Despite putting about 80% of my attention on the World Cup (and, of course, betting on the World Cup), I woke up this morning with many different thoughts on my mind about the Jays. No better place to put them than in a random Saturday column. Here goes:
– I hate rain shortened games in baseball. Another professional sport does not exist that allows an unfinished game to go in the record books as a final. I don’t really have a solution, because the sheer number of games in a baseball season makes postponing/rescheduling/resuming games very, very difficult. But the Blue Jays deserved a better fate last night. Ubaldo Jimenez without question has been the best pitcher in the game this year, but the Jays touched him up for three runs last night, the most he has allowed in a game all season. His ERA jumped from 0.93 to 1.16. But the biggest disappointment was that through six innings, though the Jays were down 5-3, Jimenez had thrown 106 pitches. That meant that the Rockies were likely going to go to their bullpen for the final three innings. Colorado’s pen has a very good ERA (3.25, 6th overall in the MLB), but with a record of 6-12 and 6 blown saves, a win was far from a sure thing. Unfortunately it goes into the books as a loss. Very unfair in the humble opinion of this lowly sportswriter.
– I don’t understand the uproar I am hearing from people on the Jays decision to send reliever Rommie Lewis to the minors in order to recall Jessie Litsch. “Why would he go down when he has pitched so well” was a common complaint. Well friends, a 4.91 ERA in 18.1 IP is nothing to write home about, especially for a situational lefty type reliever. With Scott Downs and an effective (albeit slightly used) David Purcey already in the pen, and Brian Tallet (a starter who really is better suited as a long reliever) already on the roster, Lewis no longer had a place. Watching him struggle against New York and Tampa in his last two appearances (3 IP, 4 ER, 4 BB) did little to help his cause. If Jessie Litsch is truly ready to go, he is a much better fifth starter than Brian “Billy Talent” Tallet, thus strengthening Toronto’s rotation and bullpen. Besides, what kind of name is Rommie anyways?
– Jose Bautista is struggling. In his last 24 plate appearances he has 0 hits and 5 walks for a .000 avg, .208 OBP, and a .208 OPS. Perhaps pitchers have figured out a way to get him out, neutralizing his blazing start. But forget all that. Have you watched Jose grow a beard? Unbelievable. I feel like I watch a game on a Monday night and Bautista has a full, lush beard. Then on Tuesday, he is clean shaven, perhaps trying to break out of a slump. But without a word of a lie, by Thursday night the beard is right back, full, thick, and dark. Incredible.
– When Kevin Gregg takes the mound in a save situation, I get afraid. I literally almost vomited on Thursday night when he gave up a leadoff homer and put two men on. I think I actually might have wet my pants. Twice. We need a reliable closer…
– If anybody had the chance to watch This Week In Baseball last weekend, you will understand what I am about to say. The Blue Jays bullpen needs to get somebody on the team to serenade them with a song each game day. Go to each bullpen member’s home in the morning, sit cross-legged on his bed while he is still half sleeping, and sing a song while playing guitar. It works for Cincinnati Reds rookie Mike Leake when “Charles” Bronson Arroyo does it, so why not for the Jays? Despite my best efforts I can not locate a clip on the internet to link to, but trust me – it was at once the weirdest, strangest, and most uncomfortable thing I have ever seen. same sites expired domains apache web server website offline link checker .