Fresh Thread for Texas Series

Friday, July 29 2011 @ 06:30 PM EDT

Contributed by: Alex Obal

No news? I guess that's good news.

For those who missed last night's game, the Jays predictably beat up Brad Bergesen and Mark Hendrickson for an 8-5 win. Eric Thames and Edwin Encarnacion homered, Yunel Escobar and J.P. Arencibia added a couple of hits each, and Carlos Villanueva survived five shaky innings to earn a negative-WPA Pitcher Win. On the flipside, Jose Bautista looked a bit out of whack for the second straight night, and Colby Rasmus took a nice 0-5 in his debut. J.J. Hardy hit his third and fourth homers of the series - I've been mocking Baltimore for signing him to a 3-year extension, but maybe they do have something there. In St. Louis, Marc Rzepczynski pitched two shutout, one-hit innings with four strikeouts and no walks for the Cardinals.

Stat of the day:

Infield Fly Percentage by season:

Yunel Escobar '07-'11 3.2, 3.6, 3.6, 10.6, 1.2
Colby Rasmus '09-'11 5.2, 5.2, 13.3

I wonder if whipping boys tend to swing more in what Joe Maddon calls 'maybe' mode, hmm? Maybe this is a pattern for players who got run out of town in this manner. Maybe it's just a coincidence. Escobar improved a bit when he came to Toronto - his Jays tenure began with a 10-game hit streak - but he didn't start really hitting like himself again until this year. I figure Rasmus will be similarly competent this August but won't set the world on fire. I am, however, very optimistic he'll regain his form by next year. If it happens sooner, great.

That's it. I got nothing else. Here are questions:

How do you feel about the prospect of Villanueva as a starter for the 2012 Jays?

What about Encarnacion as a DH, if some of the current outfielders get traded for pitching and/or a second baseman?

Thames has a .375 BABIP and I think he's been one of the unluckiest hitters on the team. Am I crazy? Last night, he had one strikeout and absolutely tattooed three balls. No 'maybe' mode here.

This winter, if you were Prince Fielder and the Orioles offered you an 8-year deal worth $20 million more than any other team's offer, would you sign with them, knowing that barring a trade you would likely never play in another playoff game until at least 2020?

Saturday, Brad Mills returns to the bigs and faces hard-throwing Derek Holland. Sunday, it's Brandon Morrow and C.J. Wilson. And tonight, Brett Cecil and Alexi Ogando meet up in a rematch from Sunday. Round 1 was a flawless victory for Cecil. Round 2 - fight!