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It's been a strange year in the Old Town.


They didn't exactly burst out of the gate. They returned most of the team that had won 92 games and advanced past the Yankees and Rays to the ALCS in 2021. But two months into this season they were stuck in fourth place with a 23-27 record. At which point, they got hot. Really, really hot. Winning 19 of 23 games hot. Their surge moved them past Tampa Bay and Toronto into second place in the division. It was driven by outstanding pitching. The Bostons gave up just 85 runs in 26 June games, an exceptionally stingy 3.26 per game. Only the god-like Dodgers give up fewer runs than that.

But just as suddenly as they had heated up, they cooled off; and just as hot as they had been, that's how cold they would quickly become. The Red Sox stumbled through a disastrous July, losing 17 of 22 at one point. Their troubles came down to the appalling number of runs they were giving up - 181 of them in 27 July games, which is a mind-boggling 6.7 per game. No major league team allows that many opposition runs. No one even comes close. The lowlight was surely a three game stretch against their division rivals from New York and Toronto in which the Red Sox were outscored 55-8.

They probably curse the evil fate that has landed them in the AL East. The Red Sox have a losing record against all four divisional foes, and a dreadful 16-32 against them as a collective. They've done much better against the AL Central (15-12) and have positively thrived against the AL West (21-8), with a winning record against all five teams, even the mighty Astros.

At the deadline, they were not the buyers they thought they might be a month earlier, but they chose not to cash in any of their major assets. They did send veteran catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston, and removed a couple of offensive black holes from their regular lineup. Jackie Bradley Jr is gone entirely, and Bobby Dalbec is strictly a platoon option now. Dalbec's new platoon partner, Eric Hosmer, hasn't yet done much with the Red Sox. He's still an upgrade on Dalbec. He's also just gone on the IL with lower back inflammation and Franchy Cordero is back on the active roster.Tommy Pham was added to the outfield mix, and he starts in LF most days, with Jarren Duran and Alex Verdugo joining him in the outfield. Enrique Hernandez is back after missing two months to switch between the infield and outfield. Catching duties have been taken over by Kevin Plawecki and a new addition - former Jay Reese McGuire, obtained from the White Sox for Jake Diekman. Plawecki is hitting .183 with no power, and McGuire is off to a nifty 12-32 start (.375) as a Red Sox, so we may see a bit of him this week.

After skipping his last start, Nathan Eovaldi was supposed to return to the rotation for the series opener. It's not going to happen, and Eovaldi has gone on the IL. Josh Winckowski will take his place. Alex Cora has been juggling his rotation. The Jays will/won't see Michael Wacha after all. At any rate, Wacha is the one starting pitcher who has been really good this year. Rich Hill was originally pencilled in for the second game, but he does seem to be demonstrating that Fenway Park may not be the best career option for a 42 year old southpaw - he's 1-3, 6.82 in his 7 home starts this year

Matchups!

Tue 23 Aug - Stripling (5-3, 2.93) vs Winckowski (5-6, 5.19)
Wed 24 Aug - Berrios (9-5, 5.39) vs Bello† (0-3, 8.47)
Thu 25 Aug - Gausman (9-9, 2.99) vs Crawford (3-5, 5.14)
Toronto at Boston, August 23-25 | 190 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#420496) #
Stripling is down to 2.93 for ERA? If he had the innings he'd be #8 ahead of Gausman in the league leader list. Manoah is #4 btw.

Pitcher leader boards #1 Jays...
Gausman Strikeout/Walk ratio: 6.773 2nd is Kluber 6.167, Manoah #10
HBP: Manoah #1 with 13 (shocking I know), 2 ahead of the field.
FIP: Gausman 2.05, 2nd is McClanahan 2.72
Earned Runs given up: Berrios 77 is 5 up on Keller.
HR given up: Berrios 26 is 3 ahead of Ray.
Games pitched: Cimber 56 is 1 ahead of the field
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#420497) #
I mentioned this in the other thread, but (for fun) here are Jordan Montgomery's stats in the four games since the Yankees traded him to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader:

4-0, 0.35 ERA, 25.2 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 24 K, ERA+ 1097 (not a typo), 1.4 bWAR / 1.1 fWAR
bpoz - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#420498) #
St louis may have 2 more years of control over Montgomery.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#420499) #
Yeah that trade was bizarre and really was saying ďhere is our optimal playoff lineup and if everyone is healthy and produces heís on the bubbleĒ so then cutting him. Itís like if we traded Stripling assuming white and Kikuchi would just work fine.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#420501) #
Bader's a legit CF though, and he was injured at the time of the trade, making the optics worse.  Too soon to call that one, even though Montgomery is on fire.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#420502) #
Pop down for Mayza, per Keegan Matheson. 

good to see him back to quickly.  anyone surprised it's Pop going down?
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#420503) #
For sure, it's way too early to call a winner in that trade. It's just striking how well Montgomery is doing following a trade deadline where starting pitching was at a premium (and where the Yankees were on the hunt for elite starting pitching).
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#420504) #
Surprised, no. Disappointed, yes.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#420505) #
The weather forecast indicates a rainout is likely - another day of rest for Springer.
Jevant - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#420506) #
Mildly surprised, but had to be someone until rosters expand, and you know there was no chance they would just DFA Richards (who is probably the only other possible option to send off the roster at this point?)

Really happy to see Mayza back so quickly - when that happened I had assumed he was probably done for 6 weeks at least.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#420507) #
As a Brampton native myself, I am beyond disgusted that my all-time favourite Blue Jay has been demoted.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#420508) #
One more Cardinals note. 42 yr old (c'mon, how much older can he be?) Albert Pujols came into today with a 146 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR. Over half his PA's are vs righties and he's struggled there, but he's absolutely crushed lefties. Only one player in baseball with 100 PA's vs LHP has better than Pujols' 235 wRC+ - his teammate Paul Goldschmidt.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#420509) #
If they weren't going to punt Richards then it sort of puts emphasis on the redundancy of that deadline deal, no? Weird.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#420510) #
Only looks that way because everyone is healthy. Ask the Yankees or Rays how fast that can change.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#420511) #
It's good that Mayza is back, but he hasn't been especially good this year. It would be great if he finished strong over the next couple of months.
Glevin - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#420512) #
They aren't going to cut Richards to have Pop up for a week until rosters expand. Jays have bullpen depth which is great but Pop is a guy who can do with some minor league time and figure out why he can't strike out anyone despite amazing stuff.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#420513) #
Pop was already optioned to AAA for six weeks by the Marlins. An alternative would have been Kikuchi, who actually volunteered to be optioned just last week. Maybe they thought it was strange to tell him "no" that week and "okay" this week.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#420514) #
There may be a doubleheader coming up, so Pop might not want to be a rolling stone just yet.
scottt - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#420516) #
One pitcher can come back on September 1st. Then someone can be called up as the extra player for the 2 doubleheaders.

MLB has updated their prospects ranking.

Jays are 20th as a whole. Rays are high because they keep trading vets for prospects. Boston, Yankees are 12, 13 because one has been rebuilding (sort of) and the other never trade anything of value. Baltimore is still high.

