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I'm not the kind of person who likes to gloat when... what the hell am I saying? I am exactly the kind of person who likes to gloat when Our Boys beat the reigning world champions senseless, and leave them dazed and bleeding in a ditch by the side of the highway...

But later for the gloating.

I had planned to do for Ted Lilly last night what I did for Dave Bush earlier in the year - keep track of every pitch (by type and location). But SportsNet and Lilly threw me off my plan early. It always takes me a couple of innings to distinguish Lilly's fastball from his slider. His slider doesn't have a late sharp break like your classic slider. It tends to move a lot more gently and gradually in on the fists of a RH hitter. To me, it actually looks a lot more like a cutter than a slider. Until I get used to him, I need to see the velocity to be sure and SportsNet didn't show his readings in the first inning. All but one of his pitches in that inning was either a FB or a slider, but wasn't yet sure of my ability to tell them apart. So I scrapped that plan. And now, folks, I am winging it!

The Blue Jays have hit three pinch-hit grand slams in their history. All three came against LH pitchers: Tom Burgmeier of the Red Sox (Jesse Barfield in 1982), Ted Lilly of the Yankees (Tony Fernandez in 2001) and Reed Johnson off Mike Myers last night. That's too trivial, right?

What else have I got?

We've all noticed Russ Adams' tendency much of this year to pull everything. There was a bit of discussion a few days back, mostly between RBillie and our own Jonny German, who even came up with some very cool Hit Charts showing where Thrillhouses's hits had landed this year. Alas, this doesn't show up where Adams' outs were landing. My own subjective impression was much the same as RBillie's - he's pulling everything. I thought, however, that this might be in response to how he was being pitched; or alternatively, perhaps he was letting the outside pitch go by and ripping away at stuff on the inner half. Or whatever. That discussion, by the way, came in the Instant Replay to the last game, when the Jays offense could only muster a lousy 12 runs against a former NBA forward.

Anyway, after hitting balls to the right side in his first three plate appearances, I was certainly delighted to see Adams crack a single and a double to left field his next two times up.

In the Instant Replay, I said "Ted the Tease pitched with heart and courage and smarts. He really did." And if calling him "Ted the Tease" is what it takes, then that's what I will do. But let's give the man some credit, because tonight it was richly, richly deserved. If you're a LH pitcher, working to Manny Ramirez in Fenway Park with runners on base... well, that's the dictionary definition of "gut-check." In Fenway, that big wall is so close that you think it might land on you if it ever falls over - but you still have to throw the ball inside to RH hitters, or they'll lean out over the plate and crush everything you have. And Manny Ramirez hits the inside pitch as well as anyone in the game - no one has a fastball good enough to throw it past Ramirez on the inside half. And giving Manny Ramirez Fenway Park to play with... well, as Bill James once said in a different context, it's like giving a grizzly bear the first swat. You have to pitch to him.

And Lilly pitched to him, twice, with the game still hanging in the balance. In the third inning, when the Jays up 4-0, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two out. Lilly got Ramirez to swing and miss at a 2-1 slider on his hands, and then fly out to Rios on the next pitch. In the fifth, Damon's lead-off homer was followed by singles from Renteria and Mirabelli. Ramirez came up, again representing the tying run, and this time Lilly got him to ground into a double play. Those two at bats - that was the ball game right there, folks. Outstanding work by Ted the Tease.

Jamie and Tom did make me leap out of my seat crying "No! No! You've got it backwards!" This was when Reed Johnson came up to pinch hit and a graphic showed Sparky's gruesome June numbers. This was promptly attributed to "not much playing time." Reed Johnson's plate appearances this year:

April: 57
May: 76
June: 75

Certainly, it had seemed obvious for some time to all of us longtime-Sparky watchers around the Box that playing in 73 of the first 80 games had taken a toll on Johnson: as Dave just noted in his always invaluable Blue Jays Report Card for June 2005

[Johnson] desperately needs a breather; he's a hustle player, and the batteries must be pretty much worn down by now.

