Sunday, July 22, 2018

Game #98 - Shit Birds @ Jays

Sunday 22 July 2018
1:07PM EDT / Skydome
 Andrew Cashner (RHP 2-9 4.56ERA 81K 1.52WHIP)
v. J.A. Happ (LHP 10-6 4.29ERA 121K 1.19WHIP)

Here's a half-assed game thread without lineups because I have to be at the theatre for 11:30. Thanks to Dabbles for stepping in and helping out yesterday. I know he's tied up today.

All I can say is thank God for the shitbirds. Go Jays!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Game #97 Baltimore Orioles (28-71) @ Toronto Blue Jays (45-52) - game recap

Marcus Stroman threw seven strong innings as the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 4-1

JA Happ is still a Blue Jay. Will he start tomorrow? Before that game happens, the Blue jays had a game today and Marcus Stroman was on the mound looking to bounce back from a not so good start last Sunday against Boston. Josh Donaldson is slowly progressing from the calf injury but has not anticipated return date. Last night's game was a bit wild. The Blue Jays had a 7-2 lead after seven innings but the Orioles came back with a pair in the 8th and 3 off Tyler Clippard in the 9th. The Blue Jays walked it off in the 10th. Thanks to Sam Gaviglio's strong 7.2 inning performance, the Blue Jays have a rested bullpen for this weekend. Randal Grichuk is in center field with the absence of Kevin Pillar. Could the Blue Jays extend the winning streak to 2 games? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Orioles took the lead in the top of the first as Adam Jones singled, scoring Tim Beckham
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 4th as Randal Grichuk doubled home Justin Smoak
  • Two batters later, the Blue Jays took the lead as Yangervis Solarte scored on a double play ball hit by Aledmys Diaz
  • The Blue Jays extended the lead as the next batter, Luke Maile singled home Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays added another run in the bottom of the 5th as Teoscar Hernandez scored on a balk by Alex Cobb
  • Alex Cobb pitching line: 5IP 4H 4R (1 earned) 3BB 4K 88 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Marcus Stroman pitching line: 7IP 5H 1R (earned) 2BB 7K 107 pitches (71 for strikes)
  • Ryan Tepera pitched a perfect 9th for his 7th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Orioles 1
My Take

  • Marcus Stroman was excellent today, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a pair of walks (three of the hits allowed were in the 1st inning). He was inducing a ton of ground ball outs, which is a good indicator that he was on today. Stroman had perfect innings in the 2nd and 7th.
  • The bullpen was excellent today sending the Orioles batters down in order in the 8th and 9th innings after allowing 3 runs and blowing the save yesterday. 
  • Luke Maile and Aledmys Diaz were both 2-3 and Maile drove in a run.
  • Up next, JA Happ makes what could be his final start in a Blue Jays uniform as the Blue Jays go for the series sweep. Andrew Cashner will be pitching for the Orioles.

Game #97 - Shit Birds @ Jay Birds

Saturday July 21, 2018 | 1:07 pm
Alex Cobb vs. Marcus Stroman

PREAMBLE: I have to leave at 12 and I didnt see anyone making a thread so here are the lineups! 

Of Note: Alex Cobb has been real shit this year.


This is your game thread "Bring on the prospects" edition.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Game #96 Baltimore Orioles (28-70) @ Toronto Blue Jays (44-52) - game recap

Aledmys Diaz hit a walk-off single as the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 8-7 in extra innings

