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If you now have that song stuck in your head, my evil plan is working.... (Wuhahahah!)



Off to Fenway go the Bluebirds, after a very encouraging six days in their home ballpark. The Good Times(TM) may be due for a speed bump, however. The Red Sox are annoyingly good, especially at home (18-10). Toronto has been a quality road team this year though (15-12) so... um... small sample sizes! Yeah!

Pitching Matchups

FRI 7:10 -- Dickey (2-6, 4.64) v. Price (7-1, 5.11)
SAT 4:05 -- Stroman (5-1, 4.46) v. Wright (5-4, 2.45)
SUN 1:35 -- Estrada (3-2, 2.43) v. E. Rodriguez (1-0, 3.00)

Injury Report

Like the last series, we played these guys so recently that nothing has really changed. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez is back, Brock Holt is still out with concussioney stuff.

Green Monsters

It's been talked about to death by now, but the Red Sox offense is seriously crazy bananas good. Remember Jackie Bradley Jr's 29 game hitting streak a week or so back? Now Xander Bogaerts has a 26 gamer himself. Speaking of Bogaerts, his OPS+ of 139 is third behind Bradley and Ortiz. They have four regulars batting over .315 (Bradley, Ortiz, Bogaerts and Pedroia) and they still easily lead all of baseball in runs scored, doubles and batting average. Oh, and they don't strike out much either (397, 9th fewest in MLB). Sigh...

The Wright Stuff

I know that three-plus years of R.A. Dickey have soured many in these parts on the knuckleball. But as frustrating as it's been watching Dickey's only pitch be so damned finicky, I still have a deep appreciation for the pitch itself and those who can throw it. I've pitched hundreds of innings in my adult life (obviously without anything approaching the success of an R.A. Dickey) and I've never been able to work in a good knuckleball. Once I lobbed one from forty feet away that danced a little, all 20 mph of it. To be able to throw one over 70 (which is faster than most humans can throw a baseball, period) is a seriously impressive skill.

For a time it seemed like the MLB knuckleballer was a breed approaching extinction, that maybe Tim Wakefield or R.A. Dickey would be the last ones to use the pitch exclusively. It's too difficult to learn, after all. Not everyone can learn to throw a good one, so what's the point? But I'm glad, personally, to see the pitch persevere. It's weird, unpredictable, frustrating and magical all at the same time. Its quirky presence adds to the richness (and Gif-ness) of baseball. So even though he pitches for the (damn) Red Sox, I'll root for Steven Wright to continue being successful with it. Well, except Saturday of course.


Be nice to win a few.

June 3-5: More Than A Feeling | 135 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dave Till - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#324110) #
Was it just me, or were Buck and Pat spending most of the last Boston series heaping praise on the Red Sox? As opposed to say, describing what was happening on the field?

It got so bad that when the Jays feed cut out and I had to switch over to the Sox feed on MLB.TV, I just stayed there.

The 2016 Sox are beginning to look like the early-season 2015 Jays: lots and lots of batting, but not enough starting pitching depth. In the last 8 games, their runs allowed total has been 8, 7, 10, 3, 2, 2, 13, and 12. Maybe they need to trade for David Price! Oh, wait.
uglyone - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#324111) #
buck and pat heap undying love on the sox in every series, no matter the opponent!

sox are kinda like the jays last year....except our offense was built on a more sustainable foundation I think.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#324113) #
Taking 2/3 here would be nice, but it will be tough based on the pitching match-ups.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#324114) #
To clarify, when I say pitching match-ups, I mean who the Jays are facing, not who they have starting for them.
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#324116) #
Other notes on the Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr.  is returning from paternity leave today.  Congratulations, JBJ (and how is the sleep coming?).  Eduardo Rodriguez was touched for 5 homers in 28 innings in Pawtucket on his rehab stint.

The Jays have to go 22-4 to get to the 102 win pace by mid-season.  Might be a challenge....but hey, don't look back.

 
jerjapan - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#324120) #
In addition to the awesomeness of their young stars, the emergence of Shaw and Wright in particular has really papered over some of the holes on the Sox. The wildcard is going to be a dogfight this year, so we really need to catch these guys.

Time to run this win streak to 6!
John Northey - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#324121) #
Outside of Price I'd say everything has pretty much gone right for the Red Sox so far. Even his struggles haven't hurt them thanks to great offense on his starts. The Jays have had a lot go wrong on offense to put it mildly plus the pen has been a massive challenge. Yet the Jays are just 3 1/2 back. Now if the offense can stay on track and the pen get settled down watch out. Especially if Boston starts to see things like 40 year olds hitting like they are 40.
uglyone - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#324123) #
most things have gone much better than just "right" for the red sox these first 2 months. they have 6 guys playing like MVPs, though only one of them doing it in a sustainable way (mookie).

but after their scorching start they've come back down to earth and are 8-8 over their last 16, and their so far cushy sked is only getting tougher and tougher (while our toughest SoS in baseball will finally start easing up after this series....at least a little bit).

anyways, i'm feeling a thoroughly humiliating sweep of the sox by our jays this weekend.
Cracka - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#324127) #
I think a big key to the series - and especially against Price tonight - will be getting high pitch counts against the starters and taking advantage of the vulnerable Red Sox middle relievers. They have been particularly hit hard in the past two nights:

Layne: 5 batters, 2 outs, 1 run.
Buchholz: 18 batters, 10 outs, 3 runs.
Barnes: 8 batters, 5 outs, 1 run.
Ross: 4 batters, 2 outs, 2 runs.
Tazawa: 6 batters, 3 outs, 3 runs.
N Ramirez: 3 batters, 1 out, 2 runs.

