Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Iíll let J.P. keep his job if the Jays beat Garza Ö fair enough? (sly wink)
 - John Brattain, 1:03 PM Sunday


Matt Garza accepted the defeat with more equanimity than I would have - he noted that he'd beat Purcey 1-0 just a couple of weeks ago. Blue Jays fans are all aware of how brilliantly Garza has pitched against Toronto - in five starts, he's allowed just two runs in 38 IP. What is really remarkable is that he's managed to take the loss in two of those games - he actually needs to pitch a shutout to beat the Blue Jays.

Defensive play of the game - I thought it was Barajas handling a pitch in the dirt, noticing Willy Aybar had strayed just a step too far off first base, and gunning a bullet to Overbay to erase the runner. Jason Bartlett followed with a double deep to the outfield that likely would have tied the game.

Elsewhere - Carlos Delgado, who was being written off just a couple of months ago, has started to insert himself into the MVP discussion in the other league. The Mets wrapped up their showdown with the Phillies yesterday. Delagdo delivered a two-run single in the first to put his squad up 3-1, and followed up with a pair of long solo homers off Cole Hamels. A huge win for the Mets - after Jamie Moyer beat Pedro Martinez in the first gane of the double-header, the Phils had a chance to pull into a tie for first place. The Mets lead remains at two games, and Delgado is now up to 100 RBIs. I don't think he's going to be available this off-season.

The Dodgers finished off their sweep of the D'Backs with a 5-3 win. After pummelling Brandon Webb senseless on Saturday, Manny Ramirez had a quiet Sunday - he went 2-3 with a walk and scored a run. A quiet day for Manny, who is hitting .410 as a Dodger. It was the other old Bostonian - Nomar Garciaparra - who drove in the go-ahead run with a sac fly and made a game saving defensive play with two men on the ninth.

Nomar! He's still active!
8 September 08 - Devilled Rays | 55 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Alex Obal - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 01:18 AM EDT (#192060) #
This week's rooting interest is... the Rays. They're in Boston for a three-game series. Unfortunately, I learned something from today's game recap - the Rays franchise has never ever won a series in Fenway Park. Never. 0-21-4. So, bad news on the out-of-town scoreboard is basically assured. Especially since the Red Sox are sending out Lester, Matsuzaka and Beckett to face Jackson, a lefty and Sonnanstine. Furthermore, Tampa has no momentum.
King Rat - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#192061) #
Not that it matters at this point, but in situations like this I root for whoever wins the first game to sweep. 9.5 games back of Tampa is only slightly more impossible than 8 back of Boston, so if the Sox win the first game you might as well root for them to put a real hurting on Tampa. Stomach turning though the thought of rooting for Boston is...
Alex Obal - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 01:36 AM EDT (#192062) #
And that was such a staggering statistic that I just had to look it up for myself for the sake of Devil Ray nostalgia, and it turns out they actually went 5-1 at Fenway in 1999. So they haven't won a series in Boston this century - their last win was more than 110 months ago. Here's to the Rays' winning pitchers in those five wins: Bryan Rekar, Bobby Witt, Rolando Arrojo, Roberto Hernandez and Wilson Alvarez. And to the one guy who beat them, a 36-year-old Mark Portugal.
92-93 - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 01:47 AM EDT (#192063) #
"Especially since the Red Sox are sending out Lester, Matsuzaka and Beckett to face Jackson, a lefty and Sonnanstine."

A lefty? Is there a reason you won't say their best pitcher's name?
binnister - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#192065) #

If (and I mean this is a *big* 'if') the Jays go .800  (16-4) the rest of the way, I believe Boston would have to go 8-11 to end the season (and Tampa, of course, would have to do worse).

I got to say, I'm torn as to whom to root for in the Boston/Rays series.

I mean, realistically, who more likely to totally collapse down the stretch?   While it would be sweet to catch Boston for the final playoff spot (and have *both* Evil Empire's book early tee times), you've got to think that the Rays confidence is at a pretty low ebb right now....

92-93 - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#192066) #
You root for the Rays, for the simple reason that you want the Jays "controlling their own destiny" with their 7 games remaining vs. the Red Sox. They don't play Tampa again.
Alex Obal - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#192067) #
I think it'd be interesting to see what numbers the playoff odds predictors would spit out on Thursday morning for each possible outcome of the Rays/Sox series, assuming the Jays somehow take all of the first three games at the Cell. I'm rooting for Tampa this week simply because the Jays have 7 games left vs Boston as opposed to 0 vs Tampa, but if Boston wins the first two, maybe it does make sense to switch sides for intangibley reasons.

