May-Day?

May always seems to give the Jays some problems. However,
this year was the first time the Jays were in a position to have a bad May and still
be right in the thick of things. While everyone was complaining about their
9-game losing streak the Jays almost managed to finish the month 0.500 and were
only 3 games back by the end of the month. But what happened in May??

After winning rookie of the month in April, Scott Richmond has been struggling a bit recenetly.
The one thing that puzzles me about Richmond
though is that he usually only has one bad inning per game. If he is able to
get out of that bad inning it has been lights out for the opposing team. His problem
is that sometimes he digs the team too much of a hole and they cannot recover.

In the losing streak the offence completely disappeared. In the nine games the
Jays were only able to score more than 3 runs once! Up until that point the
Jays were averaging 6 runs per game. An overworked bullpen also faltered
slightly when the Jays were in striking distance and the bull pen could not
hold it. The kicker being the finale against the Orioles where the Jays offence
came back late in the game and pulled ahead in extra innings only to watch the
bullpen give up the lead.

Any positives that can be taken out of May? Even after losing 9 games in a
row the Jays finished the month 14-15. Not only that, they also took 2 of 3
from Boston
immediately after the losing streak.

So looking towards June, and interleague play, the Jays really need to buck up
on the road. They only have 10 road games this month (Tex, Phi, Was) and with
their dominance at home so far this season this is a good chance for them to
reclaim first place from the resurging Yankees. Annoyingly this season the Jays
have seen AL East opponents few and far between, they have yet to see the Rays,
so when they are playing “weaker” divisions they must take advantage.

Looking forward to a great June with lots of good baseball!

KEY LOSS  — Jesse Litsch out for the season with Tommy John Surgery

The Not-So Magnificent Seven

Most Blue Jays fans knew this was coming at one point in the season. The offence has fizzled in their last seven games. After a great bounce back sweep of the White Sox, at which I was at Robert Ray’s gem on Saturday, The Jays set out on a 9 game road trip. Currently they have played 7 of those games, all losses.

The sweep of the White Sox came after losing 2 of 3 to the Yankees. This series had close games and some domination from the Blue Jays. bautista steal.jpg
The Jays looked like they had bounced back nicely after a heart breaking series with the Yankees. In the game on Saturday Robert Ray gave a glimpse of what he will be able to do. Although I was nervous throughout the entire game with the Jays offence struggling they pulled it out in the end.

The game on Sunday our Ace Halladay took the mound and after giving up two runs in the first he settled down and pitched another gem.
Many of my friends from Ottawa actually went up to that game and the picture below of Rios is courtesy of one of those that was there.
rios warming up.jpg

After the sweep it was looking good for the Jays heading into Boston. Alas, the Jays failed to win the any games in Boston. And even worse the Jays offence, even while spitting out hits, couldn’t drive in any runs. It was Deja Vu of last year when they could get people on and not score them.

After the series the Jays sent down rookies Ray, Cecil, and Snider while calling up Janseen, Romero, and Inglett. These moves I feel were appropriate and the only one that caught me a little off guard was Snider. But the reasoning behind it was simple. He wasn’t going to get starts in interleague so why not keep him batting every day. Hopefully Snider can find that confidence he had at the beginning of the year and really help the team.

Even after the sweep to a division rival the Jays remained in first in the east. Unfortunately their offence did not show up in Atlanta either. The team failed to capitalize on chances yet again and lost all three games to Atlanta. Losing the first two games by one run and keeping the last game close until the bullpen couldn’t hold it in the eighth. All the games in this series were within one run in the eighth inning and where as the beginning of the year was filled with comeback wins lately they have been filled with disappointing losses.

This series in Orioles is now a very important one for the Jays. They will need to regain their confidence for the upcoming series with Boston. With Ricky Romero making his first start after the DL tonight hopefully the Jays can pull one out for the rookie who has been nothing but great to start his big league career.

Jays fans this is no time to panic. The Jays will be able to bounce back and they have the benifit of having such a great April that even after losing 7 in a row they are only a game and half back. Rios has been making better contact and Wells has been adjusting to his mini-funk by stealing bases. So let’s keep on supporting those Jays!!

