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Two in a row is a beginning, with a very favourable pitching matchup this afternoon. Cory Lidle (2-1. 3.33 vs. the Royals over the last three years) is the logical choice over 22-year-old Miguel Asencio (15 hits and 5 walks in 10 IP against the Jays in 2002) -- the righty, indirectly responsible for Corey Thurman coming to Toronto, has good stuff, but walks more people than he strikes out. Toronto's patient hitters should have some fun today, and we can expect the everyday lineup. K.C. has just 11 pitchers (no bullpen lefty; perhaps J.P. could give them Creek) and I doubt Wilson or Carrasco is available, so we may see quite a bit of Albie Lopez, who is having a surprisingly good year. Yet-to-be-used Jeremy Hill, called up from Omaha when Affeldt went on the DL, might have to mop up. Fantasy owners, start your Blue Jays.

Half empty? Toronto is in last place in the division, 11th in the league. Half full? Almost everything that can go wrong has, so far, and they're just 6 1/2 games out of the AL wild card spot with 138 to play.
Game 25: Winning Streak | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_jason - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#89789) #
Things just got worse.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#89790) #
Somebody should have predicted this -- everybody's ripping Asencio and it's already 4-1 with just one away in the first. Big blast by Phelps, and his opposite-field power is emerging.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#89791) #
Regarding the Escobar mess, all I can say is that the most exasperating and least popular player on the team will not be missed at all when he's gone. We all know that there have been cases where allegations against celebrities have proven false, so let's not rush to convict him. But the guy is his own worst enemy on the mound, and regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, he's no paragon of virtue. I was hoping that a bullpen emergency on some contending club might produce an acceptable deadline deal, maybe a good low-level prospect. Now I'd be very happy if the Jays could get a bag of practice balls for Kelvim in a trade, and I would celebrate his release.

Nifty 3-2 curve by Lidle to whiff Mayne. Our turn again.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#89792) #
I was on the phone and missed it -- what happened to Myers?
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#89793) #
For that matter, what happened to Lidle? Two hits and two walks in the third -- he was fortunate to escape with just one earnie -- and he's over 60 pitches now through three innings; at least he's still leading, 4-2.
_Tom Cheek says. - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#89794) #
"Greg Myers left the game with a right forearm contusion." Suffered it on a bounced pitch from Lidle.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#89795) #
Tosca, figuring Lidle was all done after 104 pitches (5.2 IP), made a move that indicates he doesn't care what anybody thinks -- he brought in Doug Creek, who had been banished for the last week. The lefty got his man (Mayne) with a devastating high slider.

Aquilino Lopez wasn't as good. He hit the leadoff man and was bailed out by a great Wells catch on a ball hit very hard. Trever Miller came in to face Tucker, who steered a single just out of Delgado's reach, and Relaford, who tripled. It's a 4-4 tie, and the seventh inning's far from over, with a runner on third and Tam coming in to face the heart of the K.C. order.
robertdudek - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#89796) #
Tosca once again changes pitchers until he finds one the opposition can hit.

Here's a tip: if your relief pitcher gets the first guy out he faces, why not let him face another guy.
_rodent - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#89797) #
Outstanding at-bat from Wilson!
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#89798) #
Whatever anyone thinks of Tosca's bullpen decisions, or the ability of his relievers, you also have to credit the Royals' starter, or blame the Toronto hitters for not putting him away. After his first inning disaster, Asencio put up five straight goose-eggs, and instead of getting into the weaker end of the K.C. bullpen, the Jays had to face the always-tough Grimsley, with MacDougal, who has converted the previous nine, ready for his tenth (!) save chance.