So I grumble. I grumble because Jamie and his Four Amigos have raised the bar this year, I am happy to say. I think I like Candiotti's work more than many other Bauxites - I especially find Candiotti interesting when he's focused on what the pitcher is attempting to achieve and how he's trying to work to a particular hitter. And one of the reasons this always fascinates me is because Candiotti himself never worked a hitter in his life. Really! He just floated knuckleball after knuckleball up there, without much of a clue as to where it was going...

Candiotti was a little unimpressed by Terry Francona's decision to start Doug Mirabelli at DH and give David Ortiz the night off. Francona's reasoning, of course, was that Mirabelli has hit 3 homers off Lilly in just 13 at bats. While Ortiz, meanwhile, has gone a miserable 2-19 (.105) against the Toronto southpaw. Candiotti's objection was basically "small sample size. David Ortiz is still David Ortiz, and personally I'd much rather pitch to Doug Mirabelli. I wouldn't even care what he'd done against me previously."

Now Candiotti's right - the results of every batter/pitcher matchup we could possibly look at is going to represent a small sample size. Greg Maddux and Barry Bonds have both been playing in the National League since 1986. But Bonds still has only 120 career at bats against Maddux (he's hitting .283 with 8 HR, by the way.) The Boston hitter with the most career at bats against Ted Lilly is Johnny Damon, who is 8-33 (.242) against him.

So, yes... small sample size. And yet, anything Earl Weaver regarded as worth keeping track of bears investigation. (That's one of my principles!) There are enormous differences in how certain hitters perform against certain hitters. I think, in the course of time, that these differences would even out. But it is the nature of the game that this never happens because no one, even if they play against each other in the same league for almost 20 years, faces anybody often enough to get beyond the small sample size.

What Batter/Pitcher matchups reveal is who is getting the initial advantage. This pitcher may have a release point that a certain hitter just doesn't see very well. This pitcher's bread and butter might be a pitch that a particular batter can hit at will. It is a game of constant, never-ending adjustments, and in time both players would make whatever adjustments are necessary. So Batter/Pitcher matchups tell us which guy needs to change his approach!

The older folks among you might remember a 1980s publication called The Elias Baseball Analyst. You see, after Bill James demonstrated that there actually seemed to be a spot on the best-seller list for a baseball annual with lots of numbers, the people at Elias jumped on the bandwagon. Elias seemed to think James' success was all about the numbers he provided, which misses the point of James' work about as completely as it could be missed. (James' work was always about ideas, and the numbers he provided were always kind of a necessary evil.) Anyway, Elias threw lots and lots of numbers at the reader. And something they provided for every batter that they looked at, in what passed for depth in their books, was "Hates To Face" - the pitcher they can't do anything with - and "Loves to Face" - the pitcher that they habitually send a limousine for to make sure he shows up at the ballpark.

Now, one of these days, in memory of the otherwise late and unlamented Elias Baseball Analyst, I promise to provide something like that for this year's crop of Blue Jays. But this is not the day. On this night, the Blue Jays pummelled the World Champs. Some gloating is called for, and what better way to gloat than to listen to the weeping and lamentations from The Other Side? Ladies (c'mon, we gotta have some ladies!) and gents, in the Red Corner the Sons of Sam Horn, and in the Blue Corner, the Cabal and their Zombie-Like Cult.


Jobu - It's OVER! It ends HERE! HERE and NO FURTHER!!!!

ookami7m - Canada Day - what kinda lame name for a holiday is that?

PaulS - Belli DHing. That's weird.

Harry Hooper - Tito in the pregame is almost counting on Belli hitting one out tonight. He said he will PH Ortiz as soon as Lilly is out of there.


ragecage - 1-2-3, I like it.

The_Game - If he hits that a bit better, boom 1-0.

jtn46 - Why oh why do we always draw Lilly? The guy owns us.


Clemente38 - Clement seems to be hitting his spots and the location that Tek is setting up for him. That's a good sign.

JayWay - I don't know if Shea is slow or just really lazy.

