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A maddening ex-Jay defeats a maddening current Jay, Dave Bush has it going on, a couple of statistical notes on Your Fighting Jays, and much more! Okay, that's about it. But read anyway!

Star Of The Game: Kelvim Escobar, I suppose. Not the first guy I'd want to give props to, but that's how the game goes.

Unsung Hero: Well, why don't we give it to Francisco Rosario? Struck out the first ML batter he faced and pitched a scoreless inning to start his career.

For The Jays: Ted Lilly. I picked a bad day for recognizing the oustanding members of the game, didn't I?

Defensive Play Of The Game: How about Lyle Overbay's running catch in foul territory? That was a lot harder than it looked.

Boxscore: Right here.

Did You Know? The Jays have given up way more homers than expected? Their HR/Fly rate (through May 5) is 21% -- much higher than any other team and far behind the league average at 12%. Everything else is pretty much in line with the rest of the American League, so once A.J. Burnett (37.8 this year, 11.2 and 10.6 the previous two years), Josh Towers (17.4, 9.8, 11.6), Gustavo Chacin (16.1, 9.0) and even Roy Halladay (14.2, 12.2, 12.4) regress back towards the expected 11-12 range, this team's ERA will go down and we won't have callers yearning for Aaron Sele on Wilner's postgame show.

But I Thought They Sucked Vs. RH? Entering the Kelvim Shutdown Game, the Jays had the following individual numbers vs RH: Wells, .321/.380/.679 (84 AB); Overbay, .324/.429/.535 (71 AB); Hillenbrand, .313/.356/.582 (67 AB); Catalanotto, .377/.525/.623 (61 AB); Rios, .392/.400/.588 (51 AB). And for all the complaining, they're still way better than last year:
.283/.358/.480 (2006)
.267/.331/.406 (2005)

DP Watch: Just one yesterday (though it came at a terrible time), giving the Jays 32 in 29 games. That's good for third, two behind San Francisco and Pittsburgh, who had 34 before yesterday's games. Shea Hillenbrand has 8 and is on pace for 48, 33% more than the current Jim Rice record of 36.

He Can Be Fixed In Five Minutes: Victor Zambrano is out for the year; surgery is required. On a completely unrelated note, Scott Kazmir has 39 strikeouts in 42 innings, an ERA of 3.43, and 0 Torn Flexor Tendons this season.

David Bush Update: A terrific start on Wednesday night against the Giants, but his offense didn't do a thing for him and he lost 2-0. Sounds like the Bush of 2005. He retired -- get this -- the final 20 batters he faced in the game; a two-run shot in the second was the only blemish. After facing Greg Maddux, he was up against Jason Schmidt this time. Tough break. A Game Score of 74 means his new average is 57.3. What does 57.3 mean? Well, it's tied for 17th in the majors this year, and would have been 11th-best last year, ahead of the AL Cy Young Award winner.

He also got Barry Bonds out three times, whatever that's worth these days.
TDIB: Sunday | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bird droppings - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#146469) #
Game note: First time the Jays have been shut out this season.
jjdynomite - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#146471) #

... and no thanks to BJ's brutal ninth inning ;-) the Jays miss out scoring their own first shut out of the season in Sunday's win.  Although the Halos' lineup is no Bombers, I think Casey's a keeper.  Finally, some better-than-expected news from the Jays' pitching staff.  Josh Towers, it's on you Tuesday night.  Make my twonie worth it....

Pistol - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#146472) #
David Bush Update

And he's now sporting a moustache.  He's pitching right now against the Dodgers and has an RBI single already.
Chuck - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#146473) #
... and no thanks to BJ's brutal ninth inning ;-) the Jays miss out scoring their own first shut out of the season in Sunday's win.

Were the Jays' lead only one, and not  three, Ryan's scoreless streak would be intact. Cabrera advanced to both second and third on defensive indifference. With a one-run lead, he'd oviously have been held at first.

