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Mo' determined to fold the set
I ain't even started yet
So if you ain't ready you better get ready
I know I do it better when I'm being opposed
Stick ya chest out, keep your chin up
'Cause sometimes you gotta get knocked down to get up


Before the Boston series, the Jays had been averaging 5.7 runs a game. In the last six games, they scored 10. If my powers of math are working, that's 1.7 runs a game.

The Jays would be hard pressed to win 25% of the time hitting like that if they had Doc Halladay starting every single day. During the losing streak, the pitching was not the problem. Sure, Cecil got rocked and Ray was exposed, but even counting their losses and yesterday's bullpen meltdown, the Jays' run prevention juggernaut allowed 30 runs over the six games - 5.0 per, which isn't good but is still fewer than the hitters been producing before they ran into Tim Wakefield.

The point is, this is primarily a hitting slump. If you've jumped off the ledge during the past six days, it's probably been because of the Jays' offensive struggles.

Until 5/18: .289/.358/.463, 235 strikeouts, 156 walks, 20/23 stealing bases
Since 5/19: .248/.296/.325, 30 strikeouts, 14 walks, 2/3 stealing bases

Here's the question: In the long run, how close will their offensive production be to the first line? To me, this is the big issue that determines how optimistic you are about the 2009 Jays.

I don't have an answer. But I'm placing much more weight on the six weeks of mashing than on the one week of '08rocity which happens to be the most recent week, and choosing to remain optimistic. As usual, there are overachievers and underachievers, who should cancel each other out; unlike usual, there are useful bench players capable of covering basically every position except short. And it's a testament to what an unstoppable bulldozing force the Jays were over their first 41 games that even now they're still just half a game out of first. And for the three hitting coaches in the dugout, can getting the team out of this slump be any harder than the total recalibration of the offense they had to oversee last summer? I need further evidence to convince me to jump off the bandwagon. I'm very comfortable where I am right now.

Brian Tallet looks to stop the bleeding today against Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie is less overpowering than usual this year (1.63 K/BB, 11 homers allowed already), and though he does have a 3.31 ERA and 0.99 WHIP for his career against Toronto, he only has 1 win in 8 starts. After going 1/12 with RISP yesterday I'm sure the Jays will be delighted to see someone so unclutch. Also, Baltimore just lost 8-5 to the Natinals and were no-hit for three innings by their bullpen. For the Orioles, just showing their faces in public should be enough of a moral victory. Asking them to handle Tallet's diagonal fastballs is way too much. Right? First pitch is at 1:35.
Coming Back Mo' Fearless | 89 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#200503) #

The Jays are now 0.24 R/G better than average on offense and 0.56 R/G better than average on defense.

Last year they were -0.37 R/G on offense and +0.91 R/G on defense.

Alex reasonably questions where the team's true offensive lies. I think an equally valid question is where the true defensive level lies.  Two of the three components of defense -- the gloves and the bullpen -- would appear to be reliable. The third component, the starting pitching, is the question mark. Thus far it has arguably been a bigger surprise than even the hitting. Can that be sustained?

GrrBear - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#200504) #
If you had told me on Opening Day that on May 25th, the Jays would be seven games above .500, I would have taken that in a heartbeat.  That's what a hot start does for you - the team can have a six game losing streak and still be a half game out of first place.  The Jays need somebody - anybody - to get on a hot streak; it'd be nice if that somebody was Vernon.  Still, if we can mostly agree that the Jays were playing over their head for the first 40 games of the season, then now they're feeling the effects of a course correction, and with luck, Baltimore will give them the chances to bounce back.  If they play .550 ball from now until the end of the season, that's still 90 wins, which might be enough for a wild card berth.
Mike Green - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#200506) #
The starting pitcher FIP is entirely within reasonable expectations:  Tallet 5.14; Richmond 4.58, Cecil 6.58, Ray 5.31, Litsch 7.92, Purcey 5.36, Janssen 3.75, Ricky Romero 3.35 and Doc 2.88. 

I am not at all worried about the rotation.  What does worry me is the lack of depth.  My theory is that some of the hitters are tired.  I really wish Cito would have given a day off to Wells, Rios, Scutaro and Hill, notwithstanding the lack of good options on the bench.  Normally one wouldn't in April or May because there are many more scheduled days off and rainouts, but this year's schedule is not typical.

