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Archive for the ‘Game Threat’ Category

safecoTSNSM

Late night baseball with home field advantage in a playoff race! Does it get much better than this?

Well… maybe if this generation’s Roy Halladay wasn’t on the mound for the Jays’ opponents, in the midst of the best season of his career. Or if the Jays’ two big bats, hopeful of making a return in this series, were quite ready.

They’re close, though. Edwin Encarnacion will play tomorrow for Buffalo in a rehab game, due to some bad weather in Florida that’s caused havoc with his assignment, while Adam Lind is currently travelling to Seattle, with the expectation that he’ll be activated tomorrow.

By the looks of the image above from @TSNScottyMac the Jays fans on the west coast are sure doing their part — this was 90 minutes before the first pitch! — which should make for a hell of an atmosphere tonight.

Let’s do it!

Scuttlebutt

It’s not an injury, relax — or so he said, according to a Barry Davis tweet — but Jose Reyes has been given the day off. Commence freaking out about it anyway, or raging that John Gibbons would dare sit one of the club’s best bats on a night when offence is going to be at such a premium. Try remembering that nobody plays 162, though, and that it’s really not a big deal. “He needs it,” says John Gibbons, according to a Scott MacArthur tweet.

The bullpen doesn’t have a lot of bullets tonight, tweets Gregor Chisholm, as only Casey Janssen, Aaron Loup, and Brad Mills are said to be available.

From around the American League: the Orioles have lost Manny Machado to a knee sprain, though there’s no word how long he’ll be out. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander of the Tigers exited a game today with a sore shoulder, while the Royals made a nice pickup in Josh Willingham, formerly of the Twins.

The Jays have averaged over 35,000 in attendance over their last 30 home games according to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith. That’ll play.

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 10:10 PM ET @ Seattle

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 Munenori Kawasaki (L)
DH Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
DH Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Steve Tolleson (R)
LF Anthony Gose (L)

RHP Drew Hutchison

Seattle Mariners

CF Austin Jackson (R)
LF Dustin Ackley (L)
2B Robinson Cano (L)
DH Kendrys Morales (S)
3B Kyle Seager (L)
C Mike Zunino (R)
1B Logan Morrison (L)
RF Endy Chavez (L)
SS Brad Miller (L)

RHP Felix Hernandez

anibalsDET

Anibal Sanchez. Max Scherzer. David Price. Felix Hernandez. Chris Young. Hisashi Iwakuma.

Holy. Thank fuck Melky’s OK. Um… can everyone else be OK already too, though? One thinks this could be a tough stretch — and right at a time, with the Jays now even with the Yankees, and behind the Royals in the Wild Card race, when they don’t need one.

Of course, it’s baseball, and all of those guys are absolutely beatable. The Tigers have lost nine of the twenty games Sanchez has started this year. For Scherzer it’s seven of 23. Price’s teams have lost nine of the 24 games he’s started. For King Felix it’s eight of 24. Nine of 24 for Chris Young, and eight of eighteen for Iwakuma.

Obviously that doesn’t say anything about how well they pitched. In a lot of those games surely they were great — they’re great pitchers (um… and Chris Young) — I just mean to point out that these aren’t unwinnable games, either. So it might be as fun a stretch as it will be tough.

Go Jays!

Scuttlebutt

Melky “told the trainers he was ready to go,” according to John Gibbons, via a John Lott tweet. “That was all I needed to hear.”

Barry Davis tweets that Cabrera will wear a pad on his elbow, but that he’s ready to play through the pain.

Valencia and not Francisco in the lineup tonight against a right-hander? Yep. According to a tweet from Mike Wilner, John Gibbons wants to see what he’s got — and thinks there’s some “whip in his bat,” saying that the player thinks being told to hit home runs (as apparently the Royals had done) messed him up.

A tweet from Chris Toman tells us that John Gibbons would be “very surprised” if Adam Lind’s back issue was anything.

In the Toronto Star, Brendan Kennedy asks a bunch of agents about what it will take to sign Melky Cabrera, and… actually it’s not really that bad.

The Washington Post looks at the quality of beer at the various Major League parks, and the Jays? Well… it’s shameful.

Fairservice co-hosting on TSN Radio from 2 PM to 6 PM tomorrow? Listen up!

