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The Jays win 8 to 4 in Boston and hand old "friend" Boomer Wells the loss.

Star of the Game: Alex Rios takes Wells deep on the fourth pitch of the game, and finishes three for four, with two runs, three RBI, a dinger, a double, a sacrifice fly and a partridge in a pear tree.

Unsung Hero: The SS Loogy came in in with one away in the seventh to work some lefty voodoo on Big Papi. Although he walked the Big Scary Bat, he stuck around to get Manny to ground into a double play and Varitek to line out in the next inning. That was the last the Jays would see of the heart of the Sox order.

For the Sox: Lenny DiNardo went three Innings giving up just a run and throwing a lot of strikes, he looked good, especially against Lyle Overbay.

Defensive Play of the Game: I have to admit I'm liking Sea Bass at short for the Sox, the play he made deep in the hole against Wells in the first was a beauty.

GIDP watch: Bengie Molina and John MacDonald stepped up to take the GIDP presssure off Shea Hillenbrand's shoulders for a day. It may not seem this way, but the Jays do not lead the majors, the AL or even the AL East in GIDP.

So how did Shea do: one for five with a strikeout and a couple of men left on base, he hit at least one-ball the opposite way which shows something isn't right.

Boo: The Fenway faithful gave Boomer a fearsome booing starting after approximately 7.5 seconds as Rios was dispatching his homer over the leftfield fence. Whoever said the Fenway crowd were fickle? the guy was only their best pitcher for the last half of last year.

Boxscore: Sure.

Guess: What the Jays RC27 number is for the season....and/or where that puts them in the MLB rankings


Don't worry be happy: The Sox were worried Coco Crisp would be sad about going on the DL so they gave him $15.5 million , David Riske went on the DL yesterday, I wonder how much he'll get.

Well Behaved: Much to the chagrin of ESPN there was no bench clearing brawl in Washington as Pedro kept the ball away from Jose Guillen's chin and the Mets won 3-1 to take their record to a rather impressive 6-1.

Something's Fishy: The Marlins do not seem to be happy having a couple of bone-fide Major League superstars on their AAA club, there are rumours coming from the club that there may be more roster "corrections" and that M-Cab and Dontrelle Willis might be traded before long.

Slow and Steady: Some guy called Burley has a look at the Major's slowest players.  You will not believe who the slowest is (well you might, I didn't)


Teasing Ted goes against Teasing Matt Clement. Don't forget Ted loves the Sox, he is 4-1 with a 3.50 ERA against them in the last three years.

It's always a good day to beat the Sox | 35 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
GrrBear - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#145058) #
In the four games he's been allowed to start, Alex Rios is 8 for 18 with three homers and eight RBI.  It seems like every time he makes contact with the ball, he's putting a charge into it, and he's no stiff with the glove out there in right field, either.  I know it's early and it's a small sample size, but are we seeing something like the real Alex Rios here?  Is this a true improvement or is he just riding a hot streak?  Whether it is a true improvement or not, the Jays should stop platooning him for a while to give Alex an honest chance to prove his case.  It's not like Hinske is tearing it up, and maybe the more useful platoon at this point would be Hinske/Hillenbrand.

Plus I just grabbed Rios for my fantasy team, so it would be nice if he got to play every day. :)

laketrout - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#145061) #
All of the grounding into double plays is not necessarily a bad sign as it mean the Jays are putting the ball in play and getting a lot of men on base.  I imagine that if you were to take a historical look at teams with high batting averages you'd also find that they were also near the top of the league in GIDP.

zeppelinkm - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#145063) #

Not that it really matters, but Rios made a fine running gap last night too. I seem to recall their being a runner or two on base as well - but I could be mistaken.

All in all, he displayed all his tools last night, and it was fun to watch.

Anyone else feel that the home plate ump was being stingy on strikes? It seemed all night, there were a lot of very close pitches going for balls. I think Chacin could have pitched another inning if he had of been getting some of those calls earlier on.