Dewey - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#200513) #
Hasty comment.  But as I peek at box scores of recent losses, I see *lots* of hits (often in double figures) but very few runs scored.  That suggests maybe the hitters are pressing too much with RISP.  I've seen Vernon flail at pitches like I do with a batting machine.  Even Hill and Lind have looked awkward occasionally by not waiting.  It's a tough game.
TamRa - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#200514) #
I think the runs allowed over the streak is skewed by abberational events. Yesterday's bullpen meltdown is highly atypical (and will someone please explain to me why Camp is not flying westward even as we speak? or better yet why that didn't happen weeks ago?) and Ray, I think was due for that sort of start and presumably we are not going to be using a guy who is, with all due respect, in over his head, every fifth day.

So no, I'm still not worried about the pitching much at all. One can argue that Tallet or Richmond or even Romero have some regression yet to do, but that doesn't mean the regression has to be so severe that we don't have the offense to handle it.

Thr OP then, is correct, IMO, that the question before us is how legitimate the earlier offenive work was.

As i look at the team stats I have the following reactions:
(ranked by OPS)

Hill: One should assume a regression but it might be a career year. You just can't assume it will continue;

Overbay: as long as he's protected from Lefties this is in the right neighborhood

Lind: maybe a bit higher than we would have expected but not so high one should take regression as a given

Rolen: Assuming health, this is not overachiving at all and he might yet actually increase this number if he begins to get more balls over the fence

Bautista: like Overbay, as long as he's platooning this is not unexpected

Scutaro: one would HAVE to assume regression

Barajas: if last year is any indication this will tail off considerably

Millar: in a reasonable neighborhood for him, might be a bit high

Wells: 75-100 points too low right now. He's as likely to correct that as Scutaro and Barajas are to regress.  The effect of one likely counterbalances the other.

Rios: 100-150 points too low. If Hill and Lind regressed to a more moderate pace and Rios increases to his normal level the end results are broadly speaking a wash

Snider: might not be an all-star but no reason to assume that figure won't improve when he returns.

In summation, I don't get the feeling that that is an offense that is wildly overachiving. I'll accept the argument that they had a period where a big majority of things went right, and that the RPG average was somewhat high as a result. But I would still argue that their rate from here on out is going to be in the upper third of the league - more than enough to support the pitching.



Ducey - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#200515) #

I didn't see many of the recent losses but did begin to note that some of the Jays hitters - Hill in particular, were getting a different diet of pitches.

I remember an at bat at the beginning of the slump where Hill had a chance to win it with a few guys on.  He chased a couple of balls but worked the count to 3-2.  He then got a slider and almost came out his shoes in missing it by two feet.

Guys hitting like Hill are going to get pitched to differently than they were before.  They are going to have to make the adjustments to take the balls and expect some junk in fastball counts.

Lets face it, Hill isn't going to check in with 40 HR this year.  He, along with the rest of the Jays are going to have some major adjustments to make.

Maldoff - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#200516) #
As Adam Lind goes, so goes the Jays offense...
snider - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#200518) #

Guys hitting like Hill are going to get pitched to differently than they were before.

Why anyone would pitch to Hill is mind boggling to me.  One look at the on deck circle and the pitcher would see a guy taking practice swings who appears to be sitting on a chair.    I think I would take my chances with that guy.

sduguid - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#200521) #
It's starting to reach the point where I'm worrying.  Good teams don't tend to lose 7 games in a row and score SO FEW RUNS.  Everything seems to have just shut down all at once.  Luckily, having done well early in the season, the Jays are still in a good spot.
Hopefully, they can start to turn things around quickly, or they could fall back in short order.

Flex - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#200522) #
A seven-game losing streak is not fun, especially when the local heroes seem to be suddenly and inexplicably feeble where they once were mighty.

But if someone had said before the season that the Jays would be six games above .500 in late May without benefit of a long winning streak, I'd have been pretty happy with that scenario and feeling good about the future.

Best to see where we are, not where we've been.
Ron - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#200523) #

Good teams don't tend to lose 7 games in a row and score SO FEW RUNS. 

Your 2008 AL Champs lost 7 games in a row before the all-star break last season while only scoring 13 runs during that span.