Campbell and Mulliniks were equally indifferent to Cabrera's journey on the bases, as they never once mentioned it. I only happened to notice because a side-camera shot showing Guererro strike out also showed, though off in the background, Cabrera pulling into third.
jjdynomite - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#146474) #
Heh, Chuck, I was tongue in cheek, re: BJ's save (hence the winking smiley).  I also found it weird that Jamie and Rance made no mention of Cabrera taking 2nd and 3rd until the sac fly brought him home.  They also didn't mention that this would have been the Jays' first shut out of the season.  Oh well, I guess the 2 hour game still wasn't fast enough for them.

In more relevant news, getting ahead of tomorrow's Doc game, the Jays don't face Zito and (obviously, the injured) Harden for the 3 games against the As, which is a nice turnaround from seemingly having to face the Unit and Moose every week.  Haren vs. Towers may even be winnable. 
Jim - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#146475) #

Today's game was a great example to me with respect to how much the internet has increased my enjoyment of the game.  I felt invested in Janssen's start today, because I've posted so many positive things about him on this site.  I was a huge fan of minor league baseball before I went off to college and then didn't pay much attention for the better part of a decade before communities like this one grew.   If not for having some like-minded fans to discuss the game with, I probably wouldn't try so hard to see New Hampshire when I can get the chance, and I wouldn't have enjoyed the time I've spent trying to play 'extremely amature' scout.

CaramonLS - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#146476) #
Biggest thing about that game:  Casey made the adjustments you needed to make to be successful at the big league level.  He was throwing a much better variety of pitches this time, and also throwing out of the strike zone on purpose, but still seemed to be in control of the game at all times.

The balls which hitters did make contact with him (14-5 Ground-Fly this game) they were all pretty much weak grounders on the INF.  This wasn't like a Towers start where the Infield had to take away hits from the opposing team, even with the low amt of Ks Janssen was fully in control of this game.  He earned this game and it was truely a suberb pitching performance.

It took Janssen till his 3rd AAA start to figure out minor league hitters, maybe the trend will continue.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#146477) #
Thumbs up for Gibbons' decision to bring in Ryan in the eighth inning.  It's now happened 3 times so far this season. 
Rob - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#146478) #
When Ryan came in, Jamie Campell mentioned that Gibbons intends to do that "quite often" this year. Anything that gets him away from the 1-2-3 ninth with a three run lead is all right with me.

Ryan, by the way, was the fourth best closer in the AL through Friday's games. I imagine he's closer to third after today, but I'll have to check my numbers.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#146482) #
Ryan was ranked only fourth through Friday's games, despite not having given up a run? Wow - there are some serious closers in this league.