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#324129) #
This may end up being a Friday-Saturday series as Sunday looks doubtful from a weather perspective. Which would mean of course that we face only their best starters.
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#324131) #
In the spirit of Hall Watch, it now is pretty clear that Kershaw is off to the best start of any pitcher career in the post-deadball era.  The other contenders are Seaver, Clemens and Pedro, and Kershaw has them all beat at this point (from a career to date perspective).   Pedro could argue that his best seasons have been better than any of Kershaw's, which they were.
Richard S.S. - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#324134) #
The only reason the Jays didn't sweep the Sox last time was a Bullpen Vacation. The Jays' Relievers started theirs too soon.
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#324135) #
Tight zone for Dickey.  Wide zone for Price.
StephenT - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#324136) #
The pitch tracker is missing from the Sportsnet broadcast tonight.  But they show the pitches from straightaway centre-field at Fenway, so we don't actually need a pitch tracker this weekend.
Chuck - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#324137) #
Ortiz has 41 XBH in 49 games. He has more doubles than singles.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#324138) #
It goes without saying, but man it's nice to have Travis back.
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#324139) #
Travis' approach there was great (as it usually is).  Sit on the split and foul off the fastballs. 

Running up Uehara's pitch count was a bonus.

scottt - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#324140) #
Looks like Grilli is the new mop up guy.  How long can he share the record with his dad?
Mike Green - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#324141) #
Had 'em all the way.
Lylemcr - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#324142) #
it is so great to have Travis back.
BlueMonday - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#324143) #
If we can use Grilli as a ROOGY with men on base, and Floyd/Chavez to start clean innings, we might be able to avoid trading Goins or Barney for another reliever.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#324144) #
I didn't watch the game, but Dickey seemed to settle down after a ton of walks early on. It was this time last year that he started to turn his season around. Hopefully he's on the verge of another 2nd half run.
uglyone - Friday, June 03 2016 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#324145) #
not humiliating enough for my tastes.
ayjackson - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#324147) #
2016 is a shitty year for losing icons.

Now we've lost The Greatest.
Jimbag - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#324148) #
That first inning really encapsulated Dickey's season so far: no hits, one walk, one hit batter, and a passed ball resulting in an unearned run. He's leading the pack with 9 HRs, I know, but he doesn't give up hard contact all that much - it's just that when he does, that 70 mph pitch travels a long way.

Lots to like about the game, overall - Edwin continues to hit, Travis' 1st bomb of the year, some great defense from JD and Barney. Too bad the Yankees couldn't have done us a favor by beating Baltimore.

85bluejay - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#324150) #
Growing up "The Greatest" was my hero - I actually shed a tear watching him do that walk for the Atlanta Olympic games.
China fan - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#324152) #
Marcus Stroman now has the worst ERA in the entire Jays rotation.  Hands up, anyone who predicted that.   However, he still ranks as the team's 2nd-best starter by FIP and xFIP, and the 3rd-best by fWAR.   Today would be a good day for him to return to the good performance that his xFIP suggests.
John Northey - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#324153) #
Love that Price is still neatly half a run worse than any Jay starter for ERA. Who would've predicted that would be the case in early June without Price being hurt?
jerjapan - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#324154) #
Ali was something - when he pounded on Floyd Patterson, who refused to call him Muhammad Ali, he repeatedly taunted him with 'what's my name fool'.  It still feels like he was punching racism in the face. 

My mother deals with Parkinson's, so this lose is especially poignant for me. 

uglyone - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#324155) #
remember that stroman's era could be as low as 3.61 (which would be right in line with his fips) if his relievers hadn't let every single inherited runner score.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#324156) #
when he pounded on Floyd Patterson, who refused to call him Muhammad Ali, he repeatedly taunted him with 'what's my name fool'.

It was Ernie Terrell in a fight in Toronto. I was always a big fan of Ali, but that was seen as somewhat mean, as was the ridiculing of Joe Frazier and carrying Floyd Patterson to beat him more when Patterson was washed up.
baagcur - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#324157) #
Surely that was more likely to be religious bigotry than racism. Floyd Patterson was black, as I recall
Mike Green - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#324158) #
Price came away with only 2 earned runs, but (for those who were not watching) don't be fooled.  The Jays hit him hard, and two of his strikeouts were complete gifts from the umpires (one by ball/strike calls and one by a checked swing call).  His ball-in-play data for 2016 is completely different from any season in his career.  It seems that his inability to throw a fastball 95-97 has limited his effectiveness. He could transition into a Cliff Lee-style great pitcher, but he is quite a ways from there. 

