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Jayson Werth gets the start in RF (and bats second) against Tampa lefty Joe Kennedy. Dave Berg is at 2B (hitting ninth) for the same reason. With three hockey playoff series going the limit tonight, this may not be our busiest game thread -- happy channel flipping.
Game 21: Welcome Werth | 19 comments | Create New Account
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Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#90002) #
Pete Walker isn't exactly dominating these guys -- five baserunners in three innings -- but he's good from the stretch and has pitched out of trouble. Jayson Werth looks great in the outfield, with effortless range and a strong arm; he's 0-for-2 but taking strong cuts. Kennedy, except for a Phelps opposite-field double, has looked very sharp.

Asked about Rocco Baldelli, Grady Little said "you mean Joe Dimaggio?" I think he was kidding, but the big rookie has quite an arm and he can fly.

Woodward could have made a better feed on a potential double-play ball, but he confidently charged a high hopper with the bases loaded to keep it scoreless after three innings.
Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#90003) #
So far, so good, unless you're a Leafs fan.

With one out, Delgado got plunked (unintentional, as Kennedy owns him) and Phelps steered a curve into right for a single. Tom Wilson showed his good eye on a low 3-1 pitch that the ump missed, then walked anyway. Bases loaded for Hinske against the lefty, and Eric (career .455 in this situation) had a great AB, fouling off pitches until he got one he could rip for a double. 2-0, Jays.
_Spicol - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#90004) #
Hinske now has 10 doubles, good for a tie for 2nd in all of MLB. Who woulda thunk it a few days ago?
Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#90005) #
The Jays went ahead 3-0 when a Berg flare cashed Hinske, but Tampa got one back. Too bad the second runner didn't try to score, as Werth made a perfect throw to the plate. Walker does not have control of his fastball; it's moving "too much" -- tailing away from lefty hitters. Now it's 3-2; this is not Pete's night (10 runners through four). Baldelli tied the score with an infield single.
_Wildrose - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#90006) #
Disagree with Cerutti picking on Woodward. Woody's diving snag saved a run. Also I think the double play toss was just fine.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#90007) #
Wow. Huff draws the 14 pitch walk from Kershner, fouling off 10.
Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#90008) #
Wildrose, I didn't hear what Cerutti said, but I'd guess (on the Baldelli hit, which was a terrific stop) that he called the throw unneccessary. Earlier, Woody could have taken a one-step quicker route to the potential DP ball, or made the flip a bit harder. I didn't score it an E-10, and you know I love throwing those things around, but Chris shook his head afterward, like a guy who knew what he could have done better. He'll be fine.

How about Jason Kershner's first inning of work? Four pitches, three outs. He's so skinny, he looks like he's made out of pipe cleaners, but he comes right at hitters and hasn't missed his spots. Huff hit nine (!) foul balls off him, and not one was down the middle. Even the ball four pitch was a beauty; a lot of umps call that a strike. Now Kershner's in a spot of trouble, as Lou started the runner and Easley singled through the hole. Tosca's going to let Jeff Tam take care of things. Everybody cross your fingers.
Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#90009) #
Whoever pointed out how deliberate Tam is with runners on base was right on. He's thinking so much out there, you can see about 15 different grimaces between pitches. But he's going for a strikeout and a grounder, and he's halfway there after three great sinkers.
Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#90010) #
Stepping off, throwing over, pacing around the mound, Tam appears to be quite a worrier. Every so often, he's throwing a pitch, and they are a lot better tonight. Toby Hall hit a grounder, but one with eyes -- it got between short and third, and it's 4-3 Tampa. Kershner's on the hook for the loss, but the hitters can still bail him out.
_M.P. Moffatt - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#90011) #
I was hoping that the guys could wear out Kennedy this inning, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I could see Piniella leaving him in too long and not going to a righty as to keep Cat on the bench.

