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We need you still, mighty Jobu. For we must venture into a dark and dreary place, a house that has been the setting of so much grief, so much misery.


But not if you are with us.

Accept these cigars, a token of our appreciation...


Accept this rum, an expression of our devotion....


Accept our praise and gratitude. We know where we would be without you.


Confound our enemies, mighty Jobu!

May their curveballs hang before us, and be driven deep into the night.

May their changeups bounce pointlessly in the dust, and deceive none of our batters.

We'll deal with the fastballs.

It's those Rays, one last time, to conclude a season series that has already seen these teams play in four different cities. The Rays lead it 9-7 so far, thanks largely to a 4-0 sweep in Buffalo. The teams have actually split the six games played down in the Trop this season, which is where we'll end things this year.

The story so far:

Things actually started out pretty well. The Jays went into the Trop, long a house of horrors, and took two of three.

April 23: Toronto 5 at Tampa Bay 3 - A three run homer by Semien in the fourth inning helped stake Matz to an early 4-0 lead. The Rays closed to within a run, but a Grichuk homer provided some breathing room. Four relievers - Chatwood, Phelps, Mayza, and Dolis - held the Rays hitless over the final four innings.
April 24: Toronto 3 at Tampa Bay 5 - This time it was a three run homer from Grichuk in the first inning that staked Robbie Ray to an early lead. But the Rays tied it up on homers from Zunino and Brosseau and won it when Romano issued a pair of walks that eventually came around to score, thanks in large part to a Biggio error.
April 25: Toronto 1 at Tampa Bay 0 - Hyun-Jin Ryu came out in the fourth inning with a pain in his glute, but five relievers - Mayza, Chatwood, Borucki, Phelps, Dolis - blanked the Rays on just two hits the rest of the way. Fifth inning singles from Semien, Gurriel, and Espinal pushed across the game's only run.

That was much too good to last. The Rays came up the road to Dunedin in late May, and had their revenge, sweeping all four games.

May 21: Tampa Bay 9 at Toronto 7 - The Jays beat up on Tyler Glasnow, knocking him out in the fifth inning and taking a 5-3 lead. But Anthony Kay was wild and only lasted four himself, and the Rays tied the game against Bergen and Cole. Then the teams started trading zeroes. Four Jays relievers - Romano, Mayza, Chatwood, Payamps - provided five shutout innings. Toronto's eighth pitcher of the day was Jeremy Beasley, and he got tagged for an eleventh inning grand slam by Mejia.
May 22: Tampa Bay 3 at Toronto 1 - Robbie Ray and Shane McClanahan were the starters, and after seven innings it was a 1-1 game, and in the hands of the bullpens. The Rays got one against Castro in the eighth and another against Thornton in the ninth.
May 23: Tampa Bay 4 at Toronto 6 - Ryu pitched into the seventh, and left with the score tied 2-2. The Jays took the lead on Grichuk's two run homer in the bottom of the eighth, only for the pen to immediately cough it up in grotesque fashion. Chatwood came in to close the game, but after two hits and two walks, the score was 4-3 and the bases were loaded. Bergen came in to get the final out but instead walked three batters in succession, each one plating another run.
May 24: Tampa Bay 14 at Toronto 8 - One bullpen implosion evidently calls for another. The Rays roughed up Thornton for five first inning runs, all unearned thanks to a Biggio error, which Thornton followed by walking the next two hitters and giving up a Wendle grand slam. Ross Stripling took over and turned his season around, providing seven scoreless innings while the Jays fought their way back, tying the game in the eighth on Guerrero's second homer of the day. The Rays scored twice against Castro in the tenth; the Jays tied it up again, on Semien's two run homer in the bottom half. So in the eleventh, the Rays took no chances, abusing Payamps and Mayza for seven runs.

Tampa Bay next came to Buffalo at the beginning of July, and the Jays took two of those three games.

July 2: Tampa Bay 1 at Toronto 11 - Manoah fanned 10 in seven innings to collect his second big league W. A two run homer from Springer in the first inning was all the offense that would be required, but the team piled on lots more just to be safe, with Semien and Guerrero also going deep.
July 3: Tampa Bay 3 at Toronto 6 - McClanahan and Stripling were locked up in a 1-1 game until the Jays suddenly put up a five spot in the sixth inning, the big blows being a two run single from Biggio aand a two run homer from Espinal.
July 4: Tampa Bay 5 at Toronto 1 - This started out as a pitcher's duel between Yarbrough and Ray. Grichuk's solo homer gave the Jays an early lead but the Rays tied it in the sixth on a homer by Franco. This was followed by doubles from Diaz and Meadows, and the Rays took a 2-1 lead into the ninth. They then took advantage of a generous Rafael Dolis (single, double, wild pitch, hit batter, double) for three more runs.

So the week after that they were down in Tampa Bay, and the Rays took two of three.

July 9: Toronto 1 at Tampa Bay 7 - Springer's RBI single gave the Jays the early lead, but the Rays responded with two in their half of the inning, and the Jays were pretty much done hitting for the day. The Rays mauled Castro and Barnes for four more runs just to make sure it never did get very interesting.
July 10: Toronto 2 at Tampa Bay 5 - The ball was flying out the yard early on. Lowe in the first inning gave the Rays a quick 1-0 lead, but Semien hit a two run shot in the third to put the Jays on top. Stripling instantly gave up a solo shot to Zunino and and a two run blast by Lowe (again) to put the Rays up 4-2 and the Jays managed not one hit after the fourth inning.
July 11: Toronto 3 at Tampa Bay 1 - Robbie Ray was dominant, fanning 11 and allowing just one hit over seven innings. Jansen's solo homer in the third gave the Jays the lead; an RBI single from Espinal and a Biggio sac fly added two more in the fourth. Romano got the save and blew the shutout on yet another Lowe homer.

I trust the most recent series is still fresh in your minds, as the Jays took two of three at the Dome. This was the fourth different city these two teams had played in during this extremely weird season.