I think that the Sox would be a better club with a Rutledge/Hernandez platoon at third and Shaw at first.  Hanley Ramirez is probably best used as a DH when Ortiz needs a rest and an occasional first baseman against a tough lefty.  As it stands, the Sox have a good outfield defence (Swihart is better than I thought he would be) and a below average infield defence (Pedroia being merely good now and Bogaerts being average).

greenfrog - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#324159) #
In 2014 and 2015 combined, including postseason starts, Price pitched exactly 500 innings, almost a third of the 1580.2 innings he has pitched in the majors to date. We tend to assume that workhorses like Price have a special invincibility, but perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that he is now starting to lose velocity and effectiveness. We can't help but envision Price as the pitcher he once was, rather than the pitcher he will be going forward.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#324160) #
In 2014 and 2015 combined, including postseason starts, Price pitched exactly 500 innings, almost a third of the 1580.2 innings he has pitched in the majors to date. We tend to assume that workhorses like Price have a special invincibility, but perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that he is now starting to lose velocity and effectiveness.

Exactly. It doesn't always show up as an injury that week, so we often think "no harm done" when people push themselves. However, after awhile of abuse, you just don't bounce back as strongly as you used to, or you need a year off. Didn't Matt Cain go through a similar thing? 2 seasons of really being pushed, and then next year, came back less effective.

I think the year off (mostly) for Saunders in 2015 has done wonders for him. I think many really good pitchers should consider it as a career lengthening move. Take off 1 year every 5. I know, not practical, but.. I really think it would help a lot of players.
Dave Till - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#324161) #
I also think that home park is a factor. Price has an ERA of 5.61 at home, and a more respectable (but still un-Pricelike) 3.90 on the road. Left-handed pitchers have historically had trouble in Fenway.
uglyone - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#324162) #
Price

Career: 80fip-, 82xfip- ---- .287babip, 74.5lob%
2016: 82fip-, 81xfip- ------ .317babip, 64.9lob%

Velocity

APR 91.8
MAY 92.9
JUN 93.4
greenfrog - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#324163) #
uglyone, you forgot to mention bb%

2013: 1.30
2014: 1.38
2015: 1.92
2016: 2.62
greenfrog - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#324164) #
Maybe the JUN 93.4 average FB velocity (in a total of 7 IP) was because Price was reaching back for something extra to prove something? Of course, he also ended up walking four batters in those seven innings, which is uncharacteristic of him.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#324165) #
Floyd Patterson was black, as I recall

Yup.  Of course, many minorities can internalize racism - the notion that minorities cannot have racist beliefs about themselves is naive and false.  The issue Patterson had was with calling Ali Ali - insisting on calling him Clay, a name which of course Ali had rejected as his 'slave name'.  Ali refererd to him as an 'uncle tom' and then beat the crap out of him.  Sounds like a reaction to racism to me. 

David Zirin named his (excellent) book after this, and while I can't find my copy, this review mentions that it was Patterson Ali taunted.  It appears to have ALSO happened to Terrell.  As for whether or not it was mean, I think Ali had a right to be pissed off. 

http://socialism.com/drupal-6.8/articles/whats-my-name-fool-look-sports-racism-and-rebel-athletes
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#324166) #
Left-handed pitchers have historically had trouble in Fenway.

A gentleman named Babe Ruth called for you. There was others in the background, I could make out the voices of at least Lefty Grove, Mel Parnell, Sparky Lyle, John Tudor and Bruce Hurst. Something or other about how they loved the way their left arm came out of the white in the centre field bleachers, or something like that.
scottt - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#324167) #
The issue Patterson had was with calling Ali Ali - insisting on calling him Clay, a name which of course Ali had rejected as his 'slave name'.  Ali refererd to him as an 'uncle tom' and then beat the crap out of him.  Sounds like a reaction to racism to me.

He was named after an abolitionist, hardly a slave name. He joined a religion who isn't exactly opposed to slavery. It all made for a good show.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#324169) #
Scottt, Ali himself called Clay a slave name.  Your opinion on whether or not he was right doesn't matter - he gets to define his own identity.   And joining the nation of Islam was hardly an endorsement of slavery - when he converted in the early 60s it was as much a political action towards the emancipation of blacks  as it was a religious act - kindof like Black lives matter today. 

This is a guy who lost his belt and didn't fight for nearly four years because he refused to fight in the Vietnam war.  IMO, his integrity is beyond reproach.

ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#324170) #
Is bringing your infield in, when the score is 0-0 and a runner on third, the same as waving a white flag?
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#324171) #
Preach it teach it.
Chuck - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#324172) #
Josh Thole has to be pleased that Steven Wright is in the league and seems to have a future. Another team that might employ him.
Chuck - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#324173) #
When is Shulman coming back? B and P have the nonsense meter turned up to 11 today.
uglyone - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#324174) #
not sure stroman has hit martin's target once this game yet.
CeeBee - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#324175) #
The game is a lot better with the sound off, sad to say.
baagcur - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#324176) #
Maybe Patterson thought the only way to win was to wind Ali up. Pretty common in boxing. Of course it didn't exactly work...
Magpie - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#324177) #
IMO, his integrity is beyond reproach.

Word. The contrast with Michael Jordan, who wouldn't say a word against Jesse Freaking Helms because "Republicans buy sneakers too", is as great as the contrast between day and night.
katman - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#324178) #
That's a pretty good clue, uglyone, but just what is up with Stroman? His last few starts have been awful.
electric carrot - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#324179) #
He joined a religion who isn't exactly opposed to slavery. It all made for a good show.

It was a good show -- partially because it made America reconsider some of its preconceived notions of justice, religion and race relations. A much more interesting effort than some posters here who consistently find the negative in anything -- which is frankly kind of tiresome.

scottt - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#324180) #
Anyone who's ever watched professional wrestling knows what Ali was doing.
He was truly the greatest.

Ali embraced Sufism in 2005. That has more to do with Boko Haram than Black lives matters.
It's not a matter of opinions. Ali was fighting black men whom he was putting down because white men were cheering for them.

You may think I'm racist. but maybe I'm just black.

grjas - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#324181) #
Stroman has said he wants to last longer in games and seems to be trying to move more towards a ground ball than a strikeout pitcher. He certainly seemed more dominant last year as the latter, but no doubt hitters have adjusted to him as well.

Anyway he's a smart, motivated guy with lots of weapons so I suspect he'll fiddle a bit till he's back on track.

Bullpen is starting to shape up which would be a huge positive, now that hitting and defence have returned. Even Storen seems to be turning the corner. And thank god the FO picked up Barney. He's been a godsend.
grjas - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#324182) #
And on Ali you have to separate the showman in the ring from the guy outside the ring. Sure he was cocky, loud mouthed and arragant with his opponents, black or white. Suspect you need that to keep your head on.

Outside the ring he was a huge inspiration to many people all over the world. Count me as one. One of the very few celebrities who really did make a difference. I'll miss him.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#324183) #
Ali embraced Sufism in 2005. That has more to do with Boko Haram than Black lives matters.

I thought that Sufism was a mystical branch of Islam, and really has nothing to do with Boko Haram or BLM. Maybe I am ignorant of these things- the devotional music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is my reference point. 

I'll never forget George Carlin's line about Ali refusing to go to Vietnam- "you've gotta draw a line somewhere- beating people up is one thing but killing them is another".  Anyways, he was certainly the best boxer I ever saw, combining physical gifts with a keen strategic mind. 
Magpie - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#324184) #
I thought that Sufism was a mystical branch of Islam

That's correct, and Sufis (along with Shiites) have been denounced as heretics by Boko Haram.
Magpie - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#324185) #
seems to be trying to move more towards a ground ball than a strikeout pitcher.

That's a really bad idea, and someone should tell him to cut it out.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#324186) #
San Diego had to pay $31 million to trade James Shields.
John Northey - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#324187) #
Another big sign of why signing free agent pitchers to long term deals is a very bad idea.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#324188) #
The Yankees are on the way to blowing a game to the O's which they led 7-0 in the 7th inning.
Mylegacy - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#324189) #
Magpie

This Boko Haram guy - isn't that the lefty drafted by the Dodgers in the 5th round in '62? As I age I have more and more trouble remembering the guys that washed out before they made it to the Show.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 04 2016 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#324190) #
The-e-e Yankees win! Despite a 6 run 7th by the O's. Toronto now 4 back of both Baltimore and Boston in the loss.

Chris Davis is looking more like the Texas Chris Davis now that he has his $161 million.
electric carrot - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#324191) #
Anyone who's ever watched professional wrestling knows what Ali was doing.

WWF was a long time after Ali. Also, the WWF creates a performance that is designed to signify the emptiness of real content.  When we watch it we all participate in the emptiness of the spectacle willingly. Ali did the opposite. He was fighting for his actual beliefs and in doing so effectively took what might otherwise be the simple spectacle of fighting and turned it into meaningful political discourse. You have somehow made what you thought was an analogous comparison but instead what you have done is using bizarre, time machined logic, you've made a comparison to something that is actually its precise opposite.















92-93 - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 01:34 AM EDT (#324192) #
It would be really nice if the bats woke up for the first time this weekend and carried the team to a big series win on the road.

Floyd hasn't pitched in a week, so the time is right to send Tepera back down and call up an extra bat.

Matt Dominguez left the Buffalo game early. With a lefty starting for Boston on Sunday and Donaldson banged up, he might be getting the start tomorrow at the hot corner. Or he's just hurt.
Dave Till - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#324193) #
I can see why the Jays are keeping an extra pitcher around: they don't have an off day until June 20th (unless it rains today and the game is called off).