Overall, it's shocking to see how high the Dodgers remains and how low teams like KC and Detroit are.
The Angels are, of course, the worse system out there.

lexomatic - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#420517) #

Thomas: Any thoughts on the weird season Matt Chapman is having? Big offensive bounce back, with a bigger defensive backslide. Is it just getting used to the turf at Rogers Centre or are his elite defensive days over?

2:39
Ben Clemens: Mike Petriello wrote about this and I loved it

2:39
Ben Clemens: https://www.mlb.com/news/how-contenders-improved-infield-defense

I haven't read this yet. But seeing as we talk about Chapman's defense around here...
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#420518) #
Eight straight balls from Kikuchi to start B7. Heís just not playable in any kind of leverage situation until he addresses his mental game.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#420519) #
They simply can't use this version of Kikuchi anymore.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#420520) #
If he canít pitch a full inning in a 9-1 blowout, what value does he have? He has great stuff but he needs to regain his confidence and mental strength. Until that happens, heíll remain more of a liability than an asset.
Cracka - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#420521) #
Even Reese McGuire can pitch a scoreless inning in a blowout...
Kasi - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#420522) #
Well tbh Reese has already shown on more than one occasion his ability to perform under pressure.
lexomatic - Tuesday, August 23 2022 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#420523) #
<br>I always thought Femway was a lefty killer so not a great spot for someone trying to regain confidence on the mound


Even with aa big lead.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#420524) #
IMO there isn't much question the Jays need to demote Kikuchi now. Massive lead and he can't throw a strike to the first 2 batters, total of 28 pitches, only 10 were strikes. I mean, this is when you just pump the ball right down the middle. Phelps understood that - 33 pitches, 23 strikes, 0 walks. In Buffalo (or even Dunedin) you can leave Kikuchi in for 2 times through the order even if he walks all 18 batters. Then he might be able to work it out. I don't care how nice a guy he is, or what he makes the next 2 years. If he can't throw strikes he is worthless to the Jays right now. I'd rather see if Merryweather is ready, or call up Gage, or heck, even Kay at this point. I could probably throw more strikes (of course I'd also make McGuire look like he is throwing bullets thus would be hit around a LOT but at least it'd be hits and not walks).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#420525) #
ďWell tbh Reese has already shown on more than one occasion his ability to perform under pressure.Ē

Spoken as if masturbation in all and any places youíre alone with a cell phone is not common place. Youíre either in the camp that uses magazines (and likely over 100) or youíre out of touch with reality.

Not a big deal.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#420526) #
Agree with john. Kikuchi can't be in the majors. He needs to figure things out away from the team which needs to try to win games. Kikuchi is a mess right now.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#420527) #
Kikuchi to the minors isn't a new thing. Been brought up quite some time ago and on multiple occasions. Don't remember anyone arguing against it and apparently he has even volunteered to do so. Yet here we are.

The question I have is why he is still up here? The only reason I can figure is the Jays need a multi-inning long man. He is in theory, but damn, if you can't even make it through a single inning. The only positive last night was it was a road game. I was imagining the booing if he did this at home.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#420528) #
I hope not on the booing.  it sucks to boo your own players when they struggle.  leave that to the yanks fans. 

kikuchi volunteered to go down, about as pro-team a move as a player can make.  the org obviously wants to do what's best for him - makes sense to me that that's in TO, the best coaching, the best facilities.  but his rope is doubtless short. 
Cracka - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#420529) #
It's nearly unprecedented to send someone like Kikuchi to the minors (other than for a rehab start). He's been in the top league for over a decade now (between Japan & MLB) and he's on his second multi-year MLB Free Agent contract. I can't think of a single comparable player that has been optioned to the minors without having been DFA'ed/waived first. So I think that's why he hasn't been optioned to Buffalo yet... But it sounds like he's willing to go to Buffalo and after last night I don't know if there's any other choice.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#420530) #
Keeping Kikuchi on the MLB roster at the expense of Pop, who can actually contribute, reeks of stubbornness and the front office not wanting to admit they made a mistake.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#420531) #
I think everyone is overlooking the fact that we only have one other lefty who is just returning from a separated shoulder. Thatís probably why the office is being stubborn, not because they are afraid to admit they made a mistake signing him. I donít think they need to admit that, itís fairly obvious.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#420532) #
If the Jays need a lefty, Gage is on the 40 man, healthy, highly effective in Buffalo and fine with the Jays when he was here.
Ducey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#420533) #
Maybe the Jays can send Kikuchi down to Dunedin to the pitching lab so he can sort out some mechanical things.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#420534) #
It's not a disservice to consider sending Kikuchi down. Obviously he is only getting to pitch an inning here and there when there's a blowout. In the minors he can pitch for several innings and work on his control in actual game situations. I can see what the front office saw in him when he blows a hitter away with 96 MPH fastball like he did last night.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#420535) #
Stripling was good last night.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#420536) #
If you have a lefty in the pen that you can't use in any situation, do you really have a lefty in the pen? Kikuchi is Schrodinger's reliever.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#420537) #
Hey, bpoz, no positive remarks until we finish (if we ever do finish) complaining about Kikuchi. :)

Actually glad you brought up Stripling. He seemed to struggle early on, but another terrific outing. Bradley jr.'s best game as a Jay, 2 doubles from Vlad, lots of good stuff all round last night.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#420538) #
I can do negative hypobole. Not yet as good as other Bauxites. haha.

The negative is that Kikuchi has lost faith in himself. Quite utterly!! He is full of self doubt. The pitcher just in front of his inning seems to be at his peak in believing in himself. So very high faith in his ability.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#420539) #
If you have a lefty in the pen that you can't use in any situation, do you really have a lefty in the pen? Kikuchi is Schrodinger's reliever.

Ah, but what if you have another 28-5 lead? He could probably get through 2 innings..
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#420540) #
2:39
Ben Clemens: https://www.mlb.com/news/how-contenders-improved-infield-defense

I haven't read this yet. But seeing as we talk about Chapman's defense around here...


Don't know if anyone did read the linked article, but in a nutshell; Chapman's only slightly down getting to balls hit in his direction, but still elite. His major issues have been completing the play once he has the ball.
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#420542) #
I hope not on the booing.  it sucks to boo your own players when they struggle.  leave that to the yanks fans. 

kikuchi volunteered to go down, about as pro-team a move as a player can make.  the org obviously wants to do what's best for him - makes sense to me that that's in TO, the best coaching, the best facilities.  but his rope is doubtless short. 



Yup I am disappointed with Kikuchi as doubtless he is himself, but I hope nobody boos him, because his offer to go to ML is like Jer says about as team friendly as possible. I just literally have no idea what options there are for him for the mental/ confidence aspect. And I think that's more the issue. The language barrier being another issue towards getting help. There are also many levels of stigma towards asking for help. The issues are also possibly harder to address than a mechanical one, and more time consuming. But enough pitchers leave the league for the yips, so...

pooks137 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#420543) #
The best thing wrt Kikuchi for all involved is probably another phantom DL stint so he can disappear for a while without having to do anything unprecedented like Cracka mentioned above.

