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Matinees today (1:20) and tomorrow (2:05), followed by breakfast baseball at 11:05 Monday morning, as that's Marathon day in Boston. I'll be listening to Tom and Jerry today (and wishing Mike made the road trips) as we're leaving shortly to visit the in-laws, but it's also on Sportsnet and NESN. I expect there will be a hockey game on TV when we arrive, so I won't see or hear much of the later innings; I'll have to get the inside scoop from the ZLC tonight.

Tanyon Sturtze takes the ball for a team that's lost 8 of 9 and needs a lift. The big righty was very tentative in his Yankee Stadium start, walking seven, but he did beat the Red Sox in his previous outing, and as a Massachusetts boy, pitching in Fenway has some extra meaning. The Jays usually hit Derek Lowe well enough, knocking him out in the fifth at SkyDome 11 days ago, so Tanyon won't need to toss a shutout. If he throws strikes -- and his infielders catch the ball -- he could be 3-0, a far cry from the 4-18 debacle of 2002. If Tanyon turns it around, maybe Mr. Halladay will build on that Sunday. If not, there's extra (self-inflicted) pressure on Doc tomorrow.

First-guessing the lineup, I'm hoping Woodward is good to go, as Bordick, 2-for-14 since Chris got hurt, is living up to his good-glove, no-hit rep. I'd like to see Berg (especially his .919 OPS) at 2B, with the excitable, erratic Hudson on the bench. I don't care how many highlight-reel plays Orlando makes -- they do not cancel out the easy ones he muffs. Last night, what was already bad enough (Tam had turned a 3-2 lead into a 4-3 deficit) was made much, much worse when O-Dog mishandled a ball right at him and failed to make the inning-ending double play. The kid was playing with joy when he first came up last year, and that does make him fun to watch, but now he's pressing, and hurting the team. If a little vacation doesn't help, I have a vision of a longer trip in Hudson's future.

Game 18: Sturtze the Stopper? | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pistol - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#90190) #
The Jays aren't winning anything important this year. Hudson needs to be thrown out there 90% of the time to develop and for the team to see what he has, regardless (well, almost regardless) of how he's playing. Playing Berg gains the Jays nothing in the long run.

Good to see the bottom of the Jays lineup making Lowe work. Hopefully, runs come out of it.
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#90191) #
If Orlando Hudson sat in the bullpen instead of the dugout, he'd be exempt from criticism.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#90192) #
Oy yoy yoy... Nothing is going right for the Blue Jays today. The Sox just made it 5-0 on Myers throw that bounced past Woody. Question; were there two runs called back on the Blue Jays earlier in the game? I (thought I) saw two runs come in on a ground rule double before I left the house, then when I got home it was 0-0...what's up with that? Fan interference?
_DS - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#90193) #
Foul ball.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#90194) #
There's a simple explanation if I've ever seen one. I was on my way out when the At Bat was beginning so I just hung out at the front of the TV until he made contact and as soon as I saw the two come in to score, I shut off the TV and was on my way. Oh well. Jays just got 2 but Wells couldn't cash any more in with 2 out and the bases loaded. I'm gonna call a big fifth inning for the Jays...
Pistol - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#90195) #
Is it just me or does Sturtze look like Greg Maddux?
_Shane - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#90196) #
Do you mean when there's runners on base and he holds his glove up high to his chest, and kind of bends forward? Then "yes".
_jb - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#90197) #
Changes brewing - Kershner was recalled with Linton being demoted, Kevin Frederick was DFA'd. Apparently Werth should be ready in a few days as well.
_the shadow - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#90198) #
You remember the old saying, a chain is only as strong as it weakest link, that being the case the Jays as they are presently constituted are in deep trouble, the BP is as weak a link as it possibly could be,the black hole in right field remains a black hole and the catching is adequate at best, then there is the O Dawg,why not move Cat to second and put a proven outfielder in RF and do something, anything , to the BP, Cripple and Linton to Syracuse,what is Creek's status contract wise
_King Rat - Saturday, April 19 2003 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#90199) #

Creek has a $700000 guaranteed contract. Why, I don't know, but he does. I don't know that Cat's defense is that bad, nor do I think Orlando played sufficiently badly to get demoted. The bullpen needs to be reworked, no question, but let's not overeact to 18 games against a brutal schedule.
_DS - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#90200) #
I'm kind of surprised it was Linton to go, but at least Kershner is getting the audition he deserves. If he shows himself to be suitable, I think it will be Miller or Creek to go next.
Gitz - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#90201) #
Someone mentioned the Expos in 1994 having a great bullpen without having a soutphaw. For most of the season, the Angels bullpen from last year featured these fellas:

