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You couldn't ask for a better opening day matchup - the two best pitchers in the American League squaring off against one another.

Halladay won the Cy Young in 2003 and was on pace to win the award again in 2005 prior to being Menched. Santana won the Cy Young in 2004 and should have won the award last year except that the AL voters haven't stepped into the 21st Century yet.

While both are great pitchers Santana and Halladay get there in different ways. Santana is an extreme fly ball pitcher (0.8:1 in his career) who strikes out a shade over a batter an inning. Halladay doesn't strike out nearly as many batters but is an extreme groundball pitcher (2.2:1 in his career). Both walk very few batters although Halladay is a bit more stingy.

The Jays started their right handed lineup against Santana, which is also their defensive team. Cat, and Hinske are out; Johnson and Rios are in.

Top of the first inning:

* Stewart singles to left on a 1-0 pitch
* Castillo sacrifices 5-3; Overbay makes a nice scoop on the play
* Overbay boots an easy Mauer grounder
* White hits a deep fly ball that Wells runs down with a leaping catch crashing into the wall. Stewart scores on the sac fly
* Hunter grounds out 4-3

The Overbay error led to an unearned run. Halladay got ahead of hitters and only gave up the one single to Stewart, although White made a loud out on his fly ball.

14 total pitches through one.

Bottom of the first inning:

* Johnson grounds out weakly, 1-3
* Rios hits a line drive up the middle
* Wells pops up down the first base line on a full count
* Santana strikes out Glaus on a fastball up and outside

Santana only gave up the single to Rios but the Jays worked the ABs forcing Santana to throw 19 pitches.

19 total pitches through one.

Top of the second inning:

* Hill makes a nice backhanded play to retire Morneau
* Adams liked the Hill backhand so much he tried one of his own to retire old friend Tony Batista
* Another groundball to Hill retires Jason Kubel

Vintage Halladay - 3 batters, 3 groundballs, 3 outs.

12 pitches, 26 pitches through two.

Bottom of the second inning:

* Overbay strikes out quickly - he's 0-9 against Santana with 8 Ks lifetime
* Hillenbrand puts the 6th pitch in play, hitting a chopper back to Santana
* Molina grounds out to first
Santana has an easy inning.

14 pitches, 33 pitches through two.

Top of the third inning:
* Castro hits a sharp single back up the middle on the first pitch
* Stewart hits into a textbook 6-4-3 double play
* Luis Castillo strikes out quickly

A leadoff single was quickly erased - the benefits of groundballs shine through.

7 pitches, 33 pitches through three.

Bottom of the third inning:

* Hill lines out softly to right field
* Russ Adams draws a walk
* Johnson fists a broken bat single over SS
* Rios gives the ball a ride to the wall in right center - Adams advances to third
* Wells falls behind on a couple of changeups and then swings at a ball in the dirt to strike out
Santana had to work a bit that inning but escaped unscathed.

15 pitches, 48 pitches through three.

Top of the fourth inning
* Mauer hits an easy grounder to short and Overbay can't handle the throw. Mauer kicks it into right field (accidentally) and advances to second
* White ground outs to third and Mauer is forced to hold
* Hunter nubs one back to Halladay - again Mauer holds
* Morneau puts a bad swing on a pitch that rides in on him for the K

Halladay is in complete control right now. Every out has been a groundball or strikeout with the exception of the White flyball to Wells in the first inning.

14 pitches, 47 pitches through four (33 strikes).

Bottom of the fourth inning:

* Glaus goes the other way on a fastball low and away lining a double down the right field line
* Overbay snaps his hitless streak against Santana lining the first pitch to left field.
* Hillenbrand lifts a flyball deep enough to right to allow Glaus to tag up and score
* Molina goes off the facing of the FIFTH DECK off of Santana right down the left field line for a two run shot. on a hanging low and inside pitch
* Hill grounds out 2-3
* Adams reaches first when Castillo doesn't field the grounder cleanly (Blyleven claims Adams should be out because he turned toward second in fair territory, however, you have to make an attempt towards second to be able to be tagged out if I remember back to my Bath Ruth umpiring days).
* Stewart makes an easy catch look very difficult on a Johnson flyball to the track in left.
The Jays got to Santana that inning. Glaus, Overbay and Molina all made great contact, and even Adams had a good AB that could have easily been a hit.