Chuck - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#145064) #
Whether Rios is truly blossoming, or just teasing us like Hinske did last April, I'm more than willing to see him worked into the everyday lineup to find out for sure.  Whether that means Hinske or Hillenbrand is the one squeezed out of AB's, I don't particularly care (well, I'd prefer it to be Hillenbrand, but that pot doesn't need any more stirring).
Mick Doherty - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#145065) #

In the AL East last night ...

  • Yankees win, Chacon now 1-0 ...
  • Blue Jays win, Chacin now 2-0 ...


Mick Doherty - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#145067) #

On the wire:

Seattle Mariners: designated C Guillermo Quiroz for assignment

chips - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#145069) #
Hillenbrand looked awful late last year in a game at Fenway with men on base. Struck out swinging like 4 times. Maybe he has trouble in Fenway. I hope his new swing helps him this year, as we have yet to see any benefits to this point. In an earlier thread it was mentioned that maybe a HInske/Hillenbrand DH platoon should be considered. Anyone have thoughts on this?
Mike Green - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#145070) #
Rios was a streaky hitter even in the minors.  He's now 25, and there are signs that he has matured, but that does not mean that he will not continue to be streaky.  In my view, the Jays have nothing to lose by giving him the everyday job for the season.
China fan - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#145071) #

      Here's an interesting tidbit from a Star story today:

     The departure of Perkins from the Jays means they no longer have any Canadians playing above Class A in their organization. The two remaining Canucks are catcher David Corrente and pitcher Aaron Wideman.

     What do Bauxites think about the relative lack of Canadians in the organization?  Should the Jays make more of an effort to recruit and cultivate Canadians in their system?  Would it attract more fans to the ballpark if Canadians were playing?  (And by the way, is Larry Walker still potentially available this summer?)

SK in NJ - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#145074) #

Rios has gotten 67% of the plate appearances between him and Hinske so far, though that could be because the Jays seem to face a LHP every other game.

When asked how long it would be before Rios was in the lineup every day, Gibbons answered with a smirk.

"When you see him out there against a right-hander, he might be our every day guy," Gibbons said. "Maybe he will tomorrow. You never know. We'll see."

I can't think of one other major league team that would play Hinske at RF over Rios. Hopefully the Jays come to their senses soon. Hinske over Hillenbrand is a better idea.

Gerry - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#145075) #
JP on the radio this morning said Rios would be in right tonight (against a RHP).
Magpie - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#145076) #
Hillenbrand looked awful late last year in a game at Fenway with men on base...

As I recall it was the last game he played in 2005. They shut him down immediately afterwards with a hand injury.

What we're seeing is the downside of Hillenbrand - when he goes bad, he's worse than Hinske because he doesn't just get himself out - he takes baserunners with him. But unless he's suddenly lost his ability to hit, it doesn't mean much of anything. This is who he is.

Gibbons hinted fairly strongly yesterday that Rios is indeed forcing himself into the picture against RH pitchers. Which could mean Hinske at DH. Or they could decide Glaus could use a day off after getting banged up a bit.
Named For Hank - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#145077) #
Should the Jays make more of an effort to recruit and cultivate Canadians in their system?

I am not in favour of any system that suggests that a less-good player should be taken over a better player merely because of nationality.

Now, if their Canadian scouting is weak and they're missing out on great Canucks, yes, they should improve that.  But if it's just a question of draft positioning, I wouldn't want them to go out of their way to select Canadians unless they felt they were the best players available at that point.
kinguy - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#145078) #
If Quiroz has been DFA by the Mariners, what are the chances of the Jays claiming him back?  And can they claim him and outright him to Syracuse, or does he need to be added to the 40 man roster if he's claimed?
TA - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#145081) #
Some lines from a couple of other "old friends":

                           IP      H  R  ER  SO BB HR ERA

Dave Bush           6.0    7  8   7      2    2   0   5.54

E_ _ _ _ L _ _ _ _ 4.0     8  6   6     4    0   2  11.42

Still rooting for DB, but last night's performance should temper some of the more nostagic longings in our midst.

