Here's a look at the Vancouver Canadians in a relaxed atmosphere before their series finale against Everett at Nat Bailey Stadium Tuesday.
Pitching coach Jim Czajowksi
(#48) holds court with the hurlers, including Turner Lee
(#28), Tayler Saucedo
(#38) and Michael Kraft
. Catcher Kevin Garcia
(#30) also listens in.
Good pitching and some big innings generated four wins. Buffalo got good pitching from Todd Redmond and Ryan Tepera in a low scoring win. New Hampshire got lots of runs for Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Dunedin also scored lots of runs for Shane Dawson, Anthony Alford had three hits. Lansing lost a close, high scoring, game, Clinton Hollon had one to forget. Vancouver won a close one with a ninth inning run. Bluefield had a bad loss.
The affiliates won just two out of seven on Saturday thanks in part to two walk-off losses. The good news was a walk-off win and a shutout victory. Dunedin's game in Brevard County was rained out.
A splitsville Friday for the affiliates in their eight games. One game involved a steal of home for the winning run and Vancouver got a solid start and an even better finish from its pitchers.
Recent readers of the Box may be aware of my crusade against the 8-man bullpen. I have nothing against it in principle, except that until September, the active roster for major league teams is limited to 25 players. When rosters expand, if you want a 14-man bullpen, I will raise a figurative glass of ale and say, why the heck not!
I'll add another caveat. On teams with weak starting pitchers wherein several starting pitchers have difficulty reaching the 6th and 7th innings, a three-man bench is defensible as long as at least two players and/or one regular are reasonably versatile. I don't believe the current Jays are in that category.
The Toronto Blue Jays look to stay in first place as the New York Yankees visit the Dome this weekend.
This series will bring back memories of 1985 and the Blue Jays clinching the American League East Division for the first time since 1985. The newspaper here is from The Toronto Star
Conner Greene was probably the only standout performer on the farm prospect-wise. A couple old hands had good nights and there were a few strong pitching performances. The affiliates went 4-4.
An 11-game winning streak, including three over the Oakland A's, was not enough to diminish the loss of the most lamented DFA player in franchise history.
batted .269/.303/.437 with 9 home runs and 48 runs batted in during a glorious span of 338 plate appearances in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Wednesday saw a lot of close finishes. Buffalo took a five run lead to the ninth inning and turned the game over to Joba Chamberlain. Ezequiel Carrera had to throw out the tying run at the plate to preserve the win. Bluefield broke a tie in the top of the ninth for a one run win. The GCL Jays had a walk off win. New Hampshire went to extras but conceded a grand slam. Lansing went to extras and lost in a more routine fashion. Vancouver did it early, walking their way to a loss in the eighth. Dunedin had a non-close loss.
Andy Burns had three hits and four RBI's for Buffalo. Dalton Pompey had two hits. DJ Davis had a nice night. Sean Reid-Foley and Jose Espada ran hot and cold.
New Hampshire and Dunedin were bombed and Bluefield was blown away in a doubleheader sweep. That's the bad stuff out of the way. The good news was the affiliates won six out of 11, including a doubleheader victory and a walk-off win.
The Vancouver Canadians celebrate a walk-off victory over Everett thanks to Sean Hurley
's RBI double. Hurley almost lost his shirt in the celebration.
returns to Toronto for the first time after being traded to Oakland. It appears the Jays have done alright without him.
- homering in Seattle July 26 - has 31 home runs and 83 runs batted in while batting .297/.365/.578.
Please don't Bristol at the headline! The affiliates took three out of five Monday. Buffalo's game with Rochester was rained out
and will be made up on Thursday as part of a doubleheader. Bluefield's home game against Pulaski was also washed away and they'll play a double dip today. New Hampshire and Lansing had the night off.
The Vancouver Canadians dropped the opening game of a series at home for the fifth straight time, losing to the Everett AquaSox Sunday afternoon.
Vancouver catcher Ryan Hissey
has the baseball under his foot after Everett's Alex Jackson
is hit by a pitch from Jon Harris
in the first inning. That scored the game's first run and Everett would add three more to build a 4-0 lead.
Roster update also below the fold
The affiliates had two wins on Sunday. Anthony Alford had four hits in the Dunedin win including a walk off double in the ninth. Scott Copeland pitched seven shutout innings to lead Buffalo to a win. In the four losses the opponents scored four runs in either the first or first two innings to open deficits that were fatal to the chance for a win. A couple of pitching prospects had rough starts, Angel Perdomo, and Jonathan Harris were gone early.
Another 4-4 day on the farm with two excellent starting performances as the highlights.