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Big Papi does the clutch thing again, as the Bosox ensure that it will be an interesting final weekend. Your thoughts?
Boston 5 Toronto 4 | 32 comments | Create New Account
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Joseph Krengel - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#129226) #
11 stranded base runners and this team aquitted itself well? I think the Jays have made real progress this year; unfortunately it has been made almost entirely in the bullpen and starting rotation. Whatever development their hitters have made continues to be offset by the team's overall inability to drive in runners from scoring position.
JZK - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#129227) #
BATISTAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Aaggh, that guy kills me. I knew he would blow it. Of course, the Jays had plenty of chances to put this away early and couldn't drive in all those baserunners. Oh well, at least they split with the Sox and made 'em sweat.
King Ryan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#129228) #
Damn I wish I had been able to watch the last two games. Sounds like they were a lot of fun.

I missed all of Catalanotto's heroics and Eric Hinske's doubles. All I caught was the ninth inning tonight with Miguel "full count" Batista.

It's too bad the Jays couldn't really help bury my least favorite team in team sports, but it was a good effort.
Jordan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#129229) #
Ortiz beat the shift. Ironically enough, Batista did his job -- Damon's grounder was just inches past Hinske, who was playing on the line, and Papi's grounder was a tailor-made double-play ball the opposite way that hit the mound and spiralled away. Had Ortiz pulled the ball, the game would still be going.

Full credit to the Jays -- they went into Fenway and split a four-gamer with the Red Sox with a depleted lineup and bullpen. What's more, Boston's two wins were close -- the Jays made them sweat every game. It gives you a good feeling going into the off-season.
BrockLanders - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#129230) #
Russ Adams singlehandedly pissed that game down the drain. Between the errors and missing that potential DP ball that Ortiz hit. His defense this year has been a huge eyesore. Of course, Gibby could have inserted John McDonald. Oh I forgot! JP traded him...
Keith Talent - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#129231) #
I just KNEW Ortiz would take Chulk deep. I was literally thinking Chulk didn't stand a chance.

Question: Is it possible to have a year like Ortiz without a Manny Ramirez batting behind you?

Damn: those two coming at you Left and then Right.
King Ryan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#129232) #
I just hope to God that Cleveland wins the wild card. Another Red Sox/Yankees mediafest would send me into convulsions.
CeeBee - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#129233) #
I'm already in convulsions, but it's more from watching batista pitch.
Noah - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#129234) #
Its awful when you're closer comes in and you think game over... for us. I thought a closer was supposed to come in a close out a game for HIS team. I swear everytime Batista comes in I feel like we've just lost.

I dont know that stats but I'd love to know how many times out of all his apperances he's pitched without allowing a walk or a hit. A good closer should be able to do that more times than not. I just dont feel like he is capable.

Id love to see JP bring in a guy like Wagner who can tutor someone like League to take over when he retires.
Ron - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#129235) #
Wouldn't Ortiz and Manny look nice in a Jays uni next season?

Does anybody know if there's a single stat that measures defence like VORP does for offence? I'd be interested to see where Russ Adam's D ranks among AL starting SS.

I went to SoSH during the early innings and you wouldn't believe what those kids were typing. Some guy wanted F-Cat to die and another spewed racist comments.

BrockLanders - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#129236) #
I already have the image picked out for Adams 2006 Topps Card:

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/apphoto/MACK11009300214.jpg
VBF - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#129237) #
Ortiz beat the shift. Ironically enough, Batista did his job -- Damon's grounder was just inches past Hinske, who was playing on the line, and Papi's grounder was a tailor-made double-play ball the opposite way that hit the mound and spiralled away.

Technically, yes. But a closer's got to overcome things like this. He's got to buckle down and not give in. In fact, I liked his pitches to Ortiz. But the bottom line is the job wasn't done and Batista showed no evidence that he could overcome adversity. And overcoming adversity is what the best closers in baseball do.

VBF - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#129238) #
Do people really say thet SoSH is a good place to talk intelligently about baseball?
BrockLanders - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#129239) #
Chacin's poor outing 2 days ago really put Gibby in a spot forcing him to walk the tightrope with Chulk facing Ortiz. The pen was exhausted so you can't blame him. Its either Chulk or League. It seems like a no-brainer.
Twilight - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#129242) #
Personally I think Gibbons was a little out to lunch today.

First of all, Russ Adams jumped right in front of Aaron Hill and stole a routine ground ball from him, only to fall down with it. Sometimes I think this guy is playing more for himself than the team. That was just weak.

Scott Downs was not having trouble, I would have let him finish off that inning. He has a long, sweeping breaking ball that is tough to go deep on. I have confidence in Frasor, but if his last outing was any indication, he's tired. His pitch wasn't too bad, Ramirez is just a hard guy to beat.