Teams are reticent to break unwritten rules themselves, like not asking Vernon Wells to give up the everyday CF job on his 127 million dollar contract when he had a superior CF in Alex Rios flanking him everyday in RF. Or Derek Jeter pulling rank and making ARod move to 3B.

The Jays may be worried about MLBPA or free agent/agent consequences/grievances by being seen as disrespecting a vet.

Just make up an injury and have Kikuchi disappear for a long time to be forgotten about until next year.
pooks137 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#420544) #
Chapman snagging that liner in foul territory last night was impressive.

You don't see that very often and I had to watch the replay because I didn't believe my lying eyes.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#420545) #
pooks137 - you just reminded me of the time the Jays broke the unwritten rules by telling George Bell he was going to be the full time DH in 1988 after he won the MVP in 1987, and Lloyd Moseby after a great year that he was moving to LF, in order to make room for a hot prospect. That was the ugliest spring you can imagine. The team won 97 the year before and looked like they would do it again but instead of focusing on improving weak spots (2B was super-ugly) they tried to improve their strength (outfield of the 80's - top 3 at each position as far as most were concerned including Bill James). The really, really dumb thing was they had Cecil Fielder and Fred McGriff ready for full time jobs in the majors going into 1988 but they still wanted to move Bell. So Bell told them to kiss his purple behind and sat during most spring games until they gave in. That team finished 2 games out of 1st and missed the playoffs (no wild cards then) - hard not to figure that idiotic drama cost at least 2 games.

So yeah, paying attention to unwritten rules makes a lot of sense when you are in contention. But with Kikuchi, when the guy even volunteers to go down, you have to look at doing it. The phantom injury might be the best route though as it forces him to be down for 15 days, then rehab could cover the rest of the season easily. I really thought he'd be coming out last night determined to throw hard down the middle and trust his stuff at last knowing he had a massive lead and after doing well after getting the first 2 outs last time. Sigh. What a mess.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#420546) #
I think phantom injuries are bs. The definition of a phantom injury seems to be a non-obvious injury incurred by a player we don't want on the team.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#420547) #
FYI: checking 1987 - Jays were #1 in LF, #4 in CF, and #8 in RF for sOPS+, but by fWAR Barfield was #3 in RF, Moseby #5 in CF, and Bell was #1 in LF. They were that good and tons of fun to watch. Go to full ML and it becomes Bell #3 (Bonds & Raines ahead), Moseby drops to #8 (really #7 as they have Bonds in both LF and CF), Barfield to #6 (really #5 as Devo is listed in CF and RF). So hardly a weakness. Ah well, that dead horse has been beaten even more than the Kikuchi one.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#420548) #
I think an important takeaway from the 1988 follies is that even the best and most successful GMs - and it's hard for a GM to have been more successful than Pat Gillick - are going to get many, many things wrong.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#420549) #
Bobby Dalbec at shortstop today for the Red Sox. And Bello gets the start.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#420550) #
I just got the Blue Jay 2023 schedule in my Inbox. They play every day from May 12 to June 11. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but I don't remember a stretch that long without an off-day.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#420551) #
Very true Magpie. Look at NY - in 1998 Brian Cashman took over, the team won the first of 3 straight WS titles that year, in 2009 they won another title. Since he took over they have 4 titles, and missed the playoffs 4 times over 24 years yet if you look online fans are always calling for his head. Crazy.

I remember in the early 90's after Cito took over here in 1989 fans were calling for his head right away (most wanted Lou Pinella to take over instead but the Yankees wouldn't let the Jays take him away from them). He won 2 WS titles and 4 division crowns his first 5 years but fans still called for him to be replaced.

Gillick was 'stand Pat' in the mid-80's due to his not making trades. He released David Wells in spring training 1993 - Wells woudl go on to win 192 more games after that, and had a 103 ERA+ in 1993 for Detroit (30 starts, 187 IP) while the free agent Gillick was proud to sign that winter (Dave Stewart) had a 98 in just 26 starts (162 IP) - the badness of that weakened a bit due to Stewart being MVP of the ALCS with his 2 starts, 13 1/3 IP 3 R allowed performance. Also allowed to leave was Jimmy Key who in 34 starts had a 139 ERA+ over 236 IP (wanted a 4 year deal).

Yeah, the best do make mistakes. But what makes the best the best is they can paper over those mistakes - for every Stewart-Wells-Key mess up they make a Winfield-let go-Molitor move. The bad ones trade Olerud for scraps while paying his salary, then put a washed up Joe Carter in as DH and trade 6 prospects for a low end 2B, a low end RF, and a good reliever. Rant rant rant about 20+ year old stuff.

AA did good and bad stuff here, often at the same time (Tulo is a good and bad one - without him no 2015 division title I suspect, but with him a big contract to deal with for years for no production - prospects lost ended up being nothing, Hoffman has a negative WAR career, Castro has bounced around a lot and just 2.9 WAR but of course 5-0 for the Yankees this year, Jesķs Tinoco is a 0 WAR guy, and Josť Reyes was salary relief - 0.1 WAR for a LOT of money and grief, Tulo gave the Jays 5.0 WAR for a LOT of money but also 2 times into the playoffs, hit poorly there 215/253/380 but was important).

Atkins likewise has good (Manoah, Kirk, etc. in draft/IFA) and bad (signing Kikuchi) to his record. We will see how good/bad over time.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#420552) #
Longest without an off-day this year was April 19 to May 5th (17 games). Then 1 day off followed by a double header and another game before another day off so 20 games in 20 days. Going 11-9 in that stretch which, all things considered, wasn't too bad.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#420553) #
Bello's GB% is above 60% at every level this year, so Dalbec at SS should be fun.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#420554) #
There is a rule about how many consecutive days teams can play on (20?), but the Jays have off days on May 8th, 11th, and 29th next year.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#420555) #
I get it. Kikuchi is so shiny and if you could get him to be gold out of the bullpen, he could be the type of guy that comes in and "strikes out the side".

BUT... he is not striking out the side right now. He is walking the side. He has kind of gone Chuck Knobloch. He needs to go down and just work on his game. The need a catcher like Crash Davis for him. (Meat!)
scottt - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#420556) #
Kikuchi got 2 outs and allowed 1 run. He kept Richards to 3 pitches.

Winckowski got 8 outs and allowed 8 runs.

None of the above matters tonight.

Berrios vs Bello.
Interesting match up. They are still hiding their lefties from the Jays.
Meanwhile, they put 5 left bats in the lineup against Berrios.

In that ballpark, groundball pitchers might have an advantage.
In this series, why not have Bradley in CF every game?
He played that wall really well last night.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#420557) #
The bizarre thing about Campusano shoving Bell out of left field in early 1988 was that Campusano simply wasn't that good a prospect and wasn't knocking down the doors in AAA.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#420558) #
Kikuchi must be Tapia's favourite teammate. For most of the season he was the subject of non-stop complaints, even extending into June and July when he put up wRC+'s of 129 and 164. August has been his worse month with a 27 wRC+. And nary a peep.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#420559) #
Thanks, 92-93.  That's better- I missed the 29th although I checked it.  I thought that there was a rule about consecutive days; I should check the CBA.

