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Blowing like a circle around my skull
From the Grand Coulee Dam
to the Capitol

The end of the 2021 season's last long road trip comes into view.  Yes, after spending most of the last two years on The Longest Road trip in history, the Jays will spend most of the final six weeks at home. They have a three game trip to Detroit next week. They hit the road twice in September: once to visit New York and Baltimore, and once to visit Tampa Bay and Minnesota. They play 25 of the final 43 games in the Dome of Home.

Some of us were complaining about Charlie Montoyo's bullpen usage the other day. I was among the complainers my own self. Why? Because we know better. Obviously. And why not? This is my sacred right as a baseball fan. Of course I intend to use this license that the divinity has granted me, in Her Immortal Wisdom. Complaining about the manager is what baseball fans do. It's what we have always done and it's what we will always do. All of us, and about all the managers  All of them. Forever and always. This is the way things are, the way things have been, the way things shall be. Through all of time immemorial, from the Big Bang  to the End of Days.

Do I make myself clear? Good.

Because here's the thing. Charlie Montoyo is probably leading the pack while we head down the stretch and the relevant voters ponder the various options for 2021 AL Manager of the Year.

I'm serious. Consider the candidates.

Tony La Russa? His team was supposed to be really good. They are. So what? And he's already won it four times, for three different teams. Boring.

Kevin Cash? It's possible. But he won it last year, and no AL manager has ever won in consecutive seasons. His team went to the World Series last year, and won 90 games or more in both of the last two full seasons. Their current position shouldn't surprise anyone, and that's what the voters often prefer.

Bob Melvin? He's won it twice, his team is always good. People sometimes forget that Oakland's always good but they are. Oakland was in the post-season last year and they won 97 games in each of the two full seasons before that. They shouldn't sneak up on anyone, ever.

Alex Cora or Aaron Boone? Please. Even if either team makes it to  the post-season..  you're supposed to make the post-season.

Dusty Baker? We love you, Dusty. It's that Houston thing. Sorry.

Scott Servais? I admit that if his team's bizarre run of good luck in close games holds steady through the end of the season, Servais is also a decent candidate.

Charlie Montoyo? Not only did his team lose more than 90 games the last time they played 162, they've been on an endless road trip and called three different cities and ball parks their home field just this season. But here they are. And trust me, but this performance under these circumstances impresses the rest of the baseball universe far, far more than it impresses those of us who follow the team closely, from day to day. We've grown so used to this bizarre, insane way of life of this team that we barely think of it at all. Of course we don't, why would we? We're not the ones living through it. But it's not normal. It's not in the same area code as normal. This is the youngest lineup in the AL, and maybe that's why they make more dumb mistakes than I'm happy seeing or why they don't perform very well late in close games. I don't know. But I swear that this is one of the most resilient teams I have ever seen. And someone should take a bow.

I think if the Jays either: a) make it into post-season play, or b) win 90 games, Montoyo will win AL Manager of the Year, fairly easily. And some heads around here will just explode. I should sell tickets.

Back to the Nationals. You might recollect the Jays split a pair with Washington at the end of April. Trent Thornton and Tommy Milone spotted Max Scherzer a 3-0 lead. Giving Max Scherzer a three run leader is a little like giving a grizzly bear the first whack, but were our heroes discouraged? Did they shrug their shoulders and go quietly into the night? They did not. Vlad Guerrero reached Mighty Max for a pair of homers, the first a grand slam, and later added a third big fly against the bullpen. Young Vlad drove in seven runs on the day, and in case people hadn't been paying attention, generally announced his presence with authority. The Nationals kicked Steven Matz around the next day, breaking the game open on a three run homer by Josh Harrison. Ah, the halcyon days of April, when the Nationals thought they were still competitive. They have since been disabused of that notion, and at present have lost seven in a row and twelve of thirteen.

These games will be played in a National League park, and I think you all know what that means.

Pitchers! Hitting!

Or trying to, anyway. The last Jays pitcher to get a hit was Trent Thornton back in May 2019. In his second and third plate appearances of the night, Thornton rapped out singles against the Giants' second (Tyler Beede) and third (Reyes Moronta) pitchers of the evening.

Alek Manoah and Jose Berrios will be swinging their bats in the US Capitol this week. It is, of course, work they are spectacularly ill-equipped to perform. And must-see viewing for that very reason. Manoah has no professional at bats at all. None. Zero. Bugger-all. He allegedly played a little first base at West Virginia back in 2018, and went 1-20 at the plate. This is going to be good.

Jose Berrios, on the other hand. Berrios turned pro back in 2012, when he was 18 years old. Four years later, in September 2016, he came up to bat for the first time as a professional. Against a man with a Cy Young Award on his resume. So of course Berrios grounded a single to right field against Bartolo Colon of the Mets. He lost the game 3-0, but he won that war! His next plate appearance came the following June against Jeff Samardzija of the Giants. This time Berrios lined a base hit to right field. Not only did he win the game, improving his record 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA - he now sported a nifty 1.000 BAVG. Those poor befuddled pitchers simply couldn't get the man out. Would they ever find a way?

They would. Berrios hasn't had a hit since. He did draw a leadoff walk against Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins back in July 2019, and came around to score the only run of his major league career when Mitch Garver's three run homer. But aside from that, he's gone 0-14 with 10 strikeouts.

So don't expect much, is what I'm saying.

Matchhups? OK...

Tue Aug 17 - Manoah (5-1, 2.59) vs Fedde (4-8, 5.12)
Wed Aug 18 - Berrios (8-6, 3.52) vs Gray (0-1, 2.81)
Toronto at Washington, August 17-18 | 160 comments | Create New Account
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Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#405102) #
Tonight's game is another YouTube broadcast.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#405103) #
Youtube is great at giving us a different broadcast crew to complain about. Already looking forward to the quibbles.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#405104) #
Does it matter if the Jays pitchers go 0-2 in each game?
If they get to the plate 3 times, chances are the Jays would have scored some runs.
Are we worried that the Nats pitchers will clubber the Jays?
Fede has an OPS of .048 for the year, that's 0 for 19 with a walk.
Gray has just been been promoted and he's 0 for 4.

Playing in a NL park is less about pitchers hitting than it is about pinch hitting.
Each team should get a least 3 pinch hits per game, maybe more.
Do the Nats have big bats on the bench and the Jays nothing?
Nah. I think it's going to be fine.

Fede is 4-8. Gray is 0-1.
This will be start number 20 for Fede and Gray's 4th start.

It's also worth noting that Hand was with the Nats recently.

What's more interesting is the Nats lineup.
Their number 1 lineup for the year versus the lineup they used in their last game
C Yan Gomes now Riley Adams or Barrera
1B Josh Bell
2B Josh Harrison now A. Escobar or Ad Sanchez
SS Trea Turner now Garcia
3B Starling Castro now C Kieboom
LF Kyle Scharber now Thomas
CF Victor Robles
RF Juan Soto

scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#405105) #
Yeah, but will they be arguing over Montoyo's decisions?
cascando - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#405106) #
Watching Manoah hit will be fun. He has the body of a power hitting DH, but I suspect not the swing. Pretty big strike zone too, anyone who walks him should probably be demoted immediately.
Cracka - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#405107) #
Manoah was a legit hitter in high school and made the Rawlings All-American team as a 1B during his junior year (second team, along with Kyle Tucker and Austin Riley). He didn't hit much at WVU but he was an elite hitter from 2013-2015. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
johnny was - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#405108) #
Future Scanners-style head exploder here. The border situation sucked and Springer's lost time to injury was unfortunate, but Montoyo has had so many things break in his favour this year:

* Vlad takes a massive leap forward to become a superstar
* Bo and Teoscar sustain small sample size excellence from 2020
* Ray and Semien are two of the best FA signings of the offseason
* the rotation is healthier and more effective than any season in recent memory
* the FA adds some very nice to solid pieces before the deadline

He doesn't have my vote even if they do make the last WC spot. I'm more impressed by what AJ Hinch has done with the Tigers even if they're not a .500 team.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#405111) #
I'm more impressed by what AJ Hinch has done with the Tigers even if they're not a .500 team.

Me too, but no AL manager has ever won without playing at least .500 ball; the worst record was Tony Pena's 2003 Royals (83-79) and they'd lost 100 games the year before.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#405113) #
Hinch should get some sentimental votes for his comeback after being out of baseball last year for some reason.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#405114) #
Manoah was 1 for 20 in college with 3 walks and 8 K's 2018 was his last time hitting. I doubt he'll do much. If I ran the Jays I'd probably tell the pitchers to just stand there and take until they walk or K. However, that can't happen as they are competitive individuals who would never be happy doing that.