The second one...starting with Chulk against Ortiz. Why oh why. I almost dead expected to see SS LOOGY do his LOOGY thing and LOOGY out Ortiz. Chulk gave up the 3 run HR to Sheffield in his previous outing which sealed the Jays' fate against the Yankees in that game (they scored a run in the 8th which would have tied the game). My grandpa was really PO'ed, even suggesting that the Jays management was ordered to give Boston the game by putting Chulk in. He said lots of swear words in Danish. But anyway...

When you don't want to surrender home runs, don't put in guys that throw 90s fastballs with minimal movement. You want a guy like Shaun Marcum who uses a lot of breaking pitches and sinking pitches. I even would have preferred League in there because at least his pitches dance around.

I just think this was a really lame loss to take. Very annoying, and I'd be really agitated if it was a home game and I was there.
Twilight - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#129243) #
BTW...is there anything wrong with Walker? I would definitely perfer an experienced guy in a high leverage situation. he won't flip out hardcore.
Magpie - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#129244) #
When you don't want to surrender home runs...you want a guy like Shaun Marcum

Well, maybe a guy like Marcum himself, but you sure as hell don't want Marcum, who gave up 17 HR in 103 innings to AAA hitters.

Pete Walker does have a sore foot, but he could pitch if necessary. I don't know why Schoeneweis wasn't used tonight. He went 1.2 the night before and that has never stopped Gibbons from bringing him back the next day. With good results most of the time.

Dr. Zarco - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#129245) #
BrockLanders, that picture is of Hill, not Adams, when Hill had to dive for the Zaun throw.

Secondly, I'm just not sold on shifts. The shift had a huge factor in this loss. The Adams play (what was he thinking?), and then the final hit. It seems that announcers are always saying "that beat the shift," or "right through the shift." Not "the shift saved a run there."

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/stats/mlb_individual_player_hitting_chart.jsp?playerID=120074&statType=1

That is the hit chart for Ortiz. There are a slew of ground balls the other way. And even more singles the other way, which may or may not have been ground balls.

The "no doubles" defense hurt too, as was mentioned above. Ugh, disappointing with the Jays having a chance to steal some late-season spotlight and not getting it done.

Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#129247) #
Of course, Gibby could have inserted John McDonald. Oh I forgot! JP traded him...

To clear space for who... remember? Unless you believe that McDonald would be more than the insurance/stopgap player he was, that's quite an odd potshot to take.
Dr. Zarco - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#129248) #
To follow up on the shift thing, Ortiz has grounded out to the left side of the infield 9 times this year. That's with only 1 guy standing over there.

Manny, for comparison, also in only home games this year, has grounded out only 10 times to the right side of the infield, and that's with TWO guys standing there. So it's very likely that Manny has hit fewer balls to the opposite field on the ground than Ortiz, yet no one plays the shift on him.

I wonder about these scouting reports.
BrockLanders - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#129250) #
Adams is a real mystery in the field. I understand management's thought process in offering the full time SS to him but allowing him to committ game deciding blunders without any alternatives is what bugs me. McDonald didn't possess a cumbersome salary nor was impeding Adams' growth. He was basically a great security blanket to have in late game situations. This wasn't a Chase Utley/Placido Polanco scenario. I still don't understand the urgency in shipping him out of town like a exile.
seeyou - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#129251) #
I like McDonald, but I don't blame J.P. for trading him. The infield is packed enough, with McDonald still there we would have eight players (Hinske, Hudson, Menechino, Adams, McDonald, Hill, Koskie and Hillenbrand) competing for five positions. Too many roster positions for the infield; who on the else on the roster would you have booted off when Koskie came back from injury?
TJ Caino - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 01:55 AM EDT (#129252) #
It was between MacDonald and Frankie M. Hill could back up Adams at short. But who would have backed up O dog? Remember, JP wouldn't let Hill play second the first time O Dog got injured.

In retrospect, Hill getting some regular playing time in AAA wouldn't have been the worst thing.
Mylegacy - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#129253) #
What a pile of hossflickas, Adams is a ROOKIE, and doin' a fine job. All over his case for caring too much for trying too hard. Give me a dozen more trying that hard.

As for Hyde Batiste, tonight it was definately Jekyll.

Now, lets sweep the royals and end it at 500! Go Jays!
Dave Till - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 06:50 AM EDT (#129257) #
I'm not too worried about Adams. Normally, it's the shortstop's job to try as hard as possible to get every ball he can reach - if he can't get it, no one can get it. (Recall that, in a normal defensive alignment, the third baseman cuts in front of the shortstop on grounders in the hole. And, when a shortstop is moving to his left, he can see the second baseman right in front of him.) Being in a shift screws up those instincts. I'd rather have my shortstop try for everything.

I find it hard to criticize Batista for last night when both Frasor and Chulk also gave up runs. Boston has a heck of a lot of good hitters, and it's hard to keep them off the board for long. Sure, I'd prefer it if Batista was Mariano Rivera, but there aren't too many of them out there.
Gerry - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#129259) #
Fordin reported yesterday was Showey is probably done for the year, just fatigue. Speier is also done for the year with a finger injury, so the bullpen is short a couple of pitchers.

