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The man wearing Russ Adams' old number eight came through at the plate and behind it by helping the man wearing Justin Speier's former digits to a 3-0 win in Baltimore Saturday night.

Jose Molina drove in the first two runs of the ball game by taking one for the team with the bases loaded in the fourth inning before singling home another run in the sixth.  The HBP came after Travis Snider was intentionally walked by Orioles starter David Hernandez to load up the bases.   He also threw out former Jay Cesar Izturis trying to steal second in the third.  Molina guided Dana Eveland through 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball before Scott Downs mopped up in the eighth.  The veteran lefty got a double play ball from Adam Jones that was turned nicely by shortstop Alex Gonzalez after getting an awkward feed from Downs to complete the 1-6-3 twin killing. 

Jason Frasor allowed a couple of base runners in the ninth but he locked it down for his third save of the season.  Frasor has yet to pitch a clean inning this season and one thing that's not helping is his first-batter efficiency as he is 0-for-4 in that department (Michael Young double, Chris Davis double, Nelson Cruz walk, Nick Markakis walk).  Frasor had an extra run to work with in the ninth thanks to an RBI double by Adam Lind to cash home a Mike McCoy walk.  McCoy was playing second base again for the ailing Aaron Hill who remains out with a hamstring injury.

Dana Eveland put together a nice Blue Jay debut by utilizing his changeup to great effect.  He got a ground ball double play to erase a Julio Lugo leadoff single in the first and stranded two runners in the second thanks to two factors - Vernon Wells cutting off a ball in the gap on a double by Nolan Reimold and an opposing catcher on the basepaths in Matt Wieters as he was unable to score all the way from first with two outs.  Anyone else, save for Boog Powell perhaps, and it's a 1-0 lead for the O's. 

Eveland also stranded two more runners in the fourth by whiffing Reimold to end the frame.  However, he settled in from that point on as he set down 10 of 11 hitters before giving up a one-out single to Julio Lugo, who was the only man to reach in the fifth inning on a two-out walk.  In all, Eveland allowed just eight base runners on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman while getting an impressive dozen outs on the ground.

The Jays had five doubles in this one with Lind and Gonzalez getting two each and Molina adding the other.  Despite going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and leaving 11 runners on base, all three runs were scored with two outs.  Toronto also picked up its second win in two tries at Camden Yards - that's one more win than all of last year when the Jays were 1-8.

Today, the Jays wrap up their series against Craig Tatum and the Orioles at 1:35 p.m.  Shaun Marcum will face Kevin Millwood.

In other Jays related news.....

Jordan Bastian of has the latest on Aaron Hill, Travis Snider and the catching platoon in one neat and tidy package.

Random thoughts......

  • Is it just me or does Mike McCoy look like the right-handed hitting version of Joe Inglett without the high socks? 
  • Is it just me or do Alex Gonzalez and Edwin Encarnacion look alike?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

Around the majors.....

  • The pyjama-wearing Carston Charles Sabathia came close to a no-no in Tampa Bay.
  • Manny Ramirez reaches a milestone.
  • Jose Reyes returns but the Mets still lose to the Nats.  Former Jay Rod Barajas tried to be the hero.
  • Jason Heyward is trying to wrap up the NL Rookie of the Year award early as the Braves beat the Giants.
  • The Mariners steal one against the Rangers late.

And finally........

Jo-Mo Workin' The Mojo! | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#213429) #

Great wrapup. But, to be nitpicky ...

(Michael Young double, Chris Young double, Nelson Cruz walk, Nick Markakis walk). 

Chris Young? The Arizona outfielder or the Padres pitcher? Or was is Chris Davis? (I honestly don't remember. But Chris Young ain't a Ranger no more -- pitcher was traded to SD two or three years ago!)

#2JBrumfield - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#213430) #
It was Chris Davis.  Well played, Doherty!
Gerry - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#213431) #

From Bastian:

Frasor "probably not" available this afternoon, according to Cito. Only if absolutely necessary. So save opp would likely fall to Gregg.

As I said in the previous thread this is why you leave Downs in a 3 run lead game.