22 pitches, 70 pitches through four (50 strikes).

Top of the fifth inning:
* Batista hits a lazy fly ball to left
* Kubel grounds out to Hill
* Castro grounds out to Overbay
Doc makes easy work of the bottom of the Twins order. He looks like he can go 8 innings tonight.

6 pitches, 52 pitches through five.

Bottom of the fifth inning:

* Rios continues to make good contact lining out to left
* Wells singles to right
* Glaus pops a pitch to center
* Overbay flies out to left field
Santana got back on track getting three fly ball outs.

11 pitches, 81 pitches through five.

Top of the sixth inning:
* Stewart lines a ball back up the middle
* Castillo battled, but struck out looking on a close pitch
* Mauer grounds out 1-3 - Halladay bobbled it, otherwise it was a likely double play
* White strikes out looking
Another easy one for Halladay, although the Twins went to deeper counts that inning. Halladay has given up just 3 hits and no walks.

19 pitches, 71 pitches through six.

Bottom of the sixth inning:

* Hillenbrand lines a single up the middle
* Molina golfed a ball past Batista for a single
* Hill grounds into a 5-4-3 double play on a close play at first
* Adams scores Hillenbrand by slapping a single to right - Adams has looked good against Santana tonight
* Johnson gets another single, Santana is out of gas and gets pulled for Rincon
Final line for Santana - 5.2 innings, 10 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and 4 earned runs. 98 total pitches. The Twins broadcast notes that this is the first time that Santana has given up at least 10 hits in a game.
* Rios beats out a ground ball to 2nd base
* Wells strikes out

Top of the seventh inning:
* Hunter lined out to left
* Morneau grounds out to first
* Batista knocks out a home run to left - all or nothing with him
* Kubel grounds out 4-3
Halladay missed the location on the Batista home run but otherwise is still in control. One more inning should be good with the light hitters coming up and then turn it over to Ryan for the ninth.

9 pitches, 80 pitches through seven.

Bottom of the seventh inning:

* Glaus strikes out
* Overbay grounds out 6-3
* Hillenbrand goes the other way for a single
* Molina grounds out to second

Top of the eight inning
* Lew Ford pinch hits and grounds out to Hill
* Stewart hits what looks like a lazy fly ball that went out of the park - 3 for 4 with a HR tonight
* Castillo hits a light grounder back to Halladay.
Gibbons doesn't take any chances and brings in the SS Loogy to face Mauer. Mauer has no career HRs against LH pitching.
* Mauer grounds out 3-1.
Halladay's final line - 7.2 innings, 5 hits, no walks, 4 Ks, and 3 runs (2 earned, both on home runs). 84 total pitches, 64 strikes. A very good and efficient start.

Bottom of the eight inning: (Crain in for Rincon)

* Hill grounds out to third - the only Jay to go hitless in the opener
* Another grounder - Adams grounds out to short
* Johnson battles and ends up going the other way to right for his third hit of the night.
* Rios hits an opposite field 2 run HR
* Wells makes good contact but Hunter runs it down in center
A great two out rally - Johnson battled before getting a single and then Rios provided some nice insurance with the home run. An opposite field HR no less.

Top of the ninth inning: (Ryan in for the SS Loogy and has the crowd buzzing. Ryan blew three games against the Twins last year.)
* White lines out to Glaus
* Hunter strikes out
* Ryan made Morneau look silly striking him out to end the game

The pitching matchup was going strong for the first few innings before the Jays got to Santana in the fourth. I knew Molina had some pop and hit lefties great last year, but I never expected him to hit the facing of the 5th deck off of Santana. Halladay pitched great through 6 innings getting groundball after groundball with great control (no walks in the game). He seemingly tired a bit in the 7th and 8th giving up home runs to Stewart and Batista but for the first start of the year you can't ask for too much more than he gave.

Overall this was a fine start for the Jays and just about what you would ask for in an opener - a strong Halladay start, hitting up and down the lineup, a couple timely home runs and BJ Ryan closing the door. Alex Rios looked great at the plate getting three hits, including the insurance home run, and making good contact on the times the Twins got him out. I thought Aaron Hill looked pretty comfortable at second and made a few nice plays in the game.