September 13: Tampa Bay at Toronto 8 - Alek Manoah was dominant in the finest start of his young career, pitching 8 innings of one-hit shutout with 10 Ks. The Jays even roughed up old nemesis Ryan Yarbrough for seven runs, with the bottom third of the order - Gurriel, Grichuk, Valera - doing much of the damage. That trio went 9-11 and drove in six runs.
September 14: Tampa Bay 2 at Toronto 0 - The Rays bounced back the next night as Drew Rasmussen and four relievers blanked the Jays on three hits. Jose Berrios was very sharp himeself, allowing just a solo homer from Ji-Man Choi. But that was all it took to win this one.
September 15: Tampa Nay 3 at Toronto 6 - The Jays took the rubber match behind an overpowering Robbie Ray, who fanned 13 in his seven innings. Bichette's three run homer in the first was the only offense he would need, but the shortstop would drive in a couple more with a sac fly and a base hit.

There Be Matchups:

Monday 20 September 7:00 PM - Ray (12-5, 2.64) vs Baz (---, -.--)
Tuesday 21 September 7:00 PM - Manoah (6-2, 3.39) vs Rasmussen (3-0, 2.57)
Wednesday 22 September 3:00 PM - Merryweather (0-1, 4.91) vs Patino (4-3, 4.73)

This will be Robbie Ray's sixth start against Tampa Bay this year. That's old school. He's gone 2-1, 1.85 with 46 Ks in 34 IP. Manoah is 2-1, 0.96 in his three starts, Stripling is 0-1, 2.76. The Rays have held the Jays to a .230/.281/.400 batting mark, but Toronto has hit 24 homers in the 16 games, with more than half of them coming from three players - Guerrero, Semien, and Grichuk - who haven't done much else against the Rays. The one hitter who has really prospered against Tampa Bay is Hernandez.

The Rays have hit even less against the Jays - .190/.271/.371. Brandon Lowe has homered 6 times in 13 games, Mike Zunino 4 times in 10 games. No one on the team has hit better than .241 against Toronto. Baz, of course, is a Monday afternoon edit - he's part of the Chris Archer bounty, the trade that keeps on giving, and this will be his MLB debut. The Jays saw Rasmussen and Wacha just last week

Toronto at Tampa Bay, September 20-22 | 195 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#407220) #
Shane Baz is listed as tonight's starter for the Rays in both my morning paper and on mlb.com.  He's making his major league debut. 
Chuck - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#407221) #
I am seeing someone named Shane Baz scheduled to start for TB tonight in what would be his first MLB appearance. He had a 113/13 K/BB ratio in 79 AA and AAA innings.
Chuck - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#407222) #
Whoops. A little slow on the Submit Comment this morning. Was handily scooped.
dalimon5 - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#407223) #
If memory serves correct, he came over in the package with Glasnow and Meadows given up by the Pirates for one Archer, Chris.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#407224) #
You're right, dalimon. That trade just keeps getting more worse. Hopefully the rookie will be nervous tonight.

If the Jays can take 2 of 3 I'll be quite happy. The Trop has been a house of horrors for the Jays for years.
Mike Green - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#407225) #
Whoops. A little slow on the Submit Comment this morning. Was handily scooped

7 minute grace period at our age, Chuck.  No Coke...
hypobole - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#407226) #
Another interesting move made today. The Guardians have called up reliever Anthony Gose to make his MLB debut on the mound.
Magpie - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#407227) #
I remember back when Gose was trying to make it as a young outfielder - I noted the missiles unleashed by his impressive throwing arm but also that he hadn't seemed to work out the kinks in the guidance system. Not sure if anything's changed. In 33 IP as a reliever this year, he's fanned 49 and walked 28. Still can't seem to hit his target...
Mike Green - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#407228) #
Alex Obal mentioned "ace reliever" as Anthony Gose's future. Youneverknow.
Cracka - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#407229) #
Gose was on the US Olympic team this year and won a silver medal - and he came back from Tokyo with much-improved command: 14 IP, 4 hits, 6 BB, 22 K since returning. He's been lights out all season against LH hitters and can still touch triple digits (he topped out at 98 mph in Tokyo). I think his days of being a potential two-way player are over - he hasn't hit or taken the field in 3 years.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#407230) #
With Ray and Manoah starting today and tomorrow, it would be good to start the series off with a couple of wins, and not have to rely on game three for a series win.
scottt - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#407231) #
Stripling has not looked impressive since his return. Still topped at 45 pitches last time.
Am I wrong to assume Saucedo or Castro gets demoted for Hatch before the 3rd game?
Biggio started his rehab 9 days ago. Any chance he's up to face some Rays pitchers?

Leaside Cowboy - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#407232) #
Jobu is always with Big Bad Voodoo Vladdy.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#407233) #
I think I'd like to see the jays use an "opener" on Wednesday just to mess with the rays a bit.
jerjapan - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#407234) #
Good for Gose, I always pulled for the kid.  That transition is tough to do. 

At this point, an opener makes tons of sense for us.  I can tolerate 3 innings of Stripling.  This is sort of what he's for. 
John Northey - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#407235) #
I hope Gose does well - love when guys convert from the field to the mound or vice versa.  Cleveland could use him as a pinch runner on days he can't pitch.  A fair amount of value when a guy can be useful both ways.

As to Stripling - 3-5 innings is the best the Jays can hope for at this point.  Wonder if they'll call up Hatch to back him up that day?
jerjapan - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#407236) #
Kaitlyn McGrath's piece on Ray and his transformation is a great read at the Athletic, and man, reading it makes me really hope we resign Ray.  What an unbelievable coup for the FO, getting Ray and Semien on the deals they signed. 
Magpie - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#407238) #
I thought Stripling's last outing was fine, except he was called on to get warm in an awful hurry and I don't think he'd quite finished getting loose before he came in. The first two batters were HR, BB and then he retired 9 of the next 10.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#407239) #
Was that a great catch or a bad route by Lourdes?

greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#407240) #
Baz looks very good (very cool and precise with a variety of good pitches). The Jays would do well to grab another couple of runs to give Ray some margin for error.
Cracka - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#407241) #
A little of both. It's also an extremely rare 7-1-5 Double Play and a very heads-up play by someone on the Jays bench (or possibly Jake Lamb, who looked at the base just as Kiermaier turned back).
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#407242) #
Heckuva play by Kirk to throw out Margot on the double steal attempt. Great defense.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#407243) #
Nice that he got out of it but that inning ensures that we'll need to use 3 rp tonight at least.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#407244) #
Insurance run(s) needed.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#407245) #
https://youtu.be/3j4fJNkj71E
John Northey - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#407246) #
Now up to 6 guys with 20+ HR - rare to happen. Twice had 7 in 2000 + 2010 (could happen still if Springer gets 3), and once 6 (2016).
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#407247) #
Man they really worked Ray the past two innings.