 

Jdog - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#200524) #
I hope today's appearance by Ryan convinces Cito that he is only to be used in very low leverage situations. I think the pen needs some tinkering with. Accardo needs to be recalled and some roles need changed based on who is getting good results, there is no need to go with a struggling pitcher in a high leverage situation if you have other alternatives.
snider - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#200525) #
How long until BJ goes the way of the Big Hurt?  Either that or back on the DL with another "injury".
Waveburner - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#200526) #

Say B.J. Ryan is still throwing mid-high-ish 80's with a "slider" that hardly deserves the name in a month or so, with accompanying ERA. At what point are the Jays forced to eat the contract for the simple reason that multiple wins cost is bad for business? Can you really throw him out there with a 7+ ERA all season, even if it is in the lowest-leverage situation possible? (Which, for some unknown reason, sure isn't how he is being used now. No more even moderate leverage situations please!) This is an honest question, I'm not sure how teams generally handle situations like this when a huge contract guy completely falls apart.

 

Thomas - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#200527) #
At least with Ryan surrendering that pair of runs it meant that Tallet avoided being the hard-luck loser of consecutive 2-1 games.
Dave Till - Monday, May 25 2009 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#200528) #
I am grateful that I now have a video recorder - I get the daily bad news quickly. I can't imagine spending hours in front of my TV every day, suffering. I'm impressed by those of you with the intestinal fortitude to hang in there.

I assume that various and sundry columnists and websites are busy filling column inches with variations on the theme of "I told you so". Therefore, I am ignoring them. Baseball? What's that? I think I'll read the business section instead. It's got far more cheerful news in it.

Of course, the old adage holds true: a team is never as good as it looks when it's winning, or as bad as it looks when it's losing. Still, there aren't many teams that go from playing .658 ball to playing .000 ball.

sduguid - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 01:06 AM EDT (#200529) #
I can't imagine spending hours in front of my TV every day, suffering. I'm impressed by those of you with the intestinal fortitude to hang in there.

It might be a bit frustrating to watch the Jays in the midst of a big losing streak but it's still much more enjoyable than other pursuits such as work...
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#200535) #
Rigidly conventional bullpen usage leads to problems when a team is in a losing streak on the road.  In this case, Scott Downs has not been used for over a week despite the presence of several high-leverage opportunities.  This serves no short or long term benefit.  I guess that managers, as well as hitters, can slump.

Christopher - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#200536) #

Rigidly conventional bullpen usage leads to problems when a team is in a losing streak on the road.  In this case, Scott Downs has not been used for over a week despite the presence of several high-leverage opportunities.  This serves no short or long term benefit.  I guess that managers, as well as hitters, can slump.

I have a nagging feeling that the Jays will get a chance to end this losing streak via a save situation for Downs, and he's going to get hit hard from lack of work. 

His recent absence, coupled with multiple appearances for both Camp and Ryan during the same timeframe seems like a very poor use of resources to me.

Glevin - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#200539) #
"Rigidly conventional bullpen usage leads to problems when a team is in a losing streak on the road.  In this case, Scott Downs has not been used for over a week despite the presence of several high-leverage opportunities.  This serves no short or long term benefit.  I guess that managers, as well as hitters, can slump."

Saves as a stat is actually detrimental to the team. I guess though that since the Jays' bullpen has been superb for quite a while, this problem has not been as pronounced as it is on other teams. With the way the Jays have been scoring it wouldn't have mattered much anyway.
jmoney - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#200540) #
I'm not too worried about the bullpen usage. Guys like Downs are going get into a lot of games by season's end.

The bats are not doing anything though. That's what needs to get corrected.

christaylor - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#200541) #
I'm starting to be convinced that this offense depends entirely on how the Jays handle their ABs w/RISP.

My thinking is this: in general the team has players who are adept at getting on base. The team does not have any players who are locks to hit 30HR. If the team hits poorly with RISP, then the offense is toast. We saw it last year and we're seeing it during this losing streak.

When the Jays were doing well there was (it seemed w/o look at stats) there was quite a bit of hitting w/RISP and two outs.

I think there's a lot to be said about pitchers adjusting to Hill.

Prediction: Snider comes back up after inter-league and rakes until the end of the season.