Take that Gleeman!
Jays 6, Twins 3 | 62 comments | Create New Account
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Dave Till - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 06:39 AM EDT (#144364) #
Thanks for the game summary - I think I'm going to be going back and looking at this from time to time to refresh my happy memories.

Further thoughts:
  • Halladay wasn't at his very sharpest. They were hitting ground balls off him, as per usual, but they were a little harder than when he is at his absolute best. When a pitcher can dominate when he's not even at the top of his game, you're looking at something very special. How good it is to see Doc back in form.
  • One of the most exciting things about this year's offense, and one that hasn't been commented on much, is that there are no holes in the lineup. (Assuming, of course, that Rios and Johnson continue doing something close to what they were doing last night.) Hill, batting in the 8 slot, didn't get a hit, but he looked like he had some life in his bat. Adams, in the 9 slot, was patient and effective at the plate. And Bengie made a contribution here and there. :-)
  • Hill will be just fine at second. He won't make the otherworldly plays, but he's got good range. He'll make it look easier than it actually is, too, because he scoots over in front of the ball. There won't be many of those flashy dives or backhand plays, since he won't need to do that.
  • It's been ages since a Jays pitcher totally dominated a hitter the way Ryan owned Morneau in the ninth. Duane Ward used to have that sort of dominance. There was approximately a 2% chance that Morneau was going to do anything useful.

CeeBee - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#144367) #

Great summary.

Roy looked pretty good for this early except for the 2 hanging breaking ball's which went deep.

BJ looked like BJ.

Rios looked like what many of us think he will one day become on a consistent basis.

Benji still looks like a Molina and hit probably the longest homerun a Jays catcher has ever hit?

Overbay and Adams had a jitter..... Hill looked pretty cool at 2nd.

Wells will win a gold glove this year.

Glaus didn't look too bad at 3rd.

only 161 more games to go but I think April will give us a good idea of how far, or not, this team can go.


Sister - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#144369) #
Thanks for the game summary, nicely done. I truly enjoy waking up and sipping my coffee while reading them -- second only to reviewing boxcores).

A question for others who watched the game on the Rogers HD channel. Player notes and other programing tidbits running along the bottom of the screen were sliced off for me. Did anyone else experience this effect? It was rather annoying and something I didn't experience previously. The feed as a whole was a bit grainy at times as well, particularly during cut scenes/sequences. Maybe a few opening night jitters from Rogers?

Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#144372) #

He'll make it look easier than it actually is, too, because he scoots over in front of the ball.

Hill's a great natural athlete and it shows in his side-to-side motion.  I wonder if he played basketball?  Basketball players usually practice that type of movement extensively.

you have to make an attempt towards second to be able to be tagged out

Rule 7.10(c) :

Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when... (c) He overruns or overslides first base and fails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged;

and Rule 7.08(c):

Any runner is out when... (c) He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off his base. EXCEPTION: A batter runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning or oversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base;

The "gray area" in the rules concerns the interpretation of "immediately".  Players and coaches normally employ the shorthand rule Pistol references; if you make the slightest attempt to run to second, you haven't returned "immediately" and you're liable to be tagged.  (This is how Pat Tabler explained it on the broadcast as well).

Of course, Adams didn't make a move towards second base (he turned that way, but only to observe where the ball went).  If this were a court case and I were representing the Twins, I'd be quite happy to claim that the ordinary meaning of "immediately" means that Adams' look to where the ball was meant that he did not "immediately" return, but thankfully baseball doesn't work like that... except that normally players are taught (where possible) to return by turning away from second (i.e. to his right, towards the stands/dugout) so no one can infer you're making an attempt for second.  But that's not required and umpires don't call it that way.

cade - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#144382) #

question about BJ -- my buddy at the game insists the gun had his fastball at a leisurely 89. first of all, can anyone confirm this? and second, does the guy not regularly throw around 95?



Flex - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#144383) #
Cade, Ron made note of this last night, in a surprisingly non-featured comment: "I noticed most of Ryan's pitches were in the 80's. His fastest pitch only clocked in at 91mph."