I went to both games this weekend, thanks to my wondrous Season's Pass. Comments and random notes:
  • As if by unspoken agreement, the ticket scalpers now line up in an evenly spaced row on the pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks. How very Canadian of them.
  • Somebody's going to have to come up with a cleverer way of numbering the seats. I saw too many grown adults standing in the aisle of 522, looking as if poleaxed, because they didn't have a clue where to go from there. One large group, from a middle school somewhere, stood in the aisle between the bottom of the first (when they arrived) and the bottom of the second, as none of the adults in charge were able to figure out where to sit. (The group left during the seventh-inning stretch, so they saw exactly half the ballgame.)
  • A possible solution to the above: instead of numbering the seats 1, 2, 3... and 101, 102, 103..., why not use Left and Right? Section 522, Row 7, Seat Left 5. People would understand that, no? (Of course, some people haven't the slightest idea how to figure out what row they're in, so it might not be that easy.)
  • Why, oh why, do they sell popcorn in only one size (Super Ginormous)? One human being can only eat approximately 1/3 of a bag before feeling bloated. I suppose this is a profit-maximizing decision.
  • And why do they fill the bag so full that you can't eat from it without major spillage? This must increase cleaning costs - and it's not like there isn't enough popcorn in the bag (see above comment).
  • Re Escobar: ex-Jay pitchers always kick butt when they return to Toronto. This is because the Baseball Gods want to give our grumpier columnists an easy story-line to write about. ("Kelvim Escobar, a man sadly underappreciated by the stats-obsessed tall foreheads now running the Jays..." You can do the rest, if for some reason you want to.)
  • Ted Lilly deserved better.
  • Casey Janssen seems to have no fear out there. This may be a case of what is called "Beginner's Mind" - I think it's a Zen term, though I don't know much about Zen. Janssen just doesn't know enough about pitching in the major leagues to know that it's supposed to be difficult, so he's making it easy. He's throwing strikes, and the hitters are obligingly beating the ball on the ground. I'd say, at this point, that there is only one hole in the starting rotation now.
  • The fans are more into the game now than they were a few years ago.
  • Tim Langdon, the Jays' current PA announcer, sounds eerily like their old one (Murray Eldon). Eldon probably wouldn't look as good with a shaved head, though.
  • Alex Rios. Wow. O to be young and so talented: the last Jay to have the world at his feet like that was Alomar.
  • I was on the field for Camera Day. Up close, the Jays look to be a fairly friendly bunch - there seems to be a shortage of grumpy, tobacco-spitting malcontents. B.J. Ryan, in particular, looked relaxed and easy-going - he'd probably be a fun guy to hang out with. I didn't try to meet anybody, as the crowds were too great, but I could have struck up a conversation with McGowan if I'd wanted to - he was off to one side, and hardly anybody noticed he was there.
That's about it :-)
jimmylarsoni - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#146484) #
Janssen was very effective today.  I agree that he was mixing his pitches very well.  I hope he makes it very tough to send him down.  The slow curve and change up had the Angels taking ugly swings.  One concern from my standpoint is  Adams' defence.  I don't think he made one clean defensive play all day.  In fact, I saw him throw a ball into the stands in warm-up.   At what point do the jays get concerned and look for a replacement?  I think they can handle the light hitting from Adams and Hill but they had better play solid defence.  I also think excuses can be made for a learning curve in the rookie season, especially from the offensive side but not as much from the defensive side.  But he isn't a rookie anymore.  Either a player has it or they don't and I don't think Adams does.  IMO
Rob - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#146486) #
Ryan was ranked only fourth through Friday's games, despite not having given up a run? Wow - there are some serious closers in this league.

I just updated it to be current (save for the TB-OAK game) and Ryan is now third:
1.3    J.Papelbon
1.1    S.Camp
0.9    B.J.Ryan
0.7    C.Ray
0.7    B.Jenks

No matter what Dan Miceli does in the 3-2 game that's currently in the ninth, the top five will remain as stated through Sunday, May 7.

It's more fun to look at the bottom 5, though:
-0.5    T.Walker
-0.5    J.Duchscherer
-0.8    L.Hawkins
-1.9    E.Guardado
-4.0    F.Cordero
King Ryan - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#146487) #
Shawn Camp?

By Win Probability Added, BJ Ryan, coming into this game, was sixth in MLB among ALL relievers.    Only Jonathon Papelbon, Duaner Sanchez, Todd Coffey, Fernando Rodney and Tom Gordon ranked higher.
Rob - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#146489) #
Hey, if you want sophisticated reliever rankings, go to BP. This is just a different way of looking at closers, and it's only available at Batter's Box.

Batter's Box -- Working For You!

King Ryan - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#146491) #
That's fine and dandy, El Robbo, but...Shawn Camp?  You're going to have to explain that one.  :)
Thomas - Sunday, May 07 2006 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#146497) #
I don't think he made one clean defensive play all day.

He didn't, at least as far as I can tell. I was at the game and was keeping track after the first error. Adams had the two plays he made errors on. He also fielded three other balls cleanly and threw two of them up the line, where Hillenbrand had to come off the bag to tag the runner. The last one he threw into the dirt, but this time Hillenbrand was able to scoop it cleanly.
Rob - Monday, May 08 2006 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#146499) #
Shawn Camp has entered in a save situation three times. Two of them were "tough" saves (entered with the tying run on base) and one of them was a "regular" save (as opposed to an easy one, where the first batter faced is not the tying run). He converted all three saves and hasn't blown any.

Based on league average conversion rates, Camp is expected to have 1.1 tough saves and 0.8 regular ones. 3 minus 1.9 gives you 1.1, which puts him in second place. It surprised me too.

TDIB: Sunday | 29 comments | Create New Account
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