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It's a throw down, a show down, hell no I can't slow down, it's gonna go...DOWN!

In advance of the "Throwdown in Beantown", the Jays of Blue completed a four game sweep of the Sox of White with a 3-2 victory Monday afternoon at the Thunder Dome.

 In the battle of "Riches", "Mond" outdueled "Ard" on the mound as Scott Richmond faced Pale Hose lefty Clayton RichardRichmond set the tone early with three groundball outs in the first and worked around a leadoff walk to Jim Thome in the second.  The Jays had a chance to get to Richard in the first when Marco Scutaro walked and Aaron Hill reached on an infield single to short.  However, Alex Rios hit into a double play and then with runners on the corners, Adam Lind hit into a fielder's choice on a sharp grounder to short.  However, the Jays did get on the board in the second courtesy of Kevin Millar's second homer of the season which cleared the fence in left-center. 

That 1-0 lead held up in the top of the third thanks to a fine play at third by Scott Rolen.  He snared a Josh Fields smash down the third base line and threw out his third base counterpart.  That turned out to be huge when Scott Podsednik followed up with a two-out triple.  However, Richmond made sure Podsednik wouldn't run the last 90 feet as he struck out Jayson Nix to end the inning.  Podsednik would play a big role in the Jays second run in the home half of the third as he made a three-base error in center field to allow Scutaro to get to third.  "Scooter" would come home on a Hill sac fly.

Richmond gave up just one hit over the next two innings and stranded Nix in the sixth after he stole second and third by striking out Thome.  The Sox would threaten again in the seventh by getting runners on the corners with two outs but Richmond got Fields to ground out to end the inning and his afternoon on the hill.

However, Richmond's bid for his fifth win of the season was flushed down the crapper when Jesse Carlson couldn't get the job done in the eighth.   He set down the first two hitters in order but Jermaine Dye singled and that was followed by a two-run dinger from Thome to tie the game at 2-2.  Someone should've given a Thome a ride as he took forever and a lifetime rounding the bases. 

The Jays bats, save for a Millar single and Scutaro walk, were held in check by Richard since the fourth.  RIchard, who was now off the hook for the loss, was replaced by  Octavio Dotel to start the eighth.  The veteran righty committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff man in Jose Bautista.  He was pushed to second on a Scutaro bunt but Hill couldn't bring him home after he popped up to second.  It was up to Rios, yesterday's bobblehead hero, and he made up for his groundball double play in the first by hitting a triple past the outstretched glove of Podsednik in centre to score Bautista after he stole third.  Scott Downs finished up with a one-walk ninth to preserve the win for Carlson and collect his fifth save of the year.

Richmond finished with seven shutout frames by giving up just five hits and one walk while striking out seven and getting eight groundouts.  The Jays were outhit 7 to 4 with Millar getting half of them with his homer and single.  They also drew four walks.

Tonight, the Jays hope to "Tallet like it is" in Fenway Park as Brian Tallet faces knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in a 7:10 p.m. EDT start.

In other TDIB notes.......

*  The Twins lose again to the Yankees but at least it wasn't a walk-off loss this time.

Todd Helton's potential 2,000th hit is under review but Jason Kendall's isn't.

*   Rickie Weeks is done for the season thanks to a wrist injury but Mat Gamel brings down the gavel to hit his first major league homer as the Brew Crew beat the Cards.

*   The Rays are back at sea level as they pummel the A's.

*   Carlos Delgado's season will be out for awhile thanks to a hip injury.

One Sox Sweep Down! One More To Go! | 43 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#200200) #

These Jays are for real, they may not be good enough, when all is said and done, but they are for real.

Boston had Monday off (-3.5) so might tweak their starters.  Ortis is back in the lineup, does he have anything left?  I don't know how well Boston scouted Toronto's pitching, but it can't be well enough.  Q: A sweep.  A: Maybe.


Mike D - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#200201) #
First Offence on the mix!
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#200205) #
The stolen base was a nice little part of this weekend's sweep.  Wells' steal of 2nd in the 8th inning on Saturday eliminated the risk of the double play and Lind's tying double followed.  Bautista's steal of third yesterday probably did not affect the outcome, but at the time greatly increased the team's chance of winning. 

The club overall is 20-3 in this department, and has taken advantage of the weaker throwing arms in the league. 