The Jays' schedule has been so topheavy against the AL East that, after today, they don't play an AL East opponent other than Baltimore until August 8th. (They play Baltimore ten times.) The Jays go over a month (June 21st to July 28th) without playing any AL East opponents at all.

Odd schedule quirk of the month: the Jays have only two days off in June, and they are in the same week. The Jays play five games on the road, have a day off on the 20th, play two games against Arizona and their ridiculous road uniforms, have another day off on the 23rd, and then go on the road again. Strange.
Cracka - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#324194) #
I don't think they need a 8-man pen at all, at least on a consistent basis with our starting pitching. If there's a blowout or extra inning game and an 8th guy is needed, there are a number of guys with options that can easily be shuttled back and forth - the 10-day "recall waiting period" is not an issue when you've got lots of mostly equal options to choose from: Tepera, Schultz, Vindette, Girodo, etc.

The issue is that there aren't a bunch of great options for the 4th bench guy. Dominguez, Burns, Pompey, maybe Montero (but he doesn't have options left and can't be "shuttled" to/from Buffalo). Jimmy Paredes was a nice option, but he's of limited use in situations like today with Donaldson hurt.

Sounds like Dominguez is on his way to Boston, but they probably won't make a roster move until they know that 1) Donaldson cannot play, and 2) The game isn't rained out. Today would be a good time for him to get his first hit as a Jay -- his chances may be running out.
85bluejay - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#324195) #
Maybe Mr. Stroman should put more effort into performance than into hype.
Cracka - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#324197) #
Good news on the injury front: Donaldson in the lineup at DH. Dominguez recalled, playing 3B and batting 8th. EE at 1B.

The Red Sox put both Swihart and Hanigan on the DL today - which should make for a few interesting Steven Wright starts over the next 2 weeks or so. Those are the only two guys who have caught Wright (as a starter) since he's come to the Sox. As someone said yesterday, Josh Thole must be smiling ear-to-ear at the potential future opportunity.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#324198) #
I'm not sure how to post this from twitter on my phone but the eyes don't lie - pillar is far and away the best defensive CF in mlb:

https://twitter.com/ScottLindholm/status/739482187658072065?s=09
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#324199) #
in addition to cracka's report - cecil is throwing off flat ground and feels good, morales is throwing off a mound, and tulo is doing baseball activities in dunedin too.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#324200) #
The bad news is the weather doesn't look good for our Estrada-Rodriguez matchup. That's a matchup that's painful to lose to weather.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#324201) #
looks like there'll be a sunny window, but given how long boston games always take they may not be able to finish. let's hope for an early lead.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#324203) #
thank god for stupid bunts.

over/under for how many times buck calls xander the best hitter in baseball is set at 9.5.
CeeBee - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#324204) #
Buck and Pat need to be put out to pasture. Too bad the sound problems on the broadcast didn't last longer( like all season)
eudaimon - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#324205) #
One of Boston's guys just went on at length about how Hanley Ramirez is a gold glover at 1B. Maybe I'm biased but that seems laughable, though the only thing I've really noticed about his defense was his missing the pick last week that allowed the winning run to score in last week's game. I switched back to Buck and Pat. They don't always makes sense, but they at least they have soothing voices (I find) and root for the home team.
Chuck - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#324206) #
but they at least they have soothing voices (I find)

You probably love going to the dentist! It's okay doc, I like the sound of that drill. Can I bring it home with me?

Chuck - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#324207) #
If Barney had shown a whiff of this offense in his 20s, he'd be a jillionaire by now.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#324208) #
Buck: "they said he was tipping pitches last year but erod only has 2 pitches"

I think that's the closest thing to a criticism of a red sox youngster that Buck has ever said.
CeeBee - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#324209) #
I'm biased about Hanley not being a gold glover as well but then the bar is set rather low at 1B and somebody does have to win it. Probably Texiera if he can manage to play 100 games since he's playing in the center of the universe I do believe.
Chuck - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#324210) #
Hosmer has won the last 3 so he's got to be the favourite this year.
CeeBee - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#324211) #
yeah... forgot about KC.
Cracka - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#324213) #
The rain can come anytime now... a flash thunderstorm and sustained downpour would be a welcomed gift from the baseball gods.
krose - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#324214) #
This team has a few guys who love, love fastballs.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#324215) #
Marco ain't praying for rain right now i don't think.
hypobole - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#324216) #
Gibby makes the puzzling move (according to the Sox broadcast crew) of hitting Martin cleanup.