Ben Weber
Scott Shields
Brendan Donnelly
Lou Pote
Al Levine
Troy Percival

What do those pitchers have in common, other than collecting Orange County smog? They all throw right-handed, and they're all useful to varying degrees, with some more useful than others -- Shields, Weber, and Donnelly in particular (and obviously Percival). Notably absent from that list is Francisco Rodriguez, possibly the best pitcher in the Angels' system, and now he's around for the full season. Also notable? No big names there, save for Percival; all of those guys are "free" talent in the same sense that Tam and Creek are "free." Though Scott Schoenweiss lurks down there -- and he is more of a long man/swing starter -- the Angels bullpen is heavily slanted to the right. So if a team like Anaheim is, for the most part, not going to employ a left-handed specialist when they face the likes of Eric Chavez, Erubiel Durazo, Ichiro Suzuki, Rafael Palmeiro, John Olerud, et al, 57 games a year, and be effective while doing so, here's hoping some teams punt Larussa-esque bullpen management and look Westward ho for some insipiration.
Gitz - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#90202) #
Actually, for a time the Angels had Dennis Cook in the 'pen, too. But their bullpen by the playoffs was nearly all right-handers, and we know how well they did in the post-season.
_Mick - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 03:33 AM EDT (#90203) #
OK, seriously guys (picture the previous in Eric Cartman's voice) ...

It's April 20th.

Blow up the bullpen? Lament the non-signing of Kenny Rogers? Bring in a real outfielder, move Cat to the infield and toss "O-Dog" (just do not like that nickname) back to AAA or something?


Last year, at this point, Anaheim fans were probably saying, as someone did earlier in this thread "we're not winning anything important this year ... we should've made that Darin Erstad trade .... dammit, fire Scioscia and bring in a real manager ... and similar inanities.

I'm not suggesting the Jays are going to win the World Series come October. But who would've suggested Anaheim would do so last year on this date?

The Yankees and Red Sox are CLEARLY better, right? So third place is best-case? (Echo last year ... the A's and Mariners are CLEARLY ...)

What do this year's Jays and last year's Angels really have in common?

Really, really, really good management (IMNSHO, anyway) ... and a plan. Good management sticks to a plan. (Living in Dallas, I see up close the torment of changing the plan every off-season AND every trading deadline.) Let this plan play out until, I don't know, at least May.
_the shadow - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#90204) #
I don't look on these first twenty games as the terrible twenty but rather as the Testing Twenty,against the best competition in the AL East and AL Central, it gives a good indication as to the Jay's weaknesses and strengths that should be addressed by management in the next couple of seasons, having said this the BP is still the major concern
_dp - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#90205) #
IMO, here's where the test will come in for JP-- if he's made mistakes, will he cop to them properly? Creek has been a total disaster, and has nothing to offer the team if he's not effective now. Can JP admit the mistake and just release him outright, or will we continue to see him run out there to blow games just because JP screwed up by giving him $700K. Linton has been good so far, but he gets sent down, while Tam stays despite a clearly inferior performance.

As far as the young guys go, I agree with Mick. Let Hudson get some hits against the Devil Rays, Orioles, Tigers and Indians before making any decisions on him. See what Hendrickson can do against the middle tier offenses. Let Cat continue in RF and see how the defense comes together after another month. When you have huge roster turnover and guys playing new positions, sometimes it takes a while for the team defense to settle into a routine, and this impacts the pitching as well.

The one move I'd make today if it were my team is to put Escobar into the rotation. You can't really yank Walker as long as he's pitching this well, but I think maybe giving he and Kelvim 4 innings a piece one game a week would be the best plan. You'd still have enough guys in the pen, and once a week you'd be giving all the middle relievers a day off. When Kelvim bitches, explain to him this is the only way to get his numbers respectable for when he hits the FA market.

I'd also get Reed Johnson a start or two and leave Werth stationed in Syracuse until at least the end of may.
_dp - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#90206) #
One more thing: releasing Brandon Lyon was a mistake. Even if he only has a mediocre season, they didn't do anything better with the roster spot, and the guy was young and cheap enough to keep around and see if he'd develop.
Coach - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#90207) #
Brandon Lyon didn't do a lot to help himself while he was a Jay; he didn't want to be a reliever, he pouted when he was sent down. The release came as a wakeup call. He worked out in the offseason, something he'd never bothered to do before, accepted his role and is throwing harder. Would he have achieved the same improvement as an unhappy starter in Syracuse? We'll never know. Jose Cruz is also a better player in his new situation than he would have been for the Jays. This is not a fault of Toronto's management or coaching; it's his good fortune to be playing with Barry and Felipe and inspired by both.

It seems some of us expect no less than a 1.000 average from the GM. I'm still grateful to Pat Gillick for an amazing ten year run, but St. Pat wasn't perfect. J.P is building from the Ashes, way ahead of schedule, a return to that kind of organization. So as long as his successful moves (too many to mention) outnumber the ones that didn't work out (Prokopec) or the mistakes (I'll give you Creek) the guy's doing a great job. You win some, you lose some. Sometimes, it rains.
_M.P. Moffatt - Sunday, April 20 2003 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#90208) #
Gotta agree with you Coach. While I've been **very** critical of some of JP's moves, I think he's doing a terrific job overall. You're right.. you can't be perfect all the time. He just needs to ask himself, "What would Earl do?" more often. :)

Game 18: Sturtze the Stopper? | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.