OBG - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#200206) #
Its enjoyable watching Scott Richmond pitch, and I was wondering what the chances are that he might emerge as a latter-day Dave Stewart, a guy who bounced around without much success but then found his groove late in life and racked up a string of big seasons. Stewart was 29 in 1986 when LaRussa-Duncan plucked him off the scrap heap (I remember watching one of his very first starts as an A at Fenway), going 9-5, 3.74 before reeling off the first of his 20-win seasons the next year.

Obviously there's some important differences (Stewart had bounced around the bigs and was a one-time top prospect), but they're both big, lanky righties with a plus fastball and good command. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with Richmond the second time around the League, but they said the same thing about Stewart as well until he became a rotation anchor.

92-93 - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#200207) #
"but at the time greatly increased the team's chance of winning."

Greatly? Rios doesn't hit that many infield singles.
Mike D - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#200209) #
Well, a wild pitch might have brought in Bautista, and a wild pitch actually happened a few pitches later, only to bounce back straight to Pierzynski (which forced Bautista to hold his ground).
92-93 - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#200210) #
Good point, I just didn't think of it as "greatly".

Why didn't Alexei Ramirez take off for 2nd last night in the 9th? I thought it was inevitable.
jjdynomite - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#200211) #
Interesting comparison OBG, but it's not like The Stare was Steven Strasburg, he was a 16th round draftee.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#200212) #
"Greatly" was an overstatement.  Tango's leverage tables put a number on it.  The situation moved from a 2.8 leverage to 3.4 when Bautista stole 3rd (ideally, you'd have your ace reliever out there long before this, but you certainly want him in with a leverage over 3 and 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth). 

From a practical perspective, there were two ways that the stolen base may have affected the outcome.  Firstly, the Sox may have been more leery of attempting to throw Rios something down and away in the dirt.  Secondly, with Bautista on second, Podsednik might have attempted to short-hop Rios' line drive and try to make a play at the plate.  It is possible that the stolen base unnerved Dotel a bit too.

Greg - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#200213) #

I think that's key
The thing to remember is that scoring from 2nd on a single is never a sure thing.  And Rios' hit is a prime example of that.  Had Bautista been on 2nd, he'd have held up to see if Podsednik catches that.  With a runner on 2nd, Podsednik could have played it more conservatively, or had he trapped the ball Bautista wouldn't have been able to score from 2nd.

Not that 3rd base is really worth any kind of risk with 0 or 2 out...but if they're giving it to you, it helps.

Ducey - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#200214) #

Its enjoyable watching Scott Richmond pitch, and I was wondering what the chances are that he might emerge as a latter-day Dave Stewart

Not great.  Stewarts career was saved by the spliter as I recall.

Richmond doesn't really have a pitch that he can use to get lefties out.  I don't think he throws a changeup, so its fastball, curve vs LH.  His big slider works against RH. His ERA vs LH is 6.04.  His ERA vs RH is 0.83!

I would bet someone in the Jays scouting system noted his ability to get RH hitters out before they brought him into the organization.  I would think longterm, his greatest value will be in the bullpen for use primarily vs RH hitters.  Either that or he will have to find a pitch to get LH batters out.

Maybe Stewart can take time from his search for a GM job to teach Richmond the spliter...

lexomatic - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#200215) #
I was at the game, and I can guarantee you that people in the 500 level were yelling at Thome as he circled the bases. I can clearly remember the Australian behind me yelling "get your fat ass in gear!" i guess you had ta be there.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#200216) #

I can guarantee you that people in the 500 level were yelling at Thome as he circled the bases.

Where's Jake Taylor and the bullpen car when you need it?  Even Kirk Gibson hobbled around the bases quicker after his blast against Eckersley in the '88 World Series.  That might've been the slowest trot around the bases since Dave Parker's B.S. in '89.  What a dink he was then!

electric carrot - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#200217) #
The Boston Globe (like a lot of us) wonders "Are the Jays for Real?"

(for the record I'm going to go with "yes they are.")

electric carrot - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#200218) #

That link didn't work so here's the actual page.
zeppelinkm - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#200219) #
Richmond does throw a change-up that he commands decently. Why he has abandoned it recently is unknown. It tails down and away from lefties, so it would be the ideal pitch to use against them. More information on it over at 

Magpie - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#200222) #
yelling at Thome as he circled the bases.