Re Dalbec, it's very unusual to give a player who has been primarily a first baseman at start at shortstop.  I guess they are experimenting (and wouldn't mind an improved draft position). 
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#420560) #
Hypobole, many people in August said that the club went too long with Kikuchi.  And now, he's been given low leverage work.  And even with that, people feel that it is of no one's benefit for him to be here.  "Not a peep" isn't in my view a fair description of people's reactions to his struggles. 
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#420561) #
Mike, you seem confused about my post. It's Tapia I was referencing, hence the wRC+. Just pointing out that no matter how poorly one plays, like Tapia this month, having someone much worse on the team (Kikuchi) shifts focus away among fandom.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#420562) #
The lack of scorn for Tapia has more to do with Springer's injury and the lack of better options to replace him. As for him playing right field, I don't think there is any excuse for that. Biggio is a better hitter and no worse as a defender.
Leaside Cowboy - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#420563) #
George Bell... going to be the full time DH in 1988 after he won the MVP in 1987, and Lloyd Moseby after a great year that he was moving to LF, in order to make room for a hot prospect.

George Bell had a meeting with Jimy Williams. The manager looked him in the eye and told him the strategy was to collect 800 plate appearances. Bell countered that Tony FernŠndez was the leadoff hitter and he would not total such an number. George Bell talked to Cito and calmed down eventually. And hit 3 homers on Opening Day.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#420564) #
Well, they were disappointed after winning 96 games but finishing second. And rather than worry about the revolving door at second base, or the first baseman with the OPS+ of 87, or the devastating injuries to key players down the stretch - they worried about the outfield defense.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#420565) #
That's my overriding memory about the Bell fiasco. Not that moving him out of the OF was a dumb idea (it wasn't, his once good OF defence was largely gone), or that Campusano to CF was a dumb idea (it wasn't dumb, although as noted above, he was hardly a sure fire prospect), its that moving Bell was so far down the list of actual problems/issues on that roster. It was the problem garnering a lot of media attention but, as is often the case, was a problem that was low on the list of priorities.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#420566) #
We'll never get over 1988! They had already solved the first base problem. Willie Upshaw was moving on. They may have expected to use a McGriff-Fielder platoon at 1b, the way they had just platooned at DH. McGriff would turn out to be far too good to be a platoon player.

They didn't seem to realize how badly they needed a fourth outfielder simply to ease the load - Barfield, Bell, Moseby were playing 80 games a year on the Exhibition Stadium concrete. They were already showing the wear and tear. But adding a fourth outfielder was never the plan. Then Campusano in CF lasted exactly 10 games, because that's the maximum amount of time Jimy WIlliams could stick with anything. And of course Rob Ducey had clearly outplayed Campusano that spring, in what was being described as a "competition" for the job. That didn't seem to matter.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#420567) #
Bradley gets the start in CF for the fourth straight game, after starting twice in the first nine games he was here. This is either the hot hand (he's 3 for his last 9) or a manager playing with his new toy. Biggio and Merrifield have been buried a little bit lately, and Tapia seems to play every other day - he's started 11 of 19 games this month. As for the others:

Biggio
9 games - 6 starts, 1 PH (.263/.318/.528)
10 games - 3 starts, 1 PH (.222/.300/.333)

Merrifield
6 games - 5 starts, 1 PH (.288/.318/.286)
10 games - 5 starts, 1 def (.250/.400/.438)

Bradley
9 games - 2 starts, 5 def (.167/.167/.167)
3 games - 3 starts (.333/.455/.555)
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#420568) #
Chapman looked pretty good completing that play after he caught the ball.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#420569) #
When the heck did Dan Schulman become this boring as a commentator? He talks 70/30 General/Actual Ball game being played.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#420570) #
I thought Berrios looked as good in his last two/three innings as he has all year. Very promising. Conversely, itís hard to have 4ABs as poor as Hernandez has had tonight.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#420571) #
Dalimon you may want to check out one of the many Bally Sports networks that cover various team around the league and their play by play announcers. Or even the MLB Network, where somehow Matt Vasgersian is the best they have.


Spoiler: Dan Shulman is way, way, way yayyyy better than all of them.

mathesond - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#420572) #
"Spoiler: Dan Shulman is way, way, way yayyyy better than all of them."

It is possible for Shulman to be better than the Bally/MLB Network announcers, and still nowhere near as good as he has been in the past.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#420573) #
Thank god for Springer. A lot of bad at bats tonight
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#420574) #
Springer hitting .600/.615/.800 since getting back in the lineup. There's hot, and there's whatever this is.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#420575) #
Agree completely on Schulman. I know he's miles ahead of the rest, but man has he fallen off...a lot. Even just in the last few years. He just seems bored, and it doesn't suit his "professional/chesty" fake voice very well.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#420576) #
Tense game, but they won. Phew. The last few innings were scary.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#420577) #
Words for George Springer now: scorching sizzling, en fuego, unconscious, automatic. Good semantle practice.
JohnL - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#420578) #
Campusano: I thought I remembered that Baseball America once labelled him the "best prospect in baseball". Admittedly, my memory isn't one to be trusted too far. However, he was pretty hyped, though I think his star had fallen a bit in his last minor league year.

Article here: https://sullybaseball.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/sil-campusano-1989-topps-sully-baseball-card-of-the-day-for-april-19-2017/
hypobole - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#420579) #
Schneider issued 2 intentional walks in the last 3 innings tonight. His first 33 games he'd only issued 1.



John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2022 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#420580) #
Sil Campusano at 21 hit 264/333/451 in AAA, at 20 256/342/430 in AA, at 19 310/393/510 in A/AA - the hype from his age 19 season held on for some reason in those pre-internet days. Ducey at 21 in A/AA hit 318/375/536, at 22 284/388/462 in AAA, got a September call-up but just had a 52 OPS+. Then came 1988. The smart move would've been to do what the Jays did with nearly every kid then - a platoon with someone rotating into the DH slot each game (Fielder deserved the full-time DH job but that wasn't happening). Instead Ducey had a 120 OPS+ in 27 games (August/September) while Campusano was up most of the year as a 4th OF but with just 10 PA in August/September and had a 79 OPS+ overall. In a platoon type arrangement maybe the two of them could've done well, and presented that way to Bell/Moseby as a way to save their knees mostly at home as DH's maybe it could've worked and the team would've been in the playoffs that year. Instead the team got lucky with Gruber developing at long last into a star, Mulliniks having a 143 OPS+ at DH, and a solid 2B combo (on defense) in Manny Lee/Nelson Liriano who had a 96/77 OPS+ respectively. The Jays lost Campusano in the Rule 5 draft after 1989, Ducey was traded in 1992 as part of the deal to get Mark Eichhorn back (very useful in the pen for the 2 WS wins).

Boy some mistakes were obvious at the time and in retrospect even more so imo. As to today's lessons - will we be wondering in a few years why Jansen was kept around when Moreno was ready? Will someone else in the minors today be a head shaker in 20 years? Hard to know right now, but the biggest candidates for 'what were they thinking' are Gunnar Hoglund and Nick Frasso. We'll see in 5+ years, although if the Jays go all the way this year then all will be forgiven (ala Jeff Kent for 2 months of David Cone - worth every penny).
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#420581) #
Schneider issued 2 intentional walks in the last 3 innings tonight.

