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An excellent series concludes this afternoon. I'm against interleague play for well-documented reasons, but I also dislike football scores, so this has been entertaining. Yesterday was the first time in over two weeks the Jays were held below five runs; an offensive explosion may be imminent. Shawn Estes is not as intimidating as Wood or Prior, and Cory Lidle, back on his regular routine, is due for a really good start.

It's the platoon lineup, except for Dave Berg, as O-Dog deserves to be in there every day now and lefty-killer Mike Bordick plays third. J-Zone (on Sportsnet right now for those with Canadian cable) has a Catalanotto feature and a look inside the Jays' "war room" on draft day.
Game 70: Rubber Match | 34 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Cristian - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#100002) #
I'm torn between watching this game and the Canadian Grand Prix. Thank God for picture-in-picture.
_Gwyn - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#100003) #
I have the same dilemma Cristian - especially as I am working in Montreal with a bunch of F1 fanatics next week. I'd better watch the race as I'll be hearing a lot about it.
Coach - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#100004) #
The draft segment was cool, but too brief. "Hold on to your jock strap," said J.P. just before it started. Talking about how you have to change strategy on the fly, Ricciardi compared it to preparing a basketball team for an opponent that doesn't press, only to be ambushed on the the first two trips down the floor. He was very surprised Michael Aubrey fell to Cleveland 11th overall -- "a good pick for them" -- avoiding a potentially difficult decision for the Jays. Then you could see everyone holding their breath in hope that the Mets (who chose high school OF Lastings Milledge) wouldn't take Aaron Hill immediately before the Jays picked.
_Spicol - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#100005) #
Looking at today's Cubs lineup on paper, what a horrible offense. The stats shown are career OBP/SLG.

Grudzielanek 325/383
Harris 319/351
Patterson 293/427
Alou 368/511
Karros 326/458
O'Leary 332/448
Martinez 336/402
Bako 314/334
Goodwin 333/339

Lenny Freaking Harris!
_Spicol - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#100006) #
Does Reed Johnson really have this much power or are these 5 HR in 89 AB a fluke?
_DS - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#100007) #
I don't know Spicol, but this guy is certainly making a strong impression on me. I wouldn't be surprised if Werth has been permanently supplanted, similar to the Lopez-Woodward situation. JP loves overachievers.
_R Billie - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#100008) #
He's shown 14 homer power in a minor league season...I wouldn't be hesitant to say Johnson is capable of 20 with consistent at bats. This is what I was talking about when I said Johnson could start centerfield for a lot of teams. He just seems to do everything well though he isn't a star by any means. The Jays have been without Stewart for weeks but you'd hardly know it.
Coach - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#100009) #
Reed just got another RBI on a sac "fly" that was a hard liner to right; about two inches higher and it was a bases-clearing double, or with typical Johnson hustle, probably a triple. Shannon "Wally Pipp" Stewart hasn't been missed.

Tough luck for V-Dub as his liner up the middle would have scored two more, but deflected off Estes' leg right to the shortstop. It's a 1-6-4-3 double play, leaving the score 2-0 for the good guys through five. How do we like Lidle on normal rest?
_Donkit R.K. - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#100010) #
I'd have to say I'm a big fan of Lidle on normal rest! I'm also a big fan of a call-up carrying his weight in an everyday spot, F-Cat in Left field and O-Dawg's hustle down the first base line. One more thing I'm a fan of is Carlos being on pace for 52 homers and 179 RBI going into yesterday's game and Wells and the F-Cat on pace for 50 + doubles. Those numbers likely (surely?) won't be attained but they sure are fun!
Coach - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#100011) #
What a fantastic catch by Frank Catalanotto! A great jump, excellent speed and full extension, robbing Harris of extra bases. Stewart's absence has improved the outfield "D" in two positions. Reed's better than Cat in right, and there's no comparison in left, where Frank has been superb. This grab should be on all the highlight reels, and since the next guy singled, it saved a run.

The significance of Cat's larceny soon faded, as Lidle suddenly began missing his spots. With the bases loaded after two straight two-out walks to righty batters, Cory served up a grand slam to Troy O'Leary and just like that, the Cubs lead 4-2.
_R Billie - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#100012) #
Cory Lidle does his flake routine in the 6th inning which we've seen all too often this year when he's cruising. For no particular reason he loses control and walks two batters to load the bases and gives up a grand slam. And of course he retires the next hitter easily. 4-2 Cubs.
Coach - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#100013) #
Back-to-back doubles by Delgado and Wilson got one back in the bottom of the sixth. Phelps walked to put the go-ahead run on with none out, but O-Dog (sometimes it stands for Overanxious) swung at Estes' first pitch, low and a foot outside, for a 4-6-3 DP.

Woody picked Hudson up with a huge, game-tying single. Attaboy.
_jason - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#100014) #
Hey Coach, do you think Reed Johnson can keep hitting with consitency? The Jay's offense hasn't missed a beat since he took over the lead-off role for Stewart, plus the OF defense is made that much better.