I noticed on Sunday that he isn't running much faster than that trot. Other press box observers said "Molina-esque," which speaks for itself. Thome missed a few games some time back with a heel injury, which is probably still an issue. Plus, he's getting relatively old. Plus, he was never the fastest guy to start with.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#200223) #

Here is your link:

I examined the problem of making links yesterday - there seems to be some kind of problem in Firefox 3. When you use the button to make a link, it unfailingly creates a link to Nowhere (to ""javascript:void(0);/*1242682560927*/", to be precise. The only workaround I know of is after you create the link to nowhere, click on the source button and replace the text between those two quote marks with the actual link text.

The other option is to use Internet Explorer 8, which doesn't have this issue. I do feat that might give the folks at Microsoft the wrong impression.

johnny was - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#200225) #
Argh, I am really loathe to ask this here, but does anyone from the COGECO pockets of SW Ontario know if this particular cable provider offers TSN2?  Just talked to a fellow there on the phone who says they don't and can't add it for me, but their crappy, non-functional website says they do.

p.s. damn you, cable company politics!

smcs - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#200227) #
I'm not so sure about SW Ontario, but I am in Kingston and have COGECO's digital cable package plus the Sports package which includes the other 3 Sportsnets and TSN2.
China fan - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#200229) #
The Jays still can't get any respect from the media in the rest of the league.  The Boston Globe article says the Jays lineup is "nearly as deep" as that of the Sox, Yanks and Rays -- even though the same article admits that the Jays have scored more runs than anyone else in the division.   Funny how they manage to out-hit the rest of the division with a lineup that's apparently not as good.  (The writer also seems to think that Jesse Litsch is ready to return to the Jays rotation but was held back because of the success of the current rotation.  In fact, Litsch won't be ready for another few weeks.  Not much credibility in this article.)
92-93 - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#200237) #
From Ken Rosenthal's latest -

"The more common Jays stories are of pitchers such as Ray, a former seventh-round pick who had made one start for Class A Dunedin and one for Class AAA Las Vegas when Ricciardi contacted Scott, his farm director, in need of rotation help.

"Your call," Ricciardi recalls telling Scott.

"Give me 10 minutes," Scott replied.

Scott checked with his staff and called back with a unanimous recommendation for Ray."
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#200241) #
Of course, Ray had made 16 double A starts last year.  It's not as though he was plucked from the low minors and thrown in.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#200243) #

Here's the Rosenthal column - and what's all this then? Praise for Ricciardi?

Rarely are the Jays hailed for their prowess in scouting and player development; Baseball America ranked their farm system 19th at the start of the season. But suddenly, the team is producing pitching in waves....the Jays clearly have benefited from their philosophy of drafting college pitchers rather than high-ceiling high school arms who take longer to develop 

Hey, look!

#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#200245) #

The best flying pig is this one!  Hey hey hey!


braden - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#200246) #

A couple of things:

1- I'm in Burlington and do indeed have TSN2 through Cogeco.  I believe it's on 156.

2- Regarding linking in Firefox.  I can't explain why, but my workaround has always been successful on the second try.  What I mean is, click the link icon, paste your link, click 'ok'.  Then click the link icon again, replace the gibberish with your proper link again, click 'ok'.  Presto.

92-93 - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#200250) #
Rob Neyer also has a little piece today on the Jays -

"Rob, the Jays are leading the AL in run differential by a fairly healthy margin. I took a look back to 2002 (as far back as the EPSN standings page will take me) and looked at all the teams leading the AL or NL on May 18. Of those 14 teams, 12 made the playoffs. The only two that didn't were the A's last season and the Mets in 2007."
92-93 - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#200252) #
Quick browse over the numbers, and most of the Jays have problems with Wakefield. Kevin Millar has torn him apart to the tune of .444/.483/.889 in 27 PA, and Scutaro (.313/.353/.438, 17 PA) and Overbay (.313/.353/.313) have also had moderate success, but the rest is bad news. It will be interesting to see if Cito goes with Lind in LF and Millar at DH. Hopefully Wake just doesn't have it tonight; he was pitching well early in the season, but 2 of his last 3 starts have been bad.
VBF - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#200254) #
I am curious if management is considering sending down someone from the bullpen (Wolfe, Camp?) to Las Vegas to get Inglett up here as a middle infielder going into interleague. The bullpen is pretty strong in itself, and I think that having a bench of Snider, Millar/Overbay, Bautista, McDonald, Chavez and Inglett would certainly come in handy, especially given the more than unusual amount of 1 run games the Jays have played.