Blue Jays baseball is back! After a successful all-star game where JA Happ notched his first career save, the Blue Jays get back to work and begin the final stretch of the season. This series will be missing a big bat as Manny Machado was traded to the LA Dodgers Wednesday for a series of prospects. Closer Zach Britton could also be traded at any time. Happ is slated to make what will likely be his final start in a Blue Jays uniform on Sunday. The Blue Jays also began life without Kevin Pillar who will be out up to 6 weeks with an SC joint injury. Could the Pillar-less Blue Jays prevail over the Machado-less Orioles. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd on an Aledmys Diaz home to left-center 
  • The Orioles tied it in the top of the 5th on a Tim Beckham solo HR to straightaway center 
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a Russell Martin R to left-center
  • The next batter, Randal Grichuk homered to center
  • 4 batters later, Devon Travis scored on a Toescar Hernandez sac fly 
  • The next batter, Justin Smoak doubled home Curtis Granderson
  • Dylan Bundy pitching line: 5IP 5H 5R (all earned) 1BB 3K 79 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added to the lead in the bottom of the 7th on a Travis triple that scored Diaz
  • The next batter, Granderson singled home Travis
  • The Orioles got a pair back on a 2 run HR by Chris Davis also scoring Adam Jones
  • Sam Gaviglio pitching line: 7.2IP 7H 4R (all earned) 1BB 8K 103 pitches (71 for strikes)
  • The Orioles got one back in the top of the 9th as Trey Mancini scored on a wild pitch by Tyler Clippard
  • Two batters later, Caleb Joseph homered to get the Orioles within 1
  • Two batters later, the game was tied as Jonathon Schoop homered to left
  • Diaz hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 10th inning scoring Martin
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Orioles 7
My Take
  • Sam Gaviglio was excellent tonight, pitching 7.2 strong innings. Gaviglio scattered 7 hits throughout the game and had perfect innings in the 1st, 2nd and 7th. He retired the first 6 batters he faced. Gaviglio has definitely earned himself another start if one or both of Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez are not ready to return from injury.
  • Tyler Clippard blew the save tonight, allowing 3 runs on a wild pitch and 2 home runs. Clippard should not be closing for the Blue Jays. Tyler Clippard has now blown 6 saves in 12 save opportunities. Expect Ryan Tepera to get the next save opportunity 
  • Aledmys Diaz was excellent tonight, going 4-5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored
  • Russell Martin also did well at the plate with a pair of hits and a pair of runs scored
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look for their second straight win as Marcus Stroman pitches against Alex Cobb.

Game #96: Shit Birds @ Blue Birds

Friday July 20, 2018 | 7:07 pm
Dylan Bundy (6-9, 4.35, 1.31) vs. Sammy G (2-3, 4.58, 1.32)


We are back in action after a long 5 days off. The Jays are lucky to jump in right away against the Shitbirds. Not only do they have the worst record in baseball but they also just traded their only good player in Machado! (okay i just checked and they are essentially tied with KC for the worst but KC has a slightly worse winning percentage) This will definitely help them in the long run but makes them significantly worse this weekend when they face your slightly less bad but still horrible Toronto Bluebirds. At least they still have Chris Davis...


There is just over a week before the trade deadline! Shapkins better start making calls or I will be angry! but for the time being...enjoy the players on our current roster while they are Jays.

In minor league news, Vlad is back in AA! you may already be aware after witnessing my lonely 2 hour play by play by myself last night. He ended the day 1-4 in his first game back up. I wonder how long he is staying in AA before being sent up to Buffalo. I would imagine not very long at this point in the season. Bo looked great last night going 2-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI! I will keep you all posted about tonight's happenings as I will be watching both the Fishercats and the Jays. 

and around the league...

This is your game thread "thank god its Friday" edition.

TJ's (Better Late Than Never) 1st Half All-Stars and Awards for the American League

Heyo my fellow JITHers. Hope everyone's doing well as we leave behind a rough first half and look ahead to a transitional second half in Blue Jayland. A little late, but I'm back with my look at the 1st half in the American League. The thing about the timing of this post is that I wanted to allow the first half to end and then look at the numbers and make my picks. I prefer that to grabbing the numbers early, and having a player go on a hellacious tear before the break and seeing it not get reflected in said picks. The National League version of this will fly either next Monday or Tuesday morning depending on when/if Tina wants to do her ten weekly random thoughts post. Let me know Tina, and I'll work around whatever you want to do.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Gratitude post

We haven't done one of these in a very long time and I think we're due. This quiet spell seems like a good time.

I'm grateful for everyone who has offered me food, shelter, or both over the last few months. For those who have given me tickets (thanks Warren!). For those who have given me amusement. (Let's just say I've been having some interesting text conversations.) For all the people out there who have let me know that they care and are looking out for me. And for the man who has come back into my life and truly sees me and is happy to just bask in my light.

I'm grateful for Wolf, Tina, Lunchbox and Dabbles who have been keeping this site going while I've been closing the door on the old and starting to set up the new. And I'm grateful for all of you who read, even if you don't comment (although today would be a great day to break from lurking!)

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fourth annual pop-schlock vid-off

Here it is again, the traditional day after the All-Star game vid off. You can read about the history of this event here. Once again, you can try to top each other with cheesy vids. Bonus marks if you can connect them in some way.

Since we've been talking about Hall and Oates recently and since they have a whole whack of cheesy vids, I'm starting us off with this classic take on a Mike Oldfield song.

