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Lost as quickly as I'm found
But soon enough it turns around

Red Sox 8, Jays 4. Ouch. Glass ceiling wins again. Without his best location, Shaun Marcum holds off the avalanche for three innings. In the fourth, with the Jays up 2-1, Jason Bay leads off with a single and then the other shoe drops. Jed Lowrie draws a seven-pitch walk. Up next is Captain Defensive Intangibles, who falls behind 1-2, but since Tek had scalded a 3-2 changeup for a single his last time up, Marcum courteously tries to put him away with a curveball (ball), cutter (ball) and fastball (ball) to load the bases. Then he plants the menacing Alex Cora with an RBI beanball, and it doesn't get any better from there. Marcum lasts 3.2 innings, allowing five runs plus one baserunner who Brian Tallet stranded. Probably Marcum's worst result of the year, which is absolutely a compliment.

Eventful day for Joe Inglett, who started out with a walk, two singles and a stolen base. Unfortunately, his day also included yet another pickoff and two untimely double plays, both of which erased John McDonald.

Johnny Mac's season line is up to .231/.277/.308.

The Jays are now two games out of third place, as the Yankees won last night in Baltimore. Trailing 4-3 in the eighth inning, they somehow managed to break through against proven veteran Jamie Walker, poised youngster Kameron Mickolio (minor league stats) and sidewinding lefty Alberto Castillo. The final score was 9-4. The surging Bobby Abreu went 5-5. Derek Jeter singled for career hit #2500. The legendary Carl Pavano starts today for the Yanks; I guess he likes baseball more than Ian Kennedy does and that's the new market inefficiency. Baltimore counters with Jeremy Guthrie.

Brad Wilkerson was DL'd to accommodate the newest Jay, Jose Bautista, who's 0-for-1 in Toronto after grounding out against Hideki Okajima in his first at-bat as a Jay. Bautista, who's spent the last five seasons with the Orioles, Devil Rays, Royals and Pirates, brings a wealth of experience in meaningless games to the Jays' clubhouse. It should serve them well the rest of the way. Wilkerson's trip to the DL also means that the Kevin Mench Era will probably last at least the rest of the season. Good. Hey, if the fates nudge JP in the right direction every now and then, I'm not gonna complain.

It'll be interesting to see what the Jays' lineup looks like today against lefty Jon Lester. Rios and Wells will man two outfield spots. Barajas will catch. Stairs and Zaun will sit. Because there are so many righties who need playing time, Inglett is very likely to sit too.

That leaves seven players to fight over LF, DH and the four infield slots:

IF - Overbay, Bautista, McDonald, Eckstein, Scutaro
OF - Lind, Mench

Who sits? According to BR's handy lineup tool, McDonald hasn't sat in exactly three weeks, Overbay hasn't sat since July 9, and Lind hasn't sat since June 30(!). Scutaro hasn't sat since two Fridays ago. Mench, Bautista and Eckstein all pretty much have to start - if they don't, why are they here? It's a bit of a pickle. Since Scutaro has no splits (2008 and career - he's effectively a switch hitter), maybe he plays the lefty role in a third-base platoon with Bautista and sits today. That'd probably be my brilliant solution. Really, though, since Scutaro and Eckstein are involved, there are no right or wrong answers.

Lester takes on Jesse Litsch, making his first home start since his recall from Syracuse. Game time is 1:07.
23 August 2008: Confusion Turns Me Upside Down | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
squagles - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#191162) #
Wilner on Fan590 just announced that Shaun Marcum has been optioned to AAA and John Parrish has been recalled.  What is that all about?  Is there some magic work that Marcum will get done in the last week of the AAA season?
Thomas - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#191163) #

Mench, Bautista and Eckstein all pretty much have to start - if they don't, why are they here?

Nobody knows (less why he's here and more why he'll likely need a map next time he's given an at-bat).

Ken Kosowan - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#191164) #
CBC's broadcast just confirmed what Wilner said. Marcum is going to the minors...