It's my understanding that Ryan's strength as a power-pitcher is his awkward and deceptive delivery, not his speed. He LOOKS like a guy who should burn it up there at 95-98, but in fact he doesn't.
o-dawg - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#144384) #
The gun at the game had BJ's fastball at 89, slider at 85.  It had been showing mid-90s for Halladay and Santana earlier, so I didn't think it was a slow gun.

Adams wasn't looking for the ball.  He turned towards second, but did not step, then kind of half-stepped, half-turned towards foul territory.  He certainly looked and acted like he screwed up.  My thinking is that it would have been a marginal call at best to call him out, but it's such a rare play it's hard to know.

I told my friend Morneau wouldn't come within 5 feet of a pitch from BJ.  "How did you know".  I just knew.

ghuytro - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#144388) #
Adams could have argued that the ball hitting him in the leg affected his stride causing him to stray outside the normal base running path.

I'm surprised no one mentioned that horrible call that robbed Hill of a base hit and robbed the Jays of a man on first and third with only 1 out.  That could have been a potentially huge bad call that might have affected the outcome of the game.   Thankfully it didn't.

Fantastic game!  Fantastic site!

Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#144397) #

I'm surprised no one mentioned that horrible call that robbed Hill of a base hit and robbed the Jays of a man on first and third with only 1 out.

That was a bang-bang play, not a horrible call.  When Hill's foot touched the bag, the ball was probably no more than 6-12 inches from the glove judging from the replay.  At a conservative estimate, foot hit bag and ball hit mitt about 0.007 seconds apart.  Can you make time discriminations like that 100% of the time?

Cristian - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#144399) #
I was under the impression that first base umpires make these call based on sounds since bang-bang plays happen too fast to be discerned by eye.  That's why they're called 'bang-bang' plays.  Can you see a bang?  No.  You here them.  Since a foot hitting a bag and a ball hitting a glove make distinct sounds, I'm confident that I could make the right call almost every time.

By the way, what ever happened to 'tie goes to the runner?'
Rookie Scribe - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#144401) #

A couple thoughts:

  • Personally, I didn't feel as if the call on Hill was that bad. If anything, the Adams call made up for it. It's a stupid rule, but if the ump was a "letter of the law" type of ump, Adams would have been gone.
  • Molina had a great game, but I think an underrated aspect of his game is the way he calls a game. The changeup to end the game on Morneau was genius (pumped up crowd, pumped up pitcher, Morneau on his front foot the first couple pitches), and if you look after the K, Ryan is pumped for the save, but he's also pumped about the last pitch call that Molina made. Morneau was definitely lookin either slider or fastball...
  • Error or two notwithstanding, Overbay is going to save his fellow infielders from a lot of throwing errors. Great scoop in the 1st. 
Magpie - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#144402) #
Was it the old umpire, Bill Klem, who explained that "there are no ties. It's either 'dis or 'dat."

I agree that the play on Hill was so close on the replay that in real time it would have been effectively impossible to distinguish... and I think Adams probably should have been called out. Getting hit by the ball messed him up, and he turned to see where the ball was... but he turned towards the next base.

Another interesting game for Adams, no? On the one hand, another throwing error... and on the other hand, two absolutely teriffic at bats against the best LH in the league, and a two-out RBI that proved immensely important.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#144407) #

I was under the impression that first base umpires make these call based on sounds since bang-bang plays happen too fast to be discerned by eye. 

Correct.  The safe/out call is always made initially by ear; the eye only serves to confirm that the ball was actually caught.

 That's why they're called 'bang-bang' plays.  Can you see a bang?  No.  You here them.  Since a foot hitting a bag and a ball hitting a glove make distinct sounds, I'm confident that I could make the right call almost every time.

Not when they're that close.  You ear doesn't have perfect temporal acuity; the sound is "smeared out" as your ear registeres it and it smears even more as it's interpreted by the brain.  I'd be dumbfounded if you could find me a human being whose hearing system was acute enough to make the right call on a bang-bang play with an 0.007 second time lag 100% of the time.  Such a person wouldn't merely be a medical marvel, I would think that they would literally have super-human hearing.