Have fun and remember to click next to your name and select Hide Media if the thread gets slow. That way you'll only load the vid you want to watch at any one time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 All Star Game


Here it is, your favourite exhibition game. It's been surprisingly difficult to find a graphical representation of the lineup. So I'm not bothering. You can go here.

Read all about the replacements.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 Home Run Derby

Ya'll bitch but you'll watch it anyway. Here ya go!

ten weekly random thoughts: week 15 July 9-15

Well, we made it to the all-star break and the Blue Jays have a record of 43-52, a few games better than their record of 41-47 last year, but the season started a few days earlier and the all-star game is a few days later so the Blue Jays are exactly where they were last year. If anybody could use the all-star break it is the exhausted Blue Jays bullpen. Toronto starters have not consistently been pitching past the 5th inning, which has led to overuse of some arms. Ryan Tepera strained his elbow because of being used too many times. Other bullpen arms are been less effective lately. The all-star break is coming at the perfect time as several injured players are getting close to returning. Here are ten random thoughts from week 15 of the MLB.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Game #95 Toronto Blue Jays (43-52) @ Boston Red Sox (68-30) - game recap

Red Sox 2B Brock Holt had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI as the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 5-2

Here we are, last game before a much needed all-star break (I will be taking a brief hiatus this week after I finish off this recap and the weekly random thoughts post before continuing with the recaps Friday). If there is any team that needs to hit the reset button at the all-star break it is the Blue Jays. This week, they have been sloppy in the field, which indicates to me that they are tired. A few of the players are banged up (Kevin Pillar who exited the game last night after injuring his SC joint on a diving catch, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, who was conked in the head on a dangerous play at first base yesterday, Teoscar Hernandez has been playing through soreness in his heel and the catchers, who have taken some nasty shots from deflected balls lately). The Blue Jays were looking to finish off the unofficial first half on a positive note. They've actually done pretty well this series. The Red Sox were held to a run and 7 hits over the first 8 innings and three of those hits belonged to Mookie Betts. The Red Sox were forced to comeback in the 9th and win it in the 10th off a pitcher who was the last choice for the Blue Jays on a days when their bullpen was depleted. On Friday, the Blue Jays put on an offensive show that would make Red Sox batters smile scoring 13 runs on 14 hits to outslug the Bosox. Lots of positives to take from this series and into the second half. Here is today's game recap.

#95 Zombirds @ Smelly Feet

Sunday July 15, 2018 | 1:05 pm
Fenway Park | Boston, MA
Marcus Stroman (2-3, 5.90, 1.52) vs. Brian Johnson (1-2, 4.23, 1.48)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Game #94 Toronto Blue Jays (43-51) @ Boston Red Sox (67-30) - game recap

Xander Bogaerts hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 6-2

After an offensive breakout last night, the Blue Jays were looking to hand the Red Sox their first multi-game losing streak since June 19-20. Here's some food for thought, since losing 3 in a row April 21-24, the Red Sox have lost 2 in a row just seven times and had a record of 48-24. Their high-octane offense has been on fire most of the year, their starting pitchers are consistently throwing 6 or more innings, which keeps their bullpen fresh. Could the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 2 games in a row? Here is today's game recap.

#94 - Toronto Zombirds (43-50) at Boston Smelly Socks (66-30)

Saturday, July 14, 2018 | 1:10 pm
Fenway Park | Boston, MA
Sam Gaviglio (2-3, 4.70, 1.30) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez(11-3, 3.62, 1.25)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Game #93 Toronto Blue Jays (43-50) @ Boston Red Sox (66-30) - game recap

Kevin Pillar was 4-5 with 4 RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Blue Jays pounded the Red Sox to snap their 10-game winning streak

The Blue Jays came into this one looking to snap a pair of streaks; their personal 2 game losing streak and Boston's 10 game winning streak. For the first time in 2 weeks (since just prior to Steve Pearce being traded) the Blue Jays had a .300 hitter in their lineup (Dwight Smith Jr.). On the mound, they had rookie sensation Ryan Borucki, who threw three solid games facing the league's best teams in the Houston Astros and the NY Yankees. Could the Blue Jays create some magic and get back to winning? Here is tonight's game recap.

