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The first place Texas Rangers come into town for a three game series.  Given the current state of the Jays, one win would be nice and two would be surprising.  The Jays throw JA Happ, Carlos Villanueva and Henderson Alvarez.  Texas answers with Yu Darvish, Roy Oswalt and Matt Harrison.  None of those Texas pitchers have been lights-out so the Jays are not outmatched on the mound but offensively the Jays have problems.
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The Blue Jays go into Boston to start a very important two week period. The Jays play 14 straight games leading into the all-star break. They face Boston, LA Angels, Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox. As the rotation stands currently Henderson Alvarez and Aaron Laffey will make three of those starts and Jesse Chavez two.
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Ugh. The Hamilton home run would have been TOO storybook of a finish, huh?

It's no surprise that #1 Ranger fan/addict (and valued Bauxite) Jamey Newberg summed it up best on behalf of all us North Texas baseball watchers  in his e-mail newsletter this morning ...

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Sorry about the lack of a daily thread today - I was busy last night drinking my election sorrows away. How about a game thread instead?
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Okay, we here at Da Box -- for good reason -- have not posted a "Game Thread" since the Canada/South Africa World Cup game in March 2006. The last major league game thread was in May 2005. So let's see how this goes.

The Yankees are in the ALCS, and I take it as a given that every Bauxite here (except me) wants them to lose horribly and tragically. They're playing the (holy crap!) Rangers, my hometown team. For the record -- no, I haven't actually decided to root for one or the other, but rather will be in the awkward fan position of wanting both teams to do well. Hometown vs. long-time favorite? That's a no-lose, and I will definitely have a dog in this year's World Series hunt.

Most of the expert projections I have heard and read so far lean to the Yankees, giving them a position-by-position edge pretty much everywhere except CF (Hamilton over Granderson), RF (Cruz over Swisher) abd DH (Vlad over anyone the Yankees toss out there). Everyone gives bullpen and bench to the Yankees, and most give rotation that direction, too. I might disagree at shortstop, catcher (Posada has really fallen off a cliff, and I don't mean Lee, but speaking of Lee), maybe about the rotation too.

A final question -- and I don't know the answer or have any idea how to look it up. Tonight's starting pitching matchup, initially speaking, pits C.C. Sabathia against C. J. Wilson. Is this the first time in baseball history that a post-season game has posted two double-initial monikered guys against each other? Magpie, any thoughts?

Personal projection: the Rangers run wild on Posada, get two wins from Lee and one each from WIlson and Colby Lewis, and the Rangers advance to sure annihilation by the Phillies. (Can't quite break the long North Texas haseball habit of gloom and doom ...)

Canada versus Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids. Feel free to follow along here!

This isn't a real Game Thread, just a belated look back at the bullpen as it was 2 weeks ago. We will catch up on Friday. We won't talk about what happened this afternoon.

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Sox up 1-0 behind the 'smart ball' of hitting the ball out of the park.
The White Sox have won six in a row. As the immortal (because he never really existed) Jean-Luc Picard once said, "The line must be drawn here!"
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And now here comes the best team in baseball -- improbably, it's the White Sox, who are off to a much faster start than anyone expected. But as Gwyn points out in his excellent AL Central Report, and as Mike D confirms in another superlative Advance Scout, the ChiSox are playing somewhat over their heads these days. Now would be a good time for the Jays' bats to wake up against some overachieving Chicago starters. The ageless El Duque Hernandez opposes the rapidly improving Dave Bush tonight in a matchup somehow reminiscent of 1980s Expos broadcasts.

Don't forget, the countdown to IRC Game Threads is on -- Monday, May 9, marks the debut of Batter's Box's coolest new feature.

May 5, 2005

TORONTO -- In its continuing effort to provide the best possible tools to the best of Canada's baseball fans, Batter's Box Interactive Magazine is introducing a new "Game Chat" option beginning with the Monday, May 9 game at Kansas City.

"It's a decision we've come to after months of discussion," said Batter's Box Senior Editor Jordan Furlong. "The Batter's Box roster sees this as an opportunity to expand our usefulness in two critical ways."

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It's an unusual 3:05 start today, which is nominally getaway day for the Jays even though they have an off day tomorrow. Halladay (4-1, 3.40) takes on Erik Bedard (2-1, 2.84) who had a terrific outing in his last start versus Toronto.
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Can the 15-12 Toronto Blue Jays win their third in a row and guarantee a series win over the finally-put-in-their-place 17-8 Baltimore Orioles?
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The Jays are in Baltimore to take on the red hot Orioles. The O's are eight and two in their least ten and Miguel Tejada is on a 4 game homer streak, but they haven't seen anything like this Chacin kid yet.
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An empty glass, the lady sings
Eyes swollen like a bee sting
Blinded you lost your way
Through the side streets and the alleyway
Like a star exploding in the night
Falling to the city in broad daylight
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