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The Blue Jays have the "A" team in against Victor Zambrano. After facing some tough opposition in his first four starts, LH Mark Hendrickson can be just a little more aggressive with his fastball tonight. It's a good opportunity for Lurch to build some confidence and prove he belongs in the rotation. I can't think of a better night to start a winning streak.
Game 22: Turnaround Time? | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Spicol - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#89947) #
My gosh, where did that Phelps home run land?!? HUUUUUUUUGE.

With Delgado's dinger, that's back to back shots by the Jays, who are up 2-0.
_Ryan - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#89948) #
\I can't think of a better night to start a winning streak.\

Me neither. Zambrano is on my Hacking Mass team this year. After allowing back-to-back homers and four consecutive hits as I type this, Zambrano is doing my Weapons of Mass Destitution proud.

Here's hoping Doug Glanville makes a speedy recovery...
_Wildrose - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#89949) #
Good inning, even Wells and Woody just missing jacks as well.
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#89950) #
So first guessers.. when does Hendrickson come out?

He's pitched 4 2/3rds as I write this, and he's thrown 60 pitches if ESPN isn't lying to me.

I figure you pull him at around 90 pitches and let the bullpen take care of it. If it's still 2-0, I say you gotta go to Politte, even if it's the 7th.

Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#89951) #
Second base is a dangerous neighbourhood tonight. First O-Dog got beaned while sliding head first on a successful steal, now Delgado gets Easley's knee in his left eye while breaking up the double play. Both men are leaving the game, and judging by the degree of swelling, Carlos might be a day or two before he can see.
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#89952) #
Jeez.. I hope Carlos will be okay. Remember what happened to Frank Robinson on that kind of play? Okay.. I don't... I wasn't even born yet.. but I've read about it. :)

Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#89953) #
Tom Wilson took over at 1B, where he flashed some serious leather in spring training.

Great effort by the big lefty tonight. No walks, three Ks and just three hits through five. Timely DP grounders ended two innings. I know, it's "only" Tampa, but this is just what Hendrickson needed after the pressure of his first four starts.

Mark's stamina remains to be seen -- the pitch count is economical, but he's been in a big-league rotation for only a month and a half. Good call by Cerutti to mention the long rest in the dugout because of the injury. After a fluky double by Ordonez, Myers misplayed a bunt by Crawford, and Lurch is in his first jam.

No problem, 6-4-3.
Dave Till - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#89954) #
Wow - the O-Dog has tripled the Jays' team stolen base total all by himself!
Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#89955) #
It's a whole new plan for Hudson -- line drives up the middle and stolen bases. Tosca's played little ball a few times tonight. Of course, Orlando then wandered a step too far on a liner to first and got doubled off. Brain cramps are part of the O-Dog mystique.
_realto margarin - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#89956) #
The biggest problem the Jays are facing now is Paul Godfrey. Ash underachieved, it's true. But the clown Godfrey hired, the "pimp," is easily the worst GM in club history. He fired Martinez for going 20-33 and the
guy he has in there now is 7-14! By the time Tosca wins 20 he'll have lost 45 and JP will be running around trying to find some players to trade.

Every time JP talks about Delgado the first thing out of his mouth is reference to the no-trade clause in his contract. That's all Ricciardi can think about, perhaps because Delgado, Wells, Halladay and Stewart, are the only major league players on the roster. He can't trade Wells or Halladay. Delgado and Stewart will probably leave in disgust at the end of the year.

And what about that pathetic excuse for a ballplayer at 3b? He's a AAA DH, at best. He'll never bat .250 again. He'll never hit 30 homeruns. And he'll never hit 100 rbis. And he is, defensively, the worst 3b in the majors. Who remembers Roy Howell?

Ricciardi's problem is that he doesn't know baseball. Looking at last year's stats is ok if you don't understand the game. But you have to be able to look at a player - look at his stroke, look at his baserunning, look at the way he throws and plays defense. Stats will never tell you these things and the Jays current record is just more proof that Ricciardi is incompetent. Player performance can vary wildlly from year to year because the players are human beings, not machines. Last year's statistics are terrible predictors of this year's performance.

And what is all this silliness about walks? Some players can both hit and walk. Delgado, Thomas, Baby Bonds. But others can't. They owe their success at the plate to aggression, not patience. You try to teach an agressive natural hitter to walk more and drive up his OBP rather than his rbi totals and you are going to destroy the hitter. Wells had better get out of there if he knows what is good for him. Defensively, they do not have a single major league infielder. And that, coupled with some truly appalling pitching - who _are_ those guys? - and it looks to be a long, long season for Blew Jays fans.

Finally, remember one thing, baseball fans. Baseball is a team sport. And that means that everybody on the team takes equal credit for winning or losing. That being the case, it looks to be the worst year of Delgado's career unless he gets out of Dodge...

cordially, as always,

_King Rat - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#89957) #
Hey! It's Richard Griffin!
Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#89958) #
Just curious -- how far would Phelps' bomb have travelled if the building hadn't got in the way?

