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Three games against the team with the best record in the major leagues. Who have some pitchers you're probably familiar with....


A lively first inning, as Yunel Escobar leaves the game with an injury and Edwin Encarnacion comes up with a big two out hit.

I assume we all understand that today's game provides the weekend's most favourable pitching matchup.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
electric carrot - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#237822) #
dear pitchers at all levels:

please stop hitting blue jay players and prospects with the ball.

sincerely,

ec

greenfrog - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#237823) #
What happened to Escobar? Does it look as though he broke his hand?
rfan8 - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#237825) #
Wow defence this year has been an adventure.  Yesterday for Cecil and that fly ball to Rivera today were not pretty.
greenfrog - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#237826) #
"Xrays and ct scan on Escobar neg. He's day to day"

per Shi Davidi on Twitter. Whew...
krose - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#237827) #
What the @#%* is Rivera doing in left field with a one run lead in the ninth inning?
Kasi - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#237828) #
They were negative on Lawrie too. Really depends on how much (if any) swelling Escobar has.

Regardless of that the pitching on this team needs to step up. Frasor and Francisco were not exactly good today.
Thomas - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#237829) #
Farrell's in-game managing continues to leave a lot to be desired. Francisco's been an adventure this year, Rzepczynski's warming up, Rauch just got three relatively harmless fly balls in the 8th, and the Phillies have Polanco and then Utley and Howard and their platoon splits due up. But Farrell remains a slave to save.

And, as bad as Patterson looks at time, he also doesn't make the obvious defensive substitution.
Mike Green - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#237830) #
Juan Rivera as a starting left-fielder (or starting anywhere, for that matter) against a RHP just doesn't work for me. Next, please.
Ron - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#237831) #

Great atmosphere at the Skydome today. As a huge Halladay fan, I was a little disappointed he only got a 45 second video tribute and a 1 minute standing ovation from the fans.

BlueJayWay - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#237832) #
It was a great atmosphere.  It was the largest and loudest crowd I've been to at the RC in a long time.  I'm sure Doc'll get another ovation tomorrow.
The_Game - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#237833) #
Third game this week I've been to, third game they've lost primarily due to poor outfield defense in the new formation. Has anybody figured out yet what the point of moving Bautista off RF was?

And I can't blame Farrell much for being a slave to the save. Most managers are. But man, that would have been the perfect time to use Rzep.
The_Game - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#237834) #
Patterson, though, not only should have been in as a defensive sub, he should have started the game considering Kendrick's enormous career splits (and Rivera's abysmal hitting against RHP in 2011).
katman - Friday, July 01 2011 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#237835) #
It's getting harder and harder to watch Patterson and Rivera out there. Every game, I lean more and more toward Loewen, Snider, Thames as our 2nd half outfield, with Davis as the #4 and backup option.

That means Patterson & Rivera DFAed, but if they can't play defense, I think you have to. Patterson would work as a left fielder only, but it's not worth keeping a roster slot for that when there are flexible options.

Bite the bullet, AA.
Sano - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#237838) #
How do we solve our closer problems? It's very frustrating watching FF blow half his save opportunities.
TamRa - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#237839) #
^^
This.

If i have to watch screw ups, I'd rather watch kids screw up and hopefully learn from it as watch aging stiffs screw up.



TamRa - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#237840) #
Third game this week I've been to, third game they've lost primarily due to poor outfield defense in the new formation. Has anybody figured out yet what the point of moving Bautista off RF was

you're not gonna bang this drum all the way 'til September are you? I remember that whole business of "Cito ain't wrong" that came up over and over again last August/September and i sure don't want to see a repeat.


TamRa - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#237841) #
It was a great atmosphere.  It was the largest and loudest crowd I've been to at the RC in a long time.  I'm sure Doc'll get another ovation tomorrow.

Actually, RickyRo was quoted as saying that he hoped that didn't happen - it's different on the day before (which is what the whole line-up card bit was about. He was proud to see that, but he seemed to suggest that on the day you have to beat him, the opposing pitcher shouldn't get more praise than the home team.
Thomas - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#237842) #
Well, Romero's going to be disappointed then. As he should be.
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 05:25 AM EDT (#237845) #
you're not gonna bang this drum all the way 'til September are you?
If they keep losing games due to the poor outfield defense that they weren't losing before, then yes, definitely. As should everybody.
Magpie - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 06:36 AM EDT (#237846) #
If they keep losing games due to the poor outfield defense

They will. It won't always be this obvious, but this team doesn't have any good defensive outfielders. Either here, or nearby, or on the way. Four seam fastballs often get hit into the air, so this will be a problem.

