Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
I can cry, beg and whine
To every rebel I find
Just to give me a line
I could use to describe

I think this is a good time to remind the People of Earth that Taylor Swift played two shows at the Sprint Center in Kansas City last month. (You've heard of the Sprint Center? It opened in 2007, it cost $276 million, it seats roughly 18,000 people, and it's the home of the Kansas City Command. Yes, the Kansas City Command. Arena football, if you please.) So Taylor! You took the trouble to go there. We'd like to see some results, if you don't mind.

This afternoon matches up a pair of elderly pitchers, one of whom is very tall.

Dickey and Young were teammates, of course, once upon a long time ago.  They were together in Texas back in 2004-2005. At the end of the 2005 season, the Rangers included Young as part of the deal to obtain Adam Eaton. Among those going to San Diego with Young was a fellow named Adrian Gonzalez, so that didn't work out so great for the Rangers. Especially after Eaton moved on as a free agent after one year in Texas.

Young's made 4 career starts against Toronto (2-1, 4.98). Mark Buehrle beat him 6-2 back in July, although the Royals were only down 2-1 when Young came out of the game. Russell Martin (9-30) has by far the most experience against him, followed by Jose Bautista (3-16) and Josh Donaldson (1-16).  Edwin Encarnacion has a homer in 4 ABs against Young. If Gibbons is looking for a pinch-hitter at some point... well, he certainly knows that Dioner Navarro has 4 hits including a HR in 6 ABs against Young, which works out to a rather nifty 1.917 OPS.

Dickey faced the Royals once this year and it was one of his best starts of the season - 7 innings of two-hit shutout. Ben Zobrist hit a two-run HR off Roberto Osuna in that game, after going 0-2 against Dickey. Zobrist is 6-39 against Dickey in his career. Alcides Escobar also has 6 hits against Dickey, but he only needed 18 ABs to get them. Alex Rios is 5-24, which isn't too good, but he has hit a couple of homers.

It certainly appears that John Gibbons intends to ride the front of his bullpen as hard as he can, that he doesn't think he has much choice in the matter. The bullpen is off to a rough start in the ALCS - the relievers have made 10 appearances in this series and they've allowed 7 ER in 6.2 IP. That's a 9.45 ERA, and that's not too good. At this point, it looks like Gibbons believes in Osuna and Sanchez, and no one else. Oh, he may be starting to trust Mark Lowe a little. I wouldn't expect to see Hendriks, Hawkins, or Tepera anywhere in the same area code as a close game; I also can't imagine that Gibbons is eagerly looking forward to calling on Aaron Loup after his ugly work in Game One.

So I would not expect him to have a quick hook for R.A. Dickey, not  this time. Except for the fact that Gibbons - like most managers - doesn't particularly trust the knuckleball, on some sort of general principle.


Oh, never mind. It's the same lineups as we saw in the first three games. We know them by now and don't need me typing them out, do we? Especially when there are Bigger Fish to fry. For the Man in White has made a comeback, and haven't we missed him?  Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez told Jordan Bastian that Johnny Cueto thought the signs were being stolen last night. Volquez himself didn't seem to think all that much of it (or at least he wasn't going to let it get into his own head, which strikes me as very sensible:)

Johnny said last night, but that's your fault. You've got to hide the ball and have better communication with your catcher giving you signs when you're pitching. So it's nothing wrong with it. We just have to hide the ball and have multiple signs to hide it from them... we've got a lot of friends of different teams, they always say that, they give the signs or whatever it is. But I don't go crazy with it. I just want to pitch my own game.... [Johnny] said last night, they got a guy in centerfield. You see how hard it is, he look to the centerfield and he see somebody do this or do that, it's really hard to do that. I don't know, he said that. But when the guy gets on second base, he said something about that, too, they were giving signs to the hitter. But I don't know.

Oh, Johnny, Johnny - your catcher wasn't just going through multiple signs for you, even when there was no one on base - he was coming out to the mound to consult with you on the next pitch. So consider this: maybe the Jays have discovered a way to read -  not your signs - but your mind. (Cue creepy organ music.) One might also point out that on the Tulowitzki homer, Perez set up in the middle of the plate with his glove practically brushing the dirt and Cueto delivered a pitch that was so high that it was actually out of the strike zone (yeah, he missed his spot by about five feet.)