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

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 Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)

RHP R.A. Dickey

Detroit Tigers

CF Rajai Davis (R)
2B Ian Kinsler (R)
1B Miguel Cabrera (R)
DH Victor Martinez (S)
RF Torii Hunter (R)
LF J.D. Martinez (R)
C Alex Avila (L)
3B Nick Castellanos (R)
SS Eugenio Suarez (R)

RHP Anibal Sanchez

happhomewhite

What a game last night, and what a performance from Drew Hutchison. Let’s do something like that again, shall we?

Um… minus the hangover, perhaps.

Scuttlebutt

John Lott tweets that Alex Anthopoulos says Edwin Encarnacion was running hard today, and is much better.

Shi Davidi adds that AA left open the door for Edwin to return in time for next week’s series in Seattle. That’ll play.

And… yeah, that’s all I’ve got.

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

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)
DH Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Juan Francisco (L)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)
LF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP J.A. Happ

Baltimore Orioles

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

RHP Miguel Gonzalez

gibberssour

Gibbons, come on, man, you can’t leave the desk like that!

Welp. Let’s try this again.

Games like this are what we’re all emotionally involved in this for, so let’s enjoy the piss out of it. And let’s maybe enjoy a win, goddamn it!

Scuttlebutt

Brett Lawrie, as you see, is not in tonight’s lineup for the Jays. Mike Wilner tweets that the MRI results are not in yet, and that John Gibbons says he’s hoping it’s not something that will land Lawrie on the DL, but that he’s been wrong before.

Megan Robinson adds that Lawrie says he feels a bit better today than he did last night.

In better news, John Lott tweets that Adam Lind will begin his rehab assignment tomorrow with the GCL Jays. John Gibbons says he hopes the number of rehab games Lind will need is “not many.”

Wilner notes, however, that David Price goes on Sunday against the Jays (note: yeesh), so there might be more sense bringing him back in Seattle next week if he’s not going to be ready for Friday. Could help off the bench, though…

Lastly, if you’re not on the Twitter machine, you may have missed some outstanding news today, which is that our dear friend Drew has joined FanGraphs. Congrats to him and to FanGraphs. Outstandingness all around.

As for some of the changes that have taken place at theScore, and other places like Sports On Earth, I obviously can’t really say anything, but if you’re interested, Parkes gave some food for thought on this week’s Canadaland podcast. I should note, though, I completely disagree with some of what Parkes says at the end about the value of sportswriting. I think that when it’s done well it’s a terrific way to introduce big and interesting and important ideas, and to have a conversation about them with a lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily encounter or be receptive to them otherwise. That probably sounds a bit snobbish, and there’s all sorts more to it than that, obviously, but as one example, the way that so many have been exposed to new ways of thinking about gender issues, LGBT equality issues, etc. through the prism of sports? That’s pretty powerful stuff, to me. Even in terms of articulating arguments for critical thinking, raising sociological questions or critiques of unquestioned power structures or ones about the nature of human behaviour — maybe I’m just kidding myself, but I think that has value. Even if the outcomes of the games are trivial, I don’t think the conversation is entirely trivial. That said, while, as you might expect, I’m not particularly thrilled that that kind of writing appears to be losing ground as a commodity to the Upworthy- and Buzzfeed-ification of content, I entirely agree with Parkes when he says he completely understands what’s happening from a business perspective too. Art and commerce, have they ever been at odds before?

Hey, and while we’re all here and addressing people who may have missed stuff on Twitter, I might as well mention that earlier this week the CBC made a dumb list of the “best” Canadian songs, so I wrote mean things about music you like.

Next game(s): 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 lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Nolan Reimold (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Drew Hutchison

Baltimore Orioles

RF Nick Markakis (L)
3B Manny Machado (R)
CF Adam Jones (R)
LF Nelson Cruz (R)
1B Chris Davis (L)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
LF David Lough (L)
2B Ryan Flaherty (L)
C Nick Hundley (R)

LHP Bruce Chen (Actually it’s more likely country troubadour Wei-Yin Chennings)

rccrowd2014

The Jays are expecting over 30,000 fans for each game of this huge three-game set that begins tonight against Baltimore. Not Opening Day numbers, but for a mid-week early-August series against the O’s? That’s something. And yes, I said huge. It doesn’t have to be season-making-or-breaking — which, rationally, this one is not — for a series to be very, very important. As much as the Jays will have plenty of time — not to mention six more games with the Orioles after these three — to bounce back should the worst happen with respect to their playoff chances, this sure is a powerful opportunity for them to tighten up an already-tight divisional race, while continuing to push their lead in the hunt for the second Wild Card.