I'm no longer amazed when this team invents new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm not even going to go on a rant about Hudson's inconsistent defence -- I'm too sick of him. Tom Wilson, I like. A clutch, full-count, 2-out, 2-run double (off the nasty righty) ties it up at six.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#89799) #
Why didn't Politte pitch to Sweeney? It's not as if Tam can get him out.
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#89800) #
This is really, really ugly, Tosca's worst inning yet. Kershner loses his lefty hitter, so now the AAA callup faces the RH batter Harvey, who has two hits already. Is anyone but the manager surprised by the 3-run bomb? Politte had at least as good a chance to get Ibanez and could have neutralized both Sweeney and Harvey. But it wasn't a "hold" situation. Disgusting.
_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#89801) #
Just went to my office to check the score. Yeesh! I'm **glad** I spent the day at a conference. I wouldn't want to have watched this one.

_DS - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#89802) #
This bullpen is killing me. I don't know how many games I can watch this year if they keep doing this. Where's Felix Heredia when you need him?
_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#89803) #
Agreed DS. It's not just that they're losing, but they're losing in such a frustrating manner.

JP's bullpen just goes to show the wisdom in this (amended) axiom: It's easier to find 10 good pitchers than 12.

Craig B - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#89804) #
Coach, I was just going to say exactly what you said.

Tosca's handling of the bullpen today was inexcusable. In a game that was tight all the way, he let his five worst relievers give up seven runs while Politte and Escobar watched. Having Tam start the ninth was enough to make me get out of my seat and begin stalking around, I was so mad. Bringing in Kershner on top of that was enough to make me start cursing... I'm glad Jay doesn't understand any of that yet.

If Escobar isn't the right guy to come in to a 6-6 game in the ninth where the current pitcher has been ineffective, he isn't the right guy to close games either.

Robert's comment is right on... the obsessive changing of pitchers means you are eventually going to find the guy who doesn't have it that day.

As for Hudson, what can you say. I'm a big fan of Hudson, but he's managing to win me over for the other side. Not planting on that throw, and making that little ballerina toss instead, was infuriating.

Gotta say, though, if there's an AL team I would like to see beat the Jays, it's the Royals - and watching Ken Harvey succeed is immensely gratifying after hearing so often from the scouts and experts how he couldn't succeed. Now we get to face Runelvys Hernandez tomorrow... it's looking like we have a good shot to lose another series.

The good thing is, these mistakes are correctable. This isn't a situation where the team is overmatched, they're just being outfoxed. If Tosca the Teacher doesn't have the tactical nous to handle the team, you can go out and get him a bench coach who can. If Hudson doesn't make good decisions with the baseball, you can have him work with Butter under the eye of Tosca the Teacher until he does.

As for the pen, it's popular to say that you can build a pen out of spit and baling wire... and while that's true, sometimes you wind up with a pile of spit instead of a pen. That's fine; the pen can be rebuilt if it's not effective in the long term, and rebuilt cheaply.

Another frustrating experience, but not the end of the world.
_A - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#89805) #
I think the Jays forgot that lastnight's game was over, it's just uncharacteristic to have them score early. Though they gave back the lead, tied it late and lost it on account of a shakey (at best) bullpen so I guess they're back to normal now.

Felix is probably still feeling the effects of being labled a wife beater (and rightly so). Regardless of how Escobar's lawsuit comes out he's headed down the same path.
_R Billie - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#89806) #
Absolutely Coach. You've just somehow miraculously tied the game up and instead of bringing in one of your best relievers in a tie game, you leave Jeff Tam out there and then bring in the AAA callup who got unlucky on the Tucker hit but then is left in to face a powerful righty. It's terrible to have such crappy relievers filling the pen, but when you don't even go to your best relievers in situations that call for them, how do you possibly expect to win?

Cory Lidle was a flake. Staked to a 3 run lead, he proceeded to nibble and lolly gag his way through the next few innings, using up tons of pitches and not even lasting six innings. That's why he's a third/fourth starter despite his considerable ability.

The batters were even flakier. After scoring 4 runs in the first, they decided their work for the day was done and didn't work Ascensio hard at all.