Question: Does anyone have any news about the "setback" McGowan has suffered? All I've seen is Cito talking about a "setback" in late March and that he'll likely not play this year? I really hope they don't rush Marcum. Janssen looked fine and Cecil's demotion was hasty. On Cecil is the only legitimate pitcher of the current bunch who isn't really a 4/5 starter... I understand wanting to keep his innings down, but I'd be happier if he avoided the hitters paradise of the PCL. Lastly, Tallet can prove me wrong for as long as he likes but if memory serves, he's now double his career major-league mark of GS. I'd rather see him in the pen and Cecil up. Halladay, Cecil, Romero, Janssen and Litsch (Richmond until Litsch is healthy). Run that out there and see what you've got for 2010.

This team is better than people thought it was (the hot start allowed a long losing streak change things)... I'm still on the bandwagon but I never thought this hayride was going that far. There's no sense in debating in May if a team is real, there is sense in trying to give the team the best shot at winning now and in the future. Snider & Cecil in AAA for the majority of the year doesn't do that...

Oh well, if things are only this bad after losing 7, it does say something about the high the Jays were on. I blame it on the memorial cup. Sportsnet abandons a hot Jays team for something only the players' moms care about. Karma.
Jevant - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#200542) #
A brief aside - but on point - "Memorial Cup...only moms care about"?

Are you against minor hockey, or against hockey?  Or just a Leafs fan?

The CHL playoffs this year were incredible (a weak Memorial Cup final aside).

zeppelinkm - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#200544) #
If the pitchers are indeed adjusting to Hill then he's adjusting back pretty quickly. Over the last 15 days he's 18/54 with a .333/.351/.519 line and 3 HR. I'll take that. However on further investigation, he's .333/.355/.367 over the last week so maybe he's sacrificing some power while he adapts.
christaylor - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#200548) #
None of the above really fit totally. I am against hockey in May and/or against hockey when it interferes with my ability to view the Jays easily. I happily watch the Juniors Championships as the calendar turns each year and participate in any number of hockey pools. The Leaf fan bit fits in that I've deigned to watch hockey in May in 2002 and in 1993. Otherwise, May is the month when the hockey gear gets locked away for another season.

As I mentioned, I watch the Junior championships but even there with the best of the best from the world the quality of the game isn't the main attraction but catching glimpses of Ovechkin et cetra before they hit the NHL. I watched all of 10-20 minutes of Sportsnet's Memorial cup coverage and it was painful. I've made it to about 2-3 Hamilton Bulldog's games each year that I've lived in Hamilton and there's no comparison in the level of the play between the juniors and the AHL. The AHL is much better game (a step slower but just as hard hitting as the NHL) and none, save local cable channel, has any interest in televising AHL games. Again another point that makes the selling of a odd tournament format where the home team gets thrown in a pool with each league champion for a poor quality game all the more baffling.

It is an empirical question that we can never answer, but I'd bet that Sportsnet would have had more viewers for those three Jays games than for the entirety of the Memorial cup. My original statement was an extreme statement, but I'll stand behind it to the extent that junior hockey is very much a niche market; even in hockey mad Canada. That niche extends beyond merely the moms of the players, but I doubt it extends much beyond those who get to the small arenas to see the teams play. Other than the fact that Sportsnet can basically get the rights to televise the games for free to feed a hockey mad public at a time when it is most hockey mad, it doesn't much sense why the Memorial Cup should pre-empt a single Jays game. Sportsnet was throwing away money this year.

To take a step back, from an argument I know that could inflame passionate hockey fandom, the relegation of the Boston series to TSN2 is something to blame the Conservative government for - if I recall CBC picked up these games this time last year and because of the cut backs the CBC was unable to afford cost to carry Jays games. Shame. The CBC games were some of the best over the past few years. The McGowan one hitter in June 2007 being a notable one.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#200549) #
Obama's new Supreme Court nominee is a lifelong Yankees fan.  She, like Mick, is a perfectly admirable person notwithstanding.
Jevant - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#200550) #
I would be happy to discuss the differences between junior hockey and NHL hockey (since I am from one of the towns with the aforementioned "small arenas" I don't get much of an opportunity to see AHL hockey), but this probably isn't the forum.  I find junior hockey not only more entertaining to watch in general, but far more compelling to watch live.  Perhaps I have been spoiled by living in one of the best junior hockey cities in the last decade, but the atmosphere at a junior rink kicks the crap out of any NHL rink I have ever been to (and I won't even touch how it compares to the atmosphere at the Rogers Centre).

I find the quality of play, albeit lower athe junior level, to be far more entertaining than watching the vast, vast majority of hockey games not involving my team.  You rarely see these guys coasting, like we see every night in the NHL from November to March, and the atmosphere is electric.