#93 - Toronto Blue Jays (42-50) at Boston Red Sox (66-29)

Friday, July 13, 2018 | 7:10 pm
Fenway Park | Boston, MA
Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.25, 1.25) vs. Rick Porcello (11-3, 3.58, 1.17)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Game #92 Toronto Blue Jays (42-50) @ Boston Red Sox (66-29) - game recap

Mookie Betts took JA Happ deep for a grand slam and later added an RBI single as the Red ox defeated the Blue Jays 6-4

The Blue Jays faced their 10th meeting against their division rivals Boston Red Sox. They had won two games in nine tries heading into tonight. Boston had the best record in baseball heading into tonight's game and if the playoffs started today the Red Sox would be looking at home field advantage right through the world series. The Blue Jays will also be facing former teammate Steve Pearce, who was traded to the Bosox June 28th. JA Happ was making his final start before heading to Washington to represent the Blue Jays in the all-star game. Here is tonight's game recap.

#92 - Toronto Blue Jays (42-49) at Boston Red Sux (65-29)

Thursday, July 12, 2018 | 7:10 pm
Fenway Park | Boston, MA
J.A. Happ (10-5, 4.44, 1.18) vs. David Price (9-6, 4.44, 1.27)


The Blue Jays roll into Fenway Park for a four-game shellacking against the first-place Red Sox.  The Jays are a mere 21.5 games behind Boston, but hey, at least we're not nearly 40 games out like the Orioles!

In a further conspiracy by MLB to lower the potential return on a trade to the Yankees and further weaken the Blue Jays, trade bait J.A. Happ takes the ball against an offensive juggernaut again.  On the other side of the field, former Blue Jay hired gun David Price will attempt to further alienate the Red Sox faithful and force his way out of town.  Both are coming off two not-so-great starts; who will be the one to out-stink the other and come out on top?

Happ gets to pitch to a red-hot J.D. Martinez, who is contending for the Triple Crown with a .330/.393/.649 line with 28 HR and 79 RBI.  Martinez leads the majors in the latter two categories and is third in batting average.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Game #91 Toronto Blue Jays (42-49) @ Atlanta Braves (51-40) - game recap

Ozzie Albies was 2-4 with 4RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Braves beat the Blue Jays 9-5

The Blue Jays were looking to sweep the mini two game series tonight and win the season series over Alex Antropolous and George Poullis's Atlanta Braves. The series featured a match-up of teams largely going in opposite directions. The Blue Jays are well back of the second wild card sport and will be looking to trade assets in the coming weeks. Atlanta is in the midst of a tight race for the NL East division title. Tonight might have been Gaviglio's last game in the rotation with Jaime Garcia and Aaron Sanchez both nearing a return to health. The play of Ryan Borucki has earned him another start if either or both Sanchez/Garcia need more time to rehab. Here is today's game recap.

#91 - Toronto Blue Jays (42-48) at Atlanta Braves (50-40)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | 7:35 pm
SunTrust Park | Cumberland, Georgia
Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.81, 1.23) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (6-5, 2.37, 1.11)


After yesterday's 6-2 win, the Blue Jays seek to complete a two-game sweep and win the season series against the Braves.

The Jays will go up against a first-time All-Star, Mike Foltynewicz, and they will counter with Sam Gaviglio.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Game #90 Toronto Blue Jays (42-48) @ Atlanta Braves (50-40) - game recap

Marcus Stroman pitched 7 strong innings in his 100th career start as the Blue Jays defeated the Braves 6-2

The Blue Jays began the final week before the all-star game in Atlanta tonight. The two teams split the 2 games in Toronto. Tonight featured a matchup of 2 struggling starting pitchers, although Stroman has looked better since coming off the DL. Speaking of Stroman, his last start here, he hit a home run. Could he repeat the feat? Did the Blue Jays offence give him any support? Here is tonight's game recap.

#90 - Toronto Blue Jays (41-48) at Atlanta Braves (50-39)

Not "The Ted"

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 7:35 pm
SunTrust Park | Cumberland, Georgia
Marcus Stroman (1-6, 6.50, 1.57) vs. Julio Teheran (6-6, 4.47, 1.24)


The Blue Jays roll into Atlanta for a quick two-game interleague series against the NL East-leading Braves.

In March, tonight's pitching matchup would have looked like a dandy with Stroman going up against Teheran.  Now?  Mehh.  Both are having a tough season so far.  Last year, these two faced off and Stroman smoked a dinger off Teheran en route to a 9-0 Jays win.  One of our own posters has predicted another HR for Stroman tonight.

