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Revvin' up my engine like a 747
Shiny lanky long and lean
What a scene

The Jays rocked the Boston Red Sox again, winning 5-3 Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Before breaking this one down, the missus thinks Brian Tallet looks like Burton Cummings before he got um, shall we say, portly.  What do you think, Bauxites?

Anyways, the Red Sox didn't break it to Tallet gently as they drew a couple of walks to set the table for Mike Lowell.  He punched a two-out RBI single to right-centre to score Dustin Pedroia.  Despite throwing 31 pitches, Tallet kept the damage to a single run.  The Jays did get that one back in the home half of the first when Aaron Hill singled to right and advanced to second on a Rocco Baldelli clank.  Hill came in to score on an Alex Rios single to left off Sox starter Brad Penny.

Baldelli atoned for his error in the top of the second when he sent one over the fence for a two-run shot to put the Beantowners ahead 3-1.  Jason Varitek got aboard with a walk before the Baldelli blast over the Jays bullpen brigade in left.  Tallet was almost up to 60 pitches at the end of two frames and it didn't look promising that'd he would be able to go much longer.  The Birds tried to rally in their half of the second when Lyle Overbay doubled and Joe Inglett picked up his first hit of 2009 but Overbay was held up at third.  They would be stranded when Marco Scutaro's grounder forced Inglett at second.

Toronto would cross the plate in the third when Rios doubled and came in to score on an Adam Lind base knock to the opposite field.  Tallet found his own way to rock by setting down eight in a row before plunking Pedroia in the fifth.  The big lefty promptly picked him off trying to steal second on a 1-3-6 play to end the inning.  Tallet retired the Sox 1-2-3 in the sixth and Lind rewarded that effort by showing more opposite field power with a solo blast to left to tie the game at 3-3.  The sixth also saw catcher Raul Chavez leave the game after singling and he was replaced by John McDonald but he was left on the basepaths.  That meant Rod Barajas had to catch in the top of the seventh.  No problem, "B.A." and "Wolverine" teamed up to work around a Nick Green double to keep the game tied heading into the seventh inning stretch. 

The Jays would untie it when Marco Scutaro singled off "Razor" Ramon Ramirez and moved to second on a wild pitch.  "Scooter" would come in to score on a Rios single and Vernon Wells would provide an insurance marker with a double to score Rios.  After that, the Jays bullpen shut the door again in the final two innings as Brandon League retired the side in order in the eighth and Scott Downs survived a leadoff single by Mike Lowell and a couple of liners to right to nail down another save.

Despite some early control problems, Tallet saved his soul by going seven innings and allowing three runs on three hits, four walks and a hit batter while striking out six.  Rios had a perfect day at the dish with a 4-for-4 effort which included two runs scored and two RBI.  Lind had two hits, a walk and two RBI and Scutaro had a three-hit afternoon.  The Jays totalled 14 hits on the day and the only starter not to get a safety was Jose Bautista, who went 0-for-4.

 The Jays go for the sweep this afternoon as "Rapid" Ricky Romero hopes to body slam the Sox and fellow lefty Jon Lester at the Thunder Dome.  First pitch is set for 1:07 p.m. EDT.  Jordan Bastian has a piece on Vernon Wells as well as a preview of today's matchup.  And, the Toronto Star's Richard Griffin talks to yesterday's winning pitcher, Brian Tallet.


In other TDIB Notes......

CC clobbers Cleveland in his return to Ohio.

 *  David Price had a better than decent outing to earn his first major league win.

 *  Matt Wieters gets his first major league hit and you'll never guess how he got it.  Still, the O's lose.

 *   The Rox are now 2-0 in the Jim Tracy era.

*   The ex-ancient Mariner goes for a milestone today in the nation's capital.

 *   The Mariners hose the Halos in overtime.

 *   Speaking of OT, how about this NCAA game?

The 3-4-5 Guys Help Tallet Like It Is! | 35 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
China fan - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#200697) #

Some very intriguing comments by JP Ricciardi today (courtesy of Jordan Bastian's blog).  Ricciardi says he would "owe it to the players" to pursue a trade before the July 31 trading deadline if the Jays are still in the race at that point.  And what would he pursue?  Not pitching this time (he's right, the Jays have plenty of it) but instead he would try to land "another thumper" for the middle of the lineup. 