China fan - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#213433) #
On the other hand, Gerry, there's no real evidence that Frasor is a superior pitcher to Gregg or Downs.   They're all somewhat interchangeable at this point.  So by limiting Downs to just a few pitches yesterday, the Jays still have two of their three closer-type pitchers available today.  If they had left Downs in the game in the 9th inning yesterday, Frasor might be available today, but Downs would not.   It's all really the same, isn't it?
Magpie - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#213434) #
A little love for the first baseman's glove is also warranted - two diving stops to take doubles away from the other team, and a nice scoop to save E5 another E5.
Alex Obal - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#213435) #
Lyle Overbay puts a 3-0 pitch in play for the 8th time in his career, with Buck and Encarnacion on deck. And rolls over a fastball and grounds out weakly to the right side. Groan.

John McDonald starting off 2/2 against a righty pitcher is a nice sign, at least.
Thomas - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#213436) #
Who or what has possessed the bat of Alex Gonzalez?
CeeBee - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#213437) #
Whats with A-Gon? 4 home runs with 2 coming today. Does he think he's A-Rod. Anything much from him on offense is surely a bonus.
Alex Obal - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#213438) #
Hanley Gonzalez? He did 18 homers in 2003 and 23 in 2004 for the Marlins back when the NL wasn't an inferior league.
CeeBee - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#213439) #
Is Casey Janssen Irish? He could end the day 3-0 in 3 appearances and he's not a starter.
LouisvilleJayFan - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#213440) #
scottt - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#213441) #
Go-Gonzo-Go. Must be some bug he caught from Vernon.

His error cost Marcum the win, but he's forgotten. Like it or not, lots of games are won in the 7th so if you can only go 6, you take comfort in your ERA.

Nice to have Downs fresh for a 1-2-3 setup against the heart of the lineup.

What can you say to an offense powered by JonnyMac, Bautista and Alex Gonzalez? Pure luck.

Alex Obal - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#213442) #
It's early and the starting pitchers have helped. But Cito has certainly been restrained in his bullpen usage, and hasn't driven any one reliever hard even though the Jays have five straight close wins.

If Gregg is for real and Cito trusts all three relievers equally, I like this setup. It helps keep Frasor, KG and (most importantly) Downs from sitting on 70 appearances in August.
scottt - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#213443) #
The Jays have have had 6 closing opportunities in 6 games. The bullpen will be tested when 2 starters in row fail to go past 5 or after a few extra inning games..  Accardo could throw the 6th if Cito would let him and they could get by with only 5 strong innings from the rotation.

Just need to work on the defense and hope the timely hits keep coming.

Jdog - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#213444) #
1st place for another day. 
China fan - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#213445) #

With his save tonight, Kevin Gregg moves into a 16th-place tie on the list of most saves by an active pitcher.  Maybe that's somewhat meaningless, but it illustrates one thing that I particularly like about the Jays decision to acquire Gregg:  he knows what it means to be a closer, and he wants the job again.  He's earned as many as 32 saves in a season in the past, and he still has some fire in the belly because he thinks he deserves to be a closer again in the future.  He has something to prove and is determined to prove it, and those kinds of players are often a smart choice to acquire.

On another note:  who would have imagined that the Jays could score 5 runs in a game when Lind, Wells, Overbay and Snider failed to generate even a single hit among them?  But I'm not sure if that's a good thing.  The Jays certainly aren't going to have much success this season if those 4 players fail to produce something near the peak of their capabilities.

Chuck - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#213446) #
Halladay easily won his second game by dominating the hapless Berkman-less Astros. And he now has a hit in both of his starts.
Alex Obal - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#213447) #
what it means to be a closer

Damn right he knows. You earn more money. A higher proportion of your fist pumps get on Sportscenter. If you want to, you can have your favorite nu-metal tune open the top of the 9th at home, and because it's so cliche, nobody will make fun of your musical preferences. You never have to enter games with runners on base (unless you're good.)

It's a sweet deal. Who wouldn't want to be a closer? This could be an argument in favor of the inefficient conventional bullpen setup.
Dave Till - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#213448) #
Add me to the list of people who have noticed that Inglett and McCoy are remarkably similar.

Wow, Baltimore is not looking good. They need to replace their manager: what was with giving two intentional walks to Travis Snider? The dude's not hitting well (yet). And, according to the Jays' radio broadcasters, the Orioles were giving up on their closer after two (2) bad outings. Thomas Boswell, years ago, wrote (I'm paraphrasing), "Never judge a ballplayer over a unit of time smaller than a month." It's way too early to panic; they should just sit back and let their bats get to work.

Janssen is becoming a magic talisman: If You Put Him Into The Game, You Will Come Back.