Anyway, I'd be happy to hear some suggestions as to what messages might have been transmitted by the Great White Wonder.
ALCS Game 4 - Dickey vs Young | 72 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#313758) #
Anyway, I'd be happy to hear some suggestions as to what messages might have been transmitted by the Great White Wonder

Johnny Aint Been Goode since he's been eating my bread...
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#313761) #
I don't remember the inning, batter, or base runner, but there was a specific moment in last night's game where Cueto was pitching, gave a prolonged dirty look to the runner on 2nd, and then had the catcher change the sign on the next pitch. Obviously the 'Man in White' left the stadium after Cueto was taken out of the game. How convenient.

Dickey needs to have his best start as a Jay today. This is the swing game. Either the series will be tied 2-2 or the Jays will be down 3-1. Huge game.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#313763) #
Do we need a picture? For luck?

Jobu came yesterday, took fear from bats. It was good.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#313768) #
Ack not a good time for bad Dickey to show up.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#313769) #

this is why Dickey got pulled early last game.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#313770) #
That was some subpar defence from Martin on the passed ball. Usually the catcher gets the benefit of the doubt with the knuckleballer on the mound, but that was correctly scored.
electric carrot - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#313771) #
Searching the console for the panic button.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#313772) #
Martin had 19 passed balls this season.  His seasonal average before this year was 5 and his career high was 9.  It's just a fact of life that knuckleballs will get by catchers; some of them will be scored as passed balls and some as wild pitches but it doesn't change much.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#313773) #
i get the lack of other options, but revere leading off is killing me.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#313774) #
swinging for the fences, every dang pitch.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#313775) #
The story so far...

  photo narswa__funny-pictures-sick-pumpkin.jpg
Four Seamer - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#313776) #
Looks like the Hendriks fans will be in for a treat today.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#313777) #
Who were you talking about in regards to swinging for the fences uo? I take it Jose or EE?
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#313778) #
Looks like Gibby will have no issue with pulling Dickey before the 6th today.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#313779) #
The Man in White seems to be a little confused as to which team he's supposed to be working for.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#313780) #
All the complaining about bullpen management. Meanwhile....

SP this series: 4gs, 5.0ip/gs, 7.20era
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#313781) #
yeah Kasi it was jose and EE.

p.s. we're gonna win this game
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#313782) #
Looks like the Hendriks fans will be in for a treat today.

So that's why Gibbons pulled him yesterday.  He knew that he would need him today.  Brilliant!
baagcur - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#313783) #
and he wouldn't need Osuna :(
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#313785) #
Salvador Perez is taking a real beating back there.  Tough dude.
Jonny German - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#313786) #
A bogus out! We'll take it!
Magpie - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#313787) #
Replay may drive the pop-up slide out of the game. Priority One will be sticking to the bag.
James W - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#313788) #
Since I'm sick of hearing Harold Reynolds whine about it, I'll probably be less civilized with this than I should... but what is bogus about tagging a player when he's not on the base?
Jonny German - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#313789) #
It doesn't feel like it's rewarding skilful play. It feels pedantic.
James W - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#313790) #
As pedantic as it might be, I'll retort with what I yell at Reynolds: "Or, he can just stay on the ****ing base."
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#313791) #
no different than when a player makes a great catch but then drops it, or when a first baseman's foot comes off the bag, imo.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#313792) #
Young got yanked 1 out shy of a win with a 3 run lead. what a dick move by yost.
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#313793) #
Clearly, he's doing this because it worked out great for Toronto.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#313794) #
pull him now.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#313795) #
man hawkins has killed us these playoffs.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#313796) #
Other than a couple home runs by Tulo and Lowe's solid contributions its been a pretty sad playoffs for the trade acquisitions. I'm sure its just randomness, but Revere, Hawkins, Price have not performed well.
christaylor - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#313797) #
This series hasn't exactly been full of good baseball.

Four Seamer - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#313798) #

I'm sure its just randomness, but Revere, Hawkins, Price have not performed well.