Putting the winning run on base - in extra innings, on the road - is not for the faint of heart.
Michael - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:51 AM EDT (#420582) #
"Bradley gets the start in CF for the fourth straight game"

I can see all else equal it makes some sense to start JBJ more than usual when you are playing in Boston. He's got the experience playing in the stadium, so may as well leverage that while you can. Obviously we'd rather Springer started, but until he's healthy enough to start as cf, JBJ in Fenway is a defensible call.
Cynicalguy - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#420585) #
As someone who likes symmetry, I am kinda confused about the new schedule format. It would have been perfect to divide the games into 14 vs the 4 division opponents, 6 vs the other ten AL teams and 3 against each NL clubs except the natural rivals which is 4 games.

But it's 13 games against division opponents and 6 or 7 games against the other ten AL teams...meaning 4 teams Jays would play 7 games and 6 against the remaining six. Would make more sense to have 7 games each home and away against the divisional opponents.
scottt - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#420586) #
You want an odd number of games so you don't need an extra game to resolve ties.

2 teams finishes with 96 wins? The series winner is the division champion.

scottt - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#420587) #
I listened to a few division games. Boston/New York have good announcers.
Tampa and Baltimore, not so much.

bpoz - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#420588) #
The schedule has benefits and problems the way I see it.

The big benefit is less games against AL East teams and especially TB.

The "very" big problem for me is the west coast teams. Those road trips cause jet lag or bad sleep for the players. Seattle, Oakland & LAA road trips. LAD, SD & SF road trips. I don't really know if Arizona & Colorado road trips would be as big a problem because they are a bit closer.
lexomatic - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#420589) #
Ducey at 21 in A/AA hit 318/375/536, at 22 284/388/462 in AAA,

What a funny career Ducey had. Looks like he pressed to break in with limited shots and lost his plate discipline... though he had some decent OBP in AAA it wasn't until the early 90s that he got a bit of power. Maybe would've got more of a shot today... maybe not. Still had a pretty decent career all told
hypobole - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#420590) #
Who's the Sox starter today? ESPN and MLB have Crawford, with Wacha tomorrow vs Tampa.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#420591) #
Apparently it is going to be Crawford. Cora's been kind of day to day on all this.
Chuck - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#420592) #
Maybe would've got more of a shot today.

I always felt that the Jays did not do right by Ducey. It was clear they were never going to give him a shot and he ended up frittering away his developmental mid-20s on their watch. They should have sent him somewhere he would have seen playing time. It's not a given that he would have turned into something, of course, but who knows? Lousy way to treat a Canuck.

vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#420593) #
The "very" big problem for me is the west coast teams. Those road trips cause jet lag or bad sleep for the players. Seattle, Oakland & LAA road trips. LAD, SD & SF road trips. I don't really know if Arizona & Colorado road trips would be as big a problem because they are a bit closer.
Fair enough. Although, more games in SF/OAK can only improve the odds of me actually getting to a game once in a while..
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#420594) #
Ah, the Rob Ducey saga.

In August 1988, the Jays finally sent Campusano back to AAA and called up Ducey. He went 0-13 to start, but hit .415 the rest of the way and looked like a lock to make the 1989 team in the spring. He was still just 23 years old at this time.

And he did make the 1989 team, but he sat on the bench for the first three weeks, starting once in CF for Moseby and once in RF for Barfield. After 19 games, Barfield was hitting .219/.273/.437 and that was enough for Jimy, who started platooning Ducey and Barfield in RF. Really. And then they traded Barfield to the Yankees. But Ducey was only hitting .222/.317/.278 and on 5 May, Junior Felix came up and simply seized the RF job. Ducey hurt himself in June and disappeared until September.

He spent 1990 in AAA but he got a chance that September when George Bell had his eye problems. Bell missed ten days and couldn't play in the field when he came back. Ducey took over in LF and did a decent job. No power, but he hit .302.

But he couldn't make the 1991 team, which had just added Carter and White and still had Mookie Wilson. The new guys were Mark Whiten and Glenallen Hill, but they were both traded in late June and Ducey got another chance. There was an outfield job to be taken, but no one stepped up to take it. The next six weeks were chaos. Mookie was toast by this time, but Ducey didn't hit much either. Hotshot rookie Derek Bell got a chance and didn't hit at all. They started bringing in warm bodies - first Cory Snyder, who was worse than what they already had. And finally they got Candy Maldonado from Milwaukee, who took the LF job and ran with it.

Ducey actually made the 1992 team in the spring, but he was strictly a bench guy behind Carter, White, Maldonado. On Gaston's bench, you sat around and watched until someone got hurt. No one got hurt. Ducey started 3 games in four months, and was traded to the Angels for Mark Eichhorn.

A tale of missed opportunities, weird management decisions, bad luck, and bad timing. Ducey played 399 games for Syracuse, over five seasons. Needless to say, that's more games than he played for any other professional team and he played 1934 pro games in the majors, minors, North America, Japan.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#420595) #
Every time there was even an opportunity for Ducey, the team seemed to get distracted by some other bright and shiny young outfielder that they just had to take a close look at instead - Campusano in 1988, Felix in 1989, Whiten and Hill and Bell in 1991.
JohnL - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#420596) #

Ducey hurt himself in June and disappeared until September

Foggy memory speaking again here: I think this was a freak injury - he fell through a door that opened in the outfield wall. At some point, I think he sued the SkyDome. Not sure if that helped his situation with the Jays.

Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#420597) #
You Be The Manager questions. What is your staring lineup in the first of a 3 game playoff series against a RHP? What changes, if any, would you make if the opposing starter is left-handed? Assume all current players are completely healthy by then.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#420598) #
Bradley is a welcome sight in CF because it makes it far more likely that Tapia, a bad player, is out of the lineup.

Jansen isn't the only slumping bat. Gurriel's hot streak is still hiding that he's been pretty mediocre for the last 3 weeks.

Kutter Crawford has pronounced splits over his short career, so we could see Biggio4 Tapia7 and Bradley8 tonight.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#420599) #
Based on some recent playing time decisions it seems that the team likes Kirk behind the plate at least as much if not more than Jansen, so against a righty Biggio starts at DH and against a lefty Merrifield is the DH. The question was about game 1, but if game 3 is vs. a LHP and Kirk looks a little tired back there then you start Jansen at C and DH Kirk.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#420600) #
That's reasonable, 92-93. They don't fit the image of what a DH looks like, but you can't get stuck on that.
John Northey - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#420601) #
I suspect we are seeing what to expect in 2023 - Kirk is the #1 catcher now, with Jansen trade bait but if in order to get something the Jays want (a CF) Moreno might be traded instead. I doubt Jansen will be happy with being the #2 guy so regardless of Moreno's status I expect Jansen to be traded this offseason. Ideally we'd have Kirk/Moreno in 2023 with Kirk going 3 days, Moreno 2 and maybe shifting as the year wears on, whoever doesn't start would be the DH unless Springer or Vlad needs to be that day. I expect in the playoffs it will be Kirk 4 games out of 5 if Springer needs to be the DH. Especially with the days off.
Glevin - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#420602) #
"Bradley is a welcome sight in CF because it makes it far more likely that Tapia, a bad player, is out of the lineup."