Jerry Howarth said yesterday that Griffin and Quiroz will get a lot of work this weekend in the KC series.
DepecheJay - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#129274) #
"What a pile of hossflickas, Adams is a ROOKIE, and doin' a fine job. All over his case for caring too much for trying too hard. Give me a dozen more trying that hard."

I disagree strongly. Yes Adams is a rookie, and while it's cool to stand up for your player and all, don't give me some stuff about how he's doing a "fine job." Let's face the facts, results are all that matter and Adams has been simply horrific in the field this season. A fine job would be what Jeter has done this season or O-Cab, not Russ, he's been awful in the field and it showed again last night. Has he been as bad as Edgar Renteria? No. Has he been close, definitely.

And as far as him being harrassed because he was "trying too hard." That's crap. It was an awful play by Adams. Hill had a routine grounder headed right at him, and Adams simply made a Manny Ramirez-type play. Absolutly no awareness, no heads up, it was terrible. It led to Manny hitting a bomb to right and that led to the Jays eventually losing. Russ has helped lose many a game with his less than gold... errr... bronze... too good... tin glove.

Pretty exciting game overall but I'm just sick of seeing the Jays play horrible baseball in close games. It's pathetic.
Mike Green - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#129277) #

Yes, Adams made a poor play, but generally there is no question that he plays with his head in the game. It was a rare mistake for him of this type.

As for the overall quality of his defence this year, both Win Shares and BP's defensive metric agree that he has been below average, but improving over last September. Subjectively, I agree with both elements, that he has been below average and that he has been improving. Where he'll end up in a year or two is another issue.

Incidentally, both metrics agree that Juan Uribe, Jhonny Peralta and Bobby Crosby have been the cream of the crop defensively in the American League. Youth will be served.

Four Seamer - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#129279) #
In a way, I really enjoy the final games of the year, after the Jays have been eliminated from contention, because I can enjoy the game on a purer level, without worrying too much about wins or losses. Back in August, the outcome of this game would have felt like a punch to the stomach; in late September, it's enough that the Jays and Sox treated me to a very interesting and exciting game. Would a win have been more satisfying? Certainly, but I was past worrying about the result before the television was even turned off. It was three plus hours of great entertainment, and I wasn't asking for much more. Anyone who's still hot and bothered about it the next day is just a little too highly strung, in my opinion.

While I don't want to expend too much energy worrying about wins and losses at this stage, I'm compelled to post because I find all this criticism of Adams to be ridiculous. He made a poor play, sure, but it wasn't by design; he was reacting instinctively to a batted ball. That he isn't Ozzie Smith out there isn't a newsflash, but his defensive play has been steadily improving and, to my eyes at least, is significantly better than some of the commenters above would have you believe. As for the suggestion that he's helped the Jays lose many a game with his glove, where's the evidence to ground this assertion? Last night's game, which triggered all these outbursts, isn't even an example of this supposed phenomenon. DepecheJay says that his "error" led to the Jays eventually losing, but that's not a plausible claim. If Hill throws Ortiz out, Manny's jack makes it 4-2, the Sox get within a run in the eighth, and Ortiz's game winning RBI is just a game tying RBI. But then you still have to face Manny with a runner in scoring position and less than two out, and Batista unable to get ahead in the count. Holding Adams responsible for last night's loss is simply wrong, and it doesn't constitute any kind of objective analysis.
Rich - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#129280) #
I am a somtimes Batista defender, but he was woeful again last last night: 13 pitches, 5 strikes. He didn't get hit hard, but he was behind everyone and didn't put himself in a position to make the hitters hit his pitches.

You just knew Ortiz would be the one to win it after Towers' comments the other day...It was a tough loss to swallow, but serves the team right for failing to blow the game open when they had the chance (and there were many of them).
Jonny German - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#129282) #
As for the suggestion that he's helped the Jays lose many a game with his glove, where's the evidence to ground this assertion?

Here's some evidence against it: The Jays pitching staff as a whole is allowing fewer runs than expected, despite the supposedly horrible Adams at a key defensive position.

I am a somtimes Batista defender, but he was woeful again last last night: 13 pitches, 5 strikes.

I didn't see either game, so I'm curious: Those of you who felt Batista was using a whole new approach in his 4-K Yankee game, did he revert to an old approach last night? The strike-walk ratio makes me think he did.

MatO - Friday, September 30 2005 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#129291) #
I think Battista was still using the new approach but simply got rattled after Damon's hit. There's no excuse for walking Renteria on 4 pitches and that was really the killer. He went 1-2 on Ortiz with the splitter and then threw 2 pitches down and in (not close) which looked to me like cutters or fastballs and had me yelling "what the hell was that?". The 3-2 was a fastball down and away which Ortiz took the other way but had me thinking DP when it was hit. He just didn't seem to have the control he had in the previous appearances. He had sort of reminded of Henke the last couple of outings with the fasball/splitter combo. Henke never had control problems though.
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