Price, maybe, but Hawkins is finished and Revere is a severely limited ballplayer hitting in the wrong spot in the order for a man of his talents.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#313799) #
KC are just kicking all our asses this series.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#313800) #
"Revere is a severely limited ballplayer hitting in the wrong spot in the order for a man of his talents"


and yet, look at leadoff hitter extraordinaire Alcides Escobar.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#313801) #
Their pitching >> our pitching (this series).
eudaimon - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#313802) #
Revere's a fine player. He's just not been this great this postseason. Even great players suck sometimes. That's why people though A-Rod was a choker for so long, despite there being really no evidence to that being true.
James W - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#313803) #
leadoff hitter extraordinaire Alcides Escobar

This is driving me insane. By OPS he was the second-worst regular in MLB. By WRc+, fourth-worst. So of course Kansas City gets rewarded for batting him at the top of the lineup.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#313804) #
anyone still think our 5 run lead last night was "safe"?
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#313805) #
ah well.

We all wanted us to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win anyways, just for a complete payback.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#313806) #
herrera and madson both used in a 10 run game.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#313807) #
herrera and madson both used in a 10 run game.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#313808) #
91mph on the corner!
Cracka - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#313809) #
Pennington becomes the first position player to ever pitch in the post-season. That's one way to make post-season history.
scottt - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#313810) #
If there ever was a time for single malt.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#313811) #
One thing I'd like AA to work on in the offseason is do something about the righthandedness of our lineup and bullpen. Feel one lefty hitter in the middle of all those righty mashers would make us harder to pitch around. And would like another lefty option out of the bullpen. Maybe Venditte will work out.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#313812) #
Sanchez, Lowe, and Osuna were used in a blowout win yesterday, but when trailing 5-2 today, Gibbons brings in Hawkins followed by Tepera. This is why people were complaining about burning relievers in a blowout. Sanchez, Lowe, and Osuna should have been fresh and available to pitch in this game to try to keep it 5-2 and give the offense a chance (as small as it would have been with Madson/Herrera/Davis to deal with). Instead it became a blowout.

At least Osuna and Sanchez will be rested for tomorrow, when they pretty much have to be used to save the season.

Hopefully Gibbons finds an appreciation for Hendriks after this game. He barely pitched any innings for two weeks and yet pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in a game the Jays easily could have made a game out of if they took advantage of the 4+ innings Chris Young was on the mound. Unfortunately that's likely the end of Hendriks' season even if the Jays push this series back to KC. They'd have to go to the World Series before he can be used again having thrown 60 pitches.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#313813) #
ah yes you would definitely have been praising gibbons for bringing in sanchez/osuna down 3 in the 7th.

p.s. both were available.
China fan - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#313814) #
"....Sanchez, Lowe, and Osuna should have been fresh and available to pitch in this game to try to keep it 5-2...."

If Gibbons had used his best relievers so early in a losing game -- which has never been their role all season -- he would certainly be blasted by fans for "burning" his best relievers in a losing game.  He would be attacked for not "saving them" for a better situation in tomorrow's game.  Some fans will always criticize his bullpen management, no matter what he does. But the bottom line is that the Royals have scored 33 runs against the Jays in just 4 games.  That's going to burn a lot of starters and relievers, no matter how you shuffle them.

In fact, Osuna and Sanchez were both available and relatively fresh today, if Gibbons had wanted to use them.  Osuna has pitched only 9 meaningful pitches in the past 6 days.  Gibbons didn't want to waste those guys in a game where the Jays were trailing by several runs and couldn't get anything going with their offense.  (I don't believe the Jays would suddenly start hitting better if they were trailing by 3 runs instead of 7 runs. Certainly they didn't hit better when they got within 3 runs earlier in the game, so I don't believe there's any reason to imagine that they would suddenly start hitting better in the 7th or 8th inning if they were only trailing by 3 runs.) 

If anything, today's game was an example of how it's better to use your best relievers in a useful situation (like yesterday) rather than "saving them" for what could be a meaningless situation like the late innings of today's game. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#313815) #
"ah yes you would definitely have been praising gibbons for bringing in sanchez/osuna down 3 in the 7th."

If they weren't used yesterday? Absolutely I would. The goal was to keep the Royals at 5 and hope the Jays bats would pull out a miracle.

Hawkins and Tepera being brought in during a 3-run game in the playoffs is not a very high percentage move. Hawkins barely pitched in September (6 innings) and had a 6.00 ERA over that time. Tepera is not very good, and the narrative that he has reverse splits and would be useful against lefties is faulty at best (his BABIP against lefties is unsustainably low and his FIP against them is over 6.00 with a 3 HR allowed in 14 innings). That was almost throwing in the towel after Hendriks saved the day.