Lefty - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#200552) #
Agree with you Jevant. Though my junior team competes (large arena) in the same market as the Vancouver Canucks. I love junior hockey. I love the fact I can afford seasons tickets for the price of about two NHL games. I love the Memorial Cup tournament no matter who is in it. I loved the sub stories of this years tournament as well. I thought the teams that qualified were full value as champions of their respective leagues. In the semi finals Kelowna took out our Vancouver Giants convincingly. They made four deals at the end of the year to overtake Calgary and Vancouver. That was a very good team that Windsor took out. Congrats to the Spitfire and their fans and of course their Mom's and Dad's.
China fan - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#200553) #
Alex Rios is not in the starting lineup tonight.   Lind is batting 3rd, Millar in 5th and Inglett in the 9th spot.     I'm sure Cito will portray it as merely giving Rios a much-needed day of rest.   But it might also be a not-so-subtle signal to Rios to start getting his act together.
China fan - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#200554) #

Rob MacLeod is blogging about the Rios move on the Globe website.  He reveals that Cito had originally pencilled Rios into the lineup tonight:  "Then I decided to give him a day off," Gaston said. "Maybe give somebody a day off tomorrow too. Weíll see. But thatís all it is. Is he okay to play? We just want to give him a day off."

Not a very convincing attempt by Cito to pretend that everything is all right.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#200555) #
Giving Rios a day off seems to me like a perfectly natural thing to do.  Next up: Wells, Scutaro and Hill.

The Os will be calling up Wieters on Friday.  With Wieters up and Reimold mashing, it's a nice offensive lineup that they'll be sending out.  All of their young pitching prospects have been doing well in the minors, so it won't be too long before this is a good club.

jerjapan - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#200557) #
I have a nagging feeling that the Jays will get a chance to end this losing streak via a save situation for Downs, and he's going to get hit hard from lack of work. 

His recent absence, coupled with multiple appearances for both Camp and Ryan during the same timeframe seems like a very poor use of resources to me.

Christopher, while Downs didn't cost the Jays anything this evening, just to be safe, it'd be better if you held off making any predictions about poor performance for the home side in the future ...

snider - Tuesday, May 26 2009 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#200559) #
Maybe give somebody a day off tomorrow too


I hope that somebody is Wells.  Cito should try sitting them both down.
Moe - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#200560) #
Christopher, while Downs didn't cost the Jays anything this evening, just to be safe, it'd be better if you held off making any predictions about poor performance for the home side in the future ...

Do belief in statistical analysis and superstition go together? I think if anybody jinxed anything around here, it was all of us talking about how sustainable the offense under Zen-Master Cito is.
Jevant - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#200561) #
And as a London Knights fan, I can assure you the Spitfires were also a very good club...perhaps just a little too good...haha.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#200562) #
Don't know if anyone linked this yet...
Baseball Prospectus Interview with Adam Lind - May 22nd

It is interesting as he mentions Gene Tenance - "he definitely lets us know what heís done!". When mentioned a quote from Rod Carew in the era which suggests walks are not important he responded with "I think the mound was higher back then and the strike zone was probably a little bigger, but thatís what this game is all about. You have to swing. We all [chase pitches out of the strike zone]. The pitchers are good up here, but you just want to limit that as much as possible. If you do that, your success will probably go up."

When mentioned that he is 2nd on the Jays in walks... "In walks? Wow. I didnít know that."

It is an interesting read.  Probably mentioned back on the 22nd by someone else, but I just noticed it today.
Christopher - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#200564) #

Christopher, while Downs didn't cost the Jays anything this evening, just to be safe, it'd be better if you held off making any predictions about poor performance for the home side in the future ...

It's not like it was an out-on-a-limb kind of prediction.  When you don't use a guy for eight games, even if it's your best reliever, chances are he might not be sharp.

China fan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#200565) #

No regulars are resting today.  Scutaro is playing, Hill is playing, Wells is playing, even Barajas is playing.  (Overbay sitting for Millar.)  Still not sure if I'm buying the theory that Rios was just getting a routine day of rest last night.

Meanwhile, the Jays have not officially posted their starting pitchers for the first two games of the Red Sox series on Friday and Saturday.  Is another pitching shakeup coming?  Or are they just considering a possible flip between Janssen and Richmond? 