A lefty? Is there there a reason you won't say their best pitcher's name?

Couldn't remember it off the top of my head. Anyway, don't see why it would matter much how good the guy is. Boston is .299/.377/.480 vs lefties and they're 6-3 against them since the Manny trade. Anyway, Scott Kazmir's career record at Fenway is 4-4, and he's 0-1 there this year with a 6.75 ERA.
Alex Obal - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#192068) #
Yeah, what he said.
Jays2010 - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 02:11 AM EDT (#192069) #
If the Jays go 6-1 vs the Red Sox (thus, they'd only have to gain 3 more games the rest of the way to tie for the WC) I'd say they have a realistic shot at the playoffs. Anything else is really pushing it. Does anyone else think that they should start Litsch on 3 days rest for one of the Saturday games and Halladay on 3 days rest on Sunday? This would avoid a Richmond/Parrish start and would also allow Halladay to face the Red Sox, instead of bypassing them and pitching next Tuesday after the off-day.
greenfrog - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#192071) #
The Jays catch a break this week, in that both Carlos Quentin and Joe Crede are injured. It will still be tough to dominate Chicago, which has good pitching. But the injuries definitely give the Jays an advantage.
AWeb - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#192072) #
The Jays are now 4th in the majors in terms of Expected W-L (either by pythagoras or Baseball prospectus's 3rd order projected record). Ahead of them are Boston, the Cubs, and either the Rays or the Phillies. In a very real way, the Jays have actually turned out better than I could have hoped - I didn't figure they were good enough to make the playoffs without a few lucky breaks and hitter career years. In real life, they have the 10th best record in the majors and have been unlucky (in the sense that they have blown a disproportionate number of chances to win close games). The only career years have been in the pen (Downs, Carlson, League, Tallet), Marcum, and probably Halladay. Of course, that's almost half the IP on the maybe quite a few things have gone right this year.

It's amazing what a long win streak can do for a team - the Jays have been waiting for a run this good for a decade. I know it's almost certainly too little too late (unless they do actually complete a Colorado-2007-esque streak over the next two weeks), but it's been fun tuning into games lately. As a fan, aside from a championship, there's not too much to ask for.
lexomatic - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#192074) #
The only career years have been in the pen (Downs...)
ok Downs is having a career year, but his ERA since moving to the pen is below 2. He's been pretty consistently amazing.
Mike Green - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#192075) #
With the Jays facing two lefties in the Cell ("lefties in the Cell" has echoes of McCarthy-Joe not Brandon), I wonder if Mench will get some work out of the DH slot.  It would be a good time for him to hit like he can. 
Mike Green - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#192076) #
Oh, and here are Chris Jaffe's theme songs for the 30 teams. The Pretenders "Middle of the Road" might work for the home nine too, or if you want to complain, Cream's "Born Under a Bad Sign". 
John Northey - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#192077) #
On the Playoff Odds report via B-P they are now 6th. Of course, that puts them at 0.7%. 3 of the 4 slots look locked up with Angels at 99.99945% (Rangers have 0.00055% chance of beating them), Tampa at 99.5%, Red Sox at 98.97%. Central has White Sox at 82.5% and Twins at 17.9%. The Yankees are now down to 0.27%

So the Twins are the faint hope team, the Jays the extremely remote hope.
Mick Doherty - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#192079) #

I was curious to see the Jaffe theme songs story -- it's very Hall of Names-y, after all!! -- but that link didn't work for me, so I Googled it. If anyone else has the same issue, here is the link in full:

John Northey - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#192082) #
Just for fun I did a quick check of the 8 game winning streak (so far).

Runs allowed by Jays...
0 - twice
2 - once
4 - three times
5 - once
6 - once

Runs scored by Jays...
9 - once
7 - three times
6 - twice
5 - once
1 - once

So, given that the last 8 games with worst case run shifting would result in no worse than a 6-2 record (not factoring in that 2 games went extra innings). IE: they aren't just lucky, they are really playing well.