Part of the blame goes on the roster construction, as Buehrle should have been on the roster instead of Tepera, and he could have soaked up the last 2 innings of Monday's game if given the chance to save Sanchez and Osuna for today.

We will agree to disagree. I'm not sure why a 6-7 run lead was a high leverage situation, but a 3-run deficit wasn't, but Gibbons has managed that way all season, so it is what it is.
China fan - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#313816) #
Wow.  The Jays produce an incredible season and reach the AL finals -- just one step from the World Series -- and yet we still have the critics complaining about "roster management" and "how Gibbons manages" and all the rest of it.  Can they never give it a pause?

There's no way that AA or Gibbons should be blamed for "poor management" in a series where the Royals score 33 runs in 4 games -- especially when the Jays are averaging just 1.7 runs per game in three-quarters of those games.  The Jays are just losing to a high-scoring team with excellent pitching. Cecil was injured, Loup is unavailable because of a family emergency -- those are the breaks of the game and can't be blamed on management.  But the critics take advantage of their 20-20 hindsight to fantasize different bullpen scenarios that would turn a 14-2 defeat into a victory.

I disagree with the notion that Mark Buehrle could be turned into a game-saving reliever after an exhausting season in which he couldn't even handle two innings in the final game of the season.  Buehrle has a sore shoulder, has been pitching poorly for most of the past two months, and has never been a reliever in the past 15 years, so it's a bit unrealistic to imagine him being transformed into a high-leverage bullpen role in the playoffs.  And to imagine him rescuing the Jays from a 14-2 defeat is even more fantastical.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#313817) #
Ned Yost used Herrera and Madson in a blowout today, what a bum.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#313818) #
Iirc Cameron on Fangraphs made an article that talked about the Jays dependency on right handed hitters. Of course they're still great hitters, but some teams are set up to not have to pitch a single lefty against us. I just said I wish we had a credible LH bat. As for bullpen Cecil isn't a LOOGY and I don't think Loup is very good. I'd like someone brought in to take Loup's spot. And even if we kept Loup not sure we need so many RHP out of the pen with similar profiles. Wouldn't mind an additional lefty. Don't really have anything to say about this series. We're being outplayed and outpitched. Changing bullpen usage likely won't fix that.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#313819) #
What does the Jays season have to do with how the pen was used the last two days?

The Jays had a very high probability of losing when they were down 5-2, so I'm not particularly heartbroken about Sanchez/Osuna being unavailable/not used. I'm just saying that it was more justifiable to use them today when the game was still close rather than last night when the game was more of a blowout. In a normal situation, I would not have used Sanchez/Osuna/Lowe in either game unless it was completely necessary (and I don't agree that 11-6 with a runner on and 1 out in the 9th was necessary), but again that leads back to bringing Tepera on the roster when he doesn't deserve it while someone like Buehrle could have been used in either of the last two games to eat up some innings.

I thought Gibbons used the pen very well in the ALDS, although clearly having a healthy Cecil would have helped him in this series.

Either way, I'm not blaming him for anything. I'm just stating an opinion.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#313820) #
Just to elaborate I think the Rangers showed us how it was hard for our bullpen to match up with their lineup when they went RLRL. You can bring in Loup but you'd not want to use him more than one batter because the next guy will likely clobber him. I think there is some value to having a lineup that makes difficult decisions for the opposition bullpen as well as having options for their lineup in your own. Cecil's injury just made a bullpen that was already filled with mid 90s throwing RHP even trickier for Gibbon to use since it limits his options. In happy we got where we did and hope we can come back but just saying it would be nice to be more balanced.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#313821) #
Switching gears, I didn't see all of the game, but how did Hendriks look as he got deeper into the game? I know velocity typically increases in a bullpen role, and doesn't translate the same way in a starting role, but I wonder if there's a chance he could become a starting option next season if his velocity spike is at least partially sustainable when stretched out. He looks like a completely different pitcher, and the Jays lack SP depth. Too early to even think about that with a 3-1 deficit, but I like what I've seen from him this year.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#313822) #
Reasonable arguments abound, but two basic problems present themselves: the Jays' bullpen, as presently constituted, is simply not play-off calibre, and falling behind 2-0 greatly limits your strategic flexibility, since Gibbons understandably has to manage differently than he would if the series were 1-1. Your 1-2 starters have to yield a split, but Estrada and Price simply weren't up to the task, and the Jays are chasing the series as a result, with a badly undermanned bullpen.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#313823) #
I don't think it was being down 0-2 as much as it was losing Cecil. When everyone is healthy, I think Cecil is the best RP on the roster. Not having him greatly depletes the pen, and since Sanchez has split issues (much worse against LHB), and Loup is having personal issues, it makes the Jays very vulnerable late in games. While I did disagree with using his top pen guys in Monday's game, I do sympathize with Gibby because Cecil's injury destroyed what could have been a pen that was 4 men deep (Lowe-Sanchez-Cecil-Osuna) and could have competed with the Royals pen (still inferior but not by as much as it is now without Cecil).
JB21 - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#313824) #
Kasi, the Jays are the best hitting team in the MLB vs. RHP.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#313825) #
The big thing to remember is to enjoy whatever we get this post-season as it is the first in decades. Hopefully first of many. Hopefully the Jays pull of a miracle and win another 3 do or die games after winning 3 of them last round. We know it can happen.