PaulS - See, I knew that wasn't gone because Manny preened too fast :)

JayWay - Manny looks drunk in that photo.


JayWay - Oh, JP. Pink shirt?

NYCSox - I hate that douchebag Catalanotto!!

BrunanskysSlide - I love watching Damon throw, it's like Little League all over again.

NYCSox - Ugh - what the hell is our problem against Toronto? And with the way we don't hit Lilly, it just compounds things.

Grunherz54 - That giant sucking sound you hear is the offensive vaccuum occupying the #2 hole of the Red Sox batting order.

The_Game - Don't walk MIRABELLI to get to MANNY.

ChristineAnn18 - Bases loaded, 2 out for Manuel!!

switchhitter33 - @#%$

Alex0888 - WHEW

BrunanskysSlide - I hate Ted Lilly.

DaveTill - That was a low-stress half inning :-)

LateRally - What the hell is it with Ted Lilly?? Dude sleepwalks through the rest of the league, then all of a sudden becomes Sandy F'n Koufax against us.


Pepper - Honestly, you must need an iron stomach to be an MLB coach/manager. I don't think I could handle drinking all that Maalox.


MikeGreen - Adams punched one down the line in left. It went foul, but RBillie should be happy.

NYCSox - I'd be all for Lilly to blow out his arm this inning. I really can't stand him.

gharper - God damn it! Score some freakin' runs! How can Ted Lilly continue his mastery of this team?


DaveTill - Lilly's got his A game going if he's confident enough to throw that big looping curve.


LateRally - Jesus Saves! FINALLY, we get something off Koufax.

ManilaSoxFAN - Who wants a tie game?

DaveTill - Adams won't be using this inning in his salary negotiations.

The_Game - Same guy, nearly the same situation, aw crap.

BBAnon6 - Lilly is struggling with his control.

DaveTill - Lilly is struggling with his infielders, mostly.

gharper - Not exactly what I had in mind.

Alex0888 - Again, he gets out of a jam.

switchhitter33 - @#%$ @#%$ GODDAMNIT

DaveTill - "and the crowd at Fenway goes absolutely quiet."


PaulS - It's weird how so many catchers are lousy hitters, when they really should have the most insight into what a pitcher will be throwing. I guess preparing for their own pitcher takes up most of their time.

Pepper - That, and catchers aren't selected solely on their hitting ability.

DaveTill - Catchers are selected for their looks - if you're dumpy, you're in.

Alex0888 - ZAUNIE.

switchhitter33 - Sucky Clement is back. It's like multiple personality disorder.

DaveTill - Hinske's still got his batting eye - he just can't hit, sigh.


DaveTill - Francona doesn't want to go to the bullpen, I guess.

MikeGreen- RBillie must be really pleased. A line drive to left.

switchhitter33 - NOW can we have some bullpen please? THANK YOU.

NYCSox - This homestand is starting to get very ugly. And there's Halladay pitching on Sunday. Yikes.

NYCSox - Oh @#%$, not this a-hole Reed Johnson.

JayWay - GONE!

DaveTill - Go crazy, folks!!!

Action: Gwyn goes crazy.

CaptainLaddie - Well... that... sucks.

KingRyan3 - Hehehe. When I saw the matchup, I said to myself: "There's no way that Reed doesn't hit a grand slam here."

LateRally - OH MY GOD, Reed Motherf'n Johnson strikes again.

switchhitter33 - Oh. My. God. I think I'll just go slam my head in the door a few times.

CraigB - Wow, that's the easiest job in baseball. Warm up, come in, face one hitter, give up a grand slam, hit the showers.

DaveTill - "So, Mike... what kind of stuff did you have today?"

ManilaSoxFAN - Well, now we can understand why Tito left Clement in rather than bring in Myers...who would face a pinch hitter. Now THAT is a big ouch. But I still wouldn't put it past our Sox that they can tee off vs TOR's pen and stage a huge comeback.

JayWay - This is great. I can go watch the fireworks without having to worry about the score of this game.