Hate the rays.
grjas - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#407248) #
The Jays do seem to have problems with pitchers they have never seen before.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#407249) #
Buck made a good point. The wild pitch (passed ball) that Kirk couldnít come up with allowed Wade to advance to second. That prevented Lamb from having a force out at second on the Kiermaier ground ball. Which set the stage for Diazís three-run home run.

Now the Jays will have to battle the Rays bullpen to get back in the game.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#407250) #
Texas is scraping their way back. They now trail the Yankees 4-3 in the fifth.
Kasi - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#407251) #
Ray is a very good pitcher but heís also this weird reliever masking as a starter. He basically only throws two pitches. Makes me a bit wary of giving him some big extension.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#407252) #
Rays are playing rays ball tonight. Looking for revenge.

Hope our jays are capable of stepping up the intensity a notch.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#407253) #
Ray made one mistake and Diaz hit it out. Otherwise he pitched well despite not having his best stuff.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#407254) #
Gotta eat that throw Lamb.
Magpie - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#407255) #
[Ray] basically only throws two pitches.

Which is unusual, but it can work if a) you're LH and b) those two pitches are really, really good. (See Koufax, S. and Johnson, R.) I don't know if Ray's slider is that good, but I think the fastball is.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#407256) #
If they can't hit this guy who was just pitching in the Olympics....
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#407257) #
Kind of makes you wonder why the Jays were using all of their lower-quality relievers in this one. Understandable, but also questionable. If that makes sense.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#407258) #
Thank god they finally showed up to fight.



Next time show up from the start.
Dr. Zarco - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#407259) #
The ball/strike calls in this inning alone have been brutal.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#407260) #
Just get the robots. Umps simply can't see Strikes and balls. It's impossible.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#407261) #
Unacceptably bad umpiring by Ron Kulpa in the ninth inning. Multiple balls called strikes by him. Ray may have got one or two calls earlier in the game, but this was excessive. At a minimum, this should be a 6-5 game right now (after a Valera walk) with the bases loaded and Lamb at the plate.
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#407262) #
The Yankees won. But at least they finish the season with three games each against Boston, Toronto, and Tampa Bay.

The Jays wrap up with four against Minnesota, three against the Yankees, and three against Baltimore.

Now go win tomorrow behind Manoah.
BlueJayWay - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#407263) #
Interesting strike zone tonight.
Magpie - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#407264) #
Interesting strike zone tonight.

I know. They're usually so dull. Same thing all night long. Not this one!
greenfrog - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#407265) #
Iíve been a little sensitive about atrocious umpiring ever since the 2015 ALCS.
uglyone - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#407266) #
Heh @ magpie
Chuck - Monday, September 20 2021 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#407267) #
Ron Kulpa needs to change his name to Mea Kulpa. There are still people out there charmed by this particular aspect of the "human element". Blech.
pooks137 - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#407268) #
Kind of makes you wonder why the Jays were using all of their lower-quality relievers in this one. Understandable, but also questionable. If that makes sense.

Leverage is a deceiving stat. Fans consider losing and close to be high leverage situations because they want relievers to put up zeros in hopes of the offense getting the runs back.

But according to the Leverage Index, pretty much any reliever inning when your team is already down is considered to be low leverage by default.

Saucedo entered the Bottom of the 6th with the Jays down 3-2 and a below average LI at 0.082, where 1.0 is neutral.

Saucedo unfortunately gave up a run, so the LI dropped further to 0.39 for Pearson in the 7th, who also gave up a run, dropping it further to 0.1 for Borucki in the 8th.

So the 6th was really the only questionable call, because you might as well empty the bullpen once down by 2. But even then, you can't pitch your best relievers everyday and letting your middle relievers pitch in a low leverage 6th inning when behind is a reasonable call even if it doesn't feel right.

bpoz - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#407269) #
In a WC game Boston probably starts Sale and NYY Cole. The Jays have Ray, Manoah and Berrios.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#407271) #
The availability of relievers was important, I thought, to Ray's approach and indeed the Rays "extend the PA" strategy.  With Soria out and Romano (and probably Richards) unavailable due to his/their outings Saturday and Sunday, this put more pressure on Ray to try to avoid a single run scoring while going deep into the game. He was throwing over a lot to hold runners.  It wasn't helpful.  I wish that he had used the Palmer approach of focusing on the batter. 

Montoyo (and Walker) had an interesting decision to make on Saturday.  Romano hadn't thrown since Wednesday, and the team took a 6-2 lead to the ninth against the Twins.  Do you send him out?  It's a low leverage situation, but one that becomes high leverage with a couple of runners on.  You will want him warming at the least, and given that he could use the work, so you can see why they made the decision.  But it had significant impacts, I felt, on last night's game. 


uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#407272) #
Losing game 1 with our Ace vs their debutante is very very not good.

They better come hard tonight else this has a chance to be another nightmare in the Trop series.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#407273) #
I think the NYY will take the top wild card and I hope the Jays can edge out the Red Sox for #2. I think the veteran leadership will have a huge impact in the rest of season and Springers injury will hurt us.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#407274) #
I think the Jays will win at least two of the remaining five games against Tampa and New York. Boston (thanks to its soft schedule) and Toronto will finish atop the WC race. Itís going to be close, though.
scottt - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#407275) #
I still think the ump should be standing in the other batting box rather than behind the catcher.
In this case, it seems more like a tired ump who was late for his bed.

greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#407276) #
If Springer is getting close to being ready to return to the outfield, thatís a good sign. An OF of Gurriel/Springer/Teoscar with Kirk at DH and Jansen/McGuire behind the plate would be ideal.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#407277) #
Checking Umpire Scorecards 12 of 140 were called wrong, for an accuracy of 91.4% (very poor - 91.4% is the same as the worst umpire has in MLB - Ed Hickox), 92.8% consistency (very poor - worst umpire in MLB is Hunter Wendelstedt who has a 93.3% consistency), +1.93 runs for Tampa, so basically the umpire was the difference.  Grrrrr.  Robo Umps now!