Mike D - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#200567) #
2-1 Baltimore heading into the bottom of the third.  It's sad to say that I think this game is already over.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#200568) #
Really, Mike D?  Despite the losing streak, my glasses still have that rosy tinge.
Mike D - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#200569) #
I'm cautiously optimistic that my wild pessimism was indeed over the top.
Noah - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#200570) #
hallelujah, the boys have found their offence today.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#200571) #
Gameday says that Rios just had a solid 12 pitch at-bat. Monkeys off backs, corners turned, etc...
John Northey - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#200572) #
Phew, 7-2 in the 5th with Halladay on the mound.  If that isn't safe then this streak could become 20 in a row :P

Lind is the only guy without a hit for the Jays so far, but has 2 walks.

Glevin - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#200574) #
Has anyone else noticed Halladay's fielding problems in his last few starts? It seems every game this month he has booted a ball or not got to something he could have. Shouldn't matter in this one though. (I hope).
stripeymonkey - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#200575) #
Anybody panicking?...
Gerry - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#200576) #
Why was Carlson left in for so long?  I have only gameday to help me with this question, I am not near a radio or TV so maybe Carlson was unlucky but he hasn't been pitching well recently and you leave him in there to turn over the bottom of the order so Downs has to handle the top of the order.  Seems strange to me and my gameday.
Noah - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#200577) #

How is Carlson still on this team.  He has been TERRIBLE!  I sure hope that when Litsch is back we can move Tallet back to the bullpen and send Carlson packing to LV.  With him and BJ in the pen Cito might as well be playing two guys short.  These two CANNOT be trusted in any circumstance.  Five run lead, gone, Halladay's win, gone.

I sure would hate to have to deal with Halladay after this game.

Jevant - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#200578) #
They're going to win it in the top of the 9th now.  KEEP THE FAITH.
Noah - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#200579) #
perhaps not
Glevin - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#200580) #
It seems odd that they would bring him in at all. He pitched 1 2/3 innings yesterday. With an 8-3 lead, do you really need to play lefty/righty matchups? Wolfe pitched last on Monday and Frasor on Sunday. Carleson already leads the league in games pitched. Sigh...
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#200581) #
I agree with Gerry.  When Carlson walked Luke Scott and Reimold was brought in to pinch-hit, I was sure that a RHP would be brought in to face Reimold, Moeller and Andino.  The two singles were one thing, but the walk (against a LHH yet) with an 8-3 lead was inexcusable.



Glevin - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#200582) #
Also, is anyone else annoyed by the constant "If you are" used by announcers this year? "If you are Roy Halladay, you are upset at this blown lead". Announcers all over baseball are using this. It is this year's "scuffling".
snider - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#200583) #
Did anyone see how Rios got thrown out at the plate from 2nd?  Was he in his usual strolling pace?
Jevant - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#200584) #
Aaron.  Hill.
Jevant - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#200585) #
Top of the 11th then.  I was close.
sduguid - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#200586) #
It appears that Ryan may be coming in for the save. <cringes>
jerjapan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#200587) #
Christopher, while Downs didn't cost the Jays anything this evening, just to be safe, it'd be better if you held off making any predictions about poor performance for the home side in the future ...

Do belief in statistical analysis and superstition go together? I think if anybody jinxed anything around here, it was all of us talking about how sustainable the offense under Zen-Master Cito is.

Hmm ... well, I thought that it was obvious that I was joking ... but after today's game, maybe I SHOULD be superstitious. 
Jevant - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#200588) #
I'm just happy that we have an opportunity to record a save.
6-4-3 - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#200589) #
Nice move by Cito to bring Wolfe in to finish the game off. 
Glevin - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#200590) #
Ugh. No way they should have lost this game.
Noah - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#200591) #
Cito's bullpen management = questionable at best
MondesiRules - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#200593) #
wow...
electric carrot - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#200594) #
Good now it's indisputable.  I now understand that about 2 weeks ago I was beamed into an alternate universe and none of this is actually happening.



King Ryan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#200595) #
At work, I did not get the opportunity to watch that amazing game.  I had the boxscore minimized and just restored it to check every once in awhile.

Checked it @ 8-3 with Carlson in and thought to myself "There is no chance Baltimore doesn't tie it."

Sometimes irrational pessimism in the midst of a terrible losing streak has merit.

I restored it again at 8-8 and almost laughed. 

