I promise you all - if they lose tonight, I refuse to start another series thread until they're at least four games over .500, and thus have sufficient margin to Deal With my Participation.
That was myself, back on the 18th of May, shouldering the blame for the
Jays' disappointing performance. Hey, it's sports. You expect rational
The lovely and talented Eephus stepped up and started series threads against Minnesota, New York, Boston, New York (again) and Boston (again.) The kid was on fire, but his Mojo finally ran out against Detroit. Not to worry - #2JBrumfield took his turn at the wicket as the Jays faced Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Philadelphia (again). And that also went well. Alas, those pesky and irritating Orioles broke his streak. Still - it is entirely due to their fine work that it's finally safe for me to show my face again. I thank them. The Academy thanks them.
Snakes are in town. And speaking of wildlife - around 3:00 AM the other night, I'm standing outside having a cigarette. Like the song says, "I got nasty habits." And I'm out there, and I hear a little rustling behind me and I turn and see a small animal emerge from a crop of nearby bush. When I say nearby, I mean four or five feet away. And I thought - "How strange - squirrels don't come out at night." And then I thought "Hang on - squirrels don't have a thick white stripe running down their back."
I didn't know I could still move that fast.
Anyway. Snakes. Jays' ace Marco Estrada (5-2, 2.58) gets the call tonight against Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin (3-6, 4.76). Corbin was an All-Star back in 2013 (14-8, 3.41). He lost all of the next season to Tommy John but he seemed to pick up right where he'd left off when he returned last July. He's been scuffling lately, though - 1-3, 6.28 in his last five starts. Fastball, slider, changeup. He doesn't walk people, and normally he does a good job keeping the ball in the park. He's had a few problems with the home run this season, though, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against all the Jays' RH powers bats at the RC.
Tomorrow night it'll be J.A. Happ (8-3, 3.41) matching up with Robbie Ray (4-5, 4.44), who happens to be another LH who throws a fastball, slider and changeup. He isn't all that overpowering either, so it's as if tonight's game will be a warmup for tomorrow's. Ray actually pitched quite well for the D'Backs last season although he ended up with just a 5-12 mark for his trouble.
As always, the Arizona lineup is built around the great Paul Goldschmidt, a magnificent player wasting the best years of his career on a crappy ball club. Kind of like Jose Bautista in 2010-11. Goldschmidt was born on the same day and in the same time zone as our own Eephus. While they can both play a little ball, I gotta say it. Goldschmidt's better.
This is a young team - Goldschmidt who's still just 28 years old is one of the older guys. They do have Zack Greinke in the rotation, but Greinke and relievers Brad Ziegler and Tyler Clippard are the only significant players on the roster who are on the wrong side of 30.
Random notes: Brett Cecil and Franklin Morales begin their rehab assignments in Dunedin. Jose Bautista has been diagnosed with turf toe and will wear a walking boot for a couple of weeks. Devon Travis moves up to the #2 spot in the order tonight. Tulowitzki will hit 7th.