It was a travel day in the International League, so the Syracuse Skychiefs will have to wait another game to extend their winning streak to two. Elsewhere in the minors, it was a successful day for all of the Jaysí farm teams except, perhaps predictably, the powerful squad in Charleston.
The Bosox make their second visit to SkyDome on the season, still in first place (if no longer by themselves in the top spot). After the Jays' disheartening defeat yesterday, four games with the Red Sox does not exactly seem to be a welcome tonic for the bullpen blues.
Still, there is reason for optimism. Boston's still missing two key bats, and several 2003 mashers (see, e.g., Mueller, Bill; Ortiz, David) have been rather ordinary offensive players in 2004. And while tonight's opponent, Curt Schilling, has been outstanding this season, the Jays have been the only team in the AL to have roughed him up this season -- and they've done it twice. Can beating The Drum help us beat the Red Sox? We'll see...
Finally, I'd like to apologize to one and all for not scouting the Royals' series. Alas, real life occasionally interferes.
On to the Advance Scout!
Just a few days ago, it all looked great. The Blue Jays appeared to have finally emerged from their season-opening funk with six straight wins, and fans were looking ahead at the Yankees, not behind to the Devil Rays. Then came two straight demoralizing losses, including a truly ugly outing yesterday in Kansas City, and the news that Chris Woodward and Chris Speier were off to the DL. Now the Jays come home to face the powerhouse Boston Red Sox, the start of an intimidating 16-game stretch where the Jays play not one game against a team with a losing record. Add to that today's terrible news about Dustin McGowan, and this looks like low-morale time for the organization.
I know I haven't written much around here recently, but I really wanted to mention a new blog that I like quite a lot. It's called Dominican Players
, and it's by Raul Tavares, a fan from Santo Domingo.
The name is self-explanatory. It's a site about Dominican players. Go read the archives; there's some great stuff in there.
Just a few days ago, it all looked great. The Blue Jays appeared to have finally emerged from their season-opening funk with six straight wins, and fans were looking ahead at the Yankees, not behind to the Devil Rays. Then came two straight demoralizing losses, including a truly ugly outing yesterday in Kansas City, and the news that reliever Chris Speier was off to the DL. Now the Jays come home to face the powerhouse Boston Red Sox, the start of an intimidating 16-game stretch where the Jays play not one game against a team with a losing record. Add to that today's terrible news about Dustin McGowan, and this looks like low-morale time for the organization.
Personally, I can't think of any possible worse news to emerge from the Blue Jays' minor-league system than that Dustin McGowan has been placed on the disabled list and is expected to miss the rest of the season
. We don't know any more than you do at the moment, so we can't say whether McGowan will be back on a mound next April. More details to follow.
Through a crack in the ceiling
And I'll have to spend
My time on repair
Yesterday was a day for firsts: The Chiefs won for the first time in 10 days; Bob File recorded his first professional win since April 14, 2001; And the AA Fisher Cats moved into first place after sweeping a doubleheader.
Today, an afternoon tilt that won't be available locally on TV - it's Lilly v Affeldt.
The Royals most valuable pitching commodity may be Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt has thrown the ball in his fiurst two years in the major, but he's been bothered by blisters. His strikeout rate has dropped considerably in 2004 (17 in 37.1 IP) - something to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Ted Lilly has looked better of late, apart from giving up gopher balls at the wrong time. The Royals missed him in Skydome, so it will be interesting to see who the element of surprise favours today.
Although Batter's Box favourite Reed Johnson is an outfielder, there are more than a few similarities between "Sparky" and 24-year-old infielder Dominic Rich. When asked about past ballplayers that influenced them, Johnson and Rich named two men famous for their on-field intensity. The words "throwback" and "old-school" come to mind, and it's hard for a true baseball fan not to like either of them. Reed Johnson arrived at the major leagues with little fanfare and showed he could play; don't bet against Dominic Rich doing the same.
Syracuse dropped their eighth straight last night, but Dunedin broke a five-game skid with a late-inning comeback. Charleston also won and is sitting on a 24-8 record.
The people keep on writing, and wishing I was well
I said, "It's no occasion, it's no story I can tell"
The Mighty Drum has been cleared for the upcoming homestand against the Boston Red Sox. Now that we have that out of the way, who's coming out to make some noise with the Cheer Club? I need your RSVPs ASAP so that we can give the Jays an idea of how many people are coming. Drop me a line at email@example.com
I'm posting this game thread early because I'll soon be leaving for Team Coach's baseball game this afternoon. From there it will be over to the well-advertised Will Carroll Pizza Feed.
Though he is but 27 years old, today's starter Dennys Reyes is with his 7th major league team. He's been a reliever most of his career so pitch count should be an issue for him tonight.
Doc has been in a groove, notwithstanding the 11 hits he gave up his last time out. Most of them were bloopers and high choppers. A crazy idea has been bouncing around my head - would it be a good idea to sit Hinske and play Gomez at third and Woodward at short tonight? Interior defence is what Doc needs most, and Gomez' arm is so much better than Hinske's that he might get an out of two that Eric wouldn't.
Syracuse and Dunedin are going through a tough time, both have multiple game losing streaks. Charleston are back on track. New Hampshire are the hottest team, the offense has been on fire since the arrival of Stubby Clapp. And Francisco Rosario is back.