The Jays will be eaten alive by better teams, I fear - the hitting is looking extremely anemic. Still, five wins is five wins.

Mike Green - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#213449) #
Do closers get sprinkled with magic closer dust or do they snort it?

5 out of 6 on the road against any kind of opposition is good.  Baltimore and Texas may not be the Red Sox and Yankees, but they are not the Royals and Astros either.  Good pitching and the long ball is a tried and true way to win.

earlweaverfan - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#213450) #
Janssen is becoming a magic talisman: If You Put Him Into The Game, You Will Come Back.

The Jays will be eaten alive by better teams, I fear - the hitting is looking extremely anemic. Still, five wins is five wins.

A healthy Casey Janssen is more than a talisman - if he is back to the pitcher he was before he got injured, he could help this bullpen be among the best in the league.  That would help them compete with the 'better teams'.

As for the hitting looking 'extremely anaemic', that seems pretty hard to justify.  Could it possibly be true instead that the Jays are making the most of what hitting they have, right now, and when Hill is back and finds the home run swing he showed in spring training, and when Adam Lind finds his groove, anything that A-Gon, Bautista, Encarnacion and even Wells can provide will be icing on the cake.  (If Snider does not have to go back to Las Vegas to find the pop in his bat, I will be thrilled).

Oh, and look out for Johnny Mac and Jo-Mo!!
martinthegreat - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#213451) #
Our hitting hasn't been great and should improve, while our pitching has been great and should decline, although maybe not by as much as some people might think.

On offense:
Underachievers: Bautista (moderate), Overbay (big), Encarnacion (hard to tell), Snider (hard to tell), Buck (moderate)
Injured: Hill
Overachievers: Wells, Gonzalez
Average: Lind
So we still have a fair bit of room for easy improvement on offense, even with the overachieving players. We've made it on good pitching and clutch hitting (for once), and we'll see how it goes from here on out.

Chuck - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#213453) #

Our hitting hasn't been great and should improve

The Jays have scored 29 runs in 6 games for a 4.83 average. Entering today's game, their OPS+ was 126, second in the league. The hitting has been very good -- 11 homeruns in 6 games will do that. I can't see the offense continuing to perform at this level (3/4 run above league average) all season long. I think their upside is like last year: league average.

while our pitching has been great and should decline, although maybe not by as much as some people might think.

Insofar as they have given up just 3.0 runs per game, their pitching most certainly will decline, and by a lot. The league average in 2009 was 4.75 RA/G and the Jays were at 4.76, and that was with Halladay.

Shane - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#213459) #
So, you're saying they're not going to go 24-12 to start this year too??
electric carrot - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#213463) #
I think 24-12 would be great!  My wife says to me today "didn't this happen last year too?" 


but this year 100 wins for sure!

(fun start)

greenfrog - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#213465) #
It's weird...I *know* the team isn't going to contend this year, but I still find myself getting excited about the plucky win streak. There's something inspiring about watching a relatively unknown (and low-budget) collection of talent do well when virtually every commentator has written them off. There will undoubtedly be many, many times this year when it seems like the Jays will be overmatched by the opposition, but for now, I'm thoroughly enjoying every win.
#2JBrumfield - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#213466) #

A healthy Casey Janssen is more than a talisman

He's "The Fugitive"!  He steals another win for Blue Jays justice!  Meantime, here's a gratuitous shot of Famke Janssen.

StephenT - Sunday, April 11 2010 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#213467) #
I never heard Sportsnet mention this (so maybe I missed it) but it seems that Buck Martinez still does announcing for TBS every other Sunday this year (source: ).
China fan - Monday, April 12 2010 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#213468) #
Chuck, you're saying that the offence will decline and the pitching will decline.  Does this mean you're pretty certain that the Jays will not continue to win 5 of every 6 games for the rest of this season?
Timbuck2 - Monday, April 12 2010 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#213481) #
I know I thought the same thing last year about Frasor's collection of early 'vulture' wins but does anyone know what is the MLB record for win's in relief over the course of a season?
John Northey - Monday, April 12 2010 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#213484) #
In 1959 Roy Face was 18-1 (had to check for year, but remembered the W=L record) all in relief. Just 57 games, 93 1/3 IP. His game log is ...

September 11th 1959 was his one loss, first game of a double-header, dropping him to 17-1 at the time. He also had 10 saves (retroactive, no one tracked them at the time).
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