As to manager of the year, that is normally 'which team is most surprising'. Tampa went from 1st to 1st, ChiSox 2nd to 1st, Houston 2nd to 1st, Oakland 1st to 2nd, Boston worst to 1st (but anyone who votes for him as manager of the year damn well better never complain about cheaters again), the Yankees are expected to win every season and generally only get it if their manager has done something surprising in some way (no one else impressive for example). I can see a storyline for Montoyo as manager of the year which writers love - taking a young team and pushing them through a non-stop travel year to a playoff slot from 7th in the COVID season (all travel), and from 12th in 2019 (95 losses). Really when you think about it he has done a great job keeping this team together. Yeah, Vlad emerged but was that just natural or did Montoyo have something to do with it? The way he pushed Vlad or didn't push depending how one looks at it. How other kids also have emerged from Teoscar to Bo to getting a decent year from Escobar and the starters who were expected to be a weight on the team instead being a strength even with the young 'future ace' Pearson being out most of the season and Roark being a waste of $10 mil.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#405115) #
I have found a manager who won the award with a losing record! It was Joe Girardi, who went 78-84 with the 2006 Marlins. They'd gone 83-79 the year before Jack McKeon... hang on. That seems kinda weird.

I checked - the Marlins were conducting one of their periodic purges of everyone who made more than the minimum wage. They let outfielders Juan Encarnacion and shortstop Alex Gonzalez (the younger) walk as free agents, along with starter A.J. Burnett (to the Jays!) and closer Todd Jones. They traded catcher Paul Lo Duca, first baseman Carlos Delgado, second baseman Luis Castillo, third baseman Mike Lowell, centre fielder Juan Pierre, and ace starter Josh Beckett. They cleared out the entire lineup save left fielder Miguel Cabrera, whom they moved to third base.

The only players coming back who would ever be useful to the Marlins were pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Rickey Nolasco, first baseman Mike Jacobs, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez. So I suppose everyone expected them to lose 100 games if everything went well, and 120 if things went badly.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#405116) #
Manager should get credit for keeping the rotation healthy.
With this pen, it would be so easy to let them pitch until their arms fall off.

Getting Vlad, Bo and Teoscar to become productive was the #1 goal of Montoyo when hired.
They wanted someone who spoke Spanish and who had a strong background on player development.
Does he lose some marks for Tellez, Gurriel and Biggio?

Not his fault if he doesn't have 3 guys who can get 9 outs in his 9 men pen.

The Tigers have been rebuilding since forever.
They now have some good starters in Mize and Skubal, but no Tigers starter has a winning record.
That's kinda bad. Either they can't be counted on to score or they can't protect a lead.
The Tigers have a decent pen with Soto, Cisnero, Funkhouser, etc.

The lineup isn't young.
Cabrera is 38 and they might be waiting on his departure to start spending.
Grossman is 31.
Schoop, Goodrum are 29.
Haase is 28. Candelario, 27.
Nomar Mazara is 26, but he's mostly a project by now and not one working out.
Baddoo is a rule 5 pick.

They totally failed at trading their vets for prospects.
Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene should join the team next year, but it could take them a while to become productive.
The Tigers probably look better than they are because they play in that weak division.

Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#405117) #
Boston's Bobby Dalbec and former Blue Jay Frank Catalanotto look strikingly similar from a side-profile.
Ducey - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#405118) #
Charlie has had a terrible bullpen and the Jays have a poor record late and close, and in extras. These are the areas that a manager supposedly has influence over.

You cant have these 2 problems and win MOY.

I dont want to be negative, but the real question for me is whether the Jays can win anything with Montoyo at the helm.

Kevin Cash seems significantly more competent.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#405119) #
Kevin Cash? It's possible. But he won it last year, and no AL manager has ever won in consecutive seasons. His team went to the World Series last year, and won 90 games or more in both of the last two full seasons. Their current position shouldn't surprise anyone, and that's what the voters often prefer.

If that's the reasoning behind the selections, who cares about the award?  I don't.  The question of who is the most valuable manager is definitely hard.  But I'm of the view that Cash is easily the best manager of the last 10 years and I'll bet that he ends up as the best of the last 30 when he retires.  This year, he's had 6 pitchers make 10 starts- Tyler Glasnow was very good but is on the IL for the season after 14 starts, Shane McLanahan has been pretty good, Rich Hill, Ryan Yarbrough and Jose Fleming were below average and Michael Wacha was as bad as Glasnow was good.  Only Glasnow ate innings (for 1/2 a season).  Despite the poor rotation, Cash has used the bullpen very well despite injuries and ended up with a pretty good run prevention record.  He's done a nice job also on the other side of the ball getting the right people in the lineup at the right time. 

The idea that there can't be a Mike Trout of managers- one who is noticeably better than the others over a significant period- strikes me as strange. 
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#405121) #
Why would a manager have influence over the bullpen?
Close game results is just luck.
Not having a good pen and being bad in extra would seem to go hand in hand.

You got guys like Dick Wiliams who is in the Hall of Fame for driving players, pushing them through discipline and verbal abuse. Battling with umps, benching and fining players has gone out of style.

Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#405122) #
I don't disagree - if anyone deserves it, I would say Kevin Cash as well. I merely observe the habits of the voters!
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#405123) #
You got guys like Dick Wiliams who is in the Hall of Fame for driving players, pushing them through discipline and verbal abuse. Battling with umps, benching and fining players has gone out of style.

What's also gone out of style is the ability that really raised Dick Williams above most of the managers of his day. He was exceptionally gifted at identifying talent, whether it had proved anything at the major league level or not, and putting it to use. And that's simply not part of the modern manager's job.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#405124) #
And do you know what Kevin Cash has not been doing the last  3 years?  Sac bunts.  Half the typical rate in 2019 and 2021 and absolutely none in 2020.  What he has been doing is stolen base attempts- last year they were very successful (48/9); this year they have been breaking even (64/29).  It's not a particularly fast club either. 
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#405125) #
The Rays are built on defense and pitching.
So, naturally, they are good at run prevention.
Cash was doing a lot of innovative things, but it's all gone mainstream now.

If anything, Cora should get it for having that record with that rotation and those guys who didn't produce when he wasn't there.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#405126) #
Tampa's rotation has been worse than Boston's once you account for the parks.  Cora does deserve credit for getting a career season from Enrique Hernandez and for thoughtful use of Garrett Whitlock.  Mainly though, Boston's success has been built on the good health of their stars and some luck. 
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#405127) #
I assume we all agree that Gabe Kapler wins this award in the NL, no disrespect to Craig Counsell (the Brewers are going to be very, very dangerous in October. The front end of that rotation is scary.)

How about the other awards? I'm figuring Shohei Ohtani is the MVP, Lance Lynn gets the Cy Young, and (probably) Adolis Garica for rookie of the year (but if Manoah goes 6-0, 1.50 the rest of the way...)

In the other league... Tatis probably isn't going to play 130 games which may hand it to Max Muncy. Zack Wheeler may have inherited the Cy Young from the absent de Grom, but he's more than worthy. Jonathan India for rookie?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#405128) #
you know what Kevin Cash has not been doing the last 3 years? Sac bunts.

True dat. The Rays have 6 sac hits this year, and only Cora's Red Sox have fewer. Notorious bunting fiend Charlie Montoyo's Jays have 8 sac hits. Joe Maddon's Angels have 21, and Mike Matheny's Royals lead the league with 22.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#405129) #
this year [Tampa Bay] have been breaking even (64/29).

I don't think that's breaking even. That's a 68.8% success rate. It's better than Boston, but that's all, and the Red Sox wisely run less than any AL team not based in Minnesota. Only Kansas City tries to steal more often than Tampa.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#405130) #
The break-even point for stealing bases is still the subject of reasonable argument.  It was argued by some to be 75% in 2003 when levels of offence were higher.  It has been argued to be 67% in average times (by among others John Thorn).  The figure currently is probably somewhere between those two points at about 70%.  The Rays are essentially breaking even in my view. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#405131) #
Of course, if you really want to know how they are doing precisely, you need to know the base/out/score situation when they are attempting.  Fangraphs has stealing home with 2 outs as having a break-even point of 33%!
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#405132) #
Fun fact. The Blue Jays have used 37 different pitchers this season. No major league team has used more.

You may point to the Mets (39) and the Diamondbacks (38) but I say nay! Both NL teams have sent five different position players to the mound, and by this stratagem, they have padded their total. Whereas the Jays have actually used 37 different pitchers.

Well, alleged pitchers at least.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#405133) #
The Rays are essentially breaking even in my view.

