaper beers in a bar, and get an even better look at the ridiculous stuff Marcus Stroman brings to the mound.

I can live with that.

Go Jays!

Scuttlebutt

A roster move! Kevin Pillar has been sent back down to Buffalo, and Bobby Korecky recalled. Shi Davidi of the Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet tweeted this news from Rogers Centre on the Rogers-owned Blue Jays first.

Of the move, Drew tweets that he thinks the “Blue Jays seem very wary of a short Stroman outing. With Redmond and Jenkins going long this week, figure Korecky is the caddy for today?”

Gregor Chisholm adds that John Gibbons said that Pillar became the odd man out on the roster because the club isn’t scheduled to face a lefty starter for the next ten days. He follows up by tweeting, though, that the Jays are likely to add a position player following today’s game — with Darin “Pat” Mastroianni a possibility. Which kinda takes us back to what GROF said…

When Korecky was recalled the last time, John Lott wrote about the secret of his new-found success for the National Post.

Ken Rosenthal talks Jays at Fox Sports, saying that they can’t limit themselves to just rentals — they have to go for it, he says.

Bob Elliott tweets a link from the Washington Post, telling us that the Jays’ third-rounder, Nick Wells, will sign for slot — $661,800. So… that’ll play.

Steve Tolleson against a right-hander? Yes, Juan Francisco has been that cold of late.

Sergio Santos didn’t have a great rehab outing for New Hampshire last night, but not quite as bad as the line makes it look, according to a tweet from Fisher Cats play-by-play man Bob Lipman. “Strikeout, line drive single, walk, strikeout, infield single, misplayed fly ball (double) allows 3 runs,” is how he says it went down. 

John Lott spoke to Alex Anthopoulos about the status of Colby Rasmus, and he tweets that the GM warns that, despite some other, slightly more positive reports, the club is just “hopeful” that their centre fielder will get into a rehab assignment by week’s end. He has “not played a game in extended spring,” we’re old.

Marcus Stroman tweets a birthday felicitation to Jose Reyes. He makes $16-million this year, $22-million each of the following three years, and turns 31 today. But that’s OK, because he’s fucking awesome. And the third best Jose in baseball!

There were a few Jays-related tidbits in Keith Law’s post-draft chat with readers at ESPN.com last week, but this was definitely my favourite:

Maurice (Toronto)
Would the Jays picking Toronto’s own Gareth Morgan over Reid-Foley have been defensible?
Klaw
No. I didn’t understand Jays fans’ desire for the team to take Canadian players when I worked there and I don’t understand it now. This is major league baseball not the freaking World Cup.

Not baseball-related, but holy shit The Ray Hudson Soundboard.

Get down to the park if you can, because it’s the last Jays home game for nearly two weeks — until the Yankees come to town following a road trip that will first send the Jays to the Bronx, following their weekend series at Baltimore and next weekend’s visit to Cincinnati. Big divisional matchups upcoming! And how great is it going to be to go in thinking, “Hey, if we even just win one of three, they’re not gaining that much ground”? Not that we don’t want more, of course. And not that we can’t damn well get it.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET @ Baltimore — and at the DJF shindig Opera Bob’s!

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)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Adam Lind (L)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
C Erik Kratz (R)
2B Steve Tolleson (R)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP Marcus Stroman

Minnesota Twins

CF Danny Santana (S)
2B Brian Dozier (R)
1B Joe Mauer (L)
LF Josh Willingham (R)
DH Kendrys Morales (S)
RF Oswaldo Arcia (L)
3B Trevor Plouffe (R)
C Kurt Suzuki (R)
SS Eduardo Nunez (R)

RHP Phil Hughes