I think we've all assumed that part of the strategy for people like Rauch, Francisco, Dotel, Encarnacion was to either swap them for something at the deadline or play out the string with them, offer them arbitration, have them decline as Type B free agents, and collect the draft picks. Are these guys going to be tradeable? Would they actuallly decline arbitration under these circumstances?

What the hell. Just because it was a good plan doesn't guarantee it's actually going to work...
rfan8 - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#237847) #

Whta bothers me about the outfield defence is the lack of communication.  Once ok, when it happens multiple times...

If an outfielder can't get to the ball because of lack of foot speed, well hopefully he makes up for it by driving in a run. I think that's a different matter.

damos - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#237848) #
It is truly amazing that Corey Patterson's yelling in undetectable to the human ear.  The gaffes this year have been stupendous in quantity.  It's near to the point that I almost expect to see popups fall between players & I get just a little queasy when seemingly routine fly balls are hit.   I feel for the pitchers. 
krose - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#237849) #

Magpie

I agree! There is little sense in getting bent out of shape over the potential for good outfield defense with this crew. (Actually, there is little sense in getting bent out of shape about the performance of most of this team.) This is another rebuilding year.

My concern with yesterday's loss is that Patterson should have been in left field in the ninth as a defensive replacement. The team on the field is-what-it-is. The defensive alignment in the final inning indicates a different problem.

bpoz - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#237851) #
Sorry. I am trying to add something positive about our Defense in general, but no success.

But just throwing out thoughts:-

1) Is it rare to get unexpected good offense from an unlikely player. I can only think of M Scuttoro & R Ruiz from Jays history which I am more familiar with.
2) Many times you get "stuck" with a player that you were forced to take in a trade. Napoli & Rivera fit that description IMO. As ML veterans I believe they are owed some courtesy, but I am not sure of the details. The bat of Napoli & Rivera were their strengths.
Further that courtesy has guidelines rather than rules, players reactions like demanding trades due to position/role change or reduced playing time, can cause problems for the FO & team. I cannot remember exact examples, maybe Mench. Then there was a trade demand from a frustrated player and JP said or most likely was misquoted something like nobody wants you or will take you. Beware the media.
3)ML ready position prospects were few when AA took over. When 2009 ended I saw 0 ready prospects. JPA earned a call up and got it, but the good performances of Buck & Molina limited his playing time. Similarly 2010 featured 4-5 possibilities, but they needed about 200 ABs at AAA. AA has promoted Cooper, Thames & reportedly Lawrie so he has not been shy. But shortly we can we will have more evidence of how this promotion procedure will happen, by the actions of AA. Rivera, EE & Davis are owed some courtesy IMO as ML veterans, but what exactly I don't know. When Snider, Cooper & Lawrie are ready & healthy in the FO's judgement then not giving them the ABs this year will impact next year.
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#237852) #

I agree! There is little sense in getting bent out of shape over the potential for good outfield defense with this crew. (Actually, there is little sense in getting bent out of shape about the performance of most of this team.) This is another rebuilding year.

Tell that to the Jays who just moved their franchise RF to 3B mid-season as a stopgap option, seemingly in an attempt to win more games (though it has had the direct opposite effect thus far).

92-93 - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#237854) #

Its not going to be two games at third, two games in the outfield. Its going to be every game at third, Anthopoulos told MLB.com of Bautista. He will be entrenched as the guy at third base going forward for us."

Bautista looked great at 3B yesterday, he seemed very comfortable with a few hard hit balls. Yesterday's loss had nothing to do with Bautista - Farrell chose to have Rivera out there instead of Patterson, which would be his options with Bautista in RF too. Thames is not any great shakes either defensively.

krose - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#237855) #

Tell that to the Jays who just moved their franchise RF to 3B mid-season as a stopgap option, seemingly in an attempt to win more games (though it has had the direct opposite effect thus far).

Moving Bautista to first was likely done to get Thames into the lineup and address the teams shortcomings with hitting. Thames has been a big upgrade over Nix. The team is now scoring more runs. However the result has been even more weakness in defense.

As was noted earlier in this thread, there is no in-organization solution on the horizon.