Even if they're not, it's certainly true that no team in the majors hits into fewer double plays and all the SB attempts surely have something to do with it.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#405134) #
That, and the fact that Tampa's hitters strike out more frequently than any other group of hitters in the majors, which strikes me as remarkable for a team that doesn't regularly send pitchers up to hit. But you can't hit into a double play when you're striking out.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#405135) #
It's really hard to measure these things.  Some CS are on failed hit-and-runs.  But if you hit and run a lot, the CS is just one outcome and you need to know all of the outcomes to know whether it has been working.  For instance, Fangraphs has Tampa at +7.8 runs baserunning, second in the majors behind Colorado (park effect- more runners going first to third!).  And they are not a particularly fast club.  Some of the extra bases taken may be on successful hit and runs.  You also have to think about reduced GDPs, increased lined into double plays and so on.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#405136) #
The way Jays hitters have been bunting, I'm not sure the stat is helpful.
For starter, what's a sac hit? When the runner reach first and there's no out?
Do you have the number of failed sac attempts?
If you fail to bunt twice and strike out swinging how is that counted?
How many outs bunting with 2 strikes?

The Jays bunt in the bottom of the lineup to set the top.
The Rays might have speedy guys who bunt for a hit in the same scenario.
Do they have power hitters in the 8th and 9th spots?
Or runners fast enough to break a double play?

The players dictate the moves the manager makes.

Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#405137) #
Do you have the number of failed sac attempts? If you fail to bunt twice and strike out swinging how is that counted?

See below. Failing to bunt early in the count and then swinging away later in the at bat is just a regular at bat.

Team              SH Att    SH    Pct
Los Angeles Angels  40    21    .525
Kansas City Royals  33    22    .667
Chicago White Sox   29    19    .655
Cleveland Indians   23    16    .696
Texas Rangers    23    11    .478
Seattle Mariners    20    8    .400
League Average    19    12    .634
Oakland Athletics   18    15    .833
Baltimore Orioles   17    12    .706
Detroit Tigers    16    13    .813
Toronto Blue Jays   13    8    .615
Houston Astros    13    6    .462
New York Yankees    11    10    .909
Minnesota Twins    9    7    .778
Tampa Bay Rays    9    6    .667
Boston Red Sox    7    4 .571
Gosh. The Yankees are pretty good at this. I know I'd like to see Judge and Stanton and Gallo bunt more often.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#405138) #
A note. 3 of the Jays bunt attempts and 2 of the successful sac hits were the work of pitchers: Ray and Stripling. The position players are 6 for 10. (Oddly, none of the bunt attempts by Tampa or Boston were by pitchers - I assume the situation hasn't presented itself.)
Gerry - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#405139) #
It turns out that Springer has a knee sprain, not an ankle. He has gone on the IL with Otto Lopez replacing him.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#405140) #
I do hope it is abundantly clear that if there's one thing we know about Charlie Montoyo, it's that he doesn't like to bunt, and the next person who suggests otherwise ought to share those excellent drugs with the rest of us.
christaylor - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#405141) #
This is bad news. I'd bet from what little I know about joint recovery from ankle/knee sports injuries (not much basically I've had both and only the knee required surgery) we won't see him until next season.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#405142) #
Seems hard to confuse a knee and an ankle.
Maybe he hurt both and it turns out the knee is more worrisome.
That or his pain threshold is actually really, really high.

scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#405143) #
Just another way the Angels suck.
Turns out the Astros have bunted as often as the Jays have and have been less successful doing so?
Oakland is actually bunting a lot and getting it done.
Interesting. We could witness that in September.

Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#405144) #
Turns out the Astros have bunted as often as the Jays have and have been less successful doing so?

If you remove the pitchers from the equation, Houston's position players are 4-11 in sac attempts (Jays are 6 for 10).
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#405145) #
Re Springer's injury.

About six weeks ago, I saw Giannis Antetokounmpo sprain his knee - it looked far, far worse than what Springer did. He was back on the court exactly one week later. Nobody knows anything.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#405146) #
Granted, Giannis is a superhero. What did Bichette miss last year, three or four weeks?
christaylor - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#405147) #
The MDs might know something about his injury but they're not telling.

On Twitter Wagner had the interesting comp of Bichette last year with a grade 1 sprain and he took a month.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#405148) #
It seems to me from Montoyo's comments that Springer showed up today and said my knee hurts. He has yet to see a doctor and so there is no information available about the extent of the injury.

There could be some news after the game.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#405149) #
Weird to hear so much about Biggio who isn't even with the team and so little about Hernandez.

The Washington gnats?

Eephus - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#405150) #
That Soto-Manoah matchup was all sorts of fun. It's wild that Soto in his fourth season is actually ten months younger than the rookie Jays starter.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#405151) #
Speaking of SB, with some of these big overshifts with a runner on 3rd where you can get a lead practically halfway to the plate, I for sure think there should be more attempts to steal home.
Eephus - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#405152) #
Those goddamned 2015 Royals will just haunt us forever, won't they....
Polite Nate - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#405153) #
This was partially, but not entirely, a pretty hard luck inning.
Eephus - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#405154) #
This can be a damn infuriating game sometimes. We hit bullets right at people for outs, they hit little muffle shots and score six.

I'm gonna go for a bike ride.
scottt - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#405155) #
Well, the ump stopped calling the inside corner on lefties but Manoah kept throwing it there.
The pitches that weren't called balls were crushed.

Now, everybody knows that Adams has power but can only hit low balls.
When he was with the Jays, all he saw were high fastballs.
Thornton must not have watched any of those ABs.
I mean, he must have thrown to Adams a bunch of times.
It's dumb stuff like that I find infuriating.

greenfrog - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#405156) #
The Yankees are crushing it. They now occupy the second WC spot.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#405157) #
scottt - and now Dolis does the same thing. Bloody hell, you'd think the Jays would have nice scouting reports on their old prospects. Dolis cannot be released soon enough imo. I just don't get why the Jays love him so much. At this point you might as well leave him in rather than waste any good pitchers. Sigh.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 17 2021 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#405158) #
We pulled our two aces at 90 pitches for middle relievers back to back
John Northey - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#405159) #
uglyone - let it go or I'll make you remember that song :)

Today was a mess. Manoah didn't have it at least in part thanks to one of the worst umpires in baseball not knowing the strike zone (Angel Hernandez). The Jays early on didn't hit with runners in scoring position (didn't help that Manoah had to hit - way past time for universal DH). Overton and Snead both did their jobs nicely - I'm liking those two more and more and really, really hope Dolis is next to be let go. I get why Thornton was brought in - if you don't use him when down 7-1 early then when are you going to use him? What I don't get is why he was pulled after just 1 inning when he is supposed to be a long man (2-3 innings). Yes, the Jays made it 8-3 but 5 runs is still a lot and with 4-5 innings left you want more out of your long man.

No question the pen is a mess to deal with, and happily in a mess like tonight (the 7 given up in the first 3 were enough to win the game it turned out) the big guns (Romano/Cimber/Richards/Hand...not so sure on Hand being one of the better but I'll give him benefit of the doubt for now) weren't used and are available tomorrow in what hopefully will be a better game with Berrios starting and someone other than Angel Hernandez behind the plate (Lance Barksdale probably as he umped 1B today - he is 23rd for umpire accuracy in MLB this year out of 99 vs Hernandez who is #80, Ed Hickox is dead last with Joe West even lower than Hernandez at #94). Data via Umpire Scorecards.
StephenT - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#405160) #
Manoah threw 114 pitches in his previous start (6.2 IP, 2 runs @ ANA, Wed Aug 11).
I assume they allowed that because they knew he'd have an extra day of rest the next time.
But it looks like he still hadn't recovered.
Tonight he threw 53 pitches (3 IP, 7 runs @ WSH, Tue Aug 17) before they pinch hit for him.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#405161) #
Kevin Smith getting called up, reported on Bluebird Banter.
scottt - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#405162) #
I didn't see anything wrong with Manoah's stuff.
He sailed through the first inning on 9 pitches, got Soto looking at a 2-seamer that came back inside.
In the 6-run 3rd inning he had Soto again but the ump called it a ball.
The next pitch caught the top of the zone but was also called a ball and he ended up walking him.
Which is fine.
There were several lefties in the lineup and he was too slider happy.
Same thing happened with Adams, who cannot hit fastballs in the top of the zone.
Then Manoah threw the ball away on a pick off move to a slow runner who didn't have a huge lead and wasn't going anywhere.

Thornton also served a homer to Adams.
Overton breezed through this lineup with just high fastballs.
I didn't watch the rest.