Obviously winning the AL East, and avoiding a play-in game in Anaheim or Oakland, is way preferable, and with all the games left against the Orioles, the Jays hold control their own destiny — and now there’s a word you’d like to have in your head at the end of this series, exiting the Rogers Centre Thursday night in the swell of a massive midweek crowd. The Jays just have to do their part. The fans too.

Why not?

Scuttlebutt

John Lott tweets that John Gibbons says Brett Lawrie will play third base for now, but was non-committal about whether he’d stay there or continue shifting between his preferred spot and second base as he was before the injury.

Chris Toman adds that Gibbons says Jose Bautista will spend a little time at first base still, until Edwin Encarnacion is able to return.

Steve Delbar and Sergio Santos both pitched today for Buffalo, and @StivBators gives us the lines: no hits, no Ks, no walks, and two groundouts for Santos, two Ks, but two walks, and two groundouts in a couple of innings from Delabar. Could they be starting to find it? Because that would be sorta nails.

Megan Robinson tweets that Lawrie says there’s still some swelling in his finger, but that he’s good enough to play. He’ll use padding in his batting glove in the meantime, Mike Wilner adds.

More Biogenesis suspensions potentially coming? That’s fun. MLBTR has the details.

Jeff Sullivan tweets that the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz has been worth -0.5 WAR since the start of June. Chris Davis, Chris Toman reminds us, is hitting .195/.306/.380. So… yeah, that works.

Next game(s): 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 lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
1B Juan Francisco (L)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
DH Colby Rasmus (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
CF Anthony Gose (L)

LHP Mark Buehrle

Baltimore Orioles

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

RHP Bud Norris

Weekend Threat: Jays @ Astros

cowboystroman

“He’s beautiful, man, but you can’t tuck them pants in them boots.” - John Gibbons.

 

Image via Twitter.

happsterbackground

More like Collin McWHO, amiright???

Actually, the 27-year-old in his fourth organization is having something of a hell of a year for the Astros, with his velocity up, his strikeouts spiking, and his ERA, FIP, and xFIP all around 3.50. What the hell?

Meh. I don’t know. Jays have been going well lately, so… let’s shitcan him, eh J.A. Happster?

Scuttlebutt

Hey! It’s Jake Marisnick!

Hey! It’s Colby Rasmus back in the Jays’ outfield!

Hey! Brett Lawrie is playing a rehab game in Dunedin, with Roberto Osuna back and making the start!

Chris King — aka @statsking — is tweeting some of the game, and the reports so far are good: Lawrie hit a single on a good 1-2 slider and walked in his next at-bat. Osuna had a great first inning — two Ks and a weak grounder — some trouble in the second and third, with what we’re told is a fastball at 96 “with late heavy life,” and that there was “lots to like about this outing.” Lawrie struck out “in his 3rd AB by a guy who’s K’d 43 in 77 innings,” though, so let’s maybe not rush him back too quickly. Unless…

Lawrie is playing second tonight, by the way. John Gibbons tells Barry Davis that he’ll alternate between there and third during the rehab stint.

According to a tweet from Shi Davidi, John Gibbons says he’s “got to believe it’s going to be at least a week” that Lawrie spends rehabbing, which, of course, nobody actually believes.

Another Davidi tweet tells us that Encarnacion and Lind seem as though they’ll begin their assignments early-to-mid next week. Lind is expected back before Encarnacion, by the way, according to a tweet from Gregor Chisholm.

Cole Gillespie (REMEMBER?) is apparently playing in this one, too.

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs: “The Blue Jays, for instance, saw the Orioles acquire Andrew Miller to bolster their bullpen, while they themselves stood pat. People will talk about yesterday was a good day for the O’s in the division race, but in reality, a one-game change in the standings based on Toronto’s win and Baltimore’s loss is likely far more impactful than acquiring Andrew Miller. The Orioles, even while making a trade, had a bad day yesterday relative to the Blue Jays, who did nothing, because of what happened on the field.”

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:10 PM ET @ Houston; Sunday, 2:10 PM ET @ Houston

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)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
DH Nolan Reimold (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
1B Danny Valencia (R)
3B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)

LHP J.A. Happ

Houston Astros

2B Jose Altuve (R)
RF Robbie Grossman (S)
DH Chris Carter (R)
3B Matt Dominguez (R)
1B Jesus Guzman (R)
C Carlos Corporan (S)
CF Jake Marisnick (R)
RF L.J. Hoes (R)
SS Gregorio Petit (R)

RHP Collin McHugh

 

Awesome image still via @JAHappster.