Monday, July 9, 2018

ten weekly random thoughts: week 14 July 2-8

What an emotional week it was this week as Jose Bautista made his return to the Roger's Center after he and the Blue Jays parted ways this summer. Bautista would be the Blue Jays best hitter if he was on the team, which says a lot about how the offence has struggled this year. If things stay the way they are, the Blue Jays will finish the year without a batter hitting .300 for the second straight season. Devon Travis was the last Blue Jay to finish the season batting .300, back in 2016. It is likely the team will get worse in the coming weeks as the best players on the team are traded away to contending teams looking to add the final piece that will lead them to glory. Here are ten random thoughts from the 14th week of the MLB.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Game #89 New York Yankees (58-29) @ Toronto Blue Jays (41-48) - game recap

Blue Jays rookie Ryan Borucki threw seven strong innings in a losing effort as the Yankees edged the Blue Jays 2-1

Here we are the rubber match of this series. The Blue Jays were looking to win their first series vs. the Yankees this season. In the three previous series, the teams split the first four games to open the regular season, The Yankees won 3 of 4 in New York in Mid-April, and the Yankees swept the 2 game series here in Toronto almost two months later. It has been clear that talent wise, the juggernaut Yankees are far superior to the sub-par Blue Jays team. Could the Blue Jays prevail today? Here is today's game recap.

#89 - New York Crybabies (57-29) at Toronto Blue Jays (41-47)

Sunday, July 8, 2018 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Domingo German (2-4, 5.37, 1.27) vs. Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.77, 1.23


This was the one that was supposed to be aired in prime-time, right?  Before the Yankees whined endlessly about the schedule requiring a night game before flying off to LOL-land for a doubleheader?  Yup.  Crush 'em, Jays.  Make them use up their entire bullpen.

The Yankees won yesterday's game by an 8-5 score, meaning today is the rubber match of the three-game series.  Ryan Borucki goes onto the hill for the Blue Jays to attempt to bring about a series win while going up against Domingo German. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Game #88 New York Yankees (57-29) @ Toronto Blue Jays (41-47) - game recap

Yankees veteran outfielder Brett Gardner was 2-5 at the plate with 3 RBI and a pair of runs scored as the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 8-5

Today's game was a battle of the aces. Luis Severino has been terrific this year with a sparkling 13-2 record and major league-leading 1.98ERA. The hard-throwing righty has been nearly unhittable this season. Meanwhile, JA Happ has been the Blue Jays best starting pitcher by a large margin, but he struggled his last start and command of his inside fastball has been an issue lately. Which of these aces prevailed today? Here is today's game recap.

#88 - New York Villains (56-29) at Toronto Blue Jays (41-46)

Saturday, July 7, 2018 | 4:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Luis Severino (13-2, 1.98, 0.95) vs. J.A. Happ (10-4, 4.03, 1.11)


This game has easily the best pitching matchup of the three-game series, pitting current Yankee Luis Severino against future Yankee J.A. Happ.

The Blue Jays won the opener of the series 6-2 with a three-run shot by Justin Smoak emphatically capping a bat-around 2nd inning.

Will Happ display the form that will want to make the Yankees open up their entire farm system for him, or will they leave town unimpressed with his performance?  *weighs which outcome is more desirable for the Jays*

Game #87 New York Yankees (56-29) @ Toronto Blue Jays (41-46) - game recap

Justin Smoak hit a three run HR as the Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 6-2

After an emotional 2 game split with the NY Mets, the Blue Jays had to put aside their emotions from Joey Bats return to Toronto and focus on the next task; defeating the Bronx bombers. The two teams have faced each other 10 times with NY winning 7 of the games. Tomorrow will be an important game for JA Happ, who potentially faces his teammates as the Yankees supposedly are front runners to trade for the Blue Jays ace. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight's pitching match-up featured a pair of starters who may or may not be in their respective team's rotations much longer. Sam Gaviglio could be making his second to last start as both Aaron Sanchez and Jaime Garcia could be ready to return shortly after the all-star break. Sonny Gray has been inconsistent in the rotation and could see his spot taken by a trade acquisition (Happ). Which starter prevailed tonight? Here is today's game recap.

Friday, July 6, 2018

#87 - New York Villains (56-28) at Toronto Blue Jays (40-46)

Friday, July 6, 2018 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Sonny Gray (5-6, 5.44, 1.51) vs. Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.96, 1.20)


One New York team (the Yankees) comes into town just as another New York team (the Mets) leaves.  I hope each of the Mets farted into their assigned cubicle to leave a welcoming bon mot for the Yankees players.

It's a battle of the SGs as Sonny Gray faces Sam Gaviglio to kick off a three-game series at the Rogers Centre. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Game #86 New York Mets (34-49) @ Toronto Blue Jays (40-46) - game recap

Jose Bautista salutes the crowd Tuesday. He played what might have been his final game in Toronto Wednesday. The Mets doubled up on the Blue Jays 6-3 Wednesday.