It is more fun to see a disaster like this than to be sitting around complaining about another lost year.

For 2016 the rotation is #1 (with 3 free agents), adding a few LH relievers should be a priority (AAA as well as ML), figuring out LF and 2B (a couple of good options here already if healthy), deciding if it is time to extend a contract extension to Bautista and/or Encarnacion before they become free agents post 2016.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#313826) #
I know that, but still it means that opponents can bring in guys like Herrerra or Davis or Madson and leave them in through the heart of our lineup. There is no lefty in there to force them to make a pitching change. Not like this can likely be addressed anyway, our lineup will be the same next year. I agree getting Estrada for Lind was great, but I think right now having a bat like his that kills lefties in the middle of that lineup would be nice. I suppose that's what they tried to do with Smoak, but it didn't work out.

Anyway here is the article from Cameron back from August.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#313827) #
"If they weren't used yesterday? Absolutely I would. The goal was to keep the Royals at 5 and hope the Jays bats would pull out a miracle. "

the 2nd inning was higher leverage than the 7th so Osuna should have been brought in in the 2nd.
R Romero Vaughan - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#313828) #
Hindsight is a beautiful thing but you have to wonder

1. How they didn't see fit to have a long man in the pen - if not Buehrle then surely Hutch would be more useful than a guy like Tepera (or Hawkins at this point)

2. I think having Thole over Carrera would have made much more sense given having Dickey 100pc comfortable (and no PB In the first)- given gibbons won't pinch hit for anyone (and Carrera hardly an upgrade anyway) I'd rather have Thole and also frees up Navarro to pinch hot instead of Carrera

3. How on earth has Hawkins been preferred to Hendriks in recent weeks - a lot have been saying it but Gibbons does like going with 'his guys' even when evidence points to a change being required. Loup usage early in the season another example

4. I really wish gibbons hadn't managed scared all of this and last series. There is a middle ground somewhere between what he has done (price in game 4 of alds and osuna sanchez yesterday) and stopping the other team getting momentum. You have to play the percentages and Hendriks for s few more batters yesterday (and frankly vs Texas) to keep bulles for another day is playing the percentages. You can't play 7 game series with a 3 man bullpen and hope it turns out ok burning your guys

5. I'm sure loups family situation is serious and we all feel for him - but given where we are with the pen, could we have dropped a bench guy for a long guy before the series?

6. Don't understand Lowe use today at all. Surely Pennington in the 8th would have made more sense.

Maybe none of this makes much of a difference - the offence stank again and the pen is not strong enough anyway without Cecil. Can't help feeling that the jays have been out thought and out prepared this series though.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 20 2015 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#313829) #
The Jays go into the Postseason with a very good Starting Rotation, a very good Bullpen, a top Offense and a top Defense. And that means very little because playing in the Postseason is 110% different than playing the Regular Season. The Jays need a very short memory, trust no one including teammates and have a quick hook.

I guess not winning Saturday's game becomes a huge issue, when a normally very good R.A. Dickey can't get out of the Second in today's game. Instead of trailing 3-1, they should be tied 2-2. Apparently Gibbons and most of the posters on this site don't understand the value of a 3-run lead. Those are MUST-WIN GAMES.

People talk about Price being unable to win Game Two. I talk about Gibbons' mistake in Game Two, he forgot to trust no one. With a 3-run lead after 6.0 IP, it no longer matters how well your Starter is pitching, winning the Game becomes paramount. With four fresh arms, 3 others that only pitched once and off day next day, going to the bullpen should have been easy.