As for the second line...unless you're an A's fan, I don't know how that doesn't bring just a little guilty smile to your face.
John Northey - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#145087) #
This year with Rios is reminding me of 1988 with Kelly Gruber in many ways.  Both were prospects who disappointed when given a shot (Gruber in '87, Rios in '04/'05).  Both were to platoon in the years in question but quickly showed they could hit after all and the platoon is forgotten quickly, with the loser in the platoon (Mulliniks, Hinske) becoming a DH.  Both cases the young player is right handed and plays good defense with a strong arm.  In both cases the older player is a left handed hitter who really isn't that good defensively (Mulliniks had good fielding percentages but had the range of a rock).

Hopefully Rios turns out as good or better than Gruber did (2 All-Star games in the two years after he took over the job).  And also hopefully won't have as serious a crash as Gruber did (neck injury that no one believed which was proven real years after his career ended).     

Ducey - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#145091) #

I can't think of one other major league team that would play Hinske at RF over Rios.

If Rios was hitting .200 with no homers and grounder after ground to the short stop - as he has done  for streches in the past, I don't think you would feel quite so strongly.

I thought it was pretty clear the platoon was an experiment and would give the Jays another option if Rios did not pick it up from last year.  I had the impression that Rios was the prefered choice due to his defence and potential but the Jays were not going to spend a jillion dollars elsewhere just to have another year of an offensive sinkhole in RF all season.

As it stands, Rios has played most of the games and if he goes back to "bad Alex", the Jays have another option available.  Let's remember that Rios has been feasting on lefties and will likely come down to earth against a more regular diet of right handers.  Hinske may well still be a better choice against some of the tougher RH pitchers. 

Who knows, maybe the fact that Hinske is at the ready has given Alex the necessary motivation/ focus to do better...

Michael - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#145103) #
Sample size.

Rios may be a beast, or he may not.  It is a bit early to make definitive statements.  Platoon splits are real and having a RF of Hinske versus RHP and Rios versus LHP may well be a better outfielder than Rios against all.

Hinske has established better ISO and BB numbers than Rios who relies much more on his BA.  And BA is something with a high degree of variance.

That said I would be fine with the occasional Rios versus RHP starts (especially if Hinske is needed elsewhere at 1B, 3B, or DH) or if the Jays decided that Hinske really can't play RF.  But I think it would be foolishness that if the plan a week ago was strict platoon of Hinske and Rios to have decided just based on the first week and a half of the season that Rios should be everyday RF even against RHP.

Sample size.
timpinder - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#145104) #

"Let's remember that Rios has been feasting on lefties and will likely come down to earth against a more regular diet of right handers".

I don't think that Rios' hot start has that much to do with the fact that he's been facing predominantly left handed pitchers.

Here are his 3-year spits: (Avg / Obp / Slg / Ops)

Vs. Lefties - .263 / .322 / .381 / .703

Vs. Righties - .278 / .320 / .394 / .714

In his major league career he's actually hit righties slightly better than lefties.  It seemed that in 2004 he hit for average at the expense of power, and in 2005 and in winter ball in particular, he hit for power at the expense of average.  I think that, at least for now, he's putting it all together.  The future will likely have more and more "good Alex" days and fewer and fewer "bad Alex" days. 

Thomas - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#145105) #

Stubby Clapp?

Stubby plays for the Edmonton Cracker Cats of the Northern League.

Dave Till - Thursday, April 13 2006 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#145120) #
I must admit that it's fun watching Boomer get boomed. He had nothing last night, especially in the early innings: his fastball was up, his big curve wasn't, and he couldn't get his big sweeping slider thingy over the plate (the one that breaks in on righthanders).

As for Rios/Hinske: I'm in favour of the gradual approach with Alex. Right now, he's showing that he can hit pitchers hard in situations that are favourable to him. But can he do that in situations that are less optimal? If last night's game had featured a righthander with stuff similar to Boomer's, Hinske would have probably hit two or three balls equally as hard.

I like the idea of the Jays having depth. There's no law that says that a good player has to play every day, as long as there are other good players on the field who are playing in his place. In certain situations, Hinske is probably the best man for the job.

Of course, if Hillenbrand keeps hitting like this, there will be room enough for both Rios and Hinske in the lineup. (It's too early to judge Shea, though.)

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