The Blue Jays received some somewhat promising news today with an MRI finding only a mild strain of the glute muscle for starter Marco Estrada, who left his start yesterday after facing just 4 batters. With two starters, Aaron Sanchez and Jaime Garcia, already on the DL, the Blue Jays can ill afford to lose a third starting pitcher. Tonight, Marcus Stroman was making his third start since coming off the DL himself. Tonight's game also potentially marked the last time Jose Bautista played baseball in Toronto. Here is tonight's game recap.

#86 - New York Mets (33-49) at Toronto Blue Jays (40-45)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Corey Oswalt (0-1, 9.82, 1.36) vs. Marcus Stroman (1-5, 6.02, 1.52)


This is the second of a two-game series for the Blue Jays against the New York Mets, and the Jays are looking to complete the sweep and win the season series.

This could very well be the final time we ever see Jose Bautista in uniform, depending on how much longer he intends to play and how the interleague schedule unfolds in future seasons.  Game 1 was a mixed bag for Joey Bats - huge ovation prior to the game and during his first at-bat, then had a single and three walks in five plate appearances, but then helped the Jays get back into the game by committing a Bautistian error in letting Grichuk's ball go by him for a two-base error during the five-run inning that started the Jays comeback.

This would be a nice time for Marcus Stroman to turn in a boffo performance to take the load off the bullpen after yesterday's 12-pitch outing from Marco Estrada.  The Mets counter with Corey Oswalt (no relation to Roy) who will be making his second major-league start.

Also:  Jose Reyes is in tonight's lineup for the Mets.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Game #85 New York Mets (33-49) @ Toronto Blue Jays (40-45) - game recap

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a go-ahead 2 run HR in the 8th to cap off the comeback as the Blue Jays defeated the Mets 8-6

Here it is JITHer's perhaps the most anticipated game of the season: the return of #19 Jose "Joey Bats" Bautista (who follows me on twitter BTW). The Blue Jays moved on from Bautista, who had been declining for a couple of seasons. For several months, Bautista could not find a uitor, but then the Atlanta Braves decided to sign him to a minor league contract. Bautista played 12 games and only got three hits in 35AB so the Braves released him. The Mets Signed him a few days later and in 35 games with the Mets, Bautista is 21-79 (.266 average; which would rank him top in this Blue Jays lineup), includiing 3 HR and 13RBI. This could be Bautista's last trip to Toronto, so I hope you enjoyed seeing him play guys. Here is today's game recap.

#85 - New York Mets (33-48) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-45)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47, 1.33) vs. Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.53, 1.30)


Well... it's here.
You know.
Joey Bats.
He's back in town.

Jose Bautista returns to Rogers Centre for the first time as a visiting player as the New York Mets roll into Toronto for a two-game series.  After struggling as an Atlanta Brave, he moved on to the Mets and has made a solid impression thus far, slashing .250/.418/.476 (150 OPS+) with 3 HR as a Met.

The Blue Jays look to get back on track after losing the final two games of the Tigers series.  The Mets have been absolutely rotten since an 11-1 start to the season, but they've won their past two games and the Jays have often displayed a maddening tendency to play down to their opponents' level (knock it off, dipshits).

Monday, July 2, 2018

Game #84 Detroit Tigers (38-48) @ Toronto Blue Jays (39-45) - game recap

Niko Goodrum scored the winning run on a sac fly in the 10th inning as the Tigers edged the Blue Jays 3-2

After yet another loss on Canada Day, the Blue Jays were looking to get back on track and take the season series (and this series) from the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had been struggling mightily before laying a beat down on the Blue Jays yesterday. Here is today's game recap.

Game highlights
  •  The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Victor Martinez singled home Nicholas Castellanos
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 4th as Curtis Granderson scored on a Teoscar Hernandez ground out
  • The Tigers took the lead in the top of the 6th as Castellanos scored on a ground out by John Hicks
  • Ryan Borucki pitching line: 7IP 6H 2R (both earned) 0BB 8K 97 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • Mike Fiers pitching line: 8IP 3H 1R (earned) 1BB 5K 89 pitches (67 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the bottom of the 9th as Justin Smoak walked with the bases loaded to force in Devon Travis
  • The Tigers retook the lead in the top of the 10th on a Jose Iglesias sac fly that scored Niko Goodrum
  • Final score: Tigers 3 Blue Jays 2
My take