Of course, Cristian, you may well be superhuman and I just hadn't heard about it yet. :)

That doesn't account for the problem of sound travel; sound travels at about 1100 feet per second.  If we assume that a first baseman can stretch six feet from the bag (not unreasonable) to catch a throw, that means that the sound from the foot hitting the bag will arrive 0.006 seconds earlier than the ball hitting the mitt.  Since a throw from an infielder travelling 80 miles per hour travels nine inches in 0.006 seconds, the "smearing effect" of the time lag represented by the extra distance between the glove and the ump (instead of the bag and the ump) makes it impossible to tell with certainty which one hit first.

Next time on "Ask Dr. Science" we'll talk about the Coriolis Effect!  Don't miss it!

jjdynomite - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#144408) #

NFH, you don't have to re-watch the game unless you really want to.  Most of Ryan's pitches were shown on Sportsnet as between 83 and 89.  Only a couple topped 90, and even then were in the 90-93 range.  This surprised me as well until I recalled that Burnett was the one getting all the drool over his 100 mph fastball and no one really talked about Ryan in this vein, just that he had the deceptive lefty delivery.  And that he was 6"6 and 260 pounds, according to Jamie Campbell last night.  (But that poundage seems really huge, though.  Baseball Reference has him as 230).  My Dad was blown away by Ryan's presence, as was Morneau for the last out.  Other notes:

The Good
* Catching El Presidente on a pretty bad night.
* Bengie is on pace for 162 homers.  (NOTE: I really need to get HDTV, it looked definitely foul on a cathode ray tube until they made the call).
* Best of all: Rios! Rios! Rios!  (On pace for .600 AVG and 162 homers).  The Hinske contract looks even more annoying this morning.

The Bad
* V-Dub's hacking early in the count and whiffing at bad pitches is painful to watch.  I don't want to get used to it.
* Overbay and Adams are on target for 162 errors, although it really should be 324 for Overbay because it appeared that the throw was accurate.  Might be the non-HDTV again.
* On the other hand, a naked eye could have seen Hill was safe on the GIDP.  Tie goes to the runner, my ass.

The Ugly
* Barry, there's no crying in baseball.  And the syringes.  This is just getting brutal.  I even read in the Globe that Dan "Nice Toronto Boy" Shulman would rather go AWOL than call his run at the record(s).  Please, get injured and sit out the year.


P.S.  This is the last time I'll include "on pace for" and "on target for" in my comments. ;-)

Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#144409) #
Incidentally, Cristian, I'm not trying to be harsh; most people don't realize how close the close calls really are. I never did until I started thinking about the issue. By the way, kudos to Sportsnet last night for finding the visual evidence on that bang-bang play (Hill's GDP) so quickly.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#144413) #

Best of all: Rios! Rios! Rios!  (On pace for .600 AVG and 162 homers). 

Let's not get carried away with predicting 162 homers for Rios.  As we discussed in the Chat last night, the proper progression is

2004: 1 home run
2005: 10 home runs
2006: 100 home runs

leading, of course, to the logical conclusion that in 2007 he will hit 1000 home runs. Of course, as I pointed out then, it's not reasonable to think that a player could hit 1000 home runs in a season, however 840 home runs in a season is an achievable total for Rios (if he applies himself) 

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#144416) #

Craig, I appreciate the optimism and enthusiasm, but I am pretty sure no player in the history of the sport even has 840 plate appearances in a season. So you're looking at about 675 Rios homers, max in 2007.

SimonB - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#144418) #
Tie goes to the runner? That's in grade school. Technically, in major league baseball, tie goes to the fielder. I'm fairly certain that this is in the rulebook or else it has been corroborated by a number major league umpires.

I don't think there's any chance we'll see Phillips tonight after such a solid debut for Bengie. I also think Rios deserves another start tonight - his bat was absolutely electric.

As others have said, the atmosphere at SkyDome was remarkable. Ryan was greeted with two gigantic roars of applause - once as he sprinted from the bullpen to the mound and then once again when his name was announced over the P.A. And the exitement was palpable through the ninth, as 50,000 baseball fans rose to their feet and cheered loudly for every single strike. Forgot Molina (although he did get quite a reception), Glaus and Overbay - I have a hunch that BJ will be the biggest fan favorite of the offseason acquisitions.