Back in June the Jays suffered through a 7 game losing streak.
Runs allowed...
1 - once (12 innings too)
5 - once
6 - twice
7 - twice
8 - once

Runs scored...
7 - once
4 - twice
3 - once
2 - once
0 - twice

So perfect run adjustment would've results in, at best, a 2-5 record. ie: they weren't just unlucky, they played really poorly.

Who has picked up the 8 wins this time?
2 wins: Carlson and Halladay
1 win: League (to start it off), Litsch, Tallet, and Purcey

6 of the 8 games have been at home during the homestand the Jays gave away tickets to email subscribers (dummy me waited to hear which day worked best for a friend and by the time they got back to me it was over). Attendance increased with each day that it continued, from 21,254 to 39,854 on Sunday.

The Jays were 14 1/2 behind the Rays at the start of the streak, now are 9 1/2 back. 10 games back of Boston at the start, now 8 back (sadly they've been doing well too).

4 vs the White Sox, 4 vs the Red Sox who are playing Tampa for 3 then an off day. If things went perfectly (ie: Jays reach 16 on winning streak, Sox lose next 7) the Jays would be 1/2 a game back. More likely in a week we'll be in a similar spot in the standings as today but fun to dream eh?
Barry Bonnell - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#192100) #

Stumbled upon this comment in a White Sox blog:

"I was having Budweiser and some wings at that new place on 35th and Halsted after the game yesterday, when I noticed the guy sitting next to me had a huge Sox World Series ring. I introduced myself. He was Bryan Little, who played with the Sox in Ď85-86. He is now their Major League advance scout. He told me flatly the Blue Jays were the best team in baseballÖand he didnít stutter, reaffirming that statement a couple times. Whereas I donít necessarily agree, I donít think it an outlandish thought, by any means. Of course, he raved about their pitching. He saw them last week vs. the Twins."

A long discussion about the Jays results. Link is provided. Always interesting to read other fan's perspective on our team.

Flex - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#192117) #
Not sure where to post this but tonight's game in Chicago appears to be postponed.
jmoney - Monday, September 08 2008 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#192118) #
I have to admit that the Jays are a very good team. (Of course, its easier to say this because they're playing great right now). I was very upset watching them flounder at times this year and I believe that was the case because I knew they were capable of doing better. Their pitching is phenominal. Their defence is really good. The hitting is okay but you have to think that if they could get that "big bat" they would be a fearsome team. (I'm pulling for Giambi at DH)
brent - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:42 AM EDT (#192139) #

Although the 1998 team had a better record, the 2000 team was actually closer to the chase. Toronto opened September 5.5 games out but couldn't make up any ground, eventually losing 7 or the last 8 games and finishing 4.5 games out.

Comebydeanchance, that is correct. I just have a hard time believing an 83 win team would only be 4.5 games out in the AL East :) However, that kind of season is definitely not usual. Also, it is not particularly useful to compare with JP. He could have made more moves if he knew he only needed to hit 88 wins to take the division. You have to have 90 wins to be in it practically. I think counting on two teams each from the Central and West having at least 90 wins each in a season like 2000 would be folly.

scottt - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:43 AM EDT (#192140) #
Wagner is out, maybe for good. Need TJ surgery and he's an aging power pitcher.

That raises Ryan's trading value.

brent - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 07:01 AM EDT (#192141) #
With Wagner out with Tommy John surgery, JP doesn't look so bad for signing Ryan. Both top closers that year ended up with identical injuries.
brent - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#192142) #
I think that anyone who says these games aren't meaningful are forgetting the optimum win curve. Besides, if the Jays could make it to a nice number like 90 wins, it could  help sell more season's tickets and could help land the Jays a better player that wants to be on a winning team. It could also help to not have to overpay on players just for them to consider Toronto as a destination. Once a team is on the upswing, things get easier I think (except the fact that each win over x gets harder to earn of course-marginal wins or something). 
Jevant - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#192143) #
We now have the 2nd best X W-L record in the AL (behind Boston) and 4th best in MLB (also behind the Cubs and Phillies).
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#192144) #
Baseball America has a brief Q&A on Snider's potential:
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#192146) #
In addition to having a beautiful and powerful swing (which was evident on the 3 minute scouting video that milb puts out before the draft), Snider also has the X factor working for him.  It is plain watching him that he is eager to learn, and will take the steps to do it. 