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Awesome April

It is often said it is how you finish something to determine whether a job was well done. But every great finish needs a good beginning. The Blue Jays have done exactly that. In the month of April the Jays led the league in hits, extra base hits, runs scored, and the american league with wins.

Where did it all begin? It began with a new approach to the game. KEEP IT SIMPLE! Cito Gaston has been able to get these hitters on the page they need to be on to be effective. Not only are their hitters getting it done but there rookie pitching has been quite effective. Great starts by rookies Ricky Romero and rookie of the month Scott Richmond have been a great surprise.

In the month of April the Jays were also able to grind out a lot of games. Every game I thought they were in it till the very last out, which I cannot say the same for last year. I have been on the edge of my seat many times this season and even when I lost faith for a second the Blue Jays have restored it.

The end of April did not turn out as the Jays would like it with their first season loss to the Royals but they came out of the gates running in May.

In the first three games in May the Blue Jays got their first sweep of the season against the Orioles. This was the first time the Jays have played an AL East team. Even with this being a fact is the entire league think every team other than the AL East is easy? The Jays have been winning games that they should and if a team does that they will stay in first as long as the Jays have this season.

Yet, I still read and hear every once in a while Jays fans complaining. STOP! The Jays are winning, enjoy it!

With the Jays starting May with 4 wins and 1 loss, and it sure looks like 5 wins after a 13-0 lead in the eighth inning in LA, lets look forward to a May which sees the AL east which should silence some of the credits out there.

First to Ten

Fourteen games into the season the Blue Jays are the first team in the American League. In these fourteen games we have seen some very impressive ball being played by the Jays.

After wrapping up the series in Cleveland with a win they headed to the Minnesota where they have had some recent success. This series had some great games and the only one the Blue Jays lost was an extra inning thriller. Travis Snider hit a home run that looked like it was still going up when it hit the second deck becoming the youngest Jay to hit two home runs in a game. Also in the series, Ricky Romero threw in a solid start but got a no decision. Unfortunately in this series though we also saw Jesse Litsch go down with an injury. Luckily the Blue Jays were able to rally around this and win the game. With the loss of Litsch the Jays put Tallet into the rotation.

After the successful road trip the Jays headed home to some excited fans to play the A’s. The series did not open well with the Jays losing the first game 8-5 but they would not let this get to them. In the following contest Brian Tallet, in his first start in a couple of years, managed to put forth a very strong outing and the rest of the bullpen managed to keep the A’s to just one-hit the rest of the game. Unfortunately the Jays were not able to score Marco Scuatro in the ninth after some great base-running but Lyle Overbay, just before his bobblehead day, came through in the Bottom of the twelfth with his first career walk-off home run. In the final game of this series Ricky Romero, who has been quite impressive this season, pitched an absolute gem in a pitcher’s dual. Ricky went seven strong innings allowing no runs and BJ Ryan hopefully quited some doubters for a little while by pitching a scoreless ninth allowing the Jays to win 1-0. And who got the RBI of the winning run? Lyle Overbay yet again. Perhaps bobble-head day has more powers than we know.

Even though it is still very early in the season Jays fan should be enjoying what they are season. I myself and am excited and can’t understand why in many fan sites there are still nay-sayers. Watching the emergence of this team has been extremely exciting and I look forward to watching the next 10 wins.
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Delayed but not Out

The game today had the feeling that it would be delayed at some point. Cleveland just seems to always have that ability when the Jays come to town. It was the first game of the season for the fifth starter Scott Richmond.

For whatever reason Cleveland has caused the Jays a lot of trouble over the past few years. The game started off much of the same as the last couple years with the Jays down early. With the rookie pitcher, Scott Lewis, for the tribe looking to have the hitters baffled it looked like the tradition would continue.

However in the top of the fourth Adam Lind hit a 2-run shot, can he hit or what? Following this Kevin Millar in his first start of the season hits a single, getting thrown out at second, to drive in another run. This was Millar’s second hit of the night showing that he can still hit.