Fede was really bad. The Jays got themselves out swinging at bad pitches away.
Arguably, the ump, as usual, made a lot of questionable calls.
Vlad grounded into a double play. Lots of runners left on bases.

scottt - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#405163) #
On several occasion, Vlad or some other Blue Jays hitter would swing at a bad breaking pitch and then ask the ump if that would have been a strike and the ump would nod.
Sorry, son, I'm not here to help you.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#405164) #
If you told me at the start of the season that Teoscar Hernandez would be leading the club in batting average in late August, I would definitely have raised an eyebrow and wondered what that might have meant about the other hitters.  But here we are. The question is: how is he doing it?  On one level, the answer is easy.  He's striking out a lot less and hitting more line drives and fewer popups.  On another level, the answer is a little more complicated.  He's swinging at more pitches outside the zone, and missing them at about his career rate.  That's not usually the route to fewer strikeouts.  What he is doing is making a lot more contact within the zone (up from 77% to 82%), the result of swinging more often and making more contact when he does.  For the first time, he has positive numbers against every single pitch.  If you look at it by count, it's most noticeable when he gets ahead.  There are fewer ways to beat him in the zone and when he's ahead in the count, it's easier for him to lay off the pitches obviously out of the zone and even those on the edge.

Of course, there has been a modest loss of power.  Seemingly, he's dialed back on trying to kill the ball and instead is just trying to hit more balls in the zone hard.  The trade-off has worked very well for him, and it looks to me to be sustainable. 

In the other phases of the game, he's improved as well.  He still makes baserunning and fielding mistakes quite often, but he manages to overcome them a little more often.  In the result, because of his speed, he's an average baserunner and a slightly-below average defender.  The package is a very good player.  Who knew that he could manage that?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#405165) #
In a strange way I think Teoscsar also benefits from the 3 hitters before him all bro by monsters that drain the starting pitcher. It’s easy to scout Teo as the weakest hitter before a game only to realize after 20-25 pitches to Springer, Bk and Vlad that he’s also very very good.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#405166) #
Thought provoking post Mike.  This current crop of guys really seem focused on self-improvement.  I think coming up through the minors together, combined with their personalities and goals, has created a team environment conducive to getting better by any means necessary. 

Wagner was noting on the radio yesterday how Manoah and Ryu were having a serious talking about hitting, which he found unusual but cool. 

For anyone who watched, how was the youtube broadcast this time?  I usually listen, how did Overton looked?  Wagner clearly new nothing about him, unfortunately, but the results are impressive, and the guy is such a great story.  He was the guy I would've called up ahead of Saucedo, back when the pen first imploded. 

I think Dolis has to be on the bubble with Saucedo and Thornton right now.  Pearson, Mayza, Soria and Stripling will need to be added, fingers crossed.  Time to run with the hot hand in the pen, not stick with the script about sitting the AAA guys at the end of the bench in case of emergency.  And Thomas Hatch needs to be given a run in the pen when Stripling gets back and can be the 6th starter. 
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#405167) #
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#405168) #
Manoah had been a little lucky before last night.  At this point, his xERA is 3.46 and his actual is 3.34.  And he hasn't really benefited from umpire calls overall (most rooks don't).  After an outing like last night, you give him a pat on the back and tell him go them next time. 
John Northey - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#405169) #
jerjapan - the YouTube was far more normal this time - sounded like a group trying to get jobs broadcasting for normal teams vs the YouTube 'lets be different' system. I missed the fielding graphic they had up almost non-stop in past broadcasts though showing where everyone was on the field while showing the hitter/pitcher battle. IIRC Dan Plesac was one of the broadcasters - he'd be far better than Buck or Tabler imo if we must have an ex-Jay on the broadcast.

Agreed on the bubble - My ranking in dump order is Dolis/Thornton ... gap ... Saucedo ... gap ... Snead/Overton/Hand - could be talked into moving Hand to before Snead and Overton right now. Who is coming back? Stripling hopefully will be back soon, Mayza, Soria. Pearson lands under the 'when we see him we see him' category (14th his last game in AAA, only one since June). Merryweather I'd put on the 'I'll buy it when I see it' like Pearson. Castro/Edwards are fungible arms. Cole is a 'who knows'. Hatch I figure they'll call up at some point (I'd do it now and dump Dolis or Thornton) but not unless desperate - AAA plays until October 3rd this year, then playoffs I guess.

Should be interesting to see what the Jays do about the pitching now. There is one total dud on the staff, but with a 9 man pen he should only be in no pressure situations one would hope. Fangraphs has a nice page showing how much each pitcher has been used in the past 6 days. Two guys with 3 appearances Saucedo & Snead. 2 for Dolis, Hand, Richards, Cimber, Overton & Thornton. Says something about how the games haven't been close. Romano only used on Sunday the 15th.

The bench has been used. Everyone but Lopez has started at least once (he has only been here one day and pinch hit). In fact everyone started at least 3 times. No one in the dog house here it seems.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#405170) #
Destiny beckons Charlie to finally have a conspicuous fit of ill temper.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#405171) #
Off topic I guess but the Orioles have lost 13 in a row and their run differential in those games is the worst of any team's 13 game stretch since the year 1901. I hope they stay cold because the Jays have 10 games left with them!
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#405172) #
Hernandez is a player who seems to have legitimately changed his approach and its a noticeable change in trying to take some of the pitches on the outer half the other way. On defence, the improvement seems, oddly, to stem from him approaching everything at 3/4's speed. If you watch him play the OF, he goes after everything at somewhere between a jog and full running. Its an odd way to improve but it has resulted in him improving to acceptable on defence. He deserves a ton of credit for all of that.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#405173) #
I too am impressed by how Hernandez has become better in pretty well facet of his game. But folks, a .380 BABiP is not sustainable.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#405174) #
Springer has a grade 1 knee sprain. Grade 1 is the mildest form of sprain. The Jays did not give a timetable for his return.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#405176) #
Dolis DFA for Smith.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#405178) #
Those are thoughtful comments, Nigel and Magpie. 

It's interesting about hit location- he's pulling the ball 1% more than his career average and going the other way 1% more than his career average and going up the middle 2% less.  In past years, when he really hit the ball hard, it seemed to be to centerfield.  He seems to be trying to do that less and to pull the inside pitch and drive the pitch away.

As for his BABIP of .380, Statcast agrees.  It says that his expected batting average is .288 rather than .315.  However, his expected slugging percentage is .543, higher than his actual .534.  Translation: he's been hitting a lot of balls that have been close to leaving the yard.  With average luck, he would have seen more home runs gained than flyouts at the wall but some of those too.  Hence, a lower batting average and BABIP but a higher slugging percentage.  Overall, his expected wOBA is .374 and his actual is .379.  All good.

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#405179) #
Fabulous observation Nigel. I couldn’t put my finger on it and your description made everything click. It’s a good solution if the player was rushing through the steps
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#405180) #
I'm assuming that the defensive approach is a tradeoff along the lines of the offensive tradeoff (a bit of power for a bit more contact). I would assume he's traded a bit of range for few less poor routes and major gaffes.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#405181) #
Yay! Sorry for Dolis as I liked his comeback from Japan and was hoping for better, but he really hasn't been that good this year. Can't have 7.6 BB/9 and expect to survive in the majors. Last 3 games a total of 1 IP 6 H 5 R/ER 5 BB 0 SO, 4 inherited runners and all 4 scored. Somehow he has 3 saves, 3 holds, and just 1 blown save. I'm sure someone will give him another shot.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#405182) #
After 2019 we were desperate for any pitching. The goal was to hoard prospects and watch the financial flexibility so a lot of players were signed as hopefuls and comebacks. I think they are all gone except Romano with only 30IP entering this year.

When our season ends we can determine what we have in committed $ to the pen and go from there. I don't know how Atkins will handle addressing it.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#405183) #
Vladdy looked very slow heading down to first base on that ground ball in the hole.  He's hitting  .254/.347/.365 in August. 
mathesond - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#405184) #
I remember it's an afternoon game, put it on the second screen. Second pitch is Soto's 3-run homer. Game goes back off, KEXP comes back on.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#405185) #
I guess it shouldn't be too surprising if there's some regression coming from the starters.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#405186) #
Dolis went directly from fairly high leverage right to DFA.
scottt - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#405187) #
Hoard prospects is never the goal.
They try to develop players because those 7 first years of affordable production are also often a player's best years.
Even the Yankees can't win just by signing All-Stars to 7+ years contracts that bring them to their forties.

They Jays didn't have many pitching prospects and most of them have not panned out.
It's a common problem through the division.
The Jays seem to have the best rotation at the moment but the pen has been shaky.
You never know what you'll get from a reliever in the next year.
Not everybody wanted to spend on a shortstop or a centerfielder last winter, but everybody is always looking for relief pitching. That makes it an expensive market.

uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#405188) #
Since the LA series.....

