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The Blue Jays can’t deliver the big blow and end up blown out by the Baltimores.

Star of the Game: Kris Benson had no problems with the Jays for the second straight start, and stayed in the game just long enough that the Oriole bullpen couldn’t quite give it away.
Unsung Hero: Miguel Tejada ended up with the more impressive line, but it was Melvin Mora who delivered the first, key blow in the second inning. And 3-for-4 with a double for 2 runs and 2 RBI is not to be sneezed at either.
For the Jays: Alex “You can’t call me Al” Rios batted leadoff and banged out 3 hits, showing off his wheels with a hustle double and a triple.
Defensive Play of the Game: Nothing truly stands out. Shortstop Brandon Fahey made a nice diving stop on Frank Catalanotto’s infield single in the first, and ended the game in smooth 6-3 fashion.
Offensive Misplay of the Game: Mora hit a little squib in front of home plate in the 6th, and assuming it was foul made no attempt to run to first. The look on his face when Bengie Molina tagged him out was priceless.
Double Clutch: Leading 3 – 0, Benson started flagging in the top of the sixth. A one-out Rios double was followed by a Catalanotto walk, a deep fly out from Wells, and a Troy Glaus walk. But Lyle Overbay, ostensibly one of the most patient hitters on the team, flied out to centre on the first pitch to end the threat and the Oriole lead remained at 3.
In the 7th Toronto finally got to Benson, scoring two runs on a Shea Hillenbrand double and a pinch single from Eric Hinske. Julio Manon was summoned from the ‘pen, and promptly surrendered a triple to Rios to make it 5 – 2 and walked Cat and Vernon Wells to load the bases for Glaus. Sendy Rleal came on for the Orioles and Tree hit his first pitch off the left field wall on the fly, foul by no more than a foot. Rleal took some deep breaths and eventually retired Glaus on a line drive to left.

Baby Steps: Is it progress to go from 3 runs (2 earned) over 4 innings to 5 earned over 6? In this case, I think it is. Casey Janssen seemed much more in control tonight, and showed much better control in striking out 3, walking none, and hitting just Chris Gomez (as opposed to 0 K, 3 BB, 2 HBP in his debut). For the most part he kept the ball down, with 11 ground ball outs to 4 fly outs, and threw 55 strikes to 26 balls. He’ll face LA of A next time out.
Boxscore: If you insist.
Elsewhere In The East: Rain.
Oh, and Mark Hendrickson gave up his first 6 earned runs of the season as the Rays fell 7 – 5 to the Rangers. Lurch had started the season with 17 innings and just 3 unearned runs.
Today: Roy Halladay takes to the mound in Fenway. With yesterday’s rainout, the Jays face Josh Beckett today and Matt Clement tomorrow, with Curt Schilling bumped to Friday against Baltimore. Beckett will do his very best not to plunk any Blue Jays.
Orioles 9, Blue Jays 2 | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
DepecheJay - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#146243) #
Sweet nickname for Rios Johnny.  I'm not quit sure if it was you who originally called him "Al Rios" but that just doesn't fly.  This name, I can live with.

Baseball is such a funny game.  You go from being INCHES away from tying the game with Glaus' smash down the left field line that just hooks foul, to getting blown out of the water a few minutes later.  Ain't that beautiful.

Jonny German - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#146244) #

Yes, it was me who called him Al one time, but that wasn't an attempt to nickname him, nor is this. I just like mixing it up.

On the other hand, I'll probably continue to call Glaus "Tree". While Vernon's batting stance to me looks like he's ready to smash the tar out of the ball, Troy at the plate resembles... a tree. Strong like a tree, it turns out, and considerably faster.

Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#146246) #
I see Glaus and I think "Jethro".
rtcaino - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#146247) #
As someone who missed basically the entire game, it seems to me that Janssen was somewhat unlucky in this outing. I am basing this on ESPN's play by play.