Kulpa is the 4th worst umpire for accuracy in MLB, and has poor consistency (21st worst out of 99).  For fun we get Joe West tonight (assuming the same crew does tonight's game) - 6th worst in MLB for accuracy, 29th worst for consistency.  Just once he has been the plate ump for a Jays game in 2021 - June 26th when the Jays pounded Baltimore 12-4, his accuracy was 90% (ugh) but consistency was a livable 95.1% (just slightly below average).
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#407279) #
I regularly check Ump Scorecards (thanks to whomever linked it a few months ago! Uglyone maybe?) I donít know that Iíve ever seen a game with +1.93 for one team. Itís very rarely over 1. Kulpa made 3 awful calls in a playoff race, all in the 9th, all favoring Rays pitching. Just awful.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#407280) #
Checking Umpire Scorecards 12 of 140 were called wrong

I always wonder what source they use to determine wrong calls, because the numbers often seem low. Did Kulpa really only blow 12 calls last night? That feels awfully light.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#407281) #
I donít watch too many games extensively (including the Jays) so maybe Iím a bit biased here, but that 9th inning was the worst strike zone I remember seeing at any point in the year. Dramatically changed at bats, and in Valeraís case took a clear walk away from him. Iím fine with borderline calls not working out, as long as they avoid technology itís going to be an issue with human error, but those bad calls were not borderline. Not even close. In a playoff race, that not only sucks for the Jays, but really sucks for the sport as a whole.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#407282) #
Just curious - anyone chart umpire accuracy over time? My hunch is that umpire accuracy has gotten worse over time, as pitch velocity has increased.

There's the old "stereotype" that if you aren't good enough to actually play, you become an umpire - and I think there's SOME truth to that. So, guys who couldn't catch up to (in their youth) an 85-90 mph fastball in the minors, now can't properly "catch up" (see) a 100 mph fastball or a 94 mph slider? Doesn't seem that surprising, actually. I doubt I could do it without a LOT of practice. And even then, maybe not.

Are we approaching the limits of human umpiring?
Chuck - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#407283) #
Are we approaching the limits of human umpiring?

I think umpiring has always been crummy throughout the history of the game, and that it is only modern technology that allows our suspicions to be confirmed.

Even given the variance in umpire performance, which would argue that some can be better than others, I think that humans are simply ill-equipped to consistently call balls and strikes with a high degree of accuracy. Speed may be a part, but certainly the arcs on breaking pitches can't be easy for our limited eyes/brains to properly scrutinize.

Those who enjoy the blessed "human element" may argue that 90+% is accurate enough for what is only just an entertainment product, and that the coldness of robots would detract from the game. They are certainly entitled to that opinion.

An anal SOB like myself would enjoy a sport where the calls are 100% accurate. A 3-0 pitch is not an automatic strike. An 0-2 pitch is not an automatic ball. Hitting a target that is intentionally out of the strike zone does not merit a reward. I want strikes/balls to be as reliable as possible and operate like the US Open tennis tournament, where the players simply accept the calls because the robots are on the job.

Yes, robots in tennis have it easier because those lines don't move, but if baseball robots simply replicated the strike zone square we all see on our TV sets, it's hard to imagine that would move the game in a negative direction.

pooks137 - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#407286) #
Are we approaching the limits of human umpiring?

This is an interesting idea I hadn't considered.

If one were really philosophically opposed to an automated strike zone, the next logical alternative would be to have air-force-style vision testing standards to select umpires with the highest percentile visual acuity and possibly object tracking. It would also inevitably require a mandatory retirement age for umpires and switching over to a much younger cohort of umpires.

I suppose union considerations would make this next to impossible.

Of course, at this point, it would make more sense to switch to completely automated.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#407288) #
Chuck - I am 100% in agreement with you on umpires.  Video replay has helped imo - no more viewers seeing a key play was called wrong and just accepting it (could use some refining but the basics are solid).  No one goes to a game to watch umpires (outside of maybe their family and friends...maybe).  I remember when we had a few umpires who made a point of being visible - Ron Luciano was a strong example - he and Earl Weaver would battle all the time. While some of those extreme examples were fun, I'd be happy to never see another manager/umpire battle on the field again outside of old videos.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#407289) #
Yeah also fully on Team Chuck.

And I don't think it was ever possible for humans to accurately decide whether 90+mph wildly swerving projectiles actually touched a part of an invisible three dimensional cube that changes position every at bat, all whilst all of the pitcher, batter, and catcher are doing everything in their power to fool you into calling it wrong every time.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#407292) #
Just saw an article stating the A's might be looking to start a major rebuild this winter thus making Matt Chapman, a really good 3B on both defense and offense, available.  He has 2 years left before free agency., is entering his age 29 season, K's a ton, walks a ton, hits lots of HR.  Would fit in nicely behind Teoscar to clean off anyone left on base at that point, or to start a new rally by walking.  Picture a gold glove 3B to help cut the pressure on Bo at SS, while also adding even more power to the lineup.  Droool.... Only problem is the A's are 2nd only to the Rays for smart trading imo so it could be tough.  But if they are doing a yard sale this winter...
mathesond - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#407293) #
I remember the Jays trading for another Oakland 3B once upon a time...
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#407294) #
I want strikes/balls to be as reliable as possible and operate like the US Open tennis tournament, where the players simply accept the calls because the robots are on the job.