I agree with Ricciardi that the team needs another Big Scary Bat, especially if Snider is not ready by late July.  One interesting question, however, is who in the current lineup would be pushed aside if a trade is done.  I assume that Ricciardi would seek a LF to replace the current Bautista/Inglett duo. But would that block Snider's rise? Would it be better to seek a 1B if Overbay continues to be limited to a platoon situation?  Or shift Lind to LF and look for a DH?

Bastian's story:

Jevant - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#200699) #
Gameday is telling me that Romero is getting incredibly squeezed today (on the AB to Youk in the 5th, 3 pitches in the K zone were called balls).  Anyone watching the game able to comment on this?
TamRa - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#200700) #
Seems to me the only position currently "in play" is the LF/DH situation so you resign yourself to blocking Snider the rest of the year and you get a guy who's going to be a FA this winter.

The name Nick Johnson springs to mind.

Others who are "thumpers" and are pending FA:

Russel Branyan << if Seattle fallsway behind this might be ideal
Matt Holliday << Oakland connection
Rick Ankiel
Jermaine Dye
Jim Thome

TamRa - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#200701) #
I'm about ready for Purcey or Cecil to give Ricky Ro some time to get his control back in AAA.

(I would say Castro or Mills too but no point in starting a clock you don't have to when there are other options)

Waveburner - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#200702) #

Romero got a little squeezed in the 5th but it was his own fault. He was missing the catcher's glove all game, throwing outside when Barajas setup inside, etc. His biggest issues were throwing strikes with breaking balls and keeping the ball down in the zone. He just couldn't do either one consistently. That's 5 HR against in the 2 starts since being recalled. If he gets pounded again I can't see Romero getting another start unless he starts tearing apart AAA.



China fan - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#200703) #

Further quote from Ricciardi about how the Jays might boost the payroll to add a "thumper" at the trading deadline:    "It all depends on who's available," Ricciardi said. "If I went to [Beeston] and said, 'Hey, this guy is making $10 million. Can we get him?', he may say we can't spend $10 million. He might say, 'We can spend this,' but he might say go get the guy. I don't know. Obviously, the situation has to dictate who's available."

TamRa - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#200704) #
Ricky Ro is doing nothing to convince me that hisunimpressive re-hab work was a mirage.

I'm ready for Purcey or Cecil to give him some more time to work on that control in AAA.

I would say Mills or Castro but no need to start a clock too soon if you have other good options.

Flex - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#200705) #
Hmmm. Will we see Brian Wolfe sent back to the minors after the game, replaced by Accardo?
Mike Green - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#200707) #
Well done, #2JB.  Burton Cummings might not have the raw appeal of Famke Janssen, but his great grandfather reputedly had a fine curveball. 

Magpie - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#200712) #
I'm ready for Purcey or Cecil to give him some more time to work on that control in AAA.

I dunno that control's that much of a problem - he walked five guys today, which is bad, and walking Nick Green on four pitches irritated me no end. But it still means that he actually doubled his major league walk total in one day. He really hasn't been walking guys. It actually looked to me like he ran out of gas. I know it was only four innings, but they were all tough innings, there were always runners on base. The Red Sox made him work. They can do that to you.

I was at the park, so I didn't have a very good view at all of where his pitches were missing. We did all think the umpire had an unusual strike zone. Certainly none of the Toronto hitters had a clue as to what was a ball and what was a strike on this day. Anyone notice that Vernon Wells was the only guy who even got the ball out of the infield against Lester?

Heard people singing "Viva Las Vegas" after Wolfe's eighth inning..
Mike Green - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#200716) #
For his minor league career, Romero has walked 3.8 batters per 9IP.  His walk rate increased as he moved up the system, but it does seem that a loss of control has been associated in his case with minor injury.  The Red Sox are a tough match for him  I suspect that Richmond might have been a better choice for today's game.  It also seems that the club's decision to promote Romero back into the rotation was probably premature; Brett Cecil had looked very good prior to the debacle in Boston. 

TamRa - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#200719) #
Both Cito and RRo commented after the game that he was having difficulty locating his pitches, even in the zone - and the homers were coming on pitches he left up in the zone.