But despite all that, the bullpen story is getting ponderous. I think JP will have a tough time letting this continue much longer. While I accept this is year two of rebuilding, I CAN'T accept all these retread and minor league relievers being hit all over the park while competent free agents like Kerry Ligtenberg went to teams with less talent than the Jays for same amount the Jays spent on Creek and Tam together.

The following are some runs scored totals from Jays losses this year: 7, 7, 6, 9, 5, 6. Call me crazy, but a .500+ team should not lose games that often when it scores that many runs.

Tosca needs to stop playing these stupid platoon relief game. He used like 5 relievers in the game before the 9th inning, lost a two run lead, and ended up in a tie game with limited options. Carlos...use a pitcher for an entire inning...a major league calibre pitcher should at least be capable of pitching an ENTIRE INNING and IMO at least two or three competent innings. JP...get Carlos more relievers that can pitch two or three competent innings. More budget HAS to be allocated to the relief staff since none of the replacement level players are cutting it.
_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#89807) #
Hell, you could probably do it cheaper. If you had half as many relievers which earned twice as much, it'd be a wash. financially.

A pen of decent long relievers could be put together a lot cheaper than this bunch.

I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again: Offering Escobar arbitration was a bad move. Nobody agreed with me three months ago. Do any of you now?

_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#89808) #
Actually, I doubled checked and Pistol had the same idea I did. Sorry about that. :)

Gitz - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#89809) #
So is anyone still willing to chalk up Tam's performance last year to bad luck? He got shredded in AAA when he was sent down, too. I'm truly sorry for Tam, who got a much-deserved shot after years in the minors, but he's done now, he was done last year, and he was a risky (albeit cheap) investment for JP, who must have seen something Oakland, Sacramento, and the major- and minor-league hitters who have been feasting on Tam for well over a year now did not see.

The philosophy of assembling a cheap bullpen does not necessarily mean you have to sign players given up by other organizations; it means giving some of your own pitchers a chance, too. Shrike (Sean) and I were discussing this the other night -- the Braves have been able to piece together good bullpens not only because of their ability to reform Mike Remlinger, Rudy Seanez and Darren Holmes, among others, but also because of their willingness to give people like Kevin McGlinchey, John Rocker, Kerry Ligtenberg (a former replacement player), Mark Wohlers, and other unproven young pitchers a chance, too. You mean to tell me there is NOBODY in the Jays' system who could help? I find this hard to believe.
Gitz - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#89810) #
Incidentally ... the "You mean to tell me ... I find this hard to believe" is not an accusation against the Jays, but an admission that I don't know much about the Jays' system. Apologies to those who may suggested I was attacking them unfairly.
Gitz - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#89811) #
Oh, and here is why "holds" and "blown saves" are the dumbest stats in baseball. Ricardo Rincon enters the seventh inning of Saturday's game against the Indians, walks a guy on five pitches, then is replaced by Chad Bradford, who proceeds to retire the side, albeit before giving up the game-tying run, despite not giving up a hit. But Rincon is the one who gets a "hold," and Bradford gets the "blown save." Ridiculous.
_the shadow - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#89812) #
Ward and Henke where are you???
Coach - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#89813) #
get Carlos more relievers that can pitch two or three competent innings

Agreed, but even if he's got better pitchers at his disposal, who's going to convince Tosca that lefty-vs.-lefty matchups aren't the critical moments in every ballgame? He's in a 6-6 tie, at home, with his two best relievers available, and he manages the entire ninth inning around the Kershner-Ibanez at-bat! That's why Tam, his worst righty, faced Sweeney, the other team's best hitter! Carlos didn't want to "waste" Politte on just one batter; he was so determined to use his third LOOGY of the day that he ignored the obvious -- Politte was far more likely than Tam and Kershner to get Sweeney and Harvey, and Cliff was also capable of popping up (or pitching around) Ibanez.

