Sunday, March 31, 2019

Game #4 Detroit Tigers (2-2) @Toronto Blue Jays (2-2) - game recap

Rowdy Tellez provided the offence for the Blue Jays with a three-run game-tying HR in a losing effort as Toronto fell to Detroit 4-3 in 11 innings

The Blue Jays wrapped up the season-opening series against the Tigers today with herky-jerky righty Trent Thornton on the bump and looking to extend the early season shutout streak. It was learned prior to the game that Clayton Richard, originally slated to start tomorrow against Baltimore would miss his turn with a knee injury. Freddy Galvis was a late scratch with a sore back, ending his consecutive games streak at 327 games. Could the Blue Jays win the first series of the season? Here is today's game recap.

No. 4 - Detroit Tigers (1-2) at Toronto Blue Jays (2-1)

Sunday, March 31, 2019 | 1:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON

Matt Moore (2018: 3-8, 6.79, 1.66) vs. Trent Thornton (MLB debut)


The Blue Jays look to secure a series win after their second-straight shutout of the Tigers yesterday.  They are actually leading the division, small sample size and all.

On the mound, Trent Thornton and his high leg kick makes his major-league debut for the Blue Jays as they look to win their third game in a row and put some distance between them and the last-place Red Sox.  It's about as ideal as it gets for a guy making his MLB debut as he faces Matt Moore, who, let's put it this way, just has not been good the last couple of years and a less-potent-than-in-years-past Tigers lineup.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Game #3 Detroit Tigers (1-2) @Toronto Blue Jays (2-1) - game recap

Justin Smoak launched a 2-run shot as the Blue Jays shut out the Tigers for the second day in a row by a score of 3-0

The Blue Jays continued the season opening four game series vs. old division rivals the Detroit Tigers. The Blue Jays and Tigers, for the younger readers of this blog, were both in the East division through the 1997 season, until the MLB started expanding the league. Detroit was then moved to the Central Division and the then-expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now just the Tampa Bay Rays). Anyway, the first two games of the season were promising with the starting pitchers, Marcus Stroman and newcomer Matt Schumaker both throwing seven shutout innings with nearly identical pitching lines. Today, Aaron Sanchez got the start, looking to finally be able to pitch healthy. The past 2 seasons have been injury riddled with blister problems in 2017 and a torn tendon getting his finger caught in his suitcase prior to a start in Anaheim. Richard Urena made his season debut batting 9th and playing 2b. Could the Blue Jays put together their first multi-game win streak? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as Billy McKinney singled home Brandon Drury. McKinney was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double
  • Two batters later, Justin Smoak launched the Blue Jays first home run of the season, lining an opposite field shot into the Blue Jays bullpen. Also scoring on the play was Teoscar Hernandez
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 5IP 3H 0R 3BB 6K 90 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • Spencer Turnbull pitching line: 5IP 4H 3R (all earned) 2BB 5K 91 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Ken Giles pitched a scoreless 9th for his 1st save of the season. Giles was perfect in every save opportunity last season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 3 Tigers 0
My Take:
  • Three games, three shutouts, two of which the Blue Jays won. The first three games of this series, one team has done all the scoring in each game. This is a reflection of weak lineups on both sides, and the starting pitchers on both sides having strong outings. The Blue Jays starters extended their shutout streak to 19 innings as Aaron Sanchez threw five innings of shutout ball, giving up giving up 3 hits, walking 6 batters and fanning 6 batters. This was a solid performance, but the bigger development was Sanchez was able to use all his pitches and his fastball topped out at a blistering 97.1MPH.
  • The Blue Jays made a couple of base running errors that cost the team longer innings. McKinney was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, and Freddy Galvis was caught in a rundown between 3rd and home.
  • As was the case in several games last season, the Blue Jays scored in exactly 1 inning. As such, they were 1-6 with RISP.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series win. Trent Thornton gets the spot start in place of the injured Ryan Borucki, who is expected to miss 1-2 starts. The Tigers counter with lefty Matt Moore, who sports a career 5-3 record and 3..81ERA in 12 starts vs. the Blue Jays. Brandon Drury has had the best success vs. Moore, batting .267 against the ex-Rays starter.

No. 3 - Detroit Tigers (1-1) at Toronto Blue Jays (1-1)

Always nice to see Papa Buehrle again...

Saturday, March 30, 2019 | 3:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON

Spencer Turnbull (2018: 0-2, 6.06, 1.29) vs. Aaron Sanchez (2018: 4-6, 4.89, 1.56)


The Blue Jays look to keep their modest one-game winning streak going in the third game of the opening season series against the Tigers.