RookRob - Warning, bad joke ahead: Mike Myers hasn't been that bad since Cat in the Hat.

CraigB - Is anyone else amazed by the power Sparky gets? He hits some shots when he gives it everything.

RookRob - 5-10, 180.... I think I'm 5-10, 180...and if any of you had ever seen me, you'd think I wasn't a power hitter.

DaveTill- I'm 6'3", 205, and I couldn't hit the ball past the pitcher's mound.

RookRob - Oh, I couldn't hit it past the catcher's mitt.

fox13weather - The fact that this squad is 12 games over .500 with this bullpen is one of the great mysteries of life.

switchhitter33 - Well, I have some movies to return to Blockbuster. Maybe when I get back we'll have scored a bunch of runs. And maybe my cats will be flying around the living room too.

Cabin Mirror - This is ridiculous. How do you walk three straight batters?

CraigB - Can someone point Mantei towards the plate?

OttoC - Everyone should get up and walk out of the park, en masse.

KingRyan3 - See, Mantei shows how hard it can be to give up a HR.

savage362 - Make the Jays apologize!!!

KingRyan3- Hinske hits a curveball.

Worst Trade Evah - Mercy rule in effect? Shouldn't it be? Man.

KingRyan3 - Did Varitek just shrug his shoulders? LOL.

LateRally - Well there's a shocker. Reed Johnson with his 5th and 6th RBI of the night. In two at-bats.

DaveTill - I have no idea what will happen next. Nothing could surprise me now.

ManilaSoxFAN - I ain't betting the farm that we'll win this game.

DaveTill - Visit from pitching coach? what would he say?

Gwyn - He'll just punch him in the face.

soxfaninyankeeland - Shea walks twice in one inning, equalling his 2002 total.

KingRyan3 - OK, 13 run lead is enough. Downs can come in now.


LateRally - So what does this say about those of us who are still sitting here in front of the computer watching a 15-1 shellacking? Are we among the most dedicated and loyal of fans, or are we a bunch of masochistic geeks?

BrunanskysSlide - I would hope the former, but I fear the latter.

RookRob - While I recognize that Fenway and the Red Sox are prone to scoring a lot of runs, this game is over.

ajw1918 - Hell, I'm still scoring this game -- all the subs are making this as challenging as the ASG.

Alex0888 - Why does Olerud wear that helmet?

PaulS - He had an anuerysm when in college.

AtlJaysFan - Was that what it was? I thought he got beaned in the minors.

DaveTill - Olerud was never in the minors until this year, AltJaysFan, he came straight to the Jays from college.

RookRob - Ah, you must be new to Jays fandom, Alex :)

Alex0888 - Actually no, it's just that I'm 16. I was even too young to remmeber the back to back WS's.

RookRob - Too bad for that -- I just barely remember '93.

AtlJaysFan - You mean, you don't remember the collapse of 87?

RookRob - My collapse of '87 was learning how to walk.

DaveTill>- I was at Game 1 of the 1985 ALCS. I couldn't go to the first game in 1977 - I couldn't get out of class for it.

RookRob - Dave...what's the're old.

Action: DaveTill wheezes pitifully at RookRob.

RookRob - You think he's old, wait until Magpie shows up. Who was not only present for the 1912 World Series, he was complaining that the players and the game was better back in the old days.

Action: Magpie, reading the Game Log hours later, plots an appropriate vengeance for RookRob.

Grimlock - 15-1!!! not bad at all.


KingRyan6 - I'm a tad curious as to why Gibbons is using three relievers in a blowout. I suppose only one inning each.

fox13weather - Embree's ERA now under 8. Baby steps, baby steps.

KingRyan6 - BTW, I really wish Jamie would stop being so smug. He's pissing off the baseball gods. If the Red Sox tie this game, it's his fault.

BrunanskysSlide- RALLY CAPS!!!

MikeForbes - Horrible game. We should've won 25-0.

Yes, you have to enjoy these things, you must drain every last drop of pleasure from them, because you just don't get that many chances.