I'm not sure how Inglett has adapted (if at all) to playing shortstop given his time on the DL, but I can see a few situations where he would be a great bat off the bench (or pinch running) and be able to play potentially all non-catcher positions.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#200256) #
Millar and Overbay are both in the lineup tonight against Wakefield.  Snider sits, while Lind is in left. 
Dave Till - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#200257) #
It's worth noting that there is at least as much pressure on the Red Sox as there is on the Jays. Sure, this is the series in which Toronto Has To Prove Whether Or Not They're For Real - but the Sox are 3 1/2 back, are playing at home, and have the Yankees breathing down their necks.
sduguid - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#200258) #
It looks like TSN2 has the NESN feed.  I'm ok with that, as it will be nice to get another perspective and, though Rod Black has improved, he's not my favourite by any means.
scottt - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#200259) #
I was thinking about DHing Millar myself.  Against a knuckleballer, there's no platooning. Milliar is .444 career against Wakefield, best on the team.
Overbay is .333 and a plus defender.

davidcanavan - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#200260) #
I have the game on channel one just with a basic rogers box in Waterloo. Its the Boston feed and one of the commentaters just called Halladay the best pitcher in baseball and a Hall of Famer. I like it
Waveburner - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#200262) #

That game was frustrating. I hate Wakefield so much. Had the knuckleball really working tonight. Can't he go sign in the National League for what he's really worth instead of taking discounts to pitch for Boston?

Kinda liked listening to the Boston announcers, even if in many cases they were utterly clueless about Jay players. Only Jays they really seemed to compliment much at all though were Halladay and Rolen, with a brief bit about Hill. It was still interesting to hear a non-Jays centric commentary. Plus, they have much better commercials involving Jays players. Vernon stealing a car? Good times.

StephenT - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#200263) #
The best thing about a Red Sox home feed is getting to see the pitches from a straightaway centre-field camera, which is neutral to whether the pitcher is right- or left-handed.  You can see pitch location so much more clearly, especially inside/outside.  (The ump had a wide strike zone tonight.)  I've particularly been wanting to see B.J. Ryan from the straightaway camera for a long time.  I'm looking forward to seeing Cecil's pitches tomorrow night.
snider - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#200264) #
I hate Wakefield so much.

Took the words out of my mouth.  It doesn't seem right that he can make a living doing what he does. 

The Sox kept trying to give us that game but we wouldn't take it.

Am I the only one who thinks that BJ and League are the last two guys you want to see come out of the pen right now?  It seems like a miracle when BJ in particular doesn't let up a run.
sduguid - Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#200265) #
When BJ came into the game in his first year with the Jays (and before) he inspired fear and it was pretty much automatic that the game was over.  He just doesn't have anything close to that now.  Whether or not he can regain that form is unknown but I'm skeptical at this point.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#200266) #
I was very surprised Cito went with Ryan in a 2-1 game. Frasor had only thrown 11 pitches, and I'd prefer Elsbury face a righty than Pedroia face a lefty. Then if you wanted to bring in someone for Ortiz you go with Downs. Even if it's going to be Ryan there, you've given Frasor the chance.

Ryan's velocity is down again, the TV gun had it at 86. He hung sliders to Elsbury and Bay - I really don't think he's ready for these pressure-filled situations.
brent - Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#200267) #
My first thought is why were the Jays so impatient? Scutaro and Hill each started the game with 7 pitch at bats. Wakefield still made it through 8 innings with only about 100 pitches. It looked like the Jays were letting Wakefield off by not having to throw strikes consistently. However, the team has consistently hit so well that I am going to put this game out of my memory until the next time the Jays face Wake.
ahitisahit - Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#200270) #

I'm not sure I love Eckersley as an announcer. He couldn't find enough ways to say that Tallet was mediocre/average/not overpowering.

I suspect tonight's game should be better, I'm expecting big things out of Hill and Lind.

RhyZa - Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#200272) #
Eck was much better than I expected.  (btw he was the one who was praising Roy as the best)

And they were right, facing Wake the 1st game of the series spelled disaster right from the start.  It was a nothing game (even the atmosphere was dead - I guess not much to cheer about), and though it was 2-1 it felt like we were never really in it.

Gerry - Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#200353) #
The headline was true, just not in the way we expected.
One Sox Sweep Down! One More To Go! | 43 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.