It is not really true that he has below average speed (at this point in his career).  His defensive instincts are quite weak, but he has decent speed and a very good arm.  He should be a better outfielder than Willie Stargell was (it seems hard to believe but the Pirates actually had Stargell in centerfield for a few games early in his career).

FisherCat - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#192147) #

I think it's becoming clear that, in regards to the Jays's faint playoff hopes, we're rooting for the demise of the RAYS and not the SOX.  I think the heat of the race is getting to them (FINALLY).  The Sox are once again gearing up for October.

So, looking at my crystal ball, I feel that the Jays can realistically go 14-6 in the final 20 the way they're playing right now.  Which means if the Rays of years past can rear their ugly head and finish 5-15 or worse.  (This includes the Jays sneaking past the Twins/ChiSox of course)...then something could be a brewin' North of the Border.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#192148) #
If the Jays pass the Rays will Cito miss out on a manager of the year award again due to a team that went from worst to near first? It would be fitting after all.

Of course, that would also mean we should expect a near miss next year and then 3 playoffs in a row with 2 World Series wins of course. Hmm... who would we get for McDonald and Overbay - any teams with a young future HOF'er at second and an RBI guy in the outfield? :)
mathesond - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#192149) #
That BA article mentions that the Mets have a pretty good SS prospect in Rookie ball. Understanding it's difficult to project from that level on minor league ball, any thoughts as to whether the Jays might offer the Mets Ryan for a package centred around this Flores kid? (I rather doubt BJ would bring back Reyes in return :))
Jdog - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#192150) #

Over at Rotoworld there is an article about Pitchers available this coming offseason. He mentions David Purcey as a pitcher who is available we trade as well as League, Tallet and Frasor.

Im wondering if this is just his best guesses or if he heard something specific about JP dangling Purcey.  He also mentions the Giants will be dangling Sanchez or Cain in an attempt to find a bat. Im wondering if JP will have any more conversations with the Giants. I could see Lind for Cain based trade possibly making sense if the Jays think Snider is ready.  Halladay, Marcum, Cain, Litsch, Purcey (with McGowan waiting in the wings) is a pretty nice rotation. put Snider in LF and sign a big DH.   

Chuck - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#192151) #

Im wondering if this is just his best guesses or if he heard something specific about JP dangling Purcey.

The guys at Rotoworld do a good job at assembling information from numerous sources, but they are definitely not insiders. I can't believe that they are privy to information that we are not.

perlhack - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#192152) #
According to the experts at ESPN, Burnett's 7 strikeouts today give him 208 on the season, a new BJ season record. Uh - I think they better keep researching.
ScottTS - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#192153) #
If the Jays pass the Rays will Cito miss out on a manager of the year award again due to a team that went from worst to near first? It would be fitting after all.

If the Jays miraculously make the playoffs, and Roy Halladay wins his remaining starts (does he have four left?), should he get into the MVP conversation?

perlhack - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#192154) #
I inadvertently wasted some time at BBRef just now, so I thought I'd share some tidbits by way of trivia:

1. In 2004, Ichiro! broke a record that had stood since 1898. What was it?
2. Johnny Damon is the current active leader in this stat, the lowest total for an active leader since 1884. What is it?

The first one is relatively easy, the second of moderate difficulty. Have at it!

NDG - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#192155) #
First one (I guess) is most singles in a year .... for Damon hmmmm, caveman like stolen bases?
perlhack - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#192156) #
You're first guess is correct. (Maybe it was too easy...) The second one - heh, heh - no.
James W - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#192157) #

Wild guess, but is Damon the active triples leader?

perlhack - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#192158) #
Yup, with 92 (though it seems Lofton is still considered active in some parts, and he has 116). Crawford will probably pass him next year, and seems to be one of few active players with a shot of making it to the top 50 for career triples (151). The others are Reyes and Rollins.
Nick Holmes - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#192159) #
"He saw them last week vs. the Twins."

Little, Fregosi and Bill Singer are all chatty and approachable at games.
Flex - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#192163) #
I wish we had a thread where we could discuss the longest Blue Jays winning streak in over a decade. Instead, trivia reigns. Ah well.

HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#192165) #
Playoff odds anyone?
James W - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#192167) #
Coolstandings still says 1.0%, but I imagine that's from the start of the day.  2 wins, plus a Boston defeat should raise those, at least.
jgadfly - Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#192168) #

    "Whistle me up a memory,  Whistle me back where I wanna be,  In Tombstone Territory ..."   ... Why am I whistling and quietly singing this song to myself from the early sixties TV series ... ohh,  ohhkay,  shhhhhhhh ... who was the star of this series, FLEX , do you have an answer to this trivial question ?

ayjackson - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#192170) #
Food for thought....Burnett on short rest this weekend, or baby that arm, baby???
Sanjay - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#192171) #

Gaston stated that if the Jays had gained ground on the wildcard after this series with the Whitesox, Halladay would go on 3 days rest.

From the Toronto Star:

"..Halladay has started on three days rest five times in his career.  He holds and impressive 4-1 record with a 2.83 ERA in those starts.."

robertdudek - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 01:06 AM EDT (#192172) #
Food for thought....Burnett on short rest this weekend, or baby that arm, baby???

He's probably gone after this season, so injury risk should not be a consideration. The real question is - how well will he perform on short rest versus normal rest.
robertdudek - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#192173) #
Over at Rotoworld there is an article about Pitchers available this coming offseason. He mentions David Purcey as a pitcher who is available we trade as well as League, Tallet and Frasor.

I'll wager that this is nothing more than a wild guess. With McGowan's status uncertain, Burnett likely gone, and the very high price starting pitchers command on the open market, Purcey could be the keystone to next year's rotation.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#192174) #
According to Baseball Reference, AJ has only gone on three days' rest three times in his career, but he's done pretty well. Earlier this year he threw 8.1 very strong innings against the Krusty Brand Imitation Yankees in the last game before the all-star break.
China fan - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#192175) #
Burnett's last experience with three days rest went pretty well.   It was July 13, just before the all-star break, and he dominated the Yankees, allowing only one run in eight-and-a-third innings.   It was the first time that he had ever pitched on three days rest after a normal start.  (He had twice before pitched on three days rest -- once after a relief appearance, and after an abbreviated start of 30 pitches -- but this time he pitched three days after throwing 112 pitches in his previous game.)   Burnett actually seemed pretty excited to try the three-days-rest thing, which was suggested to him by the Jays.   Here's what Ricciardi said about Burnett at the time:  "We asked him, and he was fine.  He said, 'Yeah, I'd love to go.' I think all the guys are trying to put their best foot forward, and he knows we're a little short-handed. I thought it was great that he stepped up."
China fan - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 01:26 AM EDT (#192176) #
(Alex beat me to it.  But I had more details.)
China fan - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 03:58 AM EDT (#192182) #
I agree with Robert that the rumored availability of Purcey is an absurd rumor.   The Jays will need all their pitchers next year.  There is no "surplus" of tradeable pitchers, except maybe for BJ Ryan.  Only three of the five starting jobs in 2009 are solid -- Halladay, Marcum and Litsch -- and there's certainly no guarantee that those three will be injury-free for the whole season.  Purcey might be a decent 5th starter, but he still needs to prove himself.  Burnett is probably gone, and all of the other possibilities -- McGowan, Janssen, Cecil, Romero, Richmond etc -- are risky and questionable.   The Jays will need all of their pitching depth next season, and they might need to sign a free-agent pitcher too.   Personally I think their rotation will be strong again next year, but nobody can take it for granted.    If the Jays sign a good free-agent pitcher, and if McGowan and Janssen look strong at spring training, and if Cecil and Romero look ready to challenge for major-league jobs, then maybe the Jays could trade one of their pitchers at the end of spring training -- but until then it is too risky.
scottt - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#192183) #
By the end of spring training, there probably won't be much to trade for.

The Angels traded their shortstop for a pitcher they didn't seem to need. They now have the best record in baseball, but that trade certainly worked for the White Sox as well.

Thomas - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#192184) #

Cool Standings has the playoff odds at 2.9% right now. That's still lower than the Astros, but it's a far better than any scenario I imagined 10 days ago.

ayjackson - Wednesday, September 10 2008 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#192185) #

He's probably gone after this season, so injury risk should not be a consideration.

Where's he going if he's injured his shoulder? 

The last time AJ was put under heavier than normal workloads over the course of three or four starts, he hit the DL.

8 September 08 - Devilled Rays | 55 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.