The Jays return to their winning ways. If you tuned in late the 6-4 score looks much like last night, with the key difference being that the good guys one. Far from it, my friend. Both starters were very good, only to see their bullpens implode behind them. Fortunately the Jays imploded the least. Can you say another ten straight? Also, this game featured one of the worst strike zones I think I have ever seen.
Both starting pitchers in this game were phenomenal, and the game remained tied at 0-0 until the top of the 8th, when Gavin Floyd gave up a leadoff double to Travis Snider. After going 0-3 in attempting to cash a Lind leadoff double the previous inning, the Jays went bunt, soft single, infield single and Floyd was lifted. The flamethrowing lefty Matt Thornton came in, and even with 97 MPH heat could not get a called strike, literaly. He threw two pitches at Adam Lind's knees that looked awfully close to run the count to three and one, before Lind committed the cardinal sin of showing up the umpire, as he foolishly started to walk towards first when the next pitch was six inches out of the strike zone. The karma police caught up to him, and he promptly struck out. In any event, Lyle Overbay knocked a seeing eye single back up the middle to cash another two, Rod Barajas broke out of a nasty slump with a well placed double down the line, and Scott Rolen knocked a ball into the outfield to make it 6-0, before getting thrown out at first by the left fielder on a big turn (bet he won't hear the end of that one!) Anyway, that was all she wrote...
Until Marcum put two batters on with one out in the bottom of the 8th. In comes Downs, game over, right? Well, Downs gave up a massive fly ball that advanced the runners, and a double and a mamoth Jim Thome homer and it was 6-4, after Brandon League got the last out. Come the bottom of the 9th and the insane strike zone returned. BJ would eventually strike out the side, sandwiched around a hbp and an error. He got an awful lot of help from Mike Winters though. I believe it was against Nick Swisher, but BJ couldn't find the zone to save his life. Fortunately the two strikes that were called that were both at Swisher's shoetops probably helped expand the zone.
Anyway, bottom line is that the Jays won, and maybe we need some instant replay for the strikezone.
In other news, the Jays are 6.5 back with 7 to play against Boston, and 16 overall. Coolstandings has their playoff odds at 3.6%. It will probably take a minimum of 12 wins from here on out, and at least five need to be against the Red Sox. To do this, the Jays plan on starting Burnett, Litsch and Halladay on three days rest each over the weekend, because of the doubleheader on Saturday. The matchups seem to favour the Jays - Purcey-Wakefield, Burnett-Byrd, Litsch-Colon, Halladay-Lester. Then again, when you have the best rotation in baseball, these things tend to look not so bad.