  • Ryan Borucki was great in his second career start. He had a rocky start in the 1st inning, giving up 4 straight hits, but escaped the jam with just 1 run allowed. He allowed just 2 more hits and a run the rest of the way. This strong showing warrants a longer look when starters come back healthy. Borucki could replace both Jaime Garcia and Sam Gaviglio in the rotation if he keeps playing like this
  • Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire made a costly mistake pulliing starter Mike Fiers after he pitched 8 solid innings with only 89 pitches. His closer Joe Jiminez nearly cost the Tigers the game, loading the bases on 2 walks (one intentional) and a double. Jiminez walked Smoak to force in a run but got Luke Maile to ground into a force out to escape the inning
  • The Tigers won this won because they got timely hitting and their starting pitcher was just as brilliant as the Blue Jays starting pitcher
  • The Blue Jays left 17 runners on base today and were 2-6 with runners in scoring position.
  • Up next, Jose Bautista makes his return to Toronto as he and the NY Mets are in town for a quick two game series. Game 1 sees righty Marco Estrada pitching against Mets righty Zach Wheeler. The two teams split the 2 games back in NY with identical 12-1 blowouts. Will these two games also be high-scoring? 

#84 - Detroit Tigers (37-48) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-44)

Monday, July 2, 2018 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON
Mike Fiers (5-5, 4.04, 1.29 whip) vs. Ryan Borucki (0-1, 3.00, 1.67 whip)


The Tigers finally snapped an ugly 11-game losing streak in a big way with a 9-1 win over J.A. "Trade Bait" Happ.

The season series between the Tigers and the Blue Jays is deadlocked at 3 wins each, and the Blue Jays will be looking to win the season series while maintaining their overall home-field dominance over the Tigers in recent years.

Ryan Borucki makes his second major-league start in what should be a less hostile environment, to say the least.  Instead of facing the defending World Series champions on the road, he'll be facing a Miggy-less Tigers squad at home.  Let's see how the kid does today.

ten weekly random thoughts: Week 13 June 25-July 1

The Blue Jays passed the halfway point of their season on Friday. Their record at the halfway mark was 38-43 (last year it was 37-42). The Blue Jays are 15.5 games back of 1st in the AL East and 12.5 games back of the 2nd WC spot. At this point, they will almost certainly be sellers at the trade deadline. They made their first move on Thursday sending Steve Pearce to division rivals Boston. But hey, it's the Canada Day long weekend and the all-star break is 2 weeks away (Happy Canada Day everyone), Here are 10 random thoughts from week 13 of the MLB.

1. As mentioned above, the Blue Jays made the first of what should be several trades of veteran players for hopefully, prospects, such as Teoscar Hernandez, who was acquired at last year's deadline, who will be in the lineup in the coming years and will shape the team for years to come. Other Blue Jays who will likely move onto other teams are JA Happ and Marco Estrada, who are both on expiring contracts, Roberto Osuna, who is currently suspended for domestic violence, and potentially relievers Tyler Clippard, Ryan Tepera and John Axford. Like last year, the Blue Jays will be looking for players they can control. The only untouchables are Teoscar Hernandez, maybe Kevin Pillar and maybe Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. Everyone else is up for grabs.

2. The Blue Jays lost Ryan Tepera to an inflamed right elbow on Saturday. He is likely gone until after the all-star break. Tepera had been doing a good job as the closer, at least until he gave up a walk-off homer to Alex Bregman Wednesday. In his absence, save opportunities will likely be given to Tyler Clippard or Seunghwan Oh.

3. Biggest success of the first half: JA Happ. He has been the most consistent of the starting Blue Jays pitchers. Boasting an 10-4 record, tied for 3rd in the majors in wins, Happ has pitched into the 7th or later 7 times this season. He has pitched into the 6th inning 5 more times (12 altogether). Happ gives the Blue Jays a chance to win every five days and he usually gives the bullpen the day off. These are two key factors that are going to net the Blue Jays a decent prospect when he is likely traded in the coming months.