Tapia is a better player than Bradley.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#420603) #
I do think I might go with Biggio at 2b against a RHP. Espinal has crushed southpaws, but Biggio's better against the regular folks. Jansen catches, Kirk DHs. In the Manoah game, with Kirk catching, against a RH either Biggio or Tapia will play somewhere and someone will DH. Depends on the matchup. Flexible!
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#420604) #
Tapia is a better player than Bradley.

Sure, but that's a very low bar. Scorn is still warranted.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#420605) #
Jansenís bat vs. RHP isnít enough of an upgrade currently over Espinal to warrant the defensive downgrade at 2B and C.

Tapia is not a better player than Bradley for this lineup with Springer hurt. Defense matters.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#420606) #
If Springer is healthy enough to play CF then I think its pretty easy. Biggio at 2B against a RHP and Espinal against a LHP. Against a LHP Merrifield DHs. Against a RHP choose whichever of Merrifield, Espinal, Jansen, Tapia is the hottest and put them in the line-up (and adjust defence accordingly). The choose your own adventure question gets much more interesting if Springer has to DH.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#420607) #
The choose your own adventure question gets much more interesting if Springer has to DH.

Because Springer's absence takes a much bigger bite out of the offense than the defense, my inclination would be to replace him with Tapia and have Bradley as a late inning defensive caddy. As opposed to playing Bradley and needing Tapia to pinch hit if you were behind.

I like Jansen catching, Kirk DHing. For one thing, it just works. The team has made a habit of winning with that configuration.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#420608) #
Here's another question. What should the team do about Kirk? In the first half he was a superstar (wRC+ 155). In the second half he was merely average (wRC+ 100).

Do you rest him? Keep playing him every day? The team's chances in the postseason would be much improved if he were the 155 wRC+ player.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#420609) #
I should have been clearer about "adjust your defence accordingly". If its Merrifield, then I still prefer Biggio over Merrifield at 2B but its a coin flip. If it's Espinal, then clearly Biggio DH's and Espinal at 2B. If its Jansen then I suspect they would go with their preferred Pitcher/C pairs as to who would C and who would DH. If its Tapia (God forbid), then Tapia DH's.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#420610) #
If Springer has to DH then my order of preference in CF is Zimmer (oh, wait!), JBJ then Tapia (I don't see much to choose between Tapia and JBJ so I default to defence when both players suck).
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#420611) #
Tapia gets the start in CF today. JBJ needed a day off. /s /scorn-lite
AWeb - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#420612) #
Here's another question. What should the team do about Kirk? In the first half he was a superstar (wRC+ 155). In the second half he was merely average (wRC+ 100).
Do you rest him? Keep playing him every day? The team's chances in the postseason would be much improved if he were the 155 wRC+ player.


Yeah, but there's not much chance that Kirk is a "true" 155 WRC+ hitter. That's a mark that Johnny Bench reached all of once, and Mike Piazza bested three times. It's not impossible that Kirk could have a season at that level, but I'm pretty happy his total season puts him as the best hitting catcher in baseball  (WRC+ 141) - and his hitting as a catcher is basically unchanged compared to his DH time, as good sign I think. And since he's actually pretty good behind the plate, that makes him one of the best handful of catchers in baseball at worst. Plus you will never know if he's a full-time catcher (100+ starts there) until you try it.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#420613) #
Poor Biggio, canít even get into the lineup vs. a RHP with pronounced splits while Gurriel, Hernandez, and Bichette have been cold for a couple of weeks. This team gives off days at strange times.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#420614) #
Yeah, Biggio is the clear net loser in the managerial change. I really have no idea why. Maybe not enough veteraness.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#420615) #
ďRun producerĒ Bichette has 0 RBI in the last 11 games batting 5th or 6th in every game but one. The roster has tons of flexibility to give him a day off, perhaps to sit back and observe the game with the coaching staff and chat about fixing his poor approach. Will he ultimately regret not taking whatever the Jays offered last winter?
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#420616) #
ďRun producerĒ Bichette has 0 RBI in the last 11 games batting 5th or 6th in every game but one.

He's 1 for 6 with RISP in those games. I know, you'd expect more ABs.
electric carrot - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#420617) #
I actually thought that the former manager was also quite parsimonious with Biggio's playing tome too tbh.
electric carrot - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#420618) #
time
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#420619) #
My guess is the Jays will keep playing Kirk regularly until September, then give him some additional rest once Moreno is called up. I suspect that Kirk's offensive stats will improve when that happens. Hopefully he then goes on a tear in the postseason.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#420620) #
That was my view too - but Biggio's essentially had half the PAs this month that he got in June and July (notwithstanding that he has hit well in him limited ABs during August (108 wRC+)). If it were me, going forward, Biggio would get into a time share arrangement with Espinal at 2B (not quite a strict platoon) and would be the first choice for a corner OF spot when resting Gurriel or Hernandez and a RHP was on the mound. It would probably amount to 3 or 4 games a week.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#420621) #
I was so startled by Bichette's recent lack of opportunities with men on base that I took a deeper look. In his 10 games, with his 6 ABs with runners in scoring position, he'd also led off the inning 13 times (and it seems like almost as often, he's come to the plate with one out and no one aboard.) This is what happens when Teoscar hits a slump. Bichette's got five hits in his last three games, I don't think he needs a day off.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#420622) #
Teoscar is in one of his funks where it looks like he couldn't hit a beach ball. I think based on past experience that you just have to ride his cold streak out. It sure isn't pretty to watch when it happens though.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#420623) #
The WC race is very tight. Reminds me a bit of last year where the Jays came up short in a photo finish. Currently the WC standings are:

TB +1.5
Tor +0.5
Sea -
Bal 3.0
Minn 4.5
CWS 4.5

There is a good chance that TB, Tor, and Sea will be the WC teams. But Baltimore is still pretty close and they have a lot of games (10) remaining with the Jays. The Jays also have quite a few games remaining against good teams, including nine games with currently-hot TB.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#420624) #
And now he's 2 for 7.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#420625) #
Thatís too good. Now Tapia needs to HR tonight.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#420626) #
"ďRun producerĒ Bichette has 0 RBI in the last 11 games"

First the scorn for not pinch-hitting for JBJ (immediately hits go-ahead double against the Yankees) then more scorn for Bichette (immediately hits two-run double against Boston). Keep it coming!
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#420627) #
Now Tapia needs to HR tonight.