After 3 fairly good starts, and one failure, he's going down. Were his mechanics that bad? Is he not properly healed?

It's not good news if Marcum misses more than 2 starts I'd say. What was that we were saying about pitching depth? McGowan, Marcum...... ouch.

Wildrose - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#191165) #
CBC's broadcast just confirmed what Wilner said. Marcum is going to the minors...

I'd say this perhaps has Mel Queen written all over it. Queen is back with the organization and perhaps they want him to work with Marcum down in the minors on some technical aspect of pitching.

Who knows really. Hopefully this isn't some sort of penal move for poor performance. I have real concerns about the state of Marcum's elbow.
westcoast dude - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#191167) #
Another offensive explosion by the Blue Jays. A Scutero solo shot continues to make Ricciardi's call prescient, then Vernon's second shot makes it 11-0 after five. Good things are happening for Jesse with Barajas behind the plate, as in Youk's second strikeout to end the fifth: two fastballs fouled off, two changeups miss, then catch him looking at a slider. Sweet.
The_Game - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#191169) #
If Eckstein isn't even going to play agaisnt lefties anymore, they really should just release him.
scottt - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#191170) #
It looks like Scutaro and Inglett are a platoon at 2B which leaves 3B to Bautista against LH pitching.
DH goes to Mench for now. Eckstein? Unless he buys first baseman's mitt, he's not starting anywhere.

Barajas has an OPS of .774 in August. Zaun .063

Marcum is going to AAA in search of his location.

Bautista hitting second? Funny spot for someone with power who strikes out a lot. He has a high OBP, but 30% of his hits are homers and that defeats the idea of putting men on base for the big hitters.

Overbay, McDonald and Mench can't really hit in that slot either. I'd DH Eckstein just for that.
Of course, Mench has to got 3-for-5 with a double. Oh, well. Just don't ask Bautista to move the runner over.

Dave Rutt - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#191171) #
Dirk Hayhurst, possibly the best athlete-blogger ever (from what I've read, only Gilbert Arenas comes close), has made it to the bigs, and is pitching today for San Diego.
The_Game - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#191172) #
Tampa struggles agaisnt lefties, and as a result of this Marcum demotion, it appears that they'll throw both Purcey and Parrish agaisnt them. Which would leave Burnett-Litsch-Halladay agaisnt New York.
Moe - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#191173) #
Just a thought: According to Cot's Baseball contacts, Marcum had 1 year and 128 days of service time at the end of last season. With a full year 2008, he is a 2 years and 128 days. That's probably not enough to make him a "super 2" and have him be eligible for arbitration, but it's close. Could it be the Jays just want to be sure and send him down for 10 days?

Cost: Marcum missing 2 starts - Gain: $$$s
If the Jays agree they have no chance anyways, why not save some money and on top have Marcum work on some stuff. Of course, just a thought.

The_Game - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#191174) #
Wilner is speculating that Marcum needed an attitude adjustment.
Thomas - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#191175) #
Did that appear to random speculation or based on his sources/knowledge of the clubhouse?
King Rat - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#191176) #
He phrases it in his latest blog post as though he'd heard it from sources in the clubhouse, but he also recounts an incident wherein Marcum speculated that he might be sent down if things didn't improve, to the disbelief of the media. Perhaps this is just me, but the one incident doesn't sound like the stereotypical attitude problem for a young player. He also says that Marcum has always seemed loose and relaxed to him. The whole thing's here.

I dunno. The "save a little money" scenario, the "work things out in a couple of starts scenario," the "shut it down till spring" scenario, the attitude adjustment scenario-maybe they just all blended together just enough to do it, combined with J.P. actually believing they still have a shot.  We'll see, I suppose.

In other news, today's SOSH game thread is a good one-they don't disappoint, those boys, when the Jays beat the Bosox.