Martin puzzles them further by homering off their beloved ERod.

uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#324217) #
dear sweet loving jesus we're killing them.....and so buck and pat double down on the red sox fellation. it's ridiculous.
scottt - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#324219) #
Darwin's natural evolution is a slow process.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#324220) #
what an outing. usually these kinds of gems come against weak hitting teams. Estrada is awesome.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#324221) #
I leave Estrada in to start the ninth.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#324222) #
maybe estrada shouldn't have come out for the 9th.
John Northey - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#324223) #
Osuna...please calm down and get these last bloody outs. 2 outs away from a win with a 3 run lead, now 1 run lead.
scottt - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#324224) #
Probably not. He'd already lost the no hitter and the shutout.
eudaimon - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#324225) #
Osuna just wanted to improve our record in one run games.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#324226) #
never in doubt.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#324227) #
One run win?
scottt - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#324228) #
This was an important one to win. A well deserved win for Estrada.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#324229) #
that's 5 series wins in a row i think.

9-3 in this crucial NY/BOS/NY/BOS set.

12-4 since that depressing sweep to TB, which i prayed was rock bottom at the time.
jerjapan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#324230) #
yup, five series in a row.

How long has it been since we had a starter that made you think 'no-hitter' by the fourth / fifth inning?  Dave Stieb?  And who figured it would be Marco Estrada?  I pulled over to listen to him gunning for that no-hitter last year - the one with Donaldson flying into the stands for the out.  It's fun watching a guy pitch this well, 

China fan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#324231) #
The most impressive thing about Estrada today was how he recovered from the first two innings.  He needed 42 pitches to get through the first two innings (and gave up walks to the first two hitters of the game).  I thought it was going to be his shortest game of the season.  And then he just began to dominate, inning after inning.  Unlike other pitchers, he actually gets better on his 2nd and 3rd times through the lineup.  (They showed that statistic during the broadcast -- opponents hit for a lower average against him on his 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup.)

Estrada actually set an all-time Jays record today:  8 consecutive starts with 5 or fewer hits. Considering all the great pitchers who have been in a Jays uniform over the years, that's pretty amazing.
King Ryan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#324232) #
Yeah, after they lost 6-0 to the Yankees I made a post saying that I hoped that was the nadir, and they are 9-2 since then. More importantly though, taking two series from the Red Sox is fantastic, although that one loss still hurts a bit.

How awesome is Marco Estrada?
Chuck - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#324233) #
One-run win. Sign of a good bullpen. What? Not so much?

Osuna was due for a stinker. Good thing he had a nice cushion.

Scully on SportsNet doing the Dodgers game. Just sounds like baseball.
jerjapan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#324235) #
Honestly, I don't mind Buck and Pat.  It's nice to have a non-game reason to yell at the TV once in a while.
China fan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#324236) #
It turns out that Estrada did the same thing last year:  8 consecutive games with 5 hits or less.  (But 3 of those games were less than 6 innings.)  Anyway I'm not certain any more that it's an all-time Jays record.  Maybe he'll set the new record in his next game instead.
China fan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#324237) #
I don't mind Buck and Pat praising the Red Sox either.  They're employees of a baseball team, they're inevitably going to be positive about everyone.  They look for things to praise about every player, because that's the nature of their job.  Besides, when they're praising the enemy, it looks even better when the Jays vanquish that same enemy.  It's a standard psychological trick:  sing the praises of your foe, and then defeat that foe.
SK in NJ - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#324239) #
Not sure why Gibbons brought Estrada back out for the 9th just to pull him after 1 batter/2 pitches. Might as well have started the 9th with a reliever in that case.

Regardless, a win is win. Unless I am miscalculating, the Jays have faced the Red Sox 13 times already (7-6) and we are only at June 5. Glad to see the Jays held their own against them despite not getting hot until recently.

Estrada has been amazing this season, even better than last season.
CeeBee - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#324240) #
It don't come easy
You know it don't come easy

China fan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#324241) #
Despite their poor start to the season, the Jays are now just 1 game out of a playoff spot, and just 2.5 games out of the division lead.  They've won 5 consecutive series, and they've won 8 of their past 10 games.  They have the second-best rotation in the entire league (measured by ERA; choose a different metric if you prefer, but by most metrics it's one of the best rotations in the league).  Their bullpen has been poor, but is much improved of late.  Their hitters have under-performed but have been much stronger in recent weeks.  Bottom line:  this is a very good team, and I like its chances over the next four months.
SK in NJ - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#324242) #
The Jays were going to go on a run eventually (though no sign of the annual 11 game winning streak yet), but the key will be their stars playing like stars. Talent-wise, they have more than enough talent to at least win a WC spot, if not the division again, but it will come down to Bautista/Edwin/Donaldson/Martin/Tulo playing like they are expected to, and also other obvious factors (health, luck, etc). The rotation has more than held up their end.

The Jays have followed up these types of runs in 2013-15 with stretches where they drift back to .500-ish (until post-2015 trade deadline). They are capable of an extended run without falling back down (not counting the usual ebbs and flows of a long season). Hopefully this is the beginning of it.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#324243) #
I can't believe that Marcus Stroman is the starter that I'm most nervous watching now. I think he will figure things out though right now he isn't missing many bats.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#324245) #
the jays have the most talent, they're likely going to finish 1st.

that they are where they are with the offense nowhere near kicked into gear yet is dang impressive.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#324246) #
I don't think there's much question that we've had the best SP in the AL so far.