In the top of the fifth Marco Scutaro knocked out a solo shot and after Aaron Hill hit a single the game was delayed.

1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours and 47 minutes… The longest delay in Blue Jay history in fact. In that delay it seemed like the bats did not cool down. Adam Lind doubled high off the wall in left. With Scott Rolen hitting a single to move Lind to third Millar managed to drive him in notching his second RBI.

In the top of the seventh the Blue Jays were able to take advantage of some miscues in the defence as well as some good hitting to make the lead 7-4. However in the bottom of the inning the bullpen coughed up the lead letting the Indians tie up the game at 7. In this inning Tallet gave up a two-run shot. There was a missed double play oppourtunity and Brandon League could not get a strike. So they managed to score 3 runs on only 1 hit…

After yet another miscue by the Indians in the top of the eighth the Blue Jays had the bases loaded for Marco Scutaro. Marco Scutaro managed to hit a bloop single just infront of Choo. This scored both Rolen and McDonald, who pinch ran for Millar. After a costly balk Rios curled a double into the corner to score both Barrett and Scutaro. Adam Lind added two more RBI after a double and the routing was officially on.

Early on this season the one thing that the Blue Jays needed to do this year to have any sort of chance of winning has come true. The hitters have supported their pitchers. With the young rotation and a slumping offence last year people have completely overlooked the Jays. All I know is so far this season, every game has been exciting to watch.

Series One is Done

The first series is in the book s for the 2009 season. So what have we learned up to this point? One thing is for certain this is not the Blue Jays team that started last season.

The first game showed the offence supporting their ace Roy Halladay, who struggled only in his own eyes. In the first game of the season we were witness to Adam Lind setting a record of 6 RBI in the opening game of the season. Travis Snider also opened up the season with a home run. One of the things that was needed this season was for these two rookies to step up. If this is a sign of things to come the Jays of the future should be an exciting team to see.

The second game ended up to be a splendid pitcher’s duel between David Purcey and Edwin Jackson. David Purcey seemed to unravel mentally a bit in the seventh but finished the inning and ended the game with seven very solid innings. With the Jays down by 3 in the eighth things looked grim. But the thing that the Blue Jays couldn’t do until the second half of the seaosn last year they did in the second game. Two home runs laters, by Scott Rolen and Aaron Hill, the Jays had the lead going into the ninth. The Tigers managed to tie it in the ninth but Barajas gave the Jays their first walk-off win of the season in the bottom of the ninth after a sac fly.

In the third game of the season the Jays suffered their first loss. The long ball of Inge, hitting a home run in his third consecutive game, and the other Tigers really hurt the young Jesse Litche. The offence of the Jays was not able to bail out their pitcher in this game unfortunately and the Jays fell to 2 and 1.

Going into the final game we saw a little bit of baseball history. It was the first time that two first rounders had ever made their respective major league debut’s against each other. In this game the Jays fell behind 2-0 early. However the batters for the Jays didn’t want to disappoint Romero, or his family, in his first start. Following home runs from Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, Romero was able to leave the game with a lead after six solid innings. Marco Scutaro added another home run to secure the victory for the Jays.

This first series most likely shocked Jays nation. After watching this series most fans should be looking forward to a team that can provide a lot of excitement and hopefully continue to surprise people all season.

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An Early Season Comeback

The first game of the season was supposed to be the pitcher’s dual. It just got postponed one day. Edwin Jackson continued his great stuff against the Blue Jays and frustrated all the batters. David Purcey was equally as good lasting 7 strong innings.

David Purcey did have a very rough 7th inning however. After throwing away an intentional walk when throwing to second he also overthrew second. That gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead.

Going into the Bottom of the eighth, and remembering how long it took the Jays to have a comeback, things were not looking good. Scott Rolen got things going with a towering solo shot. Things were starting to lookup. With Travis Snider on first Marco Scutaro hit a seeing eye single up the middle. The stage was set for Aaron Hill.

First pitch swinging on the curve-ball Aaron Hill hit a home run just clearing the wall. The Blue Jays went into the ninth with a one run lead.