Nolan - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#144424) #
About Ryan's velocity:  He was interviewed after the game and said that he was so pumped up out on the mound that he deliberately forced himself to relax and not throw as hard.  He also commented that the game was pretty much won, so there was no need to really try to throw gas.  I don't know how much faster he could [would] have gotten it to if he had pushed himself... 
Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#144426) #

You're way out of your depth here, Doherty!  WAY out.

Record for PA in a season is, IIRC, about 790.  (And if you had a guy who homered every time up, you'd be insane not to bat him leadoff and play him in every game).  Could I be wrong, it the record more like 750?  If so, I will stand slightly corrected.

As we established, if you really did hit a home run every time up, you would take the 500 outs that the #1 hitters normally make and turn them into runs, generating extra plate appearances down the lineup.  A leadoff hitter would claim about 500/9 (56) of those extra plate appearances.  However, the team would lose some PA from home games since they'd almost never bat in the ninth or extra innings.  Call it 150 PA lost... meaning that it's closer to 40 extra PA.  So you could get to at least 830, and 840 wouldn't be unreasonable.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#144428) #

Lenny Dykstra had 773 PAs in 1993.  That might be the record.

Magpie - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#144430) #
Dykstra beats my contenders (Suzuki in 2004, Wills in 1962)
Rob - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#144432) #
Ichiro holds the AL record, but Nails does hold the overall PA record at 773.

Pete Rose is not only second overall, but 4th, 5th and 9th, if I added correctly.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#144433) #
Was it Bengie Molina who blamed the Angels' loss in the bottom of the ninth via a botched rundown at Rogers Centre in '04 on the crowd noise?  He must think it's always loud here -- by next week he'll be wondering if everyone in Toronto was decimated by a plague.
chips - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#144434) #

Re: Ryan throwing 89mph.

Buck Martinez was interviewed subsequent to the free agent signing of BJ Ryan. As a Baltimore analyst last season he advised that Ryan is NOT a 90's mph pitcher. His delivery is the key as it is deceptive. It throws the hitters timing off.

Pistol - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#144445) #

I was under the impression that first base umpires make these call based on sounds since bang-bang plays happen too fast to be discerned by eye.  That's why they're called 'bang-bang' plays. 

The way I was taught for plays at first was to look at the bag and listen to the ball hitting the glove.  I'd watch the fielder get the ball and once I knew he was throwing to first I then focused on the base.  I didn't umpire beyond Babe Ruth (which is age 13-17 with major league rules) so that might not be the way they do it at higher levels (or possibly I was just taught wrong).  Next game watch the umpire at a close call at 1B - I believe you'll see him staring down at the bag (which also allows him to make sure the 1B is touching the base).

By the way, what ever happened to 'tie goes to the runner?'

There's no such thing.  The difference might be 1 millionth of a second, but one event happened before the other.  The way I do it is if you can't see that he's out he's safe.

robertdudek - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#144448) #
It looked to me that Adams took one clear step towards second base and then immediately returned to the baseline and returned to first base in the normal fashion. In my opinion, if the umpire had seen that step he would have called Adams out, but I don't think he saw it.

mslangdon18 - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#144452) #

Re: BJ Ryan's velocity

Interesting.  I could've sworn Ryan threw in the mid- to high-90s.  I guess it's the size and southern drawl that made me think he was a typical country fireballer.

After watching Schoeneweis run the ball up there in the low- to mid-90s (also a surprise), I thought something must've been wrong.  I mean, even from a couple hundred feet away, it was obvious Schoeneweis was throwing considerably harder.

Being a Jays fan, though, I guess this is good news.  If Ryan dominated in 2005 with the same quality stuff, I imagine he'll do the same thing this year.  It's just a little worrisome that the Jays spent so much money on a guy who, last night anyway, looked like a crafty lefty.  It's not what I expected, but maybe I'm just being a baseball snob.  I guess there's more than one way to get hitters out.

Great blog, by the way.  Intelligent, well-considered comments across the board.