IP/GS:

1.TOR 6.49
2.CHW 6.11
3.CLE 5.96
4.TEX 5.92
5.SEA 5.83

(hilariously huge lead here)

ERA-

1.TEX 77
2.TOR 83
3.CHW 88
4.CLE 96
5.NYY 104

FIP-

1.TOR 93
1.NYY 93
3.CHW 94
4.CLE 95
5.HOU 99

TEX has a slight lead in era but it seems a bit more fluky.

and in general there's surprisingly little fluke in the jays numbers so far, given that dickey and estrada are established fip beaters.
China fan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#324247) #
"....the key will be their stars playing like stars...."

It's true that the "stars" (Bautista, Edwin, Donaldson, Martin, Tulo) have the ability to hit better than they have.  And that's something that we can still hope for in the rest of the season.  But oddly enough, the Jays don't actually need as much offense this year, since their starting rotation has been so strong.   Rather than relying on superstar performances from the stars, which might not even be necessary, it will be easier to just get some basic improvements from the bullpen.  The bullpen cost the team a bunch of wins in April and May, and the team will be so much stronger if this can be largely avoided in the rest of the season.  The arrival of Grilli and Loup, plus the more careful selective use of Storen and Floyd, could be enough to stabilize the bullpen.  It would be nice to see the stars hitting better, and it might happen, but I would argue that it's not even necessary this year, as long as the bullpen does its job and the rotation continues to be one of the best in the league.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#324248) #
The Blue Jays are 12-4 since Bautista moved into the leadoff spot.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#324249) #
If Barney had shown a whiff of this offense in his 20s, he'd be a jillionaire by now.

That was an excellent pitching wedge from 115 yards.  It would have been out in the RC too.

As I said upthread, Eduardo Rodriguez was hit pretty hard  in his minor league rehab stint.  I don't think he is ready for prime time yet. His fastball-change combination isn't good enough.
uglyone - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#324250) #
Erod is a 2 pitch pitcher, with both being good but not great pitches with only ~7mph velo seperation, and no real breaking ball to speak of.

I think he's a reliever, personally.
John Northey - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#324251) #
A big question is coming soon if Barney doesn't cool off - namely where do you put all these bats? Tulo isn't being benched despite hitting 204/289/383 so far, Travis isn't either as he has only had 10 games so far and the manager feels he could be a great bat. But Barney is at 327/377/469 so far in 98 AB's which is fantastic and easily his career best (250/298/345 lifetime over 2019 AB's). I'm expecting Tulo and Travis and Donaldson will get more days off (DH days for Donaldson, full days off for Tulo and Travis) until Barney cools off. Tulo has a few more DL days left (June 12 expected return) at which point Gibbons gets to do a lot more juggling.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#324252) #
I wonder if the Jays are regretting their decision to give Estrada only two years. Estrada said he was interested in signing a longer-term deal with the Jays at a lower AAV, but the team didn't want to go longer than two years.

In any event, 2/26 is a very team-friendly deal, and kudos to the front office for getting it done. Pretty much all of the moves the team made last off-season (with the exception of Storen) have worked out extremely well. Happ, Estrada, Chavez, Floyd, Biagini, Smoak, Barney, CarreraÖeven Dickey has been a pretty good back-rotation starter of late. Add Grilli to the mix, and I'm guessing that even uglyone would concede that that was an excellent series of moves at very low overall cost (AAV and years).
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#324253) #
A big question is coming soon if Barney doesn't cool off

I anticipate Barney will immediately go to the bench once Tulowitzki returns. I suspect that at the beginning Barney and Goins will be given the odd start to rest Tulowitzki, but otherwise I would be surprised if Barney's hitting will have any effect on Gibbons' managing.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#324254) #
Estrada said he was interested in signing a longer-term deal with the Jays at a lower AAV

gf, do you have a source for this? I've not seen that.
jerjapan - Sunday, June 05 2016 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#324256) #
I've got no source, but I remember reading that about Estrada as well.

Regardless, great signing - you don't got multiple years on Marco Estrada, it's awesome that he's sustained last year, but not easy to predict.

One quibble on that list of good offseason moves Greenfrog, the Chavez deal sucked then and it sucks now. 

uglyone - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#324257) #
no surprise - the AL East is a meatgrinder, again.

Record

1.ALE .523
2.NLC .518
3.ALW .509
4.NLE .493
5.NLW .479
6.ALC .479

Run Differential per game

1.NLC +0.30
2.ALE +0.25
3.ALW +0.03
4.NLW -0.14
5.ALC -0.16
6.NLE -0.28
cruzin - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#324258) #
gf, do you have a source for this? I've not seen that.