I can't figure out why the Jays don't think ahead more on these decisions. If they had kept Cecil up for one more start, they could have pitched Richmond today and not recalled Romero until June 6 and Ricky would have gotten two more tune-ups and they would have skipped a temporarally empty fifth spot this weekend.

But I've never seen evidence that they project out how the turns fall and take advantage of things like that.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#200721) #
A discussion between Jerry and Alan on the radio today got me thinking about the Rangers.  Jerry and Alan were talking about how the performance of the young pitchers was the key for the Rangers. Looking at the statistical record, it appears that the team defence is much, much better.  The key appears to have been the arrival of Elvis Andrus.  Andrus is a huge leap up from Michael Young, and it seems that he and Kinsler work together well. 

Good team defence and developing young pitching do seem to go hand in hand.

christaylor - Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#200723) #
On the zone: Lester was definitely given a ton of liberties especially on the outside corner -- a pitch Scutaro struck out on was clearly a ball.

Then again hitting your spots all day will tend to do that.
Richard S.S. - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 05:40 AM EDT (#200725) #
1)Anyone have a projection on when we see Jesse Litsch back up here?     2)Has anyone of the readership seen Accardo pitch, that is, close enough to see if he's using his splitter?     3)Does Castro or Purcey get called up first, after RRO next start?     4)Who do you class as a big scary bat our J.P. might consider?   Thanks!
Wildrose - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#200727) #
On the zone: Lester was definitely given a ton of liberties especially on the outside corner -- a pitch Scutaro struck out on was clearly a ball.

John Hale at the Mockingbird noted this as well with pitch/FX.
zeppelinkm - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#200728) #

Honestly, that is ridiculous. The Jays upper management should be able to level a complaint against MLB or something, because that level of inconsistancy certainly influences a game. Lester seems to have a good relationship with the umpires, as he also got extremely favorable calls in his last start against the Jays as well. I don't want favours, I want fairness.

ayjackson - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#200729) #

John Hale at the Mockingbird noted this as well with pitch/FX.

That also shows that Lester had 10 strikes that were called balls (6 balls that were called strikes).  If I'm looking at it right, Romero didn't have any called pitches in the key area where the ump was expanding the zone for Lester.

Jevant - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#200730) #
It looks like it was a bad day all around for the umpiring crew.  That said, I could see Ricky getting frustrated if all those pitches were called balls (especially when Lester keeps ringing up the K's on the outside corner).

Tough game.  But I think it's fair to say we can all back away from the ledge now (those of you who said that we were looking at a 12 game losing streak...pshaw!)

We proved we could play with them this weekend, and we proved it without Roy.  4-2 over the next 6 at home, and we're right back in business.

zeppelinkm - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#200731) #

Pitches thrown at the very bottom of the zone tend to get called balls more often than strikes, so the 10 strikes that were called balls (Romero had an identical number) really wash each other out. It was the 6 extra strikes that really benefitted Lester.

ayjackson - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#200732) #

Romero does look to have really good stuff though, even if his command was lacking on Sunday.  On some days, the stuff alone will get him by at this level.  I really think he's here to stay.

Anders - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#200734) #
Presented without comment, from Peter King of SI:

"Nothing personal, Rance. But Rance Mulliniks' middle name should be "Statingtheobvious.'' Mulliniks also informed the New England audience Sunday that Nick Green, one of the offending shortstops, was a "young rookie.'' This is Green's fifth year getting big-league at-bats, with his fifth team. NESN might want to make it mandatory that analysts it has subbing for the ailing Jerry Remy actually have heard of the players in the starting lineup."

92-93 - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#200735) #
Try telling that to David Purcey. Nobody can survive on stuff. Have a look at what Liriano is doing this year in Minnesota, after being by far the best pitcher in baseball in 2006. Oliver Perez is another good example. Stuff can only take you so far.
TamRa - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#200736) #
It seems the Jays rely heavily on what Arny thinks and has going on with a pitcher in making these decisions and if he sees that Romero was getting squeezed maybe that carries some weight.

After two more turns through the rotation there comes another opportunity to skip a starter. If Romero continues to have issues I can't believe they would wait any longer than that.

I'm not bashing R-Ro, I like him - but with so many alternatives (to say nothing of Listch when/if he gets ready) I just don't think they will simply "put up with" continued bad work - after all, they didn't with Purcey.