Aaron Sanchez looks to pick up from where his old/new B.F.F. left off in the season opener and to regain his 2016 form.  He faces off against some chap called Spencer Turnbull, who is making his fourth major-league start.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Game #2 Detroit Tigers (1-1) @Toronto Blue Jays (1-1) - game recap

Freddy Galvis was 2-3 with a run scored and a pair of RBI as the Blue Jays shut out the Tigers 6-0

After a suboptimal start to the 2019 season, the Blue Jays were back at it, looking to even their record. There were reasons for concern and reasons to have hope. Marcus Stroman had a solid start with seven strong shutout innings. He struck out the side in the 5th inning and retired the side in order in the 3rd. Stroman needs to control his emotions a bit better, as he is prone to getting too jacked up, leading to overthrowing the ball. I still believe he has the arsenal to throw a perfect game in the future. The bad from yesterday's loss was the Blue Jays had just three base runners and no one advanced past 1st base. In fact, one of the two hits never left the infield. The Blue Jays did a good job at making contact, as they only struck out 7 times. Today, the Blue Jays faced ex-prospect Matt Boyd, who was 1-1 with 13 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 4 walks and 10 strikeouts in two starts vs. Toronto last season. The Blue Jays countered with free agent signing Matt Shoemaker. Who won the battle of the Matt's? Could the Blue Jays score their first run of the season? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as Teoscar Hernandez singled scoring Randal Grichuk
  • Four batters later, Freddy Galvis hit a bases clearing single scoring Justin Smoak, Heranandez and Billy McKinney
  • Matt Boyd pitching line: 5IP 5H 4R (3 earned) 1BB 10K 85 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th off a Smoak single that scored Galvis and Luke Maile
  • Matt Shoemaker pitching line: 7IP 2H 0R 2BB 7K 87 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Tigers 0
My Take:
  • This game appeared to be going the same way as opening day with nine straight Blue Jays recording outs after the lead-off triple by Brandon Drury. However, the bats came alive in the bottom of the 4th, striking for 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk in the inning
  • Matt Shoemaker had a strong first start in a Blue Jays uniform. The veteran righty threw seven shutout innings, scattering a pair of hits and surrendering two walks. Shoemaker came into the game having thrown well against the Tigers, so the dominance is no surprise
  • Teoscar Hernandez misplayed one ball today, but was otherwise solid.
  • A great bounce-back game after a lackluster performance opening day.
  • Up next, the opening 4 game series continues with Aaron Sanchez pitching for the first time this season. Health has been a major concern for Sanchez. Hopefully the injuries are behind him.The Tigers will counter with Springer Turnbull, who is reported to have nasty stuff and a good hard fastball. None of the Blue Jays have ever faced the Tigers prospect.

No. 2 - Detroit Tigers (1-0) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (0-1)

Friday, March 29, 2019 | 7:07 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON

Matt Boyd (2018: 9-13, 4.39, 1.16) vs. Matt Shoemaker (2018: 2-2, 4.94, 1.26)


Opening day was a wet dream for Wince, but not so much for a large percentage of Blue Jays fans with only two hits to show for 10 innings of work.  One huge positive was the excellent pitching from Marcus Stroman, Joe Biagini and Ken Giles.

Can the Jays hitters wake up from their stupor and welcome back an old buddy, Matt Boyd, with a cacophony of hits all over the field?

Boyd brings his career Rogers Centre record of 0-3, 7.61 ERA in five starts to the mound and faces Matt Shoemaker, making his Blue Jays debut.  Shoemaker has done well against the Tigers in his career, going 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA in five starts.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Game #1 Detroit Tigers (1-0) @Toronto Blue Jays (0-1) - game recap

Marcus Stroman pitched 7 strong innings in a losing effort as the Blue Jays were shut out by the Tigers 2-0

Opening Day - Detroit Tigers (0-0) at Toronto Blue Jays (0-0)

Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 3:37 pm
Rogers Centre | Toronto, ON

Jordan Zimmermann (2018: 7-8, 4.52, 1.26) vs. Marcus Stroman (2018: 4-9, 5.54, 1.47)


Well, it's finally here.  Opening Day.  Vladimir Guerrero's Jr. debut.  (*someone whispers into ear* What, he's not up yet?  But, Eloy's up.  Tatis is up.)  Okay, how about Bo Bichette's debut?  No?  Dude hit .800 all spring with umpteen HRs.  But he's down on the farm?

Okay, scratch that.  Let's try again...

Well, it's finally here.  Opening Day.  Fresh grass, clean and sleek baselines, etc.  What?  It's not fresh grass?  *throws laptop out of the window*

You get the idea.  It's Opening Day at Rogers Stadium, which means half of the fans will be soused and getting into fights in the stands while (mostly) ignoring the uninspiring action on the field where just about the only players most non-brawling fans would know are named Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Pillar, surrounded by a cast of thousands of no-name players.

Jordan Zimmermann takes the ball for the Tigers while his counterpart, Marcus Stroman, is looking to bounce back after a sub-optimal year punctuated by injuries.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The First Annual JITH Over Under Challenge

It is that time of year again.  Spring brings with it the gift of infinite possibilities.  We sit huddled through short days and long winter nights in anticipation of all the potentialities a new season offers.

With that, I present to you, the first annual Jays In The House Over Under Challenge (JITHOUCH), or as I refer to it.....OUCH. 

The mission is clear.  Utilize all your knowledge and predictive acumen (i.e guess) what milestones our beloved Jays will reach throughout the course of a regular season. 

Rather than make individual player predictions, you are instead tasked with predicting the stat itself.