They had to get him into the series. He's played five games at Fenway this year, and hit .348 with 2 HRs and 12 RBIs (one huge game, but the others were pretty good, too.) More of this, and the Jays can trade him to the Red Sox for Devers this winter.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#420628) #
The scorn for not pinch hitting for JBJ came after the positive result. Itís actually okay to have opinions that donít appeal to the authority of the manager. For example, the IBBs worked great last night, but putting on the winning run is an extremely risky strategy.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#420629) #
I thought both IBBs were good calls. In the case of the second one, they were obviously putting great emphasis on winning right now in the 10th with Romano on the mound and the rest of the higher leverage relievers already used, and Phelps having thrown 2 innings the night before.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#420630) #
Still - putting the winning run on base, in extra innings, on the road... That's walking a wire without a net. That's jumping out of an airplane with someone's else's parachute.

It's Living Dangerously!
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#420631) #
I liked the IBB in the 10th last night for the reason that Mike mentioned. Put another way, there was a substantial risk that they were losing later anyway if Romano gave up the lead so why not get the best match up for him in the circumstances.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#420632) #
Oh, it made sense. No one else on that team is as scary as Devers, and he only needed one more out.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#420633) #
More scorn required.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#420634) #
Vladdy is overrated. So, so overrated. Heís awful, in fact.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#420635) #
Youíre welcome.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#420636) #
Nice work by Tabler there, and I've never used that set of words before. But he understood how Guerrero was approaching the at bat and communicated it well.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#420637) #
Tapia's GIDP was clutch. Give Merrifield or JBJ a chance to do better.
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#420638) #
Holy smokes Schulman, easy on the damn numbers. Is this just how he copes with Apple TVís broadcast? Itís like he has a mandate to explain everything in percentages now.

Tabby: ď a lot more breaking balls away.Ē

Schulman: ď27% of the pitches that Guerrero has seen this year, inner third of the strike zone or inside. Forty-Seven percent outer third or outside so teams throwing almost twice as many pitches away as in to Guerrero.Ē

Pitcher proceeds to throw 96MPH inside.

I like this analysis, but not at a 50/50 ratio with the other stuff, you know, just describing what you see happening on the field. Get your eyes off the fan graphs page. That would be dramatic.

Dr. Zarco - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#420639) #
Iíve only been able to follow on Gameday. But man, Gausman just canít get that shut down inning. Heís been given 4 runs (could be more, lots stranded). Feels like one of many series finales I expect the Jays to win with him on the mound and he hasnít been at his best.
Nigel - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#420640) #
If there was any point to the Merrifield deal is was so that shouldnít have to happen.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#420641) #
There was no good reason for Tapia to face a lefty there with Merrifield (and Kirk) on the bench.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#420642) #
Heaps and heaps of scorn.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#420643) #
That's all for Gausman, surely. Didn't have it tonight, battled through five, but the next three hitters are 4-5 against him tonight. They should see someone else next time.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#420644) #
Tapia now has over 320 PA on the season and -0.2 WAR. Itís just depressing. A serious contender should not be relying so heavily on such a weak player heading into the postseason (assuming they make the postseason).
bpoz - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#420645) #
Need and expect a big inning. But the fans need to sweat a little more.
Four Seamer - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#420646) #
ďRun producerĒ Bichette may just produce one for the Red Sox here.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#420647) #
Unfortunate error but good job by Richards to limit the damage after allowing the RBI base hit.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#420648) #
Love the pitch call. After two sliders in the dirt - with a runner on third - he had to be looking fastball. Gets him with a third slider. A lot of catchers would have been afraid to call for another.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#420649) #
Time for a big hit.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#420650) #
Well, I wasn't expecting the Reese McGuire Vengeance Tour.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#420651) #
Porous defenseÖbut the Jays live to fight another inning.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#420652) #
The JBJ Revenge Revival Tour would work for me.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#420653) #
So he pinch-hits for JBJ. Negative 500 karma points.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#420654) #
Reese McGuire's first career triple. (Couldn't have done it without Teoscar, if they let him keep it.)
99BlueJaysWay - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#420655) #
12 men left on base. 2/10 RISP.

This team is maddening. Itís right there! Take it dammit!
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#420656) #
If this game goes to extras, the only arm left after Romano is left-handed and speaks fluent Japanese.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#420657) #
Rays win. Mís win. Oís win.

As I mentioned earlier, itís a competitive WC race. Letís see if the Jays can join the winnerís circle.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#420658) #
This game is lit. (Is that what the kids say?)
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#420659) #
I am guessing they would go to Phelps before Kikuchi in a close gameZ
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#420660) #
Well, if they score 11 runs, it might be a good time for the only rested reliever.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#420661) #
I am guessing they would go to Phelps before Kikuchi in a close game

Seven days a week and twice on Sunday normally. But on Tuesday, Phelps came on in the seventh, left in the ninth, threw a season high pitches, and is an old guy with an injury history.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#420662) #
Big, big matchup here.
Glevin - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#420663) #
Incredible win.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#420664) #
They didn't score 11 runs, so they leaned on Romano. He needs a couple of days off now, and he's earned them.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#420665) #
Wonder when the last time they went into Yankee Stadium and Fenway and came away 6-1?
BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#420666) #
The bullpen is pretty torched right now. Might need some of that sweet Kikuchi after White tomorrow
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#420667) #
Toronto went 2-12 with runners in scoring position, which is not great (Vlad and Bo had the two hits.) But Boston went 3 for 20. 3 for 20!
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#420668) #
I wonder if Chapman would agree to adding a couple more years to his contract. After watching him play third base, I donít want to go back to watching average defense at the position.
Hodgie - Thursday, August 25 2022 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#420669) #
I feel like I should check on the current mood at Sons of Sam Horn, there might be some interventions required.
Nigel - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#420670) #
An under appreciated aspect of the night was Chapmanís mental calm to realize that the right play was the DP and not throw home. Really impressive. Iíd venture on that aging well if he was amenable to an extension.
Dr. Zarco - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#420671) #
Wow, White Sox really gave the Oís one. 2 outs, 2 strikes, down 1 bottom 9, Stowers hits a foul fly to LF. Clangs off LFís glove despite being under it. Hits a tying HR then Oís win in 11. Ouch
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#420672) #
Playoff picture getting clearer now with the Jays, Rays, and Mariners all very hot. Baltimore is becoming the only other team that could pick off one of them. 2 1/2 behind Seattle, with Minnesota and the ChiSox 5 back and Red Sox now 8 behind. The Twins are 4 behind Cleveland so their division would be easier than the wild card. Before today's win Fangraphs had the Jays at 96.9% odds of making the playoffs, Rays at 87.3%, O's 4.6% and Red Sox 1.9% and dropping fast. Mariners are at 91.0%, White Sox 28.2%, Twins 19.7%. Astros and Yankees both at 100% (hard to picture either of them screwing up so bad as to miss the playoffs at this point), the Guardians are only at 70.4%. Lots of teams down to 0% in both leagues now.

I like those odds for the Jays and they certainly didn't do anything to knock those odds down vs the Red Sox. FYI: Only the Nationals are guaranteed a losing record right now (83 losses already), Dodgers the only team who has locked up an above 500 record with Houston at 81 on the button and the Mets at 80 will be there soon too.