Nice first-pitch heater by #43 right down the middle past Huff. Good mixing of all his pitches; credit Myers for a good plan and Lurch for hitting his spots. Nifty play by Woody deep in the hole, and after that 1-2-3 inning, with just 79 excellent pitches thrown, I'd have to let Hendrickson come out for the eighth -- the bullpen will enjoy the night off.
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#89959) #
It's the end of the 7th. Hendrickson has pitched one heck of a game. Do you take him out and let the bullpen handle it?

Normally I'd say yet, but given how awful the bullpen has been lately....

I still think you have to give the ball to Politte in the 8th. I'd give it to him in the 9th, but you can bet they'll go to (gulp) Escobar.

_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#89960) #
Err.. that should be "yes", not "yet".

Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#89961) #
The great thing about commenting on a blog is there's no drug test. Thanks for the insight, realto.
_Shrike - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#89962) #
I missed the inning where Delgado and Phelpw went deep--rats! So far I've been seeing Hendrickson mow down the Rays and Woodward & Hudson play good defence for a change. Just where did Phelps hit the ball?
_King Rat - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#89963) #
Tom Wilson rocks. How he hits anything with that stance I don't know, but you can't argue with success...
Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#89964) #
Phelpsy hit a high, tight fastball into the catwalk about 100 feet above the field and 450 feet away. It was in the air about seven seconds. Like a well-hit four-iron.
_realto margarin - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#89965) #
I thought the "blog" was the drug test.

Gee, Wilson actually hit it out. Bet you a no-prize this clown blows it in the 8th.
_Shrike - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#89966) #
Thanks for coming out, Realto.

The first two posts I've read from you leave me with a smile of disdain on my face.

My apologies for the sarcasm, but your "arguments" leave a lot to be desired. They're missing all sorts of important components: a factual basis, logic, proper presentation...

Come back after you've passed a drug test that the Coach is too nice to ask for.
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#89967) #
RM is a legend on . If it is truly him here tonight, it's because he was invited by one of the Batter's Box regulars today.

Honestly, I get a kick out of him. Particularly when he goes on about how useless stats are as a predictor, yet if a team is playing .400 ball right now, he thinks they'll play .400 in the future. Or how he says the only thing that counts is whether or not a team wins the series, yet he'll go on about a team's W-L record. He's a bucket full of crazy.

Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#89968) #
Wilson's HR was a no-doubter, and the insurance run was helpful.

The second-guessers will say he was left in too long, but Lurch was still keeping it low, using both sides of the plate, changing speeds. Too bad -- after an excuse-me single by Crawford, Mark finally left one over the plate, and an RBI for Shumpert spoiled the shutout. All of a sudden, thanks in part to Shannon Stewart throwing to the wrong base, it's a 3-3 tie.
_Spicol - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#89969) #
Hey, it's trolling legend Ron Matthews! Hi Ron.
Coach - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#89970) #
Escobar, in the eighth, in a tie game. You play with fire, you get burned. 4-3, Tampa. Now they'll run wild on El Flako.
_King Rat - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#89971) #
And now ladies and gentlemen, the most exciting closer in baseball!

I don't think Lurch was left in too long-there wasn't a reason to take him out beforehand. It's a shame he couldn't finish. And now I hate Kelvim even more. Would it be at all possible to find a closer who doesn't let the first guy he sees get to first? 4-3 Rays.
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#89972) #
Well, to be fair, it **wasn't** a save situation, so it's unfair to expect Escobar to be effective.

Gitz - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#89973) #
Completely off topic ... but what in the world is Chris Truby doing in the major leagues?
_realto - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#89974) #
So who's going to pay up?

One no-prize...
_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#89975) #
Why on earth was Tosca sending up Myers to hit against Venafro? Wouldn't he be better off sending up Berg?

_Dr B - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#89976) #
Completely off topic ... but what in the world is Chris Truby doing in the major leagues?

Gitz - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#89977) #
Completely on-topic ... but nice work Realto with the prediction of the blown lead. I don't know if it was Nostradomus-esque as much as it was sheer cynicism, but nice work anyway.
_realto - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#89978) #
No, if a team is playing .400 now it most certainly is not likely to play .400 in the future. You want to make us out to be an idiot and that doesn't really bother us. We don't sit around pretending these guys are any good. JP Ricciardi is a disgrace. We said so last year, we say so this year. He hired Tosca because he couldn't deal with a real manager.

Those who rely overly much on last year's statistics - JP Ricciardi - are going to find themselves in last place. So get your spreadsheets out guys, and print up some more toilet paper, because the Blew Jays are now 7-15.

cordially, as always,

_M.P. Moffatt - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#89979) #
Well, that sure was a lousy game. They left Lurch in too long, though given how lousy the bullpen is, I can see why.

JP has **got** to do something about the pitching. Terrible Twenty or no terrible twenty, 7-15 is not a good place to be. Sure they've played 14 against the Yankees and Bo Sox, but the Twins are a .500 team if you take them out of the Central, and the D-Rays are awful.

I've said it a million times, but I'll say it again: Too many awful relievers, too few good bench players.