In 6 innings, Casey allowed nine base runners, 4 extra base hits, to the tune of 15 total bases allowed. He had two true three up three down innings in the 2nd and 5th.  In the 1st and 4th He had pseudo three up three down innings in which he surrendered a single and subsequently induced a double play. The only two innings in which Casey faced more than three batters was the 3rd and 6th, which happen to be the two innings in which he surrendered runs. As a team, Baltimore left 2 on base throughout the game.

Benson went 6 and two thirds. He allowed the same amount of base runners, one less extra base hit (3), and three fewer total bases (12). He faced the minimum number of batters in three innings. He was charged with two runs in the seventh.

Casey threw 81 pitches, and received a game score of 39. KB34 threw 107 pitches and received a game score of 62.

Though Benson went longer, gave up fewer base runners, and total bases, it seems that Casey was more efficient.

On the live chat, someone mentioned that Janssen seemed to be lacking an out pitch. Can anyone comment on that? In AAA he has 19k in 20ip. Obviously his K/9 will drop substantially from the 8.55 he has been posting, (which is besides the fact that 20ip is a small sample size). However, it seems to me that long term he should be more successful in punching out batters at the major league level.

R Billie - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#146248) #

Molina seems to be a fan of calling outside breaking balls from RHP to lefthanded hitters with power.  That's a pretty high risk pitch and Janssen made a mistake on it and it cost him the Gibbons homerun.  A breaking ball to a lefthander unless the pitcher has a really big one should be kept inside off the plate and preferrably in the dirt.  Janssen does not have a breaking ball he can throw for strikes to lefthanders as his two starts against Baltimore have shown.

Outside of that I thought it was a great outing.  Pitch count was very low, no walks, lots of balls in play on the ground.  The important thing is although Janssen doesn't have ace stuff there is definately room for further improvement.

The Jays on the other hand got a little unlucky by not pulling out a key hit on Benson or the Baltimore pen.  But more disturbing than that were the long strings of doing absolutely nothing against Benson for 8 to 10 batters at a time.  This is a weak lineup against RHP.  Right now it features only two decent lefty hitters in Cat and Overbay, neither of whom has tremendous pop.  We saw the same thing against Mike Mussina, this lineup couldn't do anything.  I was concerned about this lineup facing decent RHP before the season and nothing has changed.  I'm not sure how they can change it short of inserting quality lefty bats in place of Hillenbrand, Hill, or Adams.

subculture - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#146252) #

Yes, they're definitely stronger against lefties....  they could have used Hinske's bat a bit more... if only Hinske could play 2b too :)

If and when Adams get's it going, then they would have him, Overbay, Cat, Hinske, and Zaun which isn't bad, considering Rios/Wells/Glaus have been hitting righties pretty hard.  Rios in particular seems to be hitting everybody well, especially harder throwers.  Glaus would hit righties better if he looked more for outside pitches and hit them opposite field, which he's turned into doubles almost every time he's done that...

If Adams/Hill can't improve, what are our options in the minors?  Santos?  Trade for Izturis?  O-dawg?

Also last night, very noticeable how the Jays hit flyball after flyball, most of which died on the track...

Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#146254) #
This is a weak lineup against RHP. ... I'm not sure how they can change it short of inserting quality lefty bats in place of Hillenbrand, Hill, or Adams.

And maybe plugging in Zaun for Molina more frequently.  Right now, Molina, Adams and Hill are three dead spots in the lineup vs. RHP.

At the start of the season, I had been hoping for a two-headed catcher. Molina would start against all LHP. Zaun would start against 2/3 of the RHP. Overall, each would start half the time with the other being available to pinch-hit in game situations. Both would stay rested (we've seen Zaun get worn down in the past). Each would have a chance to leverage his offensive skills: Molina's power vs LHP and Zaun's on-base abilities vs RHP.

But Gibbons seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Molina. Molina is getting the star treatment commensurate with his salary, and I'm not sure that's not hurting the team, particularly when his days as a top defender seem to be about 1000 tacos ago.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#146255) #
I should add that as good as Glaus has been overall, he's been humdrum vs. RHP (175/325/397), and that figures to change.