So the big question now is with a gassed pen what do the Jays do for the next series? Romano is obviously out for a day or 2. Richards has to be as well after 30 pitches today, Mayza only threw 2 today but warmed up a TON of times so might need a day off (plus 14 the day before), Cimber and Bass both threw over 15 today so ideally they get tomorrow off. Yesterday Garcia threw 26 and was warmed up today so ideally he gets a day off too. Really the only guy rested is the nightmare known as Kikuchi. Wonder if Richards could be given a phantom injury and Kikuchi a demotion to open up 2 slots for say, Merryweather and Gage who could cover an inning or two each maybe. With White going tomorrow you need to cover 4-5 innings, so maybe a starter from AAA or AA might be called up. Casey Lawrence went today so he is out, the 2 games before that were bullpen days with no one going more than 2 innings, August 22 was an offday, the 21st was Hatch (5 IP 4 R 1 ER 1 BB 3 SO on 77 pitches 53 strikes) so he might be a good callup for tomorrow as he has gone 5+ in his last 5 starts, in fact his 8 starts since being sent down after his 4 2/3 IP start for the Jays allowing 10 runs he has gone 4 2/3 in every start at least so maybe he could cover for White who won't go 9 for sure. Oh for the days of Roy Halladay...
Magpie - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:51 AM EDT (#420673) #
there might be some interventions required.

Nah, they're totally resigned to their fate and kind of hate-watching their team. When they had second and third and none out, someone asked "they can't fail to score again, can they?" Someone quickly said "Walk, K, DP" and then actually got to check them off as they happened. "there's the Walk.... and so forth.
StephenT - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#420674) #
fyi, Ben Wagner was at Fenway for his Jays radio announcing this week (called the games solo when I was listening).

I haven't been able to find information on whether he's now travelling with the team regularly or if this was just a one-off.
92-93 - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#420675) #
Still can't believe they won last night's game with Boston having a runner on 3rd and no outs in both the 8th and 9th innings. Cimber did an absolutely tremendous job cleaning up Hernandez's mess. Also good awareness by Biggio running on contact and making a great slide to avoid the tag at home for the winning run.
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#420676) #
That game sure had it all.  Great defence, poor defence.  Great pitching, not so great pitching.  And yes, Biggio did a great job of baserunning to score the winning run.

I wasn't watching when McGuire advanced to second on Dalbec's sac fly and wondered how that happened.  Watching the video now, it looks to me like Gurriel Jr. didn't put in much of an effort at all, and threw a rainbow to second base from the warning track in left center.  He was going back but he did have time to set and make a good throw (and he certainly has the arm for that). 
Nigel - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#420677) #
My read of that play was similar. Gurriel didnít think he would tag and go to 2nd and Gurriel couldnít then make a good throw because he was drifting backwards (when there was no need). Defense goes into slumps too. Vladdy is in a defensive funk right now and Gurriel, who I think has actually improved this year to merely below average, has had a tough few games defensively as well.

Such an entertaining game - but hard to watch if youíre a Sox fan - which doubles the fun.
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#420678) #
I agree that defense goes into slumps too.  Even Chapman, who has been mostly fabulous,  had one a while ago.
92-93 - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#420679) #
The boys at SoSH thought that Duran didn't steal second last night in the bottom of the 8th because the Jays would just IBB Devers again and load the bases. Should they have done it anyway, even without an open base? Perhaps that would have been the consistent decision based on Wednesday night's move considering that nearly half of Devers' hits are XBH anyway. That would have left no margin for error though, whereas the night before they were putting on the winning run but they weren't loading the bases.
bpoz - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#420680) #
The pen is stretched for todays game.
Nigel - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#420681) #
I can understand why the SoSH guys are hate watching this yearís edition of the club. After all, outside of the manager, thereís a dearth of PEDs (or other) cheaters, fake tough guys and brash loud mouths on the team:). What Sox ďlegendsĒ can they cheer for? (I got that Sox fan dislike out of my system, Iím good for the day now:)).
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#420682) #
There's an interesting article at Sportsnet.ca which says that Gausman is one one of the unluckiest pitchers in MLB this year in regard to FIP and results of balls put in play. Even last night when he wasn't at his best, a lot of the hits weren't hit that hard and seemed to find holes.

Speaking of hard hit balls, Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz recently had the hardest hit ball ever recorded since they started doing it in 2015 with a line drive of 122.4 MPH that hit the wall so quickly that he was limited to a single. Giancalo Stanton had the previous hardest hit ball with a grounder over 120 MPH that went for an out. I'd like the to know the brave soul that stood in front of a ball hit that fast, let alone made the play on it.

Ex-Jay Corey Dickinson had his streak of 10 straight at bats with a hit halted last night in a Cardinal's game.
92-93 - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#420683) #
Garcia, Phelps, and Kikuchi are available tonight. Bass (2x) and Cimber have pitched on three consecutive days this season and seemed no worse for the wear. Mazya threw 2 pitches on Wednesday. That should be enough coverage for tonight's game. If it isn't then you simply must bite the bullet and ask for more from White (and Kikuchi). Go with an opener if you're that scared of him facing guys for a third time, a particularly good strategy against a team like the Angels that are so top-heavy with Trout and Ohtani.
scottt - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#420684) #
The wild card picture is not clear at all.
Anyone could crash out quickly and who knows who will win the AL Central and host the last place team.

Jays have played poorly in Tampa, Baltimore and any central location.

Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#420685) #
It would take guts for the club to make a Tiedemann for Kikuchi move. Readiness is a hard thing to measure. But Tiedemann has been pitching once a week for 3 innings and he last threw on August 19. I wonder.
Magpie - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#420686) #
The wild card picture is not clear at all.

Which figures. It's still August! Talk to me in two weeks.
scottt - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#420688) #
Pitching outside with a shifted defense is not necessary unlucky.
The coaches can decide were the fielders play. They cannot dictate where the pitcher throw.
They can only tell the pitcher to throw inside and he can decide not to do it, choosing to give a single over a homerun.

scottt - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#420689) #
Chapman will go for the most money he can get.
The good news there is that the Jays can offer him a QO.

The 2024 team might look quite different. At some point some younger guys need to be added.
Or they could make another trade. 

ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 26 2022 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#420698) #
" Pitching outside with a shifted defense is not necessarily unlucky."

No, but in one instance last night McGuire was at the plate and the runner on first broke for second with the pitch. The pitch was outside and McGuire slapped at it to protect the runner and hit it where Chapman had been before he moved to cover second. So, Gausman was unlucky in that Bichette wasn't covering second base or it was a probable double play.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 28 2022 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#420781) #
I haven't seen Spencer Horwitz play the outfield, but if he's competent in left field, he would be an upgrade on Tapia.  The bar is low.  I believe Tsutsugo may have slightly more range than a brick in the outfield and he too might have more value than Tapia. 

It should be noted that at this point, Zimmer is at 0.2 bWAR for the year and Tapia is at -0.5 bWAR.  Zimmer is on pace to be about 1 win better per year, despite an uncharacteristic .189 BABIP. 

It's Sunday, so even though this is not my day of rest, it's respectful to temper my scorn with a constructive suggestion.  Nonetheless, I have (I think) met my SQ, scorn quota, and the day is young.    
Toronto at Boston, August 23-25 | 190 comments | Create New Account
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