TamRa - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#200737) #
I meant to add - I'm sure Arny, and by extension the Jays, are aware of the F/X data so that has to factor into the decision making too.
92-93 - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#200738) #
Speaking of Litsch, the original reports were that he wouldn't be out too long, say 4-6 weeks. Then he went to visit Andrews at the end of April, who again said he should be back by the end of May. At that time Cito said he would start to throw on flat ground and 2 weeks later would move to the mound, yet we've heard nothing about Jesse since then.

Similar statements were made about McGowan before the season and throughout spring training, that he could possibly be back by May. I just don't get what the Jays FO thinks they are gaining by being all over the map with their injury reporting.
Chuck - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#200739) #

Mulliniks also informed the New England audience Sunday that Nick Green, one of the offending shortstops, was a "young rookie.'' This is Green's fifth year getting big-league at-bats, with his fifth team. NESN might want to make it mandatory that analysts it has subbing for the ailing Jerry Remy actually have heard of the players in the starting lineup.

While I am often a Mulliniks defender, there is no defending a statement so erroneous about a player whom many fans know has been around for a while. That said, why the Red Sox are not looking for a fulltime replacement for Remy is baffling. Why the endless parade of substitutes?

In Mulliniks' defense, when he does Blue Jay games, there is evidence that he is familiar with the team's players and their track records. That's not always the case with Fletcher, who is often not shy about asking Campbell direct questions about such-and-such a Jay and what he may have done in the minors or in spring training. While Fletcher has plenty of virtues, that lack of preparedness is a little insulting. So I can definitely imagine being a Red Sox fan squirming over the Green comments and being offended by someone so unprepared.

Gerry - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#200749) #

Thinking about the bullpen today....

It wouldn't surprise me to see Wolfe sent down and Castro called up.  They could call up Accardo but they seem to think they need a long guy at the end of the bullpen.  The Jays also need another lefthander to support Carlson (leaving Ryan aside right now as a non-lefty specialist).  Castro could provide the lefty long reliever role that Tallet used to fill.  The Jays would probably prefer to leave the other lefties, Cecil, Mills and Purcey, starting in AAA.

brent - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#200759) #
It's two months into the season. This is the point where we should know what the team has (I sure don't know what this team will look like over the next two months after that losing streak). JP has the next two months to figure out whether the Jays are going to go for a pennant run or not. I hope he is able to decide quickly because the sooner this team gets help (if they are to make a run), the more benefit that player can be like C.C. was last year for Milwaukee.
China fan - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#200791) #

Some bad news about Jesse Litsch's injury, from Jordan Bastian's latest Twitter feed a few minutes ago:   Litsch (r. elbow) met again with Dr. Andrews last week. Still having pain, doc still couldn't find a problem warranting surgery.

Gerry - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#200794) #

Brian Wolfe optioned to AAA.  Dirk Hayhurst called up.

It will be interesting to see how Doc pitches on Sunday after the 133 pitches tonight.  Usually that is when you see the fall-out.

Flex - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#200796) #
The Wolfe move was predictable, but I didn't expect Hayhurst up replacing him.

I missed the game tonight, and when I saw 133 pitches for Halladay my reaction was Huh? I could see it if he still had a shutout going, but he barely got out of the 7th alive. Was anyone shouting at the screen when Cito sent him back out there, or was he so dominant in every other inning besides the 7th that it made sense?

Just looking at the box score, I'm a bit baffled.
brent - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#200797) #
Other seasons I would say 133 is criminal against Doc, but the Jays need some wins to build momentum. I think Cito knows he can't trust this bullpen in comparison if Doc is on the mound lately. I hope that changes soon. 2 for 20 from the top of the order with no walks- ouch!
6-4-3 - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#200801) #
First, Halladay was very dominant.  His fastball was on, his curve looked great. 

Second, Jesse Carlson was the reliever that was warming up in the 7th.  Given what happened last start, I'm fine with Halladay throwing 133.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#200802) #
As a rule guys on the wrong side of 30 have one advantage - their bodies are fully developed thus the damage from a 133 pitch game is much less than for a 21 year old.  Also, Halladay knows his mechanics and if he was losing it (shifting arm angle, etc.) he'd know it as would the pitching coach thus making it a lot easier for Cito to trust.

If it was RR or another kid, I'd worry.  Halladay?  Not so much.

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