Monday, March 25, 2019

It's Time to Say Goodbye to Kevin Pillar

It's not you. It's me. I need to move on. 
Remember the 2016 Toronto Blue Jays? Of course you do. It was a great year. To recap: the Jays squeaked into the playoffs, beat the Lolrioles in the AL Wild Card game, and then crushed Texas with a clean sweep before somehow bowing out to the Clevelanders in 5. The lost to the Chicago Cubs in 7, snapping a 108 year drought. Baseball is crazy!

Although less than three years have passed, the team is now radically different. It's a complete rebuild. The kids are coming. The only starting position player remaining slash healthy is Kevin Pillar (Devon Travis is starting the year injured, again). For the record KP had a OPS+ of 81 that season, which is simply terrible. Donaldson led the team with a OPS+ of 153, good enough for a 4th place finish in AL MVP voting. That's a huge difference.

I could go on and on about how bad Kevin Pillar has been offensively over the years. His epic slumps, his high K rates, how he couldn't buy a walk. We get it. The guy could never really hit.

I was going to talk about his defensive decline. Last year he was below league average patrolling CF. He's over 30 and he's not a leader. The superstar kids do not respect him. They're either speaking another language or used to superstar fathers. They will garner nothing new from KP.

I go on and on about how Alford, Davis and/or Pompey deserve a shot. They're not teenagers but they are still part of the youth movement... And hey, Pompey is from Mississauga!

Happier days... Donaldson scores in extras to advance to the 2016 ALCS
But why I really want to finally see old KP go is because of the memories. It still hurts. Coming so close to the World Series. Having those great teams with David Price (did that really happen?) and Dosh and EE and Joey Bats and Russell Martin doing us proud. Man, those were exciting times. And if Tulo shines for the Yankees this year, a small part of me winces in remembrance of KP's chin breaking his shoulder blade... Good luck with the Giants bud.

The good times are over. It's a fresh start. The kids are coming and they are more than alright...

Kevin Pillar is like that nice sweater your ex-girlfriend bought you for Christmas several years ago. You love that sweater but every time you see it in your closet your heart breaks a little bit. Flashbacks to the good times you've shared. Forever gone. Best give it away to your stepdad or Value Village and move on. Time really does heals all wounds.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH aka Grapefruit Game #19/20

Hello All,

It's time once again to break out your best (or worst) music choices to share with the class.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Another Spring Training Gratitude

So, grateful that at least we're getting some games on tv?

For me, I'm grateful that I've been able to live where I am for as long as I am. I'm grateful I had a warm place to sleep and food to eat throughout this winter. I'm grateful that I've had places to be in solitude and places to be in the loving embrace of friends. I'm grateful for each additional day I get to stay here. I'm grateful to all who have financially supported me and I extend that gratitude for the support that is coming as well.

I'm grateful for this community, who I know will still be here no matter what happens to me next.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH aka Grapefruit Game #14

Hello All,

It's time once again to break out your best (or worst) music choices to share with the class.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Happy Anniversary

See the source image

According to Heraclitus the Greek philosopher, "change is the only constant in life" which has also been translated to " the only constant is change".

Which leads to a lyric by David Byrne " And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?"
This is the third anniversary of Jays in the House, a blog created by MK out of a desire to keep a group of diehard Jays fans together, from an ever shrinking commenting base of followers of Andrew Stoeten, at Blue Jays Nation.

In what, I think, is a loose example of the butterfly effect. In 2006, emails morphed into a blog which transitioned into another blog, which led to another blog which eventually became another blog that was a part of a conglomerate. The last of these transformations wasn't very commenter friendly, people were giving up in frustration and let that be known. While the author claimed the readership didn't really care about the comment section, he seemed unaware there was a community of real people, built up over many years, who expressed their opinions and interacted, in part. to keep that readership returning. There's probably some irony in there.

There should be a retrospective post on the past, detailing the journey from emails to blogs to the current condition and how we got here. But today is not about that. It's a celebration of 3 years of JITH, of laughs, of  arguments, of discussion, of knowledge, of dog gif's and music videos.

Perhaps JITH needs a retrospective of it's own. When MK first set up the site, she was concerned that no one would show up and was overwhelmed when people did show up.

People have participated, some have left, some have rejoined the conversations, some have taken a hiatus because life gets in the way but above all, everyone is welcome. The blog itself has evolved, with some non Blue Jays content when times are slow, but that is what gives JITH it's  unique personality.

There's many thanks to spread around. To MK obviously. To GSMC for financing the dot com initially. To the writers of the posts. To many others that are too numerous to mention. Thanks to those who have donated or used the Amazon link for their purchases. And lastly, the biggest thanks to you, the readers, the commenting community, who are the real content providers. I can sincerely say, that I learn so much from the conversations between all of you and I am grateful to read those interactions. I'm often blown away by your knowledge and expertise. Thank you for being you.

All of you are the soul of JITH.

Happy Anniversary to all of you and to many more.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Saturday Night Spanish Guitar aka WTFJITH aka Grapefruit Game #Something

Hello All,

It's time once again to break out your best (or worst) music choices to share with the class.