Then, at 10-8.  Ecstatic to see Hill had homered again; their first homer since the first game of the losing streak, I thought that this might be a book-end.

Then, at 12-10, and this time I actually did laugh.

Oh well, nowhere to go but up.
King Ryan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#200596) #
"Also, is anyone else annoyed by the constant "If you are" used by announcers this year?"

I'm more annoyed by Campbell's constant recaps and "hails from"s and well a host of other things, really.
Christopher - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#200597) #

Hmm ... well, I thought that it was obvious that I was joking ... but after today's game, maybe I SHOULD be superstitious. 

Hey, it's not my fault they forgot they had a pitcher named Scott Downs for eight games.

I'll be interested to hear Cito's post-game comments. I don't know how you pull the best pitcher in baseball after 102 pitches in a game you have to win.

electric carrot - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#200598) #
anyone know the coordinates to get back ...
China fan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#200599) #

That was a horrible experience.   But I don't blame Cito's bullpen management.   The entire bullpen is much weaker than it was last year.   The reasons are obvious.  Ryan is a shell of himself.  Tallet is gone to the starting rotation.  Most of the others are overworked or a little worse than last season.   Add it all up and you've got a badly weakened bullpen, vulnerable to exactly this kind of collapse.

Solutions?  Send down Ryan and Camp, maybe Wolfe.  Reduce the workload on Carlson.  Promote Accardo, then look for ways to shift resources from the rotation to the bullpen.  Consider promoting two of the following:  Castro, Purcey, Cecil, Ray, Mills.   Put one or two of them into the rotation, then consider putting Janssen and/or Tallet into the bullpen.

sduguid - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#200600) #
It looked to me like Halladay was tiring and starting to struggle a bit.  I agreed with removing him.  You've got guys in the bullpen and you just have to use them and hope somebody can get the job done.  It doesn't seem like anybody can do that lately, though.
Ducey - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#200601) #

Wow, just one of those slumps where everything goes wrong.

Anyone notice that Ryan's "fastball" was 83-86 mph on the same gun that showed Wolfe throwing 93-95?  I think BJ is either injured or done for good.  He can't last with a pedestrian fastball and little control.

Mike D - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#200602) #

I don't know how you pull the best pitcher in baseball after 102 pitches in a game you have to win.

8-3 in the 8th?  That's on the bullpen, not the manager.  Any big league bullpen should be able to easily hold that.  Carlson, Downs and Wolfe pitched unacceptably and the game is on them.

Christopher - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#200603) #

8-3 in the 8th?  That's on the bullpen, not the manager.  Any big league bullpen should be able to easily hold that.

I don't disagree in normal scenarios.   Personally though, to get the 8 game monkey off my back heading into the Boston series, I would have brought Roy out for the 8th.

Oh well, a moot point now.

jerjapan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#200604) #
I can't really fault Cito's pen usage here either - as Rance said, Carlson and Downs should have been able to finish that off, and I didn't get to see the seventh so I don't know if Doc was tiring as a previous poster suggested.  Overall, I still think Cito's doing a good job, although a losing streak may expose one of his weaknesses - a stubborn willingness to stick with struggling players who keep hurting the team - ala Joe Carter in Cito's final year. 

However, this stubbornness is a positive when it helps break in young players, or win those struggling players back into form ...  

I wonder if this is a group of too many good / supporting players and not enough stars who can single-handedly break a team out of a slump?  Doc's trying, but our lack of more than one big-game player would seem to be the big difference between us and the Sox / Yanks. 

King Ryan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#200605) #
I would agree that it's not valid to pin a loss on the manager when the starter goes 7 innings and leaves with a 5 run lead.  Cito should have been able to manage by the dice roll and come away with the victory. 

If Halladay was dominating I would maybe see leaving him in for one more, but it didn't seem like (watching only the boxscore,) like he was at his best, and with a five run lead? Come on.

Alex Obal - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#200606) #
... sounds like a pretty exciting time to be an Orioles fan!

Dewey - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#200607) #
Something about Baltimore and thoroughly dispiriting losses.  I was reminded of Joey McLaughlin's infamous loss, way back when.  Today's now has to be put in the list of all-time most-unbearable losses.   Poor Doc.  I, too, thought he looked as if he was beginning to labour a bit in the 7th.

I wish Jamie Campbell wouldn't suggest the game's wrapped up as a win, ever;  but especially before the 6th. Even Rance had to 'correct' him for taking it for granted.