McGuire at C: 0-3, 9.8 runs/9
Kirk at C: 3-1, 1.9 runs/9

And it's not even fair to give that loss to Kirk as he was pinch run for in the 8th and we lost with McGuire catching in the 9th. So that loss probably should count against Reese. And Reese is on track for another one today.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#405189) #
Since the LA series.....

McGuire at C: 0-3, 9.8 runs against/9
Kirk at C: 3-1, 1.9 runs against/9

And it's not even fair to give that loss to Kirk as he was pinch run for in the 8th and we lost with McGuire catching in the 9th. So that loss probably should count against Reese. And Reese is on track for another one today.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#405190) #
Would have been better if Berrios struck out meekly. 
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#405191) #
So tonight, the Jays are seeking to make life imitate art. Tonight, they have brought up Kevin Smith just in time to do a trailer for a new re-make of:
Mr. Smith goes to Washington!
Spifficus - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#405192) #
It's like it was scripted.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#405193) #
"Vladdy looked very slow heading down to first base on that ground ball in the hole. He's hitting .254/.347/.365 in August."

He just looks feeble at the plate right now. Bad swings, hitting the ball on the ground, etc...Not expecting first half Vladdy all the time but something better than this!
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#405194) #
Wonder if we could trade Vladdy for this Riley Adams guy. He looks like the real deal.
The_Game - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#405195) #
Maybe stop pulling your starters at 88 pitches for a bullpen that has given up runs all season.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#405196) #
We finally get a good starting staff and decide to implement a brand new staff-wide 90 pitch limit.

Spifficus - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#405197) #
Berrios was coming up third in the inning, so that was prime double-switch territory.
Spifficus - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#405198) #
Nevermind. I picked a bad day to quit sniffing glue...
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#405199) #
Oh thank God.

Maybe Dickerson is still good after all. Maybe we should start him in LF.
Spifficus - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#405200) #
YES! A Close-And-Late run!
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#405201) #
Brad Hand in a high leverage situation? Really?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#405202) #
The real problem with this team is clutch hitting.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#405203) #
Gee, I had no idea that was coming. Can you DFA your manager? Honestly, that's unforgiveable.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#405204) #
I see Hand wants to join Dolis.

Unfortunately on the bullpen decisions I think as reports have shown its not really Montoyo's call. I mean he gets the blame but it is a group decision. The problem is right now that they don't have many reliable options.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#405205) #
Three good starters pitching well pulled at
Chuck - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#405206) #
Giving them Hand is giving them a hand.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#405207) #
I've already made by position clear on Hand usage.  Nevermind. Better to laugh than to cry.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#405208) #
Three very good SP pitching well pulled at
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#405209) #
I agree that Montoyo's options are limited but Hand is very clearly one of the worst options right now. Choosing to repeatedly put him in high leverage spots is a failing by whomever the decision maker is.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#405210) #
Three very good SP pitching well pulled at 90 pitches with a bullpen in tatters.

Utterly baffling.
The_Game - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#405211) #
How can anybody possibly defend Montoyo at this point? Brad Hand has been bad all season, has been terrible since he was acquired and had completely blown his previous high leverage situations. What is he doing in the 7th inning in a 1 run lead in a game you absolutely need to win?

Please get a real manager in 2022.
AWeb - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#405212) #
Tune in briefly, it's 5-4 JAys, see a soft liner to centre and hear Hand is entering the game...that enough watching for me. And I check back 10 minutes later, the score is 8-5, and the inning continues for the Nationals. Ugh. This team is just hard to watch late in games. The lack of clutch hitting and lack of bullpen competent arms...not a fun combination.  Ugh.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#405213) #
I'll also repeat that the acquisition of Hand is a scouting and front office failing. From the moment he arrived its been apparent that he's toasty.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#405214) #
Why is Montoyo still using Hand in close ballgames with the season on the line?

The Jays have cycled through a lot of very bad relievers this year (Chatwood, Dolis, Hand, to name a few). This has cost the team a lot of games.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#405215) #
I’ve been a fan since 93. This is by far the most frustrating team I’ve ever watched. I cannot believe how many games they just give away
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#405216) #
Also Thornton.
grjas - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#405217) #
I flipped over to to see what was happening in the game and started laughing hysterically. Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Leave Smith at 3rd the rest of the year and Pearson to start in the minors so we know what we have for next year. This team is going no where. And good god. Ditch Montoyo.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#405218) #
The Jays are going to waste about 12 WAR that just fell in their lap this season (Semien, Ray, Matz). Even if they manage to patch the bullpen, good luck finding that kind of low-cost production next year.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#405219) #
If its any comfort, August of 1984 was probably worse - this season is more like a slow drip on the forehead, its been like this most of the year.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#405220) #
Why is breyvic Valera even on this team, let alone getting regular playing time.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#405221) #
Maybe let Kirk hit here.
Paul D - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#405222) #
The last week of 1987 wasn't great
Nigel - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#405223) #
*August 1983.
mathesond - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#405224) #
Geez, the Jays finally get a home stadium and they forget how to play on the road. And really, what's the point of scoring 5 runs in the first 7 innings if you're not going to score 5 in the last 2? So unclutch.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#405225) #
At the end of the day wins matter so as much joking about clutch and all that part of the reason the Red Sox and Yankees are ahead is because they've stolen games they should have lost because of their pitching. I went over number of wins the teams had when allowing 5,6,7 runs earlier and the Jays are a lot behind in that. I think at that point Red Sox had like 7 wins in hand just because of that.

As for this road trip combination I think of letdown from leaving Toronto and a struggle in LA followed by the Springer injury has deflated the team. Hopefully they have a surge left in them to recover.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#405226) #
Didn't the Jays lose seven consecutive one-run games to close out 1987 (and miss the playoffs)? That was pretty painful.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#405227) #
One important lesson the Jays learned (hopefully) this year is that their young stars like Guerrero Jr. and Bichette need some days off here and there to stay healthy and productive. It’s short-sighted to play them every day for most of the season, as they won’t be at their best when you need them the most (stretch run and postseason).
Magpie - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#405228) #
Tyler Chatwood just made his Giants debut. He allowed the zombie runner to score in the 11th, and a three run homer to Kevin Pillar in the 12th.

Surely the suffering of others can ease our pain a little.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#405229) #
Either that, or the mere mention of Chatwood will trigger readers, sending them deeper into the slough of despond.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#405230) #
Toronto was dealt a bad Hand.

Whether or not Charlie receives marching orders... There is certainly input from the coaches and other staff. I wonder how much comes from the players, namely the catchers? We might expect them to provide the most direct accounting for the pitching staff. (Then again, the catchers may be just as answerable as the beleaguered relief corps.)

Mr. Smith goes to Washington!

Marvelous. Jimmy Stewart later co-starred with John Wayne, who would call that a pilgrimage.

grjas - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#405231) #
The last week of 1987 wasn't great

I have a vivid memory of a video of Jimy Williams on the bench of the final game…around the 6th or 7th inning. They were down 1-0 to the Tigers and a win as I recall would have placed them in a tiebreaker to make the playoffs. The camera panned to the bench and despot being down by only one run, there was Jimy “oneM” with a look of dejection and quit written all over his face. I knew right then we were done. Took the Jays another year and a bit to fire him, and right afterwards the team took off with Cito at the helm.

Managers do make a difference.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#405232) #
Berrios would have gone back out for the sixth but he told the team that he was out of gas after five - heat and humidity.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 18 2021 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#405233) #
Michael - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 01:34 AM EDT (#405234) #
If Berrios told the team he was done due to heat and humidity then that needs to be praised IMHO. Too often players hide their condition or injury and try to tough it out often resulting in bad things both for them and the team.
Eephus - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#405235) #
My softball team tonight got blown out 31-12 in two games, and I think I'd still prefer that over this game by the sounds of it.

It's extremely hard to be one of those people (*cough* Stoeten) who keeps saying "they're still only 5 games out! Stop being stupid because they're still in the race!" Watching this team and expecting them to hold anything less than a 3 run lead from the 6th inning onward... isn't stupid it's sheer delusion. Until they prove otherwise for any consistent stretch (and there isn't much of that left)... this is what they are.

It's fine, really though. At worst now this season is giving the young core a taste of contention, of playing big games. They can still get even better, and the front office can maybe consider getting not the worst Blue Jays bullpen of the 21st century.