Coach - Tuesday, April 22 2003 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#90012) #
Bottom line: Pete Walker didn't have his good stuff. It happens. I don't think anyone has Pete pencilled in as a long-term starter, and unless he bounces back against K.C. on Sunday, his stay in the rotation will be short. The bullpen was pretty good; two hits, a walk, one run and 3 K's in three innings. Joe Kennedy is now 5-0 vs. the Jays, 11-20 against everyone else. It makes no sense, but it's hardly a surprise any more.
_Mick - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#90013) #
I'd just like to save Toronto headline writers a little effort. The first time young Jayson dogs it to first base, your lede should be:

Werth: The Effort?
_Jordan - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#90014) #
I only got to see parts of the game last night, but I tend to agree with the foregoing: the Jays ran into a tough young lefty who owns them. It's not so bad when your #5 starter loses 4-3 to their ace, and the bullpen did in fact pitch well. I also was impressed with Kershner, who battled hard; but I imagine that the pitches Huff kept fouling off were the ones that got Jason strikeouts in Syracuse. It's a slightly different world up here.

Okay, so here's my rant: bottom of the ninth, two out, Greg Myers walks on four pitches and trots down to first base. And stays there. No pinch-runner, not even Orlando Hudson, who's not a great base-stealer but can at least motor and could score from first on a double. If the game goes to extra innings, you could always put Werth behind the plate and stick Catalanotto into right field. Not ideal, but these are things that you have to do when you have little roster flexibility and you're trying to win games. And speaking of Catalanotto -- any particular reason why he wasn't pinch-hitting for Berg there? Maybe he wouldn't have homered, but the odds were good of him keeping the inning alive, and he probably wouldn't have watched three strikes sail right by him.

I don't like to second-guess managers, and I don't mind losing, per se; it's losing with no apparent effort to scratch out a win at the last minute that bugs me.
_DS - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#90015) #
Cat pinch-hit for Wilson a few batters before.
_Jordan - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#90016) #
D'oh! That'll teach me to complain about a game I only saw three innings of. I think it's a mark of character that I'm not abusing my authorial power to delete that entry....

Anyway, Hudson still shoulda pinch-ran. Unless he pinch-ran in the 7th, in which case I'm switching to the Flyers-Senators series.
_Spicol - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#90017) #
The Hinske AB in the 9th involved some super questionable calls by the umpire. One pitch in particular was thrown at shin level and slightly outside but Dimuro still put the fist up. Eric ended up striking out on a confused looking check swing and I couldn't really blame him because the strike zone in that AB was all over the place. Ditto for the Berg AB that ended the game.

As much as I don't want to make excuses, outside influences were partly to blame for the poor showing against a bad team.
robertdudek - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#90018) #
Tampa Bay would have batted in the bottom of the 9th, so pinch-running for Myers would have meant Werth (or Phelps) catching. I don't think that the potential bases gained by Hudson over Myers makes up for the loss on defence.
_the shadow - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#90019) #
First impressions--Tropicana Field a dismal looking ballpark,
Kershner, the human pipe cleaner, looked quite impressive, a
good variety of well thrown pitches (he got to try them all out
against Huff),Werth looked good in RF, fielded ground balls very well and got rid of the ball quickly and accurately with a good strong throw, at bat a different story but remember Patience is a virtue
_R Billie - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#90020) #
I couldn't believe the 3-2 pitch to Huff wasn't a strike. After all the borderline pitches he was giving to the righthanded pitchers on that corner all day, that just frustrated me.

Hinske also to swing at a fastball outside and low because a similar pitch had just been called a strike. If that corner is a strike for Walker and for Carter, it has to be a strike for Kershner too.

The worst part of that outcome was having to bring in Tam and watch him take literally a minute and a half between pitches. It's worse than when Cory Lidle has runners on base. And for all the time he took he still had no idea where his pitches were going...evertime Wilson set up outside they were over the middle of the plate. Including on Hall's RBI single. I could not understand why he didn't throw Hall a slider with two strikes. Yes you want the groundball but a strike out would work too.

The Jays need to get themselves some multi-dimensional pitchers for the bullpen. This stuff with bringing in one or two batter specialists game after game just isn't cutting it. Particularly when they aren't retiring the guys they're supposed to get.
Game 21: Welcome Werth | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.