B.J. Ryan came into the game striking out the first batter. Things were looking good. But the re-tuned swing of Brandon Inge managed to hit a fastball on the outer side of the plate almost to straight away center field. B.J. Ryan managed to get out of the rest of the inning unscathed.

Could there be a walk-off victory on the second game of the season this year? Well who says you can’t be the hero two nights in a row. With one out in the bottom of the ninth , a full count to Adam Lind, he drew a walk…

Only an inning ago Scott Rolen started off the scoring for the Blue Jays with a solo shot. And he would hit an opposite field single to get the pinch runner Jose Bautista to third base with only one out. With Lyle Overbay getting the intentional pass the bases were loaded and set for Rod Barajas. With two balls and two strikes on him Rod Barajas hits the next pitch deep to center field. With Granderson catching the ball Jose Bautista was able to jog his way home to give the Blue Jays the victory!!!

An exciting come back victory on the second game of the season. Is this a sign of things to come! This Jays fan hopes so.

Opening with a Bang

Right from the first pitch of the game the Blue Jays looked like a different team from the offensively challenged version of last year. Exploding for 4 runs in the first was a pleasant surprise.

In the second when Travis Snider was stranded at second, after a lead off double, I was worried that the Blue Jays of old had quickly re-emerged. But it did not last long.

Travis Snider continued his strong showing with a solo shot to start the scoring in the fourth with the inning ending with another young star belting a 3-run shot. The young guns of the Jays drove in a total of 7 runs which is quite impressive for their first opening days.

The day truly did belong to Adam Lind however. Driving in 6, notching 3 singles and a home-run. It was most impressive to see some production from the young DH.

Up and down the line-up everyone had a decent day and it looks like the offence of the Blue Jays might actually be able to hold their own. Of course it is a long season and we shall see if the Jays can ride this momentum and start off the season on a high.

Let the real games begin!

Well it has been an extra long spring but it is time for our boys to come back home. Many people are not looking forward to this upcoming season for the Blue Jays but I am. Why? I want to see the Blue Jays shock the world!

There were many positives to take out of this spring training. The one that was most exciting was seeing Travis Snider continue to look like he belongs. This kid does nothing but impress. I am looking forward to seeing him in the Rookie of the Year race.

Perhaps the fact that Travis Snider and Adam Lind have benefited so much under Cito Gaston will push the veterans of the team to work that much harder.

Now even though these games did not matter and it is too early to tell but another positive I took out of the spring was that the Blue Jays were able to actually hit the ball and drive in runs past the 7th inning. This was a big problem last year and hopefully this will carry-on into the regular season and fans will not have to wait till half the season is done to see a come from behind victory.

The biggest question coming out of the spring is the starting pitching. Roy Halladay, of course, will be spectacular as always but what of the rest? Jesse Litche will have to step up to an unfamiliar roll and guide the rookie pitchers on the staff through what he went through just two years ago.

David Purcey has had an impressive spring and should continue his strong outtings for at least a month but we will see how long he can handle the added pressure. Ricky Romero and Scott Richmond have had a mixed spring. Ricky Romero seemed to be constantly improving so it will be interesting to see if he continues this trend. Scott Richmond unfortunately wasted some starts by sitting on the bench thanks to Ernie Whitt.

Overall, I am looking forward to an exciting season and cannot wait till Monday night when it will all begin.

Go Jays Go!

Spring is Here! Kind-of

Even though there is tons of snow still on the ground and weather won’t be warming up anytime soon, the pitchers and catchers of the Blue Jays have reported down to Florida marking the first day of Spring in the eyes of Jays fans across Canada. This marks the beginning of a season which will either be a long one or a surprising one. The Jays unable to perform any big moves this year relied exclusively on minor league deals to try and recover from a disappointing 2008 campaign. 

All is was not lost last year however. We saw the emergence of Travis Snider and Adam Lind under the leadership of Cito Gaston. The offence had a large turnaround at the arrival of Cito Gaston as well leaving all Jays thinking what could have been. It is 11 days till our first spring training game against the Yankees and perhaps that will be the beginning for a surprise year for the Blue Jays that us fans so desperately would enjoy.

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