For those that wanted Price to pitch the 7th or didn't see any reason for Price not to pitch the 7th, you forgot one thing. With no Brett Cecil, Price might have to pitch in Relief. Having a low pitch count in Game Two makes that so much easier. The Jays trailed 5-2 after 6.0 IP and could have used Price in the 7th to give the Team another inning in which to score.

Jonny German - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#313830) #
I agree getting Estrada for Lind was great, but I think right now having a bat like his that kills lefties in the middle of that lineup would be nice

It would appear you either mean "gets killed by lefties" - yes, Lind does indeed do that - or, "that kills righties". Assuming the latter, the problem with the reasoning is that Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion all hit righties noticeably better than Lind in 2015.
Jevant - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#313831) #
I don't think anyone can argue with a straight face (unless you are simply looking at hindsight) that Price shouldn't have started the 7th in G2. 66 pitches and 18 straight outs through 6 innings, up 3. He's the guy you brought in to stabilize your rotation. You can quibble with whether they should have left him in as long as they did, but I simply can't take the "shouldn't have put him out there for the 7th" seriously.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#313832) #
The starters have been pretty bad (7.20 ERA in the series so far) and bullpen has been even worse (10.29), and obviously no team is going to win when that happens. But the mightiest offense in recent memory has scored a total of 5 runs in the three games the team has lost, which is just as big a problem. All of which amounts to pontificating on the Bleeding Obvious.

Not-So-Fun Fact: Twelve men have taken the mound for Toronto in this series, two of them sport ERAs below 5.00, and their names are Aaron Sanchez and Cliff Pennington.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#313833) #
The symmetry with the 1985 series is pretty impressive.  Next up, Marco Estrada reprises Danny Jackson's role.  Spoiler alert: it's a juicy one.
Kasi - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#313834) #
Yeah meant to say kills righties Jonny. Anyway yeah it would take a special hitter to break up the row of three hitters. Sure they are really good at hitting righties, but they're also being pitched to by power righties whose specialty is getting out righties. I think advantage there lies with the bullpen arm when you go strength versus strength like that.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#313835) #
It should be told that most Relievers like to start their innings clean. Few can come in with runner(s) on and be effective. Brett Cecil was that person. Right now, the Manager should be pulling the Starters sooner and not trying to get more out by wishing so.

At this time, everyone is able to pitch, with varying degrees of success. So good luck Jays, you will need it all even minute from this day on.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#313836) #
To me, this series isn't about managerial decisions or an inadequate bullpen - we are getting our asses kicked across the board.  Donaldson and Tulo have made legit contributions, and that's about it.  Joe Madden could have had his best ever series managing this team and still be down 3-1. 

Can we debate the individual decisions?  Absolutely.  I love AA, but he gets too cute at times with bucking received wisdom.  On paper, Tepera over Buehrle might have made sense and I've argued against playing pop psychologist before, but Buehrle would've been a lot cooler out there than a rookie making his first post season appearance after not pitching for weeks. Gibby kinda threw Tepera to the wolves yesterday - that was painful to watch, and hopefully the rook is mentally tough enough to learn from his beating. 

Management was obviously holding Hendricks back for the long role, but for sure Liam should be pitching ahead of Hawkins, whose role on the postseason roster I've questioned from the outset.  with a Buehrle or Hutch on the roster, Hawkins is free to move up the depth chart.  Losing Cecil killed us, and perhaps Loup should've been left off the ALCS roster with his personal issues, although with all the trades our AAA pitching depth was pretty depleted.   Schultz fell behind Hawkins in September on the depth chart and wasn't getting enough work to be sharp - I'd rather have switched their roles and had Schultz on the postseason roster.  Carrera hasn't done a thing - a 12 man pen might've made the most sense. 

Not giving up on this year, but next year AA has a monster lineup with zero holes, strong D and depth (except at 3rd catcher) and a very questionable pitching staff, with FA, a route he's largely avoided, likely the best way to meaningfully upgrade. 

uglyone - Wednesday, October 21 2015 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#313837) #
"The symmetry with the 1985 series is pretty impressive. Next up, Marco Estrada reprises Danny Jackson's role. Spoiler alert: it's a juicy one. "

yep. we got this.

I can already taste Brett's Tears. (spoiler alert: they're delicious.)
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