92-93 - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#191177) #
JP's take on Marcum, from Jordan Bastian - "We've got some chance here to catch these guys," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "We want to put the best possible group out there that we can right now. He's just been struggling throwing strikes, so we want to just let him go down there and work out some of the kinks."

Game, it's also possible they keep Halladay, Litsch, and Burnett on schedule (4 days rest), so the Tampa series will be Halladay-?-Litsch and NYY will be Burnett-?-Halladay. I'd assume Purcey gets Tampa because NYY just hit him hard.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#191186) #
I doubt the move has anything to do with attitude or anything other than how Marcum has pitched since his return. In his 7 starts he has an era of 6.20. In 3 of those 7 starts his game score was in the 20's, another was 40.

I take Ricciardi at his word when he says he doesn't believe Marcum is the best they can put out there at the moment. Whether he's right in that assessment is another story. I don't have much confidence in Parrish, Richmond or Purcey.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 23 2008 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#191188) #
First Litsch, then Marcum.  I wouldn't do it, but my own view is that it will not affect either of them negatively in the long run.    Marcum's control has been spottier than usual since his return from injury; it seems to me the wiser course is to either give him a longer rehab stint before he returned or let him work out the control issues at the big league level now.

Marcum has enough talent that it's not going to matter, provided he is healthy.
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#191200) #
Has AJ worked himself to being a type A yet?
AWeb - Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#191202) #
I only caught the last 4-5 innings, but this was the first game I recall this year where Toronto was failing to get hits due to good defence and bad "aim" as to where they hit it. They seemed to be smoking the ball a lot and not getting rewarded for it. This is the kind of close game that it's easier to look back on and chalk up to bad luck. Boston's outfield defense was very impressive today - there were several plays Bay made that Manny wouldn't have (Rios for sure, maybe not the Stairs putout at the plate), and the others made a few difficult plays look pretty easy.

I keep hoping, with each loss, that the announcers can admit the Jays are out of it. It's somehow easier to wach without having to hear how "this one gets that Jays right back to almost in it". They are now where Colorado was last year - needing to roll off a historically great streak to maybe make it.
King Ryan - Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#191205) #
I hear you, AWeb.

I understand the "not out until you're out" attitude, and I understand that the announcers are only being good company men, but it is so painfully obvious that the Jays are done that it's frustrating to listen to how "crucial" the games are and how many games back they are, and what have you.

Forget all that noise; forget how many games they are back, how many games against rivals they have, etc. etc. 

Just look at this:  Over the last 15 years or so the wild card team has very consistently had 94-96 wins.  Look at the Jays record.  Look at what they would have to do to get to 94-96 wins.  Is it possible? Mathematically, yes.  Realistically, no.    I think the fact that they were 7.5 GB two weeks ago and after having a nice run lately they are STILL 7.5 GB should be pretty telling as to how impossible it is to make up ground. 

The fact is that even IF they go on the insane run that Colorado went on last year, it won't be enough.   The Rockies over their last 32 games went 22-10.  That would give the Jays 89 wins.  Who here thinks 89 wins will be enough to make the playoffs? 

I am sorry for beating this into the ground but I just feel like there is a line between being optimistic and being annoying and it has been crossed.

Let's just enjoy watching Adam Lind develop and Roy Halladay's dominance and stop deluding ourselves into thinking there are playoff hopes. . .

Mike Green - Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#191206) #
That was a tough loss.

I said at the start of the season that if this club was to win, it would be in the mode of the White Sox of 05.  They really have not missed by much.  The Jays of 08 have scored 4.41 runs per game and allowed 3.91, whereas the White Sox of 05 scored 4.57 and allowed 3.98.  The main difference lies in the Sox beating their Pythagorean by 8 games and the Jays falling 5 games short of it.
Matthew E - Sunday, August 24 2008 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#191213) #
My first thought on hearing about Marcum being sent down:

Roy Halladay had better hope that he doesn't have two bad starts in a row.

23 August 2008: Confusion Turns Me Upside Down | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.