John Northey - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:54 AM EDT (#405236) #
it is obvious most here never had to suffer like we did in 87 and 83. 87 was the lose every game the final week when 1 bloody win would've done the trick while the manager kept putting the corpses of Willie Upshaw and Garth Iorg out there over young future stars Cecil Fielder and Kelly Gruber. It was painful. 83 was the year they had 3 guys picked off in one inning, and a pen that makes this one look amazing.
mathesond - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#405237) #
One disappointing year that I don't read much about is 1990. As I recall (and please, it has been over 30 years now), they Jays never really seemed in contention for most of the year, had a spurt in September and took over the division lead, but faded over the last couple of weeks and handed it back to the Red Sox. 1988 wasn't much fun either, as it seemed that they were suffering from a season-long hangover after the collapse of '87. I did get a kick out of Jimy feuding with Bell in '88, and remember the Toronto Star doing a mid-season retrospective which included a colour shot of Bell laughing in the dugout while smoking a cigarette. As I had just taken up smoking a couple years earlier, it seemed to support my decision. Eventually I got a little bit wiser.
Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#405238) #
If Berrios told the team he was done due to heat and humidity

It's what Berrios told the press afterwards. The US Capitol, of course, was built on a swamp and large sections of it are fillied-in marsh lands.
Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#405239) #
the manager kept putting the corpses of Willie Upshaw and Garth Iorg out there over young future stars Cecil Fielder and Kelly Gruber.

He also benched Fred McGriff down the final stretch. Fielder by September was pretty much platooning with Upshaw at 1b - he started 7 of the last 22 games at 1b. Somehow this mean Fielder couldn't ever be the DH any more. True, young Fred was slumping a bit, having just gone 5-28 in September. But he was still being McGriff-like - two of the five hits were HRs and he'd drawn 9 walks during the same period. But Jimy had Juan Beniquez and Rick Leach to take the DH at bats, and McGriff started just one of the final nine games.
Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#405240) #
My softball team tonight got blown out 31-12 in two games, and I think I'd still prefer that

You would have really preferred what I did, which was forget the game started at 4:00 and take a lengthy afternoon nap instead. (I was supposed to be on my way to the airport at 3:00 AM, and I'm supposed to be a plane going west at this very moment. Now it's all been delayed ten hours, something I was informed about by email fifteen minutes before I was about to call an Uber to the airport.)
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#405241) #
As I recall, Pat Gillick even said that winning in 1992 did not really ease the leftover sorrow from 1987.

I was too young when Jimy Williams was the manager, but I gather he was a distasteful person.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#405242) #
Now it's all been delayed ten hours,

Maybe the delay was due to the angry mob awaiting the Blue Jays' charter?

Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#405243) #
I was too young when Jimy Williams was the manager, but I gather he was a distasteful person.

He had been a popular - especially amongst the infielders - third base coach, but the new responsibility of managing those same players didn't seem to agree with anybody. The lesson Gillick took away from the experience was that replacing a manager with one of the coaches on staff was a bad idea. The irony here is that in all the rest of his long career as a GM, with four different teams, Gillick only made one managerial hire after hiring Williams in 1986 - and that was when he replaced Williams with the team's hitting coach, Cito Gaston, in 1989.

Gillick had famously wanted Lou Piniella to replace Williams - Gillick liked an excitable hard-ass as a manager, and indeed Bobby Cox had worked out very well. But Steinbrenner wouldn't let Piniella go without substantial compensation, and the team started playing better anyway. Gillick would inherit all of his future managers - Davey Johnson in Baltimore, Piniella in Seattle, and Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia - and he didn't fire or have to replace any of them.

I suppose it's an additional irony is that the men who managed Gillick's championship teams - Gaston and Manuel - were roughly the opposite of what he always preferred in a manager.
Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#405244) #
Technically, Gillick was still the Baltimore GM when Ray Miller replaced Davey Johnson - but it was Peter Angelos who forced Johnson out, and Angelos and assistant GM Kevin McHale who were behind Miller coming in. Gillick by then was in the last year of his contract, knew he wasn't coming back, and had his foot out the door.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#405248) #
Jordan Romano has had 7 outings this year on more than 3 days rest and he's been pretty bad in those outings.  His next outing will also be on long rest.  The problem is his role, the 9th inning save guy at least for the last couple of months  .  The Blue Jays have had many, many games with leads after 6 innings, but the 7th and 8th innings with 1 and 2 run leads have not been happy ones for the club. 

Yesterday's game was a classic example.  Romano last pitched on the 15th, so he already had two days rest and today is a day off.  If he doesn't get into the game on the 18th, he's going to be on long rest on the 20th which means he is a) unlikely to be effective and b) likely forced to pitch in a low leverage situation.  If he was not in the 9th inning save guy role, he could have come on in the 7th to face Escobar, Soto and Bell.  Which would have been good.  And it would mean that he is not in a "compelled use" situation on the 20th, which is also good.

I wonder if you could redefine his role as "high leverage" and "consistent use".  Would that be too confusing for the modern pitcher, who looks at iPads and studies tunnels and so on?  Do they really have to have a 9th inning save guy when they don't have pitchers who can reliably take them through the 7th and 8th most of the time in a close game?

bpoz - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#405249) #
There is an old saying... "you cannot have enough pitching".

The Jays have been able to find and use the most pitchers this year. I believe Magpie discovered that.

This off season there will be a lot of good FA SPs. I don't expect the Jays or TB to go after any of them. I need to evaluate if Atkins will try for pitchers from the Orient. Dolis and Yamaguchi were given 2 year contracts. This would have worked out well if they pitched well. By not pitching well enough they occupied a 40 man spot and probably had the team made (no earning a spot in the pen for 2020). It is hard to get a good pen. I remember B Caudill and G Lavelle as basically failures. BJ Ryan was also not a good signing.
scottt - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#405251) #
Romano has been on the IL this year. He throws very hard, so he's always a high risk guy in my book.
Maybe you get better production from him if he never gets more than 2 days of rest, but do you end up with fewer total innings?

With so many relievers on the IL. It doesn't seem logical to overuse the 1 or 2 guys left.

So far, Overton and Saucedo have looked pretty good.
Maybe the answer is to try more AAA relievers like Harris and Baker rather than going after guys who are failing somewhere else like Hand, Barnes, Edwards, etc...
It seems like they are waiting on Pearson and Merryweather.

They went after Hand because he's an experience guy who they think can make some adjustments.

Mike Green - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#405252) #
Romano is fine on 3 days rest.   60-70 appearances is totally routine for a one inning reliever; Romano so far has 43 appearances for 42.1 innings so he's on pace to be in that zone.  If you have (let's say) 3 on 0 days rest, 15 on 1 day rest, 25 on 2 days rest and 20 on 3 days rest and 1 on longer (the All-Star break), that would work.  You bring him on back-to-back outings only in ultra-high leverage situations if he feels up to it and didn't throw too much in the first one. 
jerjapan - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#405253) #
I agree Scottt, it's desperation time for the club, and Fangraphs had Baker as a surprise pick for bullpen reinforcements.  Goldstein wrote that he 'has recently been up to 98 mph and has a plus slider'.

16 BBs in 30 IP is actually his best rate since A ball, but only 16 hits and no HRs. 

Harris also has a big arm and Fangraphs listed him on our top 39 prospects - they seem to like guys with an elite pitch more than many other prospect watchers, and they have his FB at 70.  He's pretty homer prone though. 
John Northey - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#405255) #
I think they thought Hand was a buy low opportunity. Riley Adams was going nowhere here (3 ML catchers ahead of him, another prospect hard charging behind) so the cost was minimal - although it did cost the Jays at least 1 of the 2 games thanks to how well he hit against us. 5 times Hand was brought in with 1+ leverage, 3 of those times they might as well have let me pitch (with my 50 MPH fastball that looks like a knuckleball). At this point he needs to be the 9th man in the pen until he has a few good games in a row. I'd rank the pen Romano-Mayza-Cimber-Richards-Snead-Overton-Saucedo-Thornton-Hand but the last 2 can flip easily, I have no faith in either. Saucedo alternates with me - I'd avoid him in 1 or 2 run games. Overton is still a 'lets see' and should be first in when the starter is knocked out (Thornton's role) as he might hold it tight until the offense gets going, Snead hasn't had a high pressure game yet (3+ run spread everytime) so maybe give him a shot if needed.

This winter will be interesting. Borucki should be back for 2022, Merryweather might be (he has pitched in the minors recently), Pearson will hopefully be ready to show if his promise is for real or not.