Chuck - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#144454) #
There's no such thing.  The difference might be 1 millionth of a second, but one event happened before the other.

Some would argue that the runner is never safe because he theoretically can never reach the base. That said, I guess the ball can never theoretically reach the first baseman's glove so the runner is never out.

Maybe a baseball game can never be played because the players can never theoretically get to the stadium.

Maybe I should stop now.
Dez - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#144456) #
Is anyone else concerned that BJ Ryan was not used in the 8th inning with two outs to face the lefty with a 1 run lead?  It was certainly more important that he be used in the 8th as opposed to the 9th with a three run lead.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#144457) #
His delivery is the key as it is deceptive. It throws the hitters timing off.

He starts with his throwing hand in his glove hand and his glove hand raised high. He then never lowers his glove hand to his chest or his waist, but rather pulls the trigger from on high without any hitch. While the batters all know what's coming, it's strange that this deception continues to be effective. They always seem to be caught off guard that he throws the ball when he does. I'm surprised that this hasn't been imitated by other non-flame throwers.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#144458) #

"Look and listen".  Pistol is right now that I think about it; you don't go by sound alone but you have to use the sound.  I don't have the same level of umpire training that he does!  (Next year, I tell myself...)

Rob - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#144460) #
Is anyone else concerned that BJ Ryan was not used in the 8th inning with two outs to face the lefty with a 1 run lead?  It was certainly more important that he be used in the 8th as opposed to the 9th with a three run lead.

I was thinking about that too, and I'd like to see them do that in the future, but I think that maybe they wanted to introduce B.J. Ryan to the home crowd in the classic closer way -- middle of the ninth, music blaring, and all that. Gibbons also wasn't warming Ryan up in the 8th -- he had Speier and Schoeneweis getting ready.

It's only the first game, too. Ryan's signed for five years, so maybe keeping him to three outs early on is a good thing.
R Billie - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#144465) #

I believe Ryan started warming up the second SS entered the game.

But my friend and I both had the same comment.  With 4 outs left and a one run lead, a lefty hitter at the plate, don't you want your $9m closer in there?  I guess it's good that SS got an appearance but as the games get more urgent I would hope they occasionally go to Ryan an out or two earlier in high leverage situations. 

Over the course of 162 games there will be more than enough innings to go around for all of the relievers.  The tightest situations should always belong to BJ though if possible.

Shaker Mo - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#144466) #

RE: The look and listen / bang-bang plays at first.

Do you think this approach makes it more difficult for umps on those plays that do not involve a hard throw from across the infield, such as an underhand toss from second / pitcher?

After all, the audible sound of the ball hitting the glove is going to be significantly harder to pick up in that situation.


danjulien - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#144478) #
On the Ryan/SS discussion, I believe the next batter was White(a righty) when SS came in.  Speier(I think, I was in RF) was warming also.  The thinking was that if SS allowed his man to get on, Speier would throw to White and if needed Ryan would come in for Morneau and the ninth.  I know it seems a bit weird, but I think it works and this way he only comes in unless he's direly needed(SS and Speier both letting their men on) or in the 9th as he should...
Mike D - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#144479) #

R Billie, I see your point, but I'd rather see shorter and more frequent Ryan appearances rather than longer and less frequent.  It's not a one-size-fits-all strategy; I just think the Jays as constructed will play a lot of close games (unlike, say, the Yankees and Red Sox).  Moreover, the Jays have a fine setup corps and there's no issue with trusting them in situations like last night.

Once you stretch B.J. out over more than an inning, you risk him being unavailable the next night and you definitely can't use him in three straight nights.  I'm not saying to only use him in ninth-inning save situations, mind you.  I'm just saying that one-inning outings should be the rule because one Ryan inning can be a valuable chip in a close game -- of which there will be many.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 05 2006 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#144494) #
Insane statistic just cited on Sportsnet news --

Last year's season opener: about 150,000 TV viewers.

This year's season opener: nearly 650,000 TV viewers.

No wonder our traffic is so much higher.

robertdudek - Thursday, April 06 2006 @ 05:05 AM EDT (#144505) #
Do they mean home opener? Because last year's season opener was a day game in TB. Might explain some of the disparity.

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