Yes Estrada was willing to take a lower AAV to get more years and dollars, likely meaning something around 35 over 3 years might've gotten a deal done.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/pitcher-marco-estrada-says-returning-to-blue-jays-was-his-first-choice/article27296342/

Michael - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 05:36 AM EDT (#324259) #
I'm not sure that is what that quote means. He might mean he took less over 2 years than what he'd get for 1 year (26 M / 2 instead of 15.8 M / 1). I think 35/3 would have been done by the Jays if it were available. 3rd year for $9M when $9M is like the price for 1 WAR in the FA market, and that is only likely to go up by the 3rd year.
Beyonder - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#324260) #
From MLBTR:

The veteran pitcher and his reps at TWC Sports pushed hard for a three- or four-year commitment from the Blue Jays, but they ultimately agreed to the two-year offer. From the sound of it, the Blue Jays were firmly against giving the 32-year-old (33 in July) a longer deal.

ďWe tried to get a third or fourth year. I donít think it was ever going to be close on their part. Obviously, I tried. I wanted less money for more years, but they didnít want to do it. Itís fine. I like the deal I got now. I guess the AAV went up and it was only two years but, itís good, you know, I canít complain,Ē Estrada said.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#324261) #
Thank you, Beyonder. I'd not seen that.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#324262) #
I remember watching Estrada's press conference after he signed, and he flat out said he would have taken less for more years, but felt 2/26 was fair. Without any context, it's hard to know what "less" meant, but I definitely think it was fair for both sides. The Jays wanted to limit their risk in case Estrada regressed, and Estrada gets to go back on the market in a year and a half with (if he keeps this up) a much more favorable track record to entice teams with. If the rules of the QO don't change in the next CBA, then just go through that process all over again (give the QO, and either try to work out an extension with him, or live with the outcome of him accepting or rejecting).
Dave Till - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#324264) #
I thought of something this morning: the first two of the three games of this series were won by knuckleball pitchers. When was the last time this happened, I wonder? The Niekros must have done it at some point.
Chuck - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#324266) #
I'm disappointed we didn't have a Dickey vs. Wright matchup.
Jevant - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#324270) #
9-3 over 12 straight with the Yankees and Red Sox.

I can't stop running that sentence through my mind.  What a glorious feeling.

China fan - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#324271) #
"....Ali embraced Sufism in 2005. That has more to do with Boko Haram than Black lives matters...."

Others have already pointed out the absurdity of this statement, but I feel compelled to add my voice to the chorus.  Sufism is probably the most mild and moderate form of Islam.  Its followers are often persecuted by Islamist extremists.  It has absolutely nothing to do with Boko Haram.  In fact Sufism is the exact opposite of Boko Haram.  To suggest some kind of link between Muhammad Ali's spiritual beliefs and the evil deeds of terrorist groups is the worst kind of slander.

And then there's the equally absurd claim that Ali was a mere "showman" who did everything for "show".  Ali sacrificed years of his career, at his peak, and lost millions of dollars, because he took an amazingly courageous stance against the Vietnam War.  His moral beliefs were upheld by the Supreme Court after years of legal battles.  This was probably the greatest act of moral courage that a professional athlete has ever taken in history -- especially if we measure it by the financial penalty that Ali suffered, the years of political attacks that he suffered, and in fact almost any other way of measuring it. 

We are truly in the age of cynicism and contempt for truth if we allow people to suggest that Ali was a religious extremist or some kind of huckster who did everything for "show."
cruzin - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#324272) #
I'm not sure that is what that quote means. He might mean he took less over 2 years than what he'd get for 1 year (26 M / 2 instead of 15.8 M / 1). I think 35/3 would have been done by the Jays if it were available. 3rd year for $9M when $9M is like the price for 1 WAR in the FA market, and that is only likely to go up by the 3rd year.

Well considering the qualifying offer was already 15.8M, and Estrada valued the additional year at only 10.2M. It's not a far stretch to think Estrada would've taken another guaranteed year for similar money or less as per his comment on lower AAV. Even if he valued that 3rd year the same at he valued the 2nd year, ok that's 10M. That would total 36M that's in and around the 35M I guessed.

Nonetheless the key point was he was willing to accept a lower AAV if it meant more guaranteed dollars and longer term overall. Since we're looking at 13M AAV, simply dropping the AAV to 12, would imply 36M.

I think the possibility of getting Estrada for those dollars were a possibility. But like some posters here at the BOX, the front office was weary of him actually being able to come close to repeating his performance last year, especially as he gets past 35.

Dave Till - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#324277) #
I seem to recall that the Jays were widely criticized for signing Estrada to even a two-year deal. Some people looked at the difference between his ERA (3.13) and his FIP (4.40) and concluded that he was just lucky in 2015 and that he was due for a significant regression.

Instead, he's either gotten better or remained lucky: his ERA is 2.41 and his FIP is 3.82.
King Ryan - Monday, June 06 2016 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#324312) #
Estrada is an interesting pitcher. He relies heavily on his changeup and gives up a lot of fly balls without giving up a lot of homeruns. Reminds me a bit of Johan Santana who also fit that description, and who also out-performed his FIP on an annual basis.

Estrada obviously isn't a lefty, and rarely hits 90 on his fastball, but it might be an interesting thing to look into.
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