Free Agents: Ray, Semien, Dickerson, Matz, Yates, Soria, Phelps. Who do you keep?
Arbitration 1: Vlad, Biggio, Jansen, Mayza, Borucki, Thornton
Arbitration 2: Cimber, Hernandez (free agents after 2023)
Arbitration 3: Berrios, Stripling (both free agents after 2022)
Arbitration 4: Edwards (might just be released)

Lots of costs going up, so lots of choices coming up too. MLB talking of a $100 mil minimum payroll and a $180 mil max (more or less with a bigger luxury tax for going over). Wouldn't hurt the Jays as they haven't ever gone to $180+, but might be forced to if they want to keep this core together. The minimum might create a battle for guys like Semien and Ray this winter as teams like Oakland and Tampa need to up their payroll and might as well fill a hole while doing so. Of course, the players union will fight this but it is a structure that might end up in place. I'd try to resign Phelps and Yates (hopefully both feel bad about eating cash while not playing so would sign unless someone is dumb enough to give them a multi-year guaranteed deal). Matz can go. Ray & Semien are the big question marks - both will get big deals $20+ mil a year for 3-5 years minimum. Do you do that? Dickerson is a 'hmmm' but unlikely. Soria who knows? Rotation 2022 is Ryu, Berrios, Manoah, Stripling, assorted kids right now if no one signed. If Pearson comes back strong in September, if Hatch does well in AAA starting, then the pressure is less on the Jays for the rotation, but if Ray is signed for 5 years then we have a set big 3 for 2022 and a decent #1 for a few years (hopefully).
grjas - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#405256) #
So far, Overton and Saucedo have looked pretty good.
Maybe the answer is to try more AAA relievers like Harris and Baker rather than going after guys …

I agree. This is a good time to really understand who from the minors can help them this year and next..both pitchers and fielders like Smith. this will help them gauge what to focus on over the winter.

In fairness, I do feel for the team and staff. The IL has been near or over 10 RP’s throughout the year and there are few teams that can withstand that sort of injury plague. Having Soria immediately hit the IL as well as Stripling- when he heard the words “Relief Pitcher”- had me shaking my head in disbelief. The pen has definitely been snake bit.
92-93 - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#405258) #
Romano has made 11 of his 43 appearances in leads of 4+ runs and only 4 appearances when the team is down 1 or 2 runs. It would be great to have a manager that ignored the save stat. They typically make overtures about it and then fall right back into the same old habits. Most managers need an RP better than their capital C closer to manage properly.
scottt - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#405259) #
I also think that Atkins and Shapiro are not feeling any urgency.
This is just the beginning of a long contention window.

Ryu, Berrios, Manoah and Stripling will be here next year.
Maybe Hatch and Pearson get another crack at the rotation.
Maybe they go after Ray, if not they can sign someone else.

They can go after a couple of top guys for the pen.
Can't be any worse than this year.
Romano, Cimber and Richards will still be here.

The outfield is the same.
They probably get an experience lefty to DH instead of Tellez who struggled from the bench.

They'll lose Semien, but the catching position should be better with Moreno.
They could also recover some production from third base. Maybe Smith and a better bench.
Maybe Biggio bounces back playing second base.
They have a lot of interesting infielders coming up.

Magpie - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#405260) #
It would be great to have a manager that ignored the save stat.

That's one way to look at it. Or - Romano has entered the game in order to collect the Save just 10 times in his 43 appearances, which doesn't seem like all that many. (His one Blown Save was actually a Blown Hold, in the seventh inning.) He collected his five wins by entering the game with the team tied or losing.
John Northey - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#405263) #
I just posted on Facebook about the solid job Walker has done with the staff. When you look at the pen and what they are paid you get...
  • Hand: $10.5 mil ($3.73 roughly to be paid by the Jays according to Cot's)
  • Yates: $5.5 mil - zero days on active roster
  • Soria: $3.5 mil - 1 IP then IL
  • Chatwood: $3 mil - super wild, 1 save, 11 holds, but only 1 blown save somehow.
  • Phelps: $1.75 mil - 11 G 10 1/3 IP then IL
  • Dolis: $1.5 mil - now released (3 saves, 3 holds, 1 blown save - far better than I expected)
  • Rest are sub $1 mil each (ML minimum is $570k)
So blowing a lot on the pen has resulted in 3 guys on the IL and 2 very ineffective pitchers (one released, the other darn close to it I suspect).

Cimber, Richards both traded for. Cimber cost Andrew McInvale (in AA with a 7.94 ERA in relief for the Marlins) and Joe Panik (36 OPS+ for Miami) plus we got Dickerson. Richards cost Rowdy Tellez (162 OPS+ for Milwaukee in 95 PA) and came with Bowden Francis (25 in AAA 4.68 ERA for Buffalo as a starter).

Romano, Mayza, Snead signed originally by the Jays.

Overton was a minor league free agent, Thornton was traded for years ago (Aledmys Díaz). That trade was to make room for Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Devon Travis, Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Drury, Richard Urena, and upcoming super prospect at the time - Bo Bichette. Made sense, but he'd be nice now with his 124 OPS+ while playing mostly 3B for Houston. Ah well.

So our pen is mostly home grown with lots of cheap fodder mixed in. The expensive pieces were fragile or wild. Surprised how few leads were blown by Chatwood and Dolis though - just 2 between them. Sure felt like a lot more. In 30 games, Chatwood didn't allow a run 22 times (2 of those 8 times none of his own scored but he did let other guys runners score). One of his holds was a loss thanks to someone letting his runners score (Travis Bergen walking 3 and getting just 1 out, can't recall but guessing the pen was gassed that day).
Mike Green - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#405264) #
FWIW, I don't have any problem with Romano entering a tied game late.  That is usually a high leverage situation. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#405265) #
MLB releases their updated top 100 and “Big Nate,” has come down quite a bit, sandwiched between Moreno and Martinez. He’s behind Austin Martin. Jordan Groshans is still there at 68. SWR has been removed from the list.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#405266) #
To clarify, two outs and nobody on in the 7th inning of a tied game is pretty low leverage and the same situation in the eighth is medium leverage. 
Dewey - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#405268) #
The last week of 1987 wasn't great.

As there may be some ‘youngsters’ here who don’t know why 1987 wasn’t great, maybe this will be helpful. It’s an account of the horrible end to the 1987 season that I wrote at the time, in the throes of despair. Hope the formatting is O.K.


The final four-game series with Detroit at the end of the 1987 season was probably the most exciting one the Jays have played to date.  Every game was won by one run (4-3; 3-2; 10-9; 3-2--Jays winning the first three); every game was in doubt until the very end--two of them decided by come-from-behind 3-run rallies in the bottom of the 9th, and a third decided in the 13th (after the Blue Jays had once again come from behind in the 11th to tie the game--Detroit having gone ahead in the top of the inning).  The Jays were fortunate to win three of the four games:  Detroit actually outhit them 41-38 (each team had 13 extra-base hits, though the Tigers out-homered Jays 5-1).  Detroit also left fewer runners on base (35 to the Jays 42!) Toronto turned one more double-play than Detroit (4-3), and committed one less error (3-4).  They also stole one more base (6-5).  Most importantly, they outscored Detroit 19-17 (each team scored two unearned runs).  Close, very close.

181,444 fans saw the four games (an average of 45,361)-- a record.  And they saw four very exciting games, the last of which was probably the best baseball game, mostly because of Jim Clancy (7 shutout innings) and Doyle Alexander (10 2/3 innings of masterful pitching, allowing but 1 earned run). Alexander was amazing, and in the face of a very hostile crowd, which booed and taunted him all afternoon.  

The series got off to an intense beginning Thursday night when in the 3rd inning Bill Madlock slid hard into Tony Fernandez, upsetting him so that his elbow landed on a metal seam separating the dirt area from the artificial turf. He broke the tip of the elbow, and is out for the remainder of the season--a very severe blow for the Jays.  Fernandez at the time had 188 hits and could conceivably have reached 200 again (there were still 10 games left).  He came to bat only once in the series:  had he played, I feel certain that Detroit would not have outhit Toronto.  And defensively, of course, he's the best in the league.  They will miss him, despite Manny Lee's excellence as a fielder.

In Friday's game Lee was the incongruous hero, as the Blue Jays entered the bottom of the 9th behind 2-0. They got two runners on, Lee tripled to tie it; two intentional walks loaded the bases; Moseby's sharp grounder went to Whittaker, who threw poorly to the plate and Lee scored the winning run.  Bedlam at the ballpark.