Stewart was probably on his way out anyways but I guess this makes it easier for J.P. to deal him, to the losers of the coming Beltran sweepstakes.
_jason - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#100015) #
Oh, George Bell was on The Score a couple of days ago and mentioned how much he liked Reed Johnson as a player. Take that for what its worth.
Coach - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#100016) #
Jason, there's no question Stewart is a better, more accomplished leadoff hitter than Johnson, who has been more than adequate and is no fluke, in my book. I love how he plays the game, but preventing runs isn't as important as scoring them in arena baseball, so Reed will soon have to be content with being the best fourth OF in the league. Obviously, it makes Stewart more tradeable when the backup plan has performed so well; I hope they cash in that chip for maximum value. With Johnson, four more years of Wells, at least one more for Cat, the kids (Rios, Gross and Griffin) still tearing it up in AA, and even Jayson Werth, the Jays look comfortable out there for a long time.

Sometimes life gets in the way of baseball; I hate that. I'm about to miss the end of a great game and a terrific series, but I have to go. If the Jays win it in the ninth, I'll at least catch it on the car radio.
_La mama de Aqui - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#100017) #
Will you guys help to stop any abuse to my son's powerful but not out this world arm? Muchas gracias
_jason - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#100018) #
I'm wondering if the Jays can get anything decent for Stewart when the time comes given the fact that Beltran, Everret, Gonzo, and even possibly Brian Giles are on the market.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#100019) #
Reed Johnson: One Man Wrecking Crew

Nice way to finish a series against a surprisingly good Cubbies team.

_Eric C - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#100020) #
Reed Johnson is **really** starting to grow on me. I thought it was fluke once he struggled a bit after his fast start. I was wrong. Two home runs!
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#100021) #
I think this guy has earned a spot in the big club. I'd like to see him platooned with Cat when Stewart comes back. Johnson should be able to hit lefties better than Cat and the Jays could use a good lefty on the bench when a lefthander is starting.

_R Billie - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#100022) #
When you can lineup a bullpen like the Cubs have, it's tough to beat them. Joe Morgan I believe said that the bullpen is becoming as important as the starting rotation in baseball with so few starters able to complete games. That's an area that could stand a whole lot of improvement for the Jays...hopefully they're able to do something there before Politte, Lopez, and Miller go down injured.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#100023) #
hopefully they're able to do something there before Politte, Lopez, and Miller go down injured.

Having longer appearances per reliever would cut down on the number of games these guys got in, which would help a lot. I believe the Jays are on pace to set a record for most relievers used in a year by an AL team. As of yesterday they've already used 208 relievers. The 1978 Orioles (a 4th place team) only used 161 for an entire season.

As everyone knows, I'm of the opinion that the Jays have too many pitchers on the staff. If the Jays had a decent lefty on the bench to pinch hit for Phelps yesterday, they would have had a much better chance at winning the game. The problem is, who do you keep, and who do you get rid of?

_R Billie - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#100024) #
Thurman and Smith have been up for half the week now and haven't gotten into a game yet. I'm not sure what would constitute a "safe" situation to put them in a game the way Tosca is using the pen.
_DS - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#100025) #
Here's a Jayson Stark useless info question:

Who is the last player to start and finish a game with a HR?

No really, I want to know.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#100026) #
Who is the last player to start and finish a game with a HR?

Isn't that technically impossible? I mean, the first batter of the game will be for the visitors, so he couldn't hit a walk-off homerun.

_jacksons point - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#100027) #
A-Lo saved the day!
_George - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#100028) #
I remember that on (or near) opening day a couple years ago, the Jays had a leadoff and walk-off HR in the same game (by different players, Stewart hit the leadoff, but I forget who hit the walk-off). I remember reading that it was the first time in franchise history that had happened, indicating how rare the feat is, even when done by different players.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if NOBODY has ever done what Reed Johnson did today...
_Jordan - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#100029) #
I would've thought it was a rare feat, too, but apparently Darin Erstad did it in June 2000.
_George - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#100030) #
So because it was done once, it isn't a rare feat? :)
_Shane - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#100031) #
Tid bits...Cory Thurman has been returned to Syracuse and LSU has been knocked out of the College World Series, so the Blue Jays can now negotiate a contract with him. Short-season summer ball starts Tuesday, I believe.
_Shane - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#100032) #
Tid bits take II...Dave Bush and Jordan DeJong have been promoted to New Haven as well.
_Duane Grassbaug - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#100033) #
With Thurman going down, does that mean another pitcher comes up, or is he making room for Stew and we get to keep all the hot bats...Reed and those 2 are something else!
Dave Till - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#100034) #
Wow - this is the first time I've ever heard of a pitcher being sent down without even getting into a game. What did Thurman do wrong? Did he offend somebody in the bullpen, or something? (I guess they're happy with Hendrickson and Davis, and are sending Thurman down to start in Syracuse.)

On today's radio broadcast, they said that Stewart wasn't up to speed yet, so I'd be surprised if they activated him.

Maybe the Jays are about to acquire a pitcher from somewhere else. Maybe he's a top-flight starter. ("To dream... the impossible dream...")
_Joe C. - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#100035) #
Yes, I would call it the impossible dream. The Jays probably won't acquire any top-flight starter, as we are well aware. However, to fuel the dillussionals' fire, Schilling has supposedly said that he would like to be traded to the Jays. This is according to Gammons, so who knows where it came from.
Game 70: Rubber Match | 34 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.