I find I don't miss the human element that has been lost, which consisted mostly of furious tantrums from guys like John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase. The human element that remains - the players, just playing - has only been enhanced. It's just better.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#407295) #
In tennis, there are still line judges who actually make the calls. As with balls and strikes, most of them are not really that hard. Each player gets to challenge two calls per set. But I believe the thinking in baseball has always gone straight to automating everything.
Michael - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#407296) #
Bring on the robo-umpires. Even if they aren't yet perfect you could have a red/yellow/green system where if the robot is sure it is a strike, it gets a red and the umpire must call strike. If the robot is sure it is a ball, it gets a green and the umpire must call ball (unless there is a swinging strike). If it is yellow it means the system wasn't sure and the umpire gets to decide (maybe it was right exactly on the edge, maybe the system had a hiccup and missed a pitch or had cameras temporary obscured, etc.). The umpires would still be able to call those middle yellow calls, and maybe in the early days there might be ~10 a game, but maybe over time as the systems get better you get to the point that there are ~10 a season. Heck if you got really good on that stuff you could also release it and get good positions on the ball at the front of the plate and at the back of the plate to allow the next level up of pitch/fx.

I mean I'm always impressed by how well the umpires do on the bang-bang plays at first. They aren't always right, but they are right more than I'd have thought possible at regular speed for humans. But the pitch tracking they are wrong way too often in way too obvious ways so this is an obvious area that needs fixing.
Leaside Cowboy - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#407297) #
For fun we get Joe West tonight

Jobu knows Joe West.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#407298) #
Price for Chapman is likely very similar to the price we paid for Berrios. Iíd rather go after Donaldson for far less. Generally speaking, yeah Chapman is amazing. Iíd take him over anyone not named Vlad, his D is other worldly. Imagine Johnny Mac defence with much better offense.

I will say I am shocked how much Bo has improved defensively this year. Truly shocked. Iíd rank him a 6/10 defensively.

Chapman - 10
Arenado - 9
Machado - 8

6 and below - everybody else

* must be starting player and accumulate enough offence to qualify
scottt - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#407300) #
I could have done without this "Kiermaier stole the Jays scouting report" incident.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#407301) #
Yeah if we lose Semien definitely trade for Donaldson. The price will be right.

Magpie - heh but that'd actually the one part of the human element I might miss - player/manager tantrums in sports have always been very entertaining, if pointless.
Super Bluto - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#407302) #
Checking Umpire Scorecards 12 of 140 were called wrong

Does the 140 represent all the pitches of one team? Shouldn't any pitch that results in any kind of contact be subtracted from that 140?
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#407303) #
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#407304) #

Spoke w/ Kiermaier. These are his comments.

Around 5:20 pm, Kevin Cash came out to speak with Charlie Montoyo about it.

The Jays are pissed. As a team source told me, "if thereís one card we wouldnít want any opponent to have, itís that one"

More at 6:30 pm on @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/Rp6iaGNPwM

— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 21, 2021
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#407305) #
Does the 140 represent all the pitches of one team?

I believe it's all the pitches that the batter didn't swing at. It's all the balls and all the called strikes.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#407306) #
Nightmare series warning.

Come on Alek hold it together.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#407307) #
I could have done without this "Kiermaier stole the Jays scouting report" incident.

Wow, is this much ado about nothing. As if the Tampa Bay hitters haven't noticed how the Jays are pitching to them.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#407308) #
Phew.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#407309) #

Rays getting a ton of info off of the card that Alejandro Kirk dropped pic.twitter.com/opGsJd5GNn

— Zubes (@the_Zubes) September 21, 2021

uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#407311) #
Already screwed at least twice by West.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#407312) #
Roboumps plz
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#407313) #
House of Horrors part a million
scottt - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#407314) #
I hate the shift against lefties if all you're gonna do is pitch outside.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#407315) #
A baserunner would be nice this inning.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#407316) #
Good gamesmanship by the Rays refusing to return the card. If the information was so valuable, the Jays should have secured it properly in Kirkís equipment. Or memorized it. Itís really the Jays own fault they lost possession of the data. And besides, returning the card wonít help. 100% chance the Rays have taken photos of it.
Kasi - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#407317) #
Not a good sign for Kirk the defensive whiz here. Heís gotta protect that stuff better if heís using it.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#407318) #
Bottom of the order manufactures a run.

Sweet music to mine ears.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#407319) #
Alek messes with the Rays and possibly takes back control of the narrative. Interesting.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#407320) #
Hmm. Momentum shift continues. Maybe thanks to the rookies gamesmanship. I like it.

And man oh man I don't know how Gurriel suddenly learned to let the outside junk go but he becomes a pretty great hitter if it's real.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#407321) #
Buck is tiresome asking for strikes that are clearly not in the strike zone.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#407322) #
The last pitch to Lowe should have been a strike. The robots are on it.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#407323) #
I actually feel bad for the umps they just can't do the job.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#407324) #
Manoah at 82 pitches thru 5. Would be pretty dang helpful if he figured out a way to throw 2 more innings somehow.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#407325) #
Not going to happen. The bullpen is going to have to step up.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#407326) #
Yep that'll be it for Alek.

But man that's an impressive outing from the rook in an absolutely YUGE game where we absolutely needed him to attend through a lack of command.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#407327) #
Yes, and it sounds as if the umps werenít helping (I havenít been able to watch the game).
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#407328) #
West has been horrible. And one sided.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#407329) #
But man that's an impressive outing from the rook

Was it ever. In some ways it was more impressive than last week when he just blew them away for eight innings. Tonight was a battle, with half of his weapons malfunctioning.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#407330) #
This probably means Luis Patino starts tomorrow afternoon.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#407331) #
Maybe some incompetent veteran umps like West are still holding a grudge against the Jays because of Bautistaís jawboning.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#407332) #
Mayza only 9 pitches that inning. 2 lefties coming up.

Maybe try to squeeze in a couple more batters for him? Or st least force the rays to pinch hit?
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#407333) #
Clutch.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#407334) #
Yep. Horrible AND one-sided.

Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#407335) #
That was clearly a ball to Kirk for strike 3, but he hasnít looked great at the plate tonight.
ae_scott - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#407336) #
Agreed. But somebody tell West that the Rays don't need his help...
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#407337) #
And now Richards getting squeezed with 2 strikes called balls in a row.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#407338) #
[Kirk] hasnít looked great at the plate tonight.

He hasn't looked great for a while. He's 3 for his last 32. His swing's gotten a little long, the league's adjusted to him, and he needs to adjust back.

Brad Hand gives up a two run single to the Red Sox. Still hurting the Jays...
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#407339) #
Heh and then he saves his worst call off the night for our benefit. So now just horrible, not one sided.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#407340) #
Maybe some incompetent veteran umps like West are still holding a grudge against the Jays because of Bautistaís jawboning.

Oh, I think enough guys have cursed him out over the last few years that he doesn't even remember Jose.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#407341) #
Joe giving the rays one more chance to pull it out.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#407342) #
Choi is a very irritating ballplayer (from a Jays perspective).
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#407343) #
This isÖnot ideal.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#407344) #
Can't watch. Will check score later.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#407345) #
Final score: Jays 1, West 0
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#407346) #
We put a late scare in them game 1, they do the same to us game 2.

Still a great playoffs-type win in a hugely important game. Great fight.

Tommorrow looks like a dwelling bullpen game. Winning a clutch series in the Horrordome would obviously be huge not just for the playoffs run, but for the potential first round matchup too.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#407347) #
Games at the Trop are always so easy and stress free.
Kasi - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#407348) #
Stroman pitched poorly tonight as well. Not a surprise as the Sox always seemed to hit him around. I think heís a guy who is happy to be away from the AL east.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#407349) #
the Sox always seemed to hit [Stroman] around.

Only when you were watching! He was 6-3, 3.44 against them coming into tonight's game, one of his better records against AL teams. (It was - oh, have a guess! - Tampa Bay that gave him the most trouble.)
Kasi - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#407350) #
Yeah just wrong there looking at baseball ref. I remember a few starts at Fenway where he got bappided to death but it looks like he had some good ones to balance out with a 3 career ERA in Fenway before tonight. Anyway he did is no favors and I think itís just Toronto vs NY at this point. I donít agree with whomever thought the Yankees were in. Boston just is on a roll and their schedule is a joke.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#407351) #
Well folks, if you enjoyed Ron Kulpa and Joe West you're going to love Bruce Dreckman. It looks like his strike zone gets very wide at the bottom and gets cut off at the top. It doesn't much resemble the rule book, at any rate.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 21 2021 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#407352) #

#BlueJays announce that Julian Merryweather will be the opener tomorrow. It's a bullpen day for the Jays after Ryu was placed on the IL. Stripling available for length.

— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) September 22, 2021
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:03 AM EDT (#407353) #
I think Boston is a lock for one of the Wild Card spots (likely WC1). Their schedule is super easy. The 2nd Wild Card team is likely going to come down to the three game series in Toronto between the Jays and Yankees. The Jays do have the advantage schedule-wise since after today's game, 7 of their last 10 will be against the Twins and Orioles, while the Yankees after today will have all 9 of their remaining games against BOS/TOR/TAM. Probably need to root for Boston this weekend.
scottt - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#407354) #
It's almost impossible for anyone to catch Tampa now. They'd have to crash.

Boston has a good hold on the first wild card. If they go 6-4 they finish with 93 wins. If they only go 5-5, they still end up with 92 wins.

If the Jays go 6-5, they get to 91 wins, which could be enough for the second spot. If they go 7-4, they get to 92.

The Yankees need to go 6-4 to reach 91 wins and 7-3 to reach 92. The Jays control their own fate in the Yankees series and one team will lose at least 2 times in Boston.

I don't trust the Rays to bury the Yankees, but at least the Jays play Baltimore in Toronto.

A tie for second wild card would force an extra game.
I think Boston wins a tie for first wild card because they've won the Jays series.

scottt - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#407355) #
It looks like Pillar misplayed a catchable ball too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#407356) #
Bruce Dreckman. It looks like his strike zone gets very wide at the bottom and gets cut off at the top. It doesn't much resemble the rule book, at any rate.

Makes sense.  His last name in German translates to "dirt man".  We won't speak of the colloquial Yiddish usage.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#407357) #
Hoping for bad results for Boston and NYY. Only one can get past the WC game. Their fan reactions will be fun!!
John Northey - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#407358) #
Checking the umpire site Dreckman only has been there for 1 Jay game this year and was terrible. 90.1% accuracy (very poor), but consistent at least (98.1% consistent). Guess he is a guy who you gotta figure out quick then you know what he'll call (the last 2 nights were a 'is this a strike now?' nights). Jays won vs Baltimore that day 5-2 but the umpire impact was massive (3.9 runs - highest I've ever seen))
mathesond - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#407359) #
Alek Manoah showing some maturity and confidence when asked about Joe West after the game
John Northey - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#407361) #
That shows why I feel Manoah will be the next Jays ace. Perfect attitude - veteran ump is telling me to show what I've got, I've got it. Refuses to badmouth the ump even when it would be easy, instead says the ump was teaching him something and he is learning. Very, very smart. The way he fought through last nights game - again very smart. 6 walks but many at least in part due to a nightmare ump, but never let it rattle him. Wonder if Dave Stieb had learned that if he might not have had a better career (he was known for complaining non-stop about teammates, umpires, you name it when he pitched, and often for good reason as those old Jay teams in his early days were horrid).
hypobole - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#407362) #
Yeah, Alek reminding us that even when robo umps are introduced, Joe West will still have the ability to infuriate if he's still around.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#407363) #
I think the Yankees take 4/6 from the Jays and Red Sox rest of the way. Cole will bounce back, Montgomery is pitching very well and their line up is still stacked. Red Sox are very inconsistent and have had a ďperfect year.Ē

When I look at the pitching rotations/openers I see Boston as the worst. Yankees mediocre. Jays very good and TB the best. I expect TB to have Baz and Rasmussen as their starters with a bunch of cannons around them. The off days in the playoffs will favour this approach.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#407364) #
Well if the Yankees manage to win 4/6 on the road against Boston and Toronto than kudos to them they'll deserve the playoffs. I just don't see them winning 4/6 on the road there. And then they have to finish with 3 against Tampa. I don't think their lineup is particularly stacked though. They have scored 120 less runs than any of the other 3 main AL East teams. Heck they're barely outscoring Baltimore at this point. Anyway if things play out like you think they will than it will be Toronto missing the playoffs.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#407365) #
The Yankees bullpen has been worked pretty hard. They might be in WC1 position right now if Loaisiga had remained healthy.