_DS - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#89980) #
Tosca should know better than to bring in Escoboob with runners on base. He fails every time. Politte or Lopez would have been much better options.

Other than that last inning by Hendrickson, he pitched a whale of a game. Hopefully he can focus on the next start and let the bad finish to this one go.
_Dr B - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#89981) #
Tosca should know better than to bring in Escoboob with runners on base. He fails every time.

Do you know that for a fact? Interesting, if it is true, and if it is, yes you would expect Tosca to know better. In principle though, bringing in your so-called ace-reliever with the game on the line is a good move. Would there have been a better choice? Politte perhaps?
_R Billie - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#89982) #
Well what can you say? Hendrickson gets to 2 outs, runner on first and serves up three straight hits to tie the game. I had a bad feeling heading into Tampa that the offence would play down the level of the competition and so far they have. You can't really say they didn't play small ball either...two steals, a hit and run...they never actually produced a run but they tried.

I hate to say something as trite as they're finding ways to lose but they certainly aren't bearing every inning...they didn't make Zambrano work very hard at all early on. It's nice that they got the solo shots but it would have been nice to get him out of the game by the 4th inning too.
_DS - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#89983) #
I couldn't find Escobar's stats on inherited runners, but last year his OPS against was .795 during his first 15 pitches (.275 BA against). This season, in a limited sample size, his OPS against is 1.447 for the first 15 pitches (.545 BA against). Yikes!

Compare that with his 15 - 30 pitches: .538 OPS (.145 BA against) in 2002, and .293 OPS (.111 BA against) this season. Of course it's early so far, but it seems pretty consistent with last year's trends. Seeing those stats, I would not bring in Escobar in with runners on base. There must be better options available.

I just checked Politte's numbers. He's been bad this year (not as bad as Escobar mind you), but last season he was a more than respectable .560 OPS (.211 BA against). Definitely a better choice. And the way Lopez has been pitching (519 OPS, .231 BA against for first 15 pitches) he also would have been a better option.
_Dr B - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#89984) #
Thanks DS!

And there's a dilemma. The Jays want Escoboob to pitch well so that he has trade value, but if he pitched well they'd probably want to keep him. I think they have to keep rolling him out in close situations otherwise he'll have no trade value at all.
_benum - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#89985) #
I think Lopez would be the best bet with runners on base as he has the best K rate. He also doesn't walk as many as Escobar.
_DS - Wednesday, April 23 2003 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#89986) #
Dr. B,

I agree they have to keep putting Escobar out there, but clearly he needs to get those first 15 pitches out of the way to be effective. He really should only be brought in to start an inning, or at least when there is nobody on base.


The only reason I can see that Tosca doesn't put Lopez in during that inning is because he doesn't want to set him up to fail. Personally, I don't think having him challenge Tampa Bay is really hanging him out there. Hopefully Tosca will see the light soon enough.
_Mick - Thursday, April 24 2003 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#89987) #
because Delgado, Wells, Halladay and Stewart, are the only major league players on the roster ...

OK, I'll bite. As a typically patronizing fan of the New York Yankees -- we can't help but be patronizing, we're 26-13 in World Series series and most teams haven't played that many World Series games ... I beg of you, Toronto fans, get RID of some of those non-major-league players on your roster.

I will make some phone calls and think I can arrange to have Brian Cashman OK a deal sending Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile, Nick Johnson, Juan Acevedo and John Flaherty to Toronto in exchange for Eric Hinske, Frank Catalanotto, Cliff Politte and Tom Wilson.

In that deal, the Yankees -- the 18-3 Yankees -- would shed salary AND upgrade at four positions (3B, DH, primary setup and backup catcher).

robertdudek - Thursday, April 24 2003 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#89988) #

Don't feed the trolls.
Dave Till - Thursday, April 24 2003 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#89989) #
I don't think Escobar is going to have any trade value any time soon.

I would guess that he is suffering from a confidence crisis. I would suggest moving Escobar into low-stress situations for a bit, to give him an opportunity to overpower some hitters and get his confidence back.

Of course, since he thinks of himself as a Proven Closer, he might balk at this. At this point, a dose of reality therapy may be called for, as his ERA is currently a whopping 14.21. I assume he can't be sent to Syracuse?

Poor Mark Hendrickson: I was listening to the Tampa Bay feed last night. Before Lurch ran into trouble, the TB announcers were calling his start the best-pitched game against the Rays this season.
_Jurgen - Thursday, April 24 2003 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#89990) #
As low as Escobar's trade value must be at the best of times, it's bound to be even less considering that with the emergence of Lidge, Houston has got to be shopping Proven Closer Billy Wagner.
_DS - Thursday, April 24 2003 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#89991) #
Perhaps another way to improve Escobar's effectiveness is to force him to throw more in the bullpen while warming up. If his effectiveness is that much improved for his 15 - 30 pitches, perhaps it has to do with his throws being too strong and straight and not allowing the natural movement of his pitches that makes him dominant (at times). Tire him out a bit. Granted he would have to be used less frequently, but it would probably make him more effective, especially when brought into situations such as last night.

Just a thought.
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