Camer... No! No! No! Can't even think it!!

TamRa - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#237860) #
If they keep losing games due to the poor outfield defense that they weren't losing before, then yes, definitely. As should everybody.

Well I'll just have to take my own advice and tune the whole thing out rather than having the same argument over and over again so I'll leave you with my last comment on the subject of Bautista at 3B:

IF you must comment on outfield defense, that's fine - it's worthy of discussion - BUT when you are discussing the difference between two available poor fielding LEFT fielders whether or not Bautista is in RIGHT field is irrelevant.

So logically if you are making a rational comment about whether or not moving Bautista was the right move, you should be able to show that the increased offense by having Thames in the game is more than counteracted by the decreased defense in RIGHT field (and 3B) - what happens in CF or LF is not relevant.

IMO, it takes a LOT of bad defense to do that but that is worth discussing. Whether Patterson would have caught something Rivera missed or vice versa has nothing to do with where Bautista is playing.
Magpie - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#237861) #
Shi Davidi is reporting that Jayson Nix has been designated for assignment, and Mike McCoy is coming back.

Our long national nightmare...
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#237864) #
Farrell's managing continues to dumbfound me. If you're going to have Villanueva intentionally walk Chase Utley in the 5th inning to face Ryan Howard (which was extremely hard to justify), you should certainly be intentionally walking Utley to face Howard with a lefty on the mound.

Chase Utley has a career .888 OPS vs. lefties (.894 vs RHP). Howard, on the other hand, has a career .759 OPS vs. lefties (1.027 vs. RHP).

If you're a manager, you at least have to be consistent in your logic. Farrell isn't...and this has become a discouraging trend.
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#237865) #
Moving Bautista to first was likely done to get Thames into the lineup and address the teams shortcomings with hitting. Thames has been a big upgrade over Nix. The team is now scoring more runs. However the result has been even more weakness in defense.
Getting Thames into the lineup every day didn't necessitate Bautista moving to 3B. We're still filling LF every day with either Patterson or Rivera. He could have played there, in left, where he's been playing the entire season. And Encarnacion could have played third over Nix. The team would have been better for it.
IF you must comment on outfield defense, that's fine - it's worthy of discussion - BUT when you are discussing the difference between two available poor fielding LEFT fielders whether or not Bautista is in RIGHT field is irrelevant.
Except it's completely relevant. If Bautista was still playing RF, Thames would be playing every day in LF (the position he's most familiar with). If that was the case, neither Rivera or Patterson would have even been in LF for the miscues on Thursday and Friday. They would have been DH'd or on the bench, where they should be.
So logically if you are making a rational comment about whether or not moving Bautista was the right move, you should be able to show that the increased offense by having Thames in the game is more than counteracted by the decreased defense in RIGHT field (and 3B) - what happens in CF or LF is not relevant.
Again, though, as Bautista pointed out himself last week, you could have the same nine bats with Bautista in RF and have significantly better outfield defense. Your defense at third wouldn't be great with Encarnacion, but it's definitely better than throwing games away due to huge outfield errors as they did on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#237867) #
The Bautista in RF versus 3B seems like a pretty trivial issue in the larger scheme of things. The Jays aren't contenders this year, and Lawrie should be in Toronto within a month or two. The team has defensive/lineup issues in the OF and at 3B, and is experimenting in an effort to do better. Maybe there is a slight advantage to one construction over the other, but in the big picture, who really cares?
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#237868) #
The Bautista in RF versus 3B seems like a pretty trivial issue in the larger scheme of things. The Jays aren't contenders this year, and Lawrie should be in Toronto within a month or two. The team has defensive/lineup issues in the OF and at 3B, and is experimenting in an effort to do better. Maybe there is a slight advantage to one construction over the other, but in the big picture, who really cares?

This.  Thank you.  I'm sure I'm not the only one sick of the bickering.  It's like a scab people won't stop picking at.
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#237869) #
Bautista does. He's made his preference known about RF repeatedly and as recently as a few days ago. If it doesn't make a bit of difference in the big picture at all as you say, then why do it at all? Why move your best player off his position in the first place?
krose - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#237870) #

Bautista does. He's made his preference known about RF repeatedly and as recently as a few days ago. If it doesn't make a bit of difference in the big picture at all as you say, then why do it at all? Why move your best player off his position in the first place?