Itís hard to predict how things will go. One thing is for sure ó there will be some surprises over the next week and a half.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#407366) #
Joe West was the home plate umpire for Game 3 of the 1992 World Series.

Bob Davidson, however, missed the call on the triple play in the 4th inning.

Damon Berryhill was caught looking in the 5th, which was the last of 7 strikeouts for Juan Guzman.

Duane Ward had 2 strikeouts in the 9th, both swinging, with a strikeout/caught-stealing double play.

Roberto Alomar was caught looking in the 1st inning. John Olerud in the 7th. Steve Avery recorded 9 strikeouts.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#407367) #
Looking at ESPN.com stats, the Yankees are ranked a surprising 5th in pitching while the Red Sox are 15th. The Blue Jays are 7th. The big difference is batting where the Red Sox are 3rd, right behind the Jays while the Yankees are all the way down to 22nd. Judge and Stanton are the only players with an OPS over .800 and LeMahieu has been a disappointment after signing his big contract. An interesting stat is that Baltimore Orioles are #2 in fielding!

By the way, what's with the Red Sox wearing those bright yellow uniforms? Are they trying to blind their opponents in order to win?
92-93 - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#407368) #
Theyíre hideous but as Jobu knows, you never mess with a winning streak.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#407369) #
Did Jobu have anything to do with Wendle's two-out, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, scorching line drive to right landing (barely) in foul territory, thereby preserving the Jays' 4-2 lead over the Rays?

Inquiring minds want to know.
The_Game - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#407370) #
And the manager is now starting the 51 wRC+ Dyson in an important game in a playoff race. This guy really wasnít lying when he said he had no idea what the standings were, was he?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#407371) #
Letís see what happens in the game before we grill the manager.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#407372) #
A bottom 3 of Lamb, McGuire, and Dyson is pretty much the worst possible lineup Montoyo could have put together with the available options, so it's almost impressive in a way.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#407373) #
Via Davidi, Breyvic Valera is on the COVID IL after a family member gets the virus. He's fully vaccinated and has tested negative so far. Kevin Smith should be available.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#407374) #
Iíd probably have Jansen in there, but donít mind Dyson with fly ball pitchers just because of how much better his D is. Valera is better than Lamb ofc but not sure how big the difference is.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#407375) #
Well that explains Lamb then. Bit harder to be upset about it now.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#407376) #
the manager is now starting the 51 wRC+ Dyson in an important game in a playoff race.

He says he wants outfield defense on a bullpen day. (He has been playing Dickerson in CF against RHP, which was always optimistic.)
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#407377) #
Kevin Smith should be available.

He hasn't actually arrived yet. But he's on his way. Man, I was relieved to see Espinal and Biggio actually playing games this past weekend.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#407378) #
I get that the manager urge to start defense on a bullpen day, but obviously offense is also pretty dang important on a bullpen day.

anyways.....for our edificiation...

The_Game - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#407379) #
I like outfield defense on bullpen days too. Just not with arguably the worst bat in MLB out there in a playoff race.

Somehow I doubt the NYY or BoSox will be throwing out a 51 wRC+ bat in any of their next 10 games.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#407380) #
and, to trigger the good memories...
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#407381) #
I was just checking those myself! Chris Conroy was the only umpire yesterday worth more than West's 1.48 runs for Tampa Bay - Conroy edged him out at 1.49 for the Reds, who won their game 9-5. The day's worst work came from Angel Hernandez, because that's just how Angel rolls. Alan Porter may have had the biggest impact of all, though. Porter wasn't very accurate, and he was doing the Giants all kinds of favours in a game they won by a single run.
Michael - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#407382) #
It is hard to beat Tampa in Tampa straight up, let alone where you spot them 1.5-2 runs thanks to the umpire each game. But Manoah is clearly up for the challenge. Still would be nice to even things up with the umps giving a couple runs in the Jays favor this time, but I'm not holding my breath.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#407383) #
It's now official - Kevin Smith has arrived at the Trop and been activated, Valera to the COVID IL.

Luis Patino has a very big platoon split - very tough on RH batters (.214/.250/.377), not so much against LH hitters (.287/.396/.478)- which is probably why McGuire is playing instead of Jansen.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#407384) #
More bad umpiring in this game, in the top of the first no less.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#407385) #
Unreal ó really bad calls on Bichette and Teoscar, and maybe Semien too. All going against the Jays.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#407386) #
The whole complexion of that inning changed when the 1-0 ball to Bichette was called a strike. That situation should have been Bichette ahead 2-0 with runners on the corners and one out. Instead it was a 1-1 count, and Bichette then knew he had to protect against pitches well off the plate being called strikes. The umpiring this series has been truly awful.
ae_scott - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#407387) #
I wonder if the umpiring is getting in the heads of the pitchers a little bit.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#407388) #
OK well put in the better bats now. Defense didn't help the bad pitching too much.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#407389) #
Down 6-0 in the Trop behind their lower-quality arms means a likely loss (this why I suggested the Jays probably needed to win games 1 and 2). Theyíre going to have to turn the page and regroup for the final ten games.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#407390) #
Turn the page my ass. Win this game.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#407391) #
This isnít Baltimore.
Chuck - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#407392) #
All this umpiring crew is missing is the Benny Hill music.
Thomas - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#407393) #
Down 6-0 in the Trop behind their lower-quality arms means a likely loss (this why I suggested the Jays probably needed to win games 1 and 2)

Given the house of horrors the Trop has been, I was fully expecting (and am not that disappointed) with 1 of 3. The bigger question for the road trip is if they can take 3 of 4 in Minnesota.

grjas - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#407394) #
Strange they didn't call up Hatch. They have been saying for two months that they were stretching him out in case an SP went down, rather than dropping him into the pen.