4: Biggest disappointment of the 1st half: the high performance team and training staff for not recognizing injuries early. It all starts with Troy Tulowitzki. He came into camp coming off a lost season due to a severely sprained ankle. Tulowitzki was held back initially due to bone spurs in both heels that eventually required surgery days after opening day. Why in the world did Tulo not undergo the surgery right away? Why let him train and make the injury worse? Now, Tulowitzki might not play this season.Two players who were allowed to start the season that shouldn't have been are Marcus Stroman and Josh Donaldson. Both players suffered strained shoulders in training camp. Donaldson played 3B on opening day and he was unable to make a strong throw to first base. He DH'd for several games and tried to come back to playing defense for a while but eventually took a month on the DL to rehab. He came back and injured his calf. Donaldson hasn't played since May 28 and won't until after the all-star  break, meaning he won't get a good deal if the Blue Jays find a suitor for him. Marcus Stroman made seven starts, getting hit hard in most of them, before finally being put on the DL. Since returning from the DL, Stroman is pitching much better because he is healthy. There also has to be questions surrounding the handling of Jaime Garcia, who is on the DL for the second time in a month with an injury to his pitching arm. Aaron Sanchez has not pitched like himself either. He is not using his curve as much as past season and now HE'S on the DL with a finger injury/foot issue. I could go on, but the bottom line is how can the team expect to attract free agents when other players look at who gets hurt and how they are being mishandled.

5. If the playoffs started today, the Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers would both be on the outside looking in. The Dodgers are showing the fatigue of having had multiple deep runs in the past 2 seasons. There are major questions about the health of starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. In Washington, the Nationals are in a tight race in the NL East with the upstart Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Both those young teams have great prospects who are coming of age now. Meanwhile, Washington has a major decision to make on Bryce Harper, who will be a free agent in 2018. They can delay the decision a bit by signing him to a bridge one-year deal, but if they don't think he will sign in Washington long term they will definitely look to trade him for assets.

6. The World Series is staying in the American league. The Yankees, Astros, Red Sox and Mariners all have greater than 50 wins The Brewers have the best record in the NL st 48-34. The Yankees, Red Sox and Astros all have high octane offences that can put a lot of runs on the board. The Mariners have been the little engine that could, winning many 1-run games and winning at a higher pace since their all-star second baseman, Robinson Cano, broke his hand and was suspended 80 games for taking a banned substance. Don't count out the Cleveland Indians, who will surely win a weak AL Central division where 4 of the 5 teams are under .500, including the Detroit Tigers, who have lost 11 straight games.

7. Question of the week: Should Shohei Ohtani be allowed to pitch again this season. The Angels rookie Japanese import has been on the DL since mid-May with a second-degree sprain of his UCL. He received a PCP injection in the hopes of avoiding Tommy John surgery, which would put his pitching career on hold indefinitely. I know that Ohtani wants to be both a pitcher and a hitter, but at what cost? The Angels have to ask themselves where Ohtnai's value truly lies. Personally, if I was the Angels management, I would try and convince Ohtani to stick with hitting. Yes, he is good at both, but his elbow is vulnerable.

8. The Roger's center is going to be loud on Tuesday as Joey Bats returns with the NY Mets. Bautista really launched his career, literally and figuratively. Bautista's best season in Toronto was 2011 when he led the league in HR (43), BB (132), Slugging% (.608) OPS (1.056) OPS+ (182) and IBB (24). This may or may not be Bautista's last in the MLB, but when he does choose to retire, I hope the Blue Jays extend him a 1 day contract so he can retire as a Blue Jay.

9. And the second to last thought for this week goes to show the oddities that can occur in the game of baseball. This groundskeeper  had the proverbial lightning strike twice moment on Sunday. Last August he was bitten and scratched by a kitten that had gotten loose on the field. Sunday, he was beaned by the ceremonial first pitch. Talk about bad luck!

10. Blue Jay of the week: Kevin Pillar, who had 7 hits in 18 AB and might have made the catch of the year in the top of the 9th to save the Blue Jays a pair of runs.

Follow me on twitter @tpoole00 and check out my other blog @

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Game #83 Detroit Tigers (37-48) @ Toronto Blue Jays (39-44) - game recap

Tigers RF Nicholas Castellanos hit a grand slam as the Tigers routed the Blue Jays 11-1

First of all, Happy Canada Day to everyone. Today is a day to be thankful for where we live and to celebrate 151 years of of confederation. Today is also a day to watch the Blue Jays go for their 3rd straight victory and snap and 2 game losing streak on Canada Day. The Blue Jays record on Canada Day is abysmal (13-26). Could the the Blue Jays prevail today? Here is today's game recap.

#83 - Detroit Tigers (36-48) at Toronto Blue Jays (39-43)

Sunday, July 1, 2018 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Sauna | Toronto, ON
Jordan Zimmermann (0-0, 4.35, 1.21 whip) vs. J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.62, 1.06 whip)