That said, Glaus' expected improvement vs. RHP may be more than offset by Wells' eventual decline (Wells is currently at 324/385/718 vs. RHP).
Mike D - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#146257) #
Chuck, "tacos"?
Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#146258) #
Chuck, "tacos"?

It's like light-years. 1000 light-years is the distance light travels in 1000 years. 1000 tacos is the time period during which a portly catcher consumes 1000 tacos.
Geoff - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#146259) #
So if one light year is a distance of 9,460,730,472,580 kilometers, how much time elapses in the period of 1000 tacos?
Geoff - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#146263) #
... if only Hinske could play 2b too

Or if only they could plug Rios in at SS, or Shea at 2B, or Molina as PR.

It's not like Aaron and Russ are the only major leaguers who need to get their bats firing. Similarly, Vernon hit .191 last April with an OPS of .620.

Adams had an OPS of .622 last April (and an atrocious .484 OPS in September). Can they hit at the major league level? They have a while longer to prove it.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#146264) #
So if one light year is a distance of 9,460,730,472,580 kilometers, how much time elapses in the period of 1000 tacos?

It all depends on who is eating the tacos. How many do they eat and how quickly do they eat them?

Okay, so maybe it's not like light years at all. A light year is constant while a taco is variable. Clearly I have failed Carl Sagan. I enjoyed Cosmos but apparently learned precious little. Sigh.
Mike D - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#146266) #
In fairness, since Bengie Molina is Puerto Rican, we don't know what kind of tacos we're dealing with.  I didn't even know there were tacos in Puerto Rican cuisine.  They could be the culinary equivalent of the African Swallows of Holy Grail fame.
CaramonLS - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#146268) #
Casey does seem to lack an out pitch, but his fastball has a lot of late downward movement which leads to the ground balls.  It seems he gets ahead of just about every single hitter.  Getting 2 strikes for him is just too easy, especially 0-2 and 1-2 counts.  He rarely went to 3-2 on any batter last game.

Watching him, especially this game - Way too many fastballs.  It seemed at least 90% of the pitches he threw (no exaggeration) were fastballs.  Even with 2 strikes where you expect maybe some off speed stuff, he keeps throwing his fastball.  Very few changes, only a couple curves (his curve is OK, but not great).

I think if Casey could acquire a splitter, it would complement his arsenal very nicely, but he needs to throw more off speed stuff.
Craig B - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#146275) #

They could be the culinary equivalent of the African Swallows of Holy Grail fame.

Well, African swallows definitely exist.  47 of the world's 74 species of swallows are native or partially native to Africa.  Perhaps there are 47 different species of tacos native to Puerto Rico, and if that is the case, then I for one say God Bless the Puerto Ricans.

No where was that travel agent brochure for San Juan?

Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#146276) #
They could be the culinary equivalent of the African Swallows of Holy Grail fame.

The way Molina runs, you'd think he was riding a horse ŕ la Holy Grail.
King Ryan - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#146279) #
If the team is upset with Molina's defensive play, they have nobody to blame but themselves.  Molina was poor defensively last year as well, and probably the year before.

It seems like it takes a long time for a player's defensive reputation to erode but over the last two years Molina has thrown out runners about as well as Zaun, and has allowed passed balls at the rate of Ken Huckaby.  I am no expert on "game-calling" but I doubt he was superior to Gregg Zaun before this year. 

Then again, I maintain that Molina+Zaun is much better than Zaun+Huckaby so I'll deal with it.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#146282) #
I seem to recall that last season, during an Angels series, many in these parts were commenting on Molina's unspectacular defense, most notably the way he would attempt to backhand pitches rather than slide his body over.

Wildrose - Wednesday, May 03 2006 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#146290) #
Here's the Blair link about Molina, as well as some discussion  regarding Adams and Hill.
Orioles 9, Blue Jays 2 | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.