He hasn't been lights out in Buffalo, but given Stripling hasn't pitched much...or particularly well...since his injury, Hatch would have made sense as additional insurance.
scottt - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#407395) #
Not unexpected.

The game plan was to put the ball in play. Only 2 walks, but only 3 strikeouts.

They are still in a good position. They don't need Stripling, or Ryu, unless for a meaningless game against Baltimore. The Rays could drop 3 straight against the Yankees, but that could cost them home advantage.

uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#407396) #
Attaboy borucki.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#407397) #
Attaboy Pete.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#407398) #
If that was deliberate - and he's definitely getting suspended whether it was or not - the last inning of the last game between the two teams is a little lame. It's like Matt Bush hitting Jose Bautista.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#407399) #
Yeah seems somewhat silly. Oh well itís only Borucki he likely would have given up home runs anyway.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#407400) #
Jansen drops the playcard next to home plate. Lol.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#407401) #
Always a party at the Trop.
Polite Nate - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#407402) #
If I was Borucki and they asked me about it, I'd just say, "What reason would I have for throwing at Kiermaier? He said himself that he didn't look at the card or anything. What, are you calling him a liar?"
uglyone - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#407403) #

Kiermaier told us post-game that he hopes the Rays play the Blue Jays in the playoffs.

"I hope we play those guys. I really do." https://t.co/1WIgPQIKjU

— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) September 22, 2021
Thomas - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#407404) #
I do love Pete Walker. I hope he continues to be the mainstay whenever the next managerial change occures.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#407405) #
Texas up 1-0 on the Yankees in the fourth. They've worked Kluber pretty well and his pitch count is already getting up there. Hopefully the Rangers somehow pull this one out.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#407406) #
In the bottom of the fifth in New York, with the Rangers up 3-2, the Yankees had a runner on third and one out. LeMahieu hit a fly to deep right field and the runner tagged and headed home, but the right fielder, Adolis Garcia, threw a Jesse Barfield-like strike to gun down the runner at home. Impressive.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#407407) #
The Mets sure do suck.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#407408) #
The Rangers are very bad as well. Theyíre clinging to a 3-3 tie with the Yankees, but they could easily be behind in this one. Iíll be surprised if they win.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#407409) #
The Rangers are putting up a fight, at least.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#407410) #
Fight over.
ayjackson - Wednesday, September 22 2021 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#407411) #
that spiced gold, while popular, is pretty cheap stuff. not surprised we lost the series, tbf tbh imo.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#407412) #
that spiced gold, while popular, is pretty cheap stuff.

I did not know that. My bad. I accept full responsibility.
dalimon5 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#407413) #
Yes, it is basically watered down rum with syrup.

Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#407414) #
Mount Gay Rum may entice Jobu.
bpoz - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#407415) #
TB does not have a lot of stars but are dominating. They are doing something right. 2 things actually. Controlling payroll and winning a lot.
Chuck - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#407416) #
They are doing something right.

I know in these parts it is fashionable to hate them for how well they have dominated the Jays over the years. But this is truly an admirable organization (and I suppose one could simultaneously hate and respect them). The roster is "whatever 25 guys that we can find" and that seems to translate into 90 wins. Lose Snell, Morton, Glasnow? No biggie, we'll cobble together a pitching staff somehow. Position players getting expensive? No worry, let 'em go, we'll backfill them with players we've drafted. Do any of our players seem excessively desirable by other organizations? Okay, trade 'em. As for in-game strategy, we won't waste outs bunting and we'll tell our pitchers to not walk anybody.

uglyone - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#407417) #
I absolutely both hate and respect them.
bpoz - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#407418) #
I think you nailed it Chuck. Nick Anderson became the TB closer and lost the job to Diego Castillo. Castillo while pitching very well was traded to Seattle where he is still pitching well. The return was JT Chargois who was good in Seattle and even better in TB. TB also got 3B Austin Shenton who is a pretty good prospect.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#407419) #
The Rays FO combines sabermetric analysis, scouting and development in a way that one can only stand back and admire.  Remember the Liberatore for Martinez trade?  I do.  That netted them Randy Arozarena (who no one else thought that highly of) and Alika Williams in the 2020 draft.  We'll see how Liberatore does- he may end up as the best player of the bunch- but I like the Rays chances of coming out on top.  Which they have done over and over again. 
greenfrog - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#407420) #
Fixed this for you Mike:

"The Rays FO combines sabermetric analysis, scouting, development, and in-game appropriation of opponents' proprietary data"

That was a blague by the way.
Magpie - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#407421) #
Yes, it is basically watered down rum with syrup.

That sounds indescribably awful. No wonder they lost two of three.

Not gonna make that mistake again...
Thomas - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#407422) #
The playoff odds at Fangraphs are 52% and 48% for the Jays and Yankees, respectively. It's going to be a roller coaster ten days.

The Cardinals had an excess of outfielders, but they didn't seem to recognize exactly what they had in Arozarena. Imagine an outfield of Arozarena, Carlson and O'Neill with Harrison Bader coming in for defence. That would be quite the young and exciting outfield.
dalimon5 - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#407423) #
Franco and Glasnow are stars.

McClanahan, Arozarena and Baz will be stars.

Thatís more stars than most teams, except maybe the Jays, Dodgers and Pads.
lexomatic - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#407427) #
I hope someone does an umpire scorecard review this off-season. Looking at any trends,  and if there's any appearance of bias vs Jays (not hard-core, but maybe whether the worst offenders, single game and overall, have positive bias vs any opponents or better overall consistency/accuracy vs rest of the league. I'd be curious.Would also be interesting to know if there is a w-l effect.
bpoz - Thursday, September 23 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#407428) #
You are correct dalimom5. TB does have stars. B Lowe, M Zunino and N Cruz are all 30 Hr players this year. A Meadows 103 rbi. Arozarena also V good. Then the young ones coming up.

The stars sneaked up on me. They also don't seem to beat themselves.
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