Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Here's a quick look back at a few games the Vancouver Canadians played this week as they continue their drive for the Northwest League post-season.

Matthew Smoral works in relief Wednesday night in Vancouver. He pitched four innings of shutout ball with just one hit and two walks while striking out five. Smoral's first pitch registered at 92 miles per hour.
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On Wednesday the affiliates were 2-5, with wins coming from the DSL Blue Jays, and a walk-off win for Buffalo.  Performances of the day came from Miguel Castro in Lansing, Marcus Knecht for Dunedin, and PJ Walters in Hew Hampshire.
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The affiliates won just three of eight games Tuesday night. The lowlights were two double-digit losses. The highlights were a shutout win and two victories of the one-run variety.
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The Jays are 4-11 since doing nothing at the Trade Deadline.
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The affiliates won three and lost three on Monday. Buffalo and New Hampshire were able to put up their feet and relax.
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On Sunday the affiliates were 2-4, with 5 of the 6 games being determined by a run differential.  There was lots of strong pitching in the minors on Sunday, except for another disappointing start from Zak Wasilewski in Vancouver.
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There are 26 weeks in the baseball season, and 20 of them have been played. Which means - natch - that there are six weeks remaining.

Five AL teams are going to the post-season, and it's pretty clear that Baltimore, Oakland, and Los Angeles are taking three of those spots. The Orioles will win the AL East; either the A's or the Angels will win the AL West, with the second place team settling for a Wild Card.
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Scott Copeland went seven shutout innings, Kevin Pillar had three hits and George Kottaras hit a three run home run to lead Buffalo. New Hampshire also won with a Charlie Wholestaff approach. Vancouver won, Barreto hit, enough said? Rowdy Tellez hit a big home run for Bluefield. The GCL Jays also won. Lansing and Dunedin had bad nights.
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Daniel Norris recorded 17 outs and 13 of them were strikeouts. He dominated the Iron Pigs while the Bisons bats scored seven. New Hampshire scored seven too but they lost as Casey Lawrence had his second straight tough start against Akron. Ben White and Miguel Castro led Dunedin and Lansing to wins. Matt Smoral and Ryan Borucki combined on a three hit shutout for Vancouver. Bluefield also won while the GCL Jays were rained out.
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"If I'd told you in April that they'd be 3.5 games back of--"
"Oh just stop it already. I am so sick of that line. I don't care if they exceed my expectations, I'm not going to lower the bar retroactively every single day to make sure I can call the season a success no matter how lame or qualified. That's so stupid. They make the playoffs or they don't. And seriously, how big does the number have to get for you to quit saying that?"
"I... I don't know."
"Sounds like you've given up."
"Well..."
"You know what? If you told me they'd be 3.5 games back of the second wild card on August 15, I'd be disappointed. I'd say no thanks and let's run the simulation again. You're selling this team short. Big series this weekend."
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The affiliates wallowed to a 3-7 day. Several stellar pitching performances though marked the wins as Taylor Cole continued to rack up the Ks.
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"It was the best of times, it was the BLURST OF TIMES???"
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On Wednesday the Jays affiliates went 4-2, with 3 PPD games coming for New Hampshire, and two for the GCL Jays.  Sean Nolin had possibly his best start of the year for Buffalo.  Franklin Barreto continued to hit for Vancouver, and Chase Mallard gave the Canadians a strong start in a 14 inning game.
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The affiliates came out on top in five of the seven contests that were played Tuesday night. Starting pitching carried the day along with a big swing from the man with the parrot. Dunedin had the night off.
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This episode of 10 Photos looks at the only good thing that happened in Safeco Field Monday night.


Jose Bautista settles into the batter's box against King Felix, aka Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, with two outs in the top of the third inning. Behind the plate for Seattle is Mike Zunino.
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