Shane - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#200609) #

Consider promoting two of the following:  Castro, Purcey, Cecil, Ray, Mills.

Purcey in the bullpen? My god, I can't imagine it. Control is his major issue as a starter, and puting that in the bullpen would be horrific viewing.

While the Blue Jays were busy losing seven games in a row, Scott Downs was sitting on his ass in the bullpen. Where is the critism of this? because that is one retarded factoid.

sduguid - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#200610) #
I suppose it would have been nice to get Downs in for an inning or two of work but there really weren't too many opportunities.  There is also the argument that it's good to give him rest while you can, as he'll be needed a lot as the season wears on.  It seems fairly clear that, barring a miracle, Ryan will not regain the closer spot.
China fan - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#200611) #
Shane, you didn't read what I wrote.  I wasn't suggesting Purcey in the bullpen, of course.  I'm suggesting a bolstering of the rotation with reinforcements from Las Vegas (since the rotation is where the Jays have the most depth at the moment) so that Janssen and/or Tallet can be shifted back to shore up the bullpen.  I realize that Tallet and Janssen have a lot of value in the rotation right now.  But they'd be even more valuable in the bullpen at this point.  The pen needs a couple of very reliable arms, and those two have a proven track record as successful relievers.
Nick Holmes - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#200612) #
Even Rance had to 'correct' him for taking it for granted. Makes me think of The Shining.
Nick Holmes - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#200613) #
Oh, and I know this is a bit off topic as now we're Cito-bashing as opposed to JP-bashing, but can you imagine third base without Rolen?

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/cardinals/story/A6EF5DF65568F6E9862575C30009C21D?OpenDocument

Glaus is truly cooked.
scottt - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#200614) #
I can't really fault Cito's pen usage here either - as Rance said, Carlson and Downs should have been able to finish that off.

Carlson didn't do the job and was left there too long. As a manager, when do you realize your pitcher has nothing?

first batter, Huff, infield single on the first pitch.
second batter, Mora, hit to left center on the first pitch.
third batter, Scott, walks on 5 pitches.
fourth batter, Pinch hitter Reimold, stares at 2 strikes and misses the 3rd one.
fifth batter Moeller, hits by the second pitch, one run scores
sixth batter, Andino, singles to left center on the sixth pitch after watching a strike and a couple of balls and fouling  2 other pitches.

The next batters are Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, and a single might be enough to bring in the tying run from first.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#200616) #
The bullpen management over the last 9 days has not been the best.  As I said yesterday, Cito appears to be in a bit of a slump after managing very, very well early in the season. Carlson has been worked hard this season, and after 1.2 innings yesterday, there was no reason to bring him on in an 8-3 game in the eighth today.  The failure to give Downs enough work prior to yesterday may (or may not) have contributed to his struggles.

There are plenty of internal bullpen options- Castro, Accardo and Cecil would be at the top of my list.  The major issue is what to do with B.J. Ryan.  You can't really have enough confidence in him to justify anything but a low leverage role, and he is not able to go more than an inning.  That does not really work. 

As Alex said, it is an interesting time to be an O's fan.  On the other hand, as bad as things are here, at least the Jays still have their DP combination unlike the Rays.

grjas - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#200618) #
"Toronto finished the worst road swing in franchise history ó three losses apiece in Boston, Atlanta and Baltimore. The Blue Jays never before went winless on a road trip of at least nine games."

Wow. Bet they never lost a game with Halliday leading 8-3.

Talk about a tale of two teams.  Would have preferred they started poorly and were surging now. The wounds will be running deep.
rtcaino - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#200619) #
I've learned something about life over this stretch: never hope for anything. Ever.

I can't wait to pass this information on to my kids.

Whatever happened to that charming American politician? What was he always on about?
scottt - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#200627) #
Would have preferred they started poorly and were surging now.

Really? They did that last year. I much prefer to be first for 6 weeks, than never rise above 3rd place.
Chuck - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 06:53 AM EDT (#200636) #

at least the Jays still have their DP combination unlike the Rays.

I have been waiting for the Rays to assert themselves but this season seems like the antithesis of last. Little seems to be going right. Injuries abound. The strong, on paper, rotation has been underachieving. The thin bullpen is showing its limitations.

You think blowing an 8-3 lead is bad, try blowing a 10-0 lead, which is what TB did earlier this week.

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