The batting order debate, which Vernon Wells temporarily silenced with his huge Friday night, also revolves around Tosca's obsession. Because he truly believes a mediocre lefty pitcher has an advantage over a superb lefty batter, he insists on alternating L-R throughout the lineup. He's also unable to convince Stewart to change places with Catalanotto or Delgado to hit third, which would maintain the apparently all-important L-R mix, but allow him to bat Wells sixth, behind Hinske -- a better use of both men's talents. So we will continue to see Wells, the team's sixth best all-round hitter, in the 3-hole, supposedly the domain of your best batsman, because Carlos Tosca thinks every southpaw is Sandy Freakin' Koufax.

MP, I thought at the time he was offered arbitration that Escobar would get 20 first-half saves and be flipped at the deadline for someone younger, cheaper and better. I was wrong; he is probably untradeable and definitely unwatchable. Kelvim doesn't have an ulcer, but he's a carrier.
_M.P. Moffatt - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#89814) #
To be honest, I wonder why almost *anyone* gets offered arbitration. Atleast those who are only a year from free agency. Even players teams need.

Right now it seems arbitration wages are pretty close to free agent wages. So you're taking some risk the arbitrator will rule against you. But not offering the player arbitration has a sizeable benefit. Suppose you decline arbitration to your LF. That's one *more* LF on the free agent market, which will act to depress the wages of the other LFs on the market. Then you go out and sign the one you like.

I loved the decision not to offer Cruz arbitration. I thought the Escobar decision was bad. But when you think about it, was it *really* a good idea to offer Stewart arbitration? I mean, he's a heck of a player, but you gotta figure they could have gotten a lot more value for their money on the market. A couple of decent platoon outfielders should only cost 1-2 million each, plus will strengthen your bench.

I can't claim JP shouldn't have offered Stewart arbitration. I mean, the idea didn't cross my mind at the time, so now it would just be second guessing. But the more I think about it, the more I think it would have been a good idea.

_John N. - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#89815) #

.............Pitcher W L. .IP.. .H. HR BB .K. ERA
.....Blue Jays, 2003 9 16 219.0 257 32 90 160 5.38
Tanyon Sturtze, 2002 4 18 224.0 271 33 89 137 5.18

I don't really have a point to make here, but I thought the comparison was cute. I wonder what composite pitching lines other teams have right now.

Apologies for all the periods; they have nothing to do with earlier BB discussions of the use of ellipsis...
_the shadow - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#89816) #
Any word on the status of Justin Miller,his return as the fifth starter thus allowing Walker to return to the BP would help stabilize the pen from the right side ,the other problem is how do the Jays handle the Escobar fiasco.
robertdudek - Saturday, April 26 2003 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#89817) #
Gitz wrote: "So is anyone still willing to chalk up Tam's performance last year to bad luck? He got shredded in AAA when he was sent down, too. I'm truly sorry for Tam, who got a much-deserved shot after years in the minors, but he's done now..."

Until I see Tam regularly give up line drives, I'm going to stick with the idea that so far this year he's been let down by his defence and has had other ground balls find holes. Apart from the one disastrous outing where he walked all those guys, he's been okay in the control department (a lot of intentional walks).

Looking at such a small sample of numbers doesn't tell you as much as actually watching him pitch. He's the third best righthanded reliever on the team at the moment.

I don't think he's done.
_R Billie - Sunday, April 27 2003 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#89818) #
I think Tam is alright. He's ideal used in the long relief role. Just a guy to eat up innings when the game isn't significantly in doubt. He's a 1st or 2nd long man...not a guy you bring in when you need an out or need to retire a tough righty. It's great that he gets groundballs but groundballs aren't a guarantee of anything. At the end of the day, a grounded hit is still a hit and RBI's garner from those still count towards the score.
_the shadow - Sunday, April 27 2003 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#89819) #
Just a word of optimism among all the bull pen gloom, the starters have done a better job on the whole than what I anticipated, in most cases they have made it through to the sixth inning,if these had been only six inning games(just dreaming)what would the Jays record be for the first 25 games
Game 25: Winning Streak | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.