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It's not easy to win sixteen consecutive decisions. It takes tremendous talent, dedication, preparation, stamina, resilience and luck, in the form of good health and run support. Roy Halladay can set a club record and equal an AL record tonight, but you can be certain he'll approach it as just another start.

A 16-0 run by Roger Clemens happened just two years ago, but it's hardly commonplace -- if Doc can defeat the Angels, he'll be only the second man in 60 years to accomplish the feat. He'll be backed by the latest "regular" lineup, which features Mike Bordick at SS, Frank Catalanotto leading off in LF, Josh Phelps at DH and Carlos Delgado back at first. Phelps has been freed; the manager says he'll get three AB every night, and play six days a week. It's too bad for Reed Johnson, but the Sparkplug knows he's a role player, and he'd be the last to whine about playing time. He'll be out there tomorrow against the lefty, when we might even see Dave Berg in action.

I like what Carlos Tosca is telling his troops, and the media. His team had a rotten April, then two great months. They had a rotten July, so tonight is the beginning of two more great months. The distraction of the trade deadline is over; it's time to relax and have fun, for the players and the fans. Go, Doc!
Game 109: Sweet Sixteen | 9 comments | Create New Account
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_Ryan - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#95706) #
It sounds like Josh Phelps has been freed. Carlos Tosca said on the pregame show that it's too tough for a young player to play irregularly and that they'll now try to get Phelps at least 3 at-bats per game, six games per week. Reed Johnson's name wasn't mentioned, but he's not in the lineup again tonight.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#95707) #
If watching the Jays lose becomes too depressing, you should check this out.. I just got this message from one of my bosses at


AT&T Research Project

Write up some stupid text, call your friends. When they pick up, play the file. If they're not home, leave a message. Hours of fun
Coach - Friday, August 01 2003 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#95708) #
It's not looking good. The Angels hit Halladay early, though he's really settled down the last two innings. The bigger problem, continuing yesterday's unfortunate trend, is the seven Jays left on base through four; they're 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

While you have to get to the Angels starters, you don't want to knock them out of the game too early, because of that bullpen. It's only 3-0, but the Jays are running out of opportunities, having just gone down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.
_StephenT - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#95709) #
Sportsnet's picture is fuzzy tonight. And the radio broadcast lost its feed for a while (so Wilner called the game off a silent monitor temporarily; you really miss the ballpark sound).
Coach - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#95710) #
Geoff Baker of the Star points out that winning 16 straight decisions, while never easy, is a lot more likely with help:

...Halladay sure wasn't playing on the same type of talent-stacked teams those legendary pitchers he was chasing did while compiling their streaks.

Clemens won two Cy Young Awards in Toronto, but didn't match the American League record of victories in 16 consecutive decisions until he played for a New York Yankees club that won 95 games in 2001.

Ditto for fellow AL record holders Grove, Rowe, Wood and Johnson, who also reached the consecutive victories mark while playing for clubs that won 107, 101, 105 and 91 games, respectively, in a 154-game schedule.

I'll bet that his teammates, after leaving nineteen men on base, feel worse about the end of the streak than Doc, who has been shrugging it off for weeks. Not that he's happy about the loss, but he'll probably be relieved to go back to work Wednesday in Tampa without the additional glare of the spotlight.
Dave Till - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#95711) #
Halladay's problem is that he doesn't pitch well in months beginning with A. The solution: rename the months "Epril" and "Ougust".

A happy Ougust long weekend to those of you who get one!
_Elijah - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#95712) #
I was at the game last night and I made a couple observations:

1. Hudson is pretty good defensively. I know a lot of you guys know that but this is the first time I've seen him play in person since May and he's got good footwork, great range (on that popup by Erstad) and a good enough arm. He also uses his head. On the grounder Bengie Molina hit, Hudson took his time with the throw after ranging far to his right knowing that Molina was running. He didn't make a perfectly accurate throw but it was still with plenty of time for Delgado to tag him.

2. Delgado may have improved a little defensively but he was awful last night. The grounder in the 1st by Erstad - Delgado didn't move until this groundball was about 30 feet from him. It would've only take two steps to get it and he took one and dove and missed it. Same with the double by Kennedy in the 7th. Again, not hit that hard but he couldn't even knock it down. At least he seems to be fielding the balls hit at him, something that has been a problem in years past. Of course his bad knees may have something to do with it but in that case, Phelps should be playing 1B. BTW, was Phelps the original 1B in the lineup? When I got to the ballpark, Delgado was listed as DH and Phelps was at first. But after Delgado took the field, I guess Tosca (or Delgado) changed his mind.

3. Doc was pissed when he was taken out. When Tosca came out the second time in the 7th, Doc punched his glove, didn't say a word to Tosca, and walked back to the far end of the dugout. But based on his comments after the game, he sounded ok. But he had no fastball last night at all. I would guess half his pitches were curve balls.

4. There were a ton on popups and high routine flyballs. Very frustrating. Wells and Delgado had two each.
_George - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#95713) #
Geoff Baker is falling for the "fallacy" that I suggested in the Cy thread is going to work in Doc's favour.

Comparing his record to his team's doesn't say much about his team... instead it says more about the team's other starting pitchers. I'm not sure why this seems to be such a difficult concept to grasp.

By this logic, Halladay's streak would be less impressive if, say, he and Tim Hudson switched teams. After all, the A's are 9 games better, therefore it must be easier to win on that team, right? Sure, except for the Jays' offence has scored 130 more runs. All comparing Doc's record to the Jays' record does is show how much better he has been than the rest of the team's starters. If Sturtze, Lidle, Lurch, et. al. were replaced by Zito, Mulder and Harden, it would certainly improve the team's record without improving Roy's? How would that make Roy's accomplishment any less impressive?

(I'm simplifying things a bit, of course, as bullpen usage and other factors would be affected a bit, but the heart of my point remains. Does one look at Ted Lilly's record, see how much worse the A's are when he's pitching than when the Big Three are, and therefore determine that Lilly must be awful to not win more games on such a great team?)

Sorry... just another media pet peeve...
Coach - Saturday, August 02 2003 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#95714) #
BTW, was Phelps the original 1B in the lineup?

Yes. Big Carlos told little Carlos about 20 minutes before game time that he was good to go, and they made a last-minute change. It wasn't Delgado's best defensive effort, but he could be expected to play it safe under the circumstances. If Josh gets even 15-20 starts at 1B the rest of the way, everyone will have more of an idea of his potential there, so I hope they take turns.

Thanks for the eyewitness account, Elijah. The first time Tosca came out to the mound, Doc stared a hole right through him; I was shocked and a little amused when he didn't go to the 'pen. As far as having "no fastball," I know what you mean. On TV, it appeared to have normal velocity, and his location was pretty good, but there was no late movement. The Angels hitters deserve a little credit; Eckstein hit some terrific pitches.
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