Game 80: Crush Your Enemies | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pistol - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#121291) #
For what it's worth, Jeff Blair in the Globe:

"Take this to the bank: Marlins right-hander A.J. Burnett and Angels left-hander Jarrod Washburn will be two of Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi's off-season free-agent targets."
Flex - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#121292) #
Sweet. Like strawberries and ice cream on a sunny afternoon.
Cristian - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#121294) #
RookRob - My collapse of '87 was learning how to walk.

Great line. I absolutely love these SoSH/BB chat log game recaps.

Alex0888 - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#121295) #
I enjoyed reading what the Red Sox fans had to say :)
Gwyn - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#121297) #
Paul Quantrill won't be coming back to the Jays, the Yankees traded him to the Padres for Tim Redding and Darrell May.
jvictor - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#121298) #
Bravo. I remember when Rickey Henderson joined the Metropolitans. He met with Olerud and said "I remember playing with some guy that wore a helmet in the the field." Olerud says to Rickey, in what what must be the definition of laconic, "Yea Rickey, that was me."
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#121300) #
Bizarre trade. My gut tells me the Yankees win that one, but the stats here are ugly:
2005 VORP
May:         0.2  (329th out of 513 pitchers)
Quantrill: - 3.8  (436th out of 513 pitchers)
Redding:   -15.4  (510th out of 513 pitchers)
R Billie - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#121302) #
Jarrod Washburn? Ew...why?? He strikes out approximately zero per 9 innings and has allows almost 1.5 baserunners per inning. Isn't that the profile of a high risk pitcher? On top of that he seems more prone to giving up homeruns than average.

Does anyone know what his DIPS era this year would be? Being lefthanded and having the ERA he's having I'm guessing he'll easily cost another million or two beyond the $6.5M he's making this year. His peripherals say mid-rotation starter. I would hope of the Jays were going to drop major money they'd go after someone with Clement type upside.

Now Burnett I like a lot. The question is will he make it to free agency? There are big rumours about him going to the Orioles and there seem to be quotes attributed to his agent that he would be open to negotiating a deal with the O's as part of the trade. And if he does make it to free agency healthy will the Jays be willing to pay him along the lines of Halladay? Because he might earn that money in a free agent environment.
westcoast dude - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#121315) #
Magpie, you have fathered a whole new school of journalism.
The pig with wings is laugh out loud funny. Yes, who'd a thunk it? Shea and two walks in an inning just don't belong in the same sentence.
On the subject of old age, I have something to share. As a newly minted 56 year old divorcee, I am delighted to find that elite five tool twentysomething females find well preserved older males attractive. That hardly seems fair.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#121316) #
The pigs with wings picture is great.

My local newspaper lists the Sox and Wells as -210 vs. the Jays and Chacin. I'd gladly take that number and bet on the good guys if I were a betting man.
King Ryan - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#121318) #
Definitely. It seems like the Jays mash the crap out of Wells ever since he left. With him pitching today, and Halladay going tomorrow, things are looking good...
CaramonLS - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#121320) #
Pepper what are their Salaries this season? Probably a Salary Dump move more than anything else, and May has SEVERE Home run issues.
mendocino - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#121323) #
More Burnett stuff

"Baltimore has had serious talks with Florida about Burnett, with the Marlins reportedly willing to package him and outfielder Juan Encarnacion for reliever Jorge Julio, outfielder Larry Bigbie and one of two young right-handers, Daniel Cabrera or Hayden Penn. The Orioles reportedly shifted their attention to Schmidt."

"The Cubs are high on the list of Burnett's personal wish list, which includes the Orioles (he's from Maryland), Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rangers, Angels and Dodgers."
Paul S - Saturday, July 02 2005 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#121326) #
I heartily object to my name being in blue despite being a declared Sox fan! :)

That game was a nightmare and doesn't bode well for the rest of the series. Your best starter gets tagged, and your already lousy bullpen is now a tired lousy bullpen.
Game 80: Crush Your Enemies | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.