Moving Bautista to first was likely done to get Thames into the lineup and address the teams shortcomings with hitting. Thames has been a big upgrade over Nix. The team is now scoring more runs. However the result has been even more weakness in defense.

We could catch this 22 more times. Perhaps we'd get some clarity.

Spifficus - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#237871) #
Really, I think you're way more hung up on it than Bautista could ever be. If he were really bent out of shape, he wouldn't be playing there. He was willing enough to play there in ST, and he's willing enough to play there now. Whether it was the best of a bad bunch of choices, who knows... It's definitely not the worst (Encarnacion has played himself off the position several times, and I don't think I can go through another without a massive coronary. He was BAD with the Reds, and here it always felt like Overbay was saving him). But, really, it's time to let it go.
grjas - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#237873) #
Come on guys. If this is really a re-building year, leave the players where they are projected to play- Thames in left and Bautsta in RF rather than jerking them around to win a few games. It's non-sensical
TamRa - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#237874) #
This.  Thank you.  I'm sure I'm not the only one sick of the bickering.

+1

(actually, +1,000 but I assume i only get one vote)
The_Game - Saturday, July 02 2011 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#237875) #
krose, I'll go through this step-by-step with you.

Eric Thames has been playing LF for the entire year in AAA. If he's going to make the majors as a defensive player, it's probably going to be as a LF. And if we believe the Jays, that's where he's going to be when Lawrie returns in a few months.

Corey Patterson and Juan Rivera are this team's current LFs. These are two guys that many on this site have been calling for to be platooned, DH'd, benched, or even DFA'd over the last few months.

So I ask you, how exactly is keeping Bautista in RF blocking Thames from playing time? Why not just make the much-needed move of cutting down the ABs of Patterson/Rivera?



Sano - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#237879) #
On a different note, anyone else see Villaneuva's post-game interview?

http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/36651949001/40415880001/Villanueva-on-Doc/

I understand his point but I think it's a bit misguided to say that Jays fans should not honour one of the greatest Jays ever on his first return visit. I'll give him a pass because he just lost and was probably a little emotional, but still...
TamRa - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#237880) #
Read Halladay's remarks in Shi's piece - he said pretty much the same thing. He implied he didn't even particularly think Flashback Fridays were a good idea because they took focus off the current team, but it was unmistakeable that he thought Friday was enough and he was uncomfortable with the ovation today.



brent - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 04:30 AM EDT (#237881) #

People can hate on Nix but he was never the problem. He was picked up to try to fix something that was already broken.

There's a lot of blame to go around from the opening day roster: Davis, Hill, Rivera, Snider, Patterson, E5, Cecil, 2Frank, Dotel...

lexomatic - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#237882) #
Read Halladay's remarks in Shi's piece - he said pretty much the same thing. He implied he didn't even particularly think Flashback Fridays were a good idea because they took focus off the current team, but it was unmistakeable that he thought Friday was enough and he was uncomfortable with the ovation today.

IF it had thrown him even a tiny bit off-balance it would have been worth it.
92-93 - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#237885) #
I strongly agree with The_Game's sentiments about the in-game management. It was peculiar enough to see Villanueba IBB Utley, who was 0/9 with 5 Ks vs him, to get to Howard. It was even stranger, however, to see Farrell NOT do that later in the game with a LHP on the mound after it "worked" earlier. I also don't understand why you'd go to Dotel with 2 outs in the 8th inning in a game you are losing if you aren't willing to go back to him to start the 9th because there's LHB coming up - just go straight to Camp instead of cycling through RP, or else commit to allowing Dotel have the 9th when you are losing anyway.

I also completely agree with the anti-Doc sentiments from a few of the players. It's pathetic that the same people who didn't show up when Halladay was a Blue Jay all of a sudden pack the house when he comes back as a Phillie. The lovefest has been way over the top for a guy who orchestrated his way out of Toronto.
Paul D - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#237886) #
The lovefest has been way over the top for a guy who orchestrated his way out of Toronto.


Strongly disagree.  If anything, the celebration for Doc wasn't near enough - it was certainly not over the top.
dan gordon - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#237892) #
Posted this on another thread, but if you didn't see it there, Rivera has been DFA'd and Snider called up.  Sportsnet.
Kasi - Sunday, July 03 2011 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#237896) #
Which answers and puts to rest all of The Game's questions. We now have a platoon in CF and Snider/Thames taking LF/RF. This lineup would not be at all possible with Bautista in right.
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