Saturday's game was a high-scoring donnybrook, played before the loudest, most excited crowd I think I've ever been part of.  In the middle of the 5th the Blue Jays were down 9-4, but got single runs in each of the next three innings to be down 9-7 as they went to bat in the 9th.  A couple of luck-assisted hits and a hit batsman loaded the bases.  Juan Beniquez was brought in to pinch hit for last night's hero, Manny Lee; and he became a hero by hitting a ball hard just beyond the reach of Trammell's glove and past Gibson to the left-centre-field wall--a three-run, game-winning triple.  Trammell was inches from catching it and quite possibly turning a triple play.  Undoubtedly the most exciting conclusion I've ever been present to see at a Jays game.  The crowd sat in the stands for a long time after the game cheering and savouring this second unlikely win.  Beniquez eventually came out of the dugout to doff his cap, and a great cheer went up again.

Aside from the spectacular comebacks, the outstanding performance by Alexander, the season-ending injury to Fernandez (Jays' least expendable player), there were also some unusual plays.  Matt Nokes ran into Manny Lee in the 5th inning of Game 3 as he was attempting to field a double-play ball.  The umpire, Ken Kaiser, called interference and ruled both men out for an inning-ending double-play.  Kaiser also went after Mark Thurmond in the 8th inning of game 4, when Thurmond objected to a call at first.  He had to be restrained by the other umps and by Sparky Anderson. In game 4, 3rd inning I think, Clancy retired the side on three pitches.

* * * * *

Fine, but there were three more games, in Detroit; and Detroit won them all by one run.  A heart-breaking end to the Jays' fine season:  they won 96 games, but lost their last seven to finish two games behind the Tigers in second place, with the second-best record in baseball.

 Pitching, and hence a lack of hitting, dominated the second set of games as Detroit scored only 8 runs (5 earned) and the Blue Jays 5.  In the second game Mike Flanagan pitched 11 innings that were every bit as masterful as Alexander's 10 2/3 innings in the first series; but the bullpen (Musselman and Eichhorn) couldn't hold it in the 12th.  The final game was an equally impressive 3-hitter by Jimmy Key, but one of the hits was a fly-ball homer that I thought Bell could have caught if he'd timed his leap better.  Tanana gave up 6 hits to win 1-0.

This time, besides Tony Fernandez, the Jays were missing Ernie Whitt, who cracked two ribs in the Milwaukee series just prior to going to Detroit--and Whitt always does well in Tiger Stadium.  So the number 3 and number 5 hitters were absent from the line-up, and Sparky Anderson was able to pitch around George Bell at will.  Moreover, Bell obviously was over-swinging throughout the series, trying to win it all with a six-run homer every time he came to bat (he was 1-11, with no RBI's).  Barfield was pathetic at bat, looking confused and weak (he was 3-13 and no RBI's).  Moseby and Upshaw also had no RBI's throughout the entire seven games, though Moseby did get on base and stole several bases.  Manny Lee, with 5 RBI's (and the Jays' only three extra-base hits in the final three games), was their most productive batter!  The Blue Jays have had trouble finishing off their last three seasons.  Even in 1985, when they won the A.L. East, they lost 6 of their final 10 games, and last year and again this year they have lost 7 of their last 10.

Jimmy Key, who could have won twenty games with a tiny bit of luck, led the League in E.R.A. (2.76, tied with Nolan Ryan for best in the majors); and Bell led it in R.B.I.'s (134; he also led majors with 369 total bases--83 of his hits were for extra bases!); but his performance in Detroit probably cost him the MVP, especially since Alan Trammell, his only opposition for it, performed well at bat and in the field--and, of course, Detroit won.

Some cumulative stats for the seven games:

Toronto                  Detroit        

Runs               24                     25        
Earned runs    22                     20           
Hits               61 (16 extra-base; 2 hrs)              63 (20 EB, 8 hr)
L.O.B.            67                                                 59              
D.P.'s turned   8                                                  10             
Errors             7                                                     4              
S.B.              14                                                     6              

Game 1)  Toronto 4-Detroit 3
Game 2)  Toronto 3-Detroit 2
Game 3)  Toronto 10-Detroit 9
Game 4)  Detroit 3-Toronto 2 (13 inning)
Game 5)  Detroit 4-Toronto 3
Game 6)  Detroit 3-Toronto 2 (12 innings)
Game 7)  Detroit 1-Toronto 0
scottt - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#405269) #
Is it better to lose after using Romano in a tied inning or wait to use him after the team takes the lead?
I don't see this as a slave to the save moment. Using Romano just to prolong a tied game means you might not have him to close a game the next day.
I'm perfectly fine not to use him in losing games or tied road games.
I see that as an attempt at using him every day until he's ineffective or he ends up on the IL.
That's videogame managing.
If you need 4 innings or more from the pen, other relievers will have to pitch.
You might send a middle relief guy to face the bottom of the order, but if 2 of them gets on, it's suddenly the highest leverage part of the game with 1 out, 2 runners on and the top of the order.

Looking at the pen:
Snead, Saucedo, Mayza and Hand are lefties. Richards is a change up artist most effective against lefties.
Who do you have to get right bats out?
Romano, Cimber, Overton and Thornton.

Also there is no real long relief guy. Thornton has pitched 42.1 innings over 32 games.
He hasn't face more than 5 hitters since June.

Nigel - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#405270) #
Thank you Dewey. Unfortunately, that brought back some bad memories:) The reminder of the Kaiser incidents did make me smile though, it was the only time that I can remember when I legitimately wondered if an umpire was working while under the influence.

I will say that the last week of 1987 was far more traumatic and soul destroying than August of 1983 (sort of the fan equivalent of hitting a concrete wall on the highway), but for pure frustration, I found 1983 worse. The Tippy Trifecta and Joey ******* McLaughlin? - enough said.

scottt - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#405271) #
Right. That means a new top 30.
1. Moreno
2. Pearson
3. Martinez
4. Groshans
5. Hoglund
6. Lopez
7. Hiraldo
8. Kloffenstein
9. Estiven Machado  Really?
10. Smith
11. Beltre
12. Jimenez
13. Robberse
14. Van Eyk
15. De Castro
16. Carter Can't wait to see what he does.
17. Tiedmann
18. Taylor
19. Mesia Another decent catching prospect
20. Dasan Brown (going down)
21. Dallas
22. Palacios (Need to see what I can do when healthy)
23. Robertson
24. Adrian Hernandez Who?
25. Pardinho (Fallen quite a bit and hasn't pitched much at all)
26. Joe Murray Went from being the invisiball-guy to simply being the invisible guy.
27. Morris
28. D'Orrazio (another catcher)
29. Logue
30. Francis (Expect to see him pitch for the Jays next year.)

Hernandez is described as a LHP who throws right. Eh.
Mexican pitcher with an ERA of 8+ in the GCL.
He's 5'10", throws mostly a dead change which they rate 65.
His fastball sits 91-93 and he's a multi-inning reliever now in AA.
Sounds like a rule 5 candidate this winter. 

Gerry - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#405272) #
Nate Pearson pitched out of the bullpen again today, this time the sixth inning. He only needed eight pitches, six strikes, to get through a clean inning.
scottt - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#405273) #
Adams brought back Hand, but Hudson was more expensive.

That's an interesting proposal, but who knows what the players will ask for.
What would be the penalty for going under the tax floor? Draft picks?
How would it affect the trade deadline? Usually contender increase their payroll at the deadline but would the tankers be able to reduce theirs?

I'm sure a lot of Blue Jays fans would like to keep Ray.
He said he like the AL East and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
That sounds a  bit ominous.
Resigning Matz wouldn't be the worse thing.
I guess we can dream on Schwarber as the platoon DH.
I dunno if I'd gamble on Yates. How about Ken Giles?

Mike Green - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#405274) #
The turning point of the 1987 season, if you can point to one event, was Kirk Gibson's homer in the 9th off Tom Henke to tie the final game in Toronto.  A 4 and 1/2 game lead with a week to go would have felt like a mountain to the Tigers; a 2 and 1/2 game lead felt more like a hill. 

It wasn't the first of Gibson's big hits, and it wouldn't be the last. 
Dewey - Thursday, August 19 2021 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#405275) #
Yes, you're right, Mike. I was there with my daughter. What a deflating home-run.
John Northey - Friday, August 20 2021 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#405278) #
The killer of 1987 was Madlock's slide into Fernandez. Once he was gone most hope started to go. I'm shocked the Jays pitchers didn't throw one at Madlock's head after that (in that time it wasn't unusual). Today that slide is illegal but then it was legal. Sigh.

In '87 I was a teenager working at McDonald's while in high school and a person working there with me was a big Tigers fan. You can bet he let us know it that week too. The worst moment was Garth Iorg "hitting" to finish the season with Ernie Whitt on the bench holding a bat dreaming of a chance to be the hero (Jimy Williams played Iorg at 3B over Gruber despite Iorg having no clue how to hold a bat that year). This was a year before Gibson would do his big World Series home run with 2 bad legs.
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