Category: Preview

Blue Jays Look For Revenge Against Orioles

A great pitchers duel for half the game last night turned into a home run derby in the later innings before the Orioles got off their schnide last night to top the Blue Jays and create a 4-way tie for first in the AL East with a 4-3 record.  It was a tale of two Morrows who at time looked dominant and at other times couldn’t get the ball down allowing Baltimore to take him deep on 2 occasions.  Morrow left with the lead, however an 8th inning string of bad luck turned into a blown save for Darren Oliver and a no decision for the Jays #2 starter. The Orioles jumped out in front 4 times last night, and 3 of those times the Jays answered back to either tie it up or take the lead immediately in the bottom half of the same inning.  They couldn’t recover from the 8th inning lead loss however, and ultimately fell 7-5.  To their credit, the Jays bats finally started to make an appearance as they were able to produce 4 home runs to double their season output to that point.  Kelly Johnson, Colby Rasmus, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yunel Escobar all went deep to provide 4 of Toronto’s 5 runs.

The truth is nobody wins every game in the season, and realistically winning 2 out of 3 would be enough to get into the playoffs.  That would give you a record of 108-54 if you could take 2 of 3 from every series you play throughout the season.  Unfortunately that would be just as unlikely as going 162-0. If the Blue Jays are to be successful in 2012, they need to sweep series’ from teams like Baltimore to make up for potential series losses to stronger teams like Detroit later in the year.  A season record of .500 in the East won’t be enough for the playoffs I’m afraid.

Today the Orioles send Jason Hammel to the mound for his second appearance of the season.  He is coming off an 8-inning no-hit bid against the Twins last sunday where he ultimately gave up 1 run on 2 hits.  The Blue Jays will counter with Henderson Alvarez who was in line to win his season debut against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto’s home opener before a 9th inning blown save by closer Sergio Santos left him with a no-decision.  Alvarez went 6 innings allowing 4 hits, one of which was a home run to Dustin Pedroia.

Baltimore Orioles (4-3)

  1. Reimold, N – LF (.308)
  2. Hardy, J – SS (.167)
  3. Markakis, N – RF (.292)
  4. Jones, A – CF (.357)
  5. Weiters, M – C (.333)
  6. Betemit, W – 3B (.200)
  7. Reynolds, M – DH (.143)
  8. Davis, C – 1B (.211)
  9. Andino, R – 2B (.308)

RHP Jason Hammel (1-0  1.13 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (4-3)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.200)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.286)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.192)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.217)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.267)
  6. Thames, E – LF (.227)
  7. Lawrie, B – 3B (.241)
  8. Rasmus, C – CF (.125)
  9. Arencibia, J – C (.083)

RHP Henderson Alvarez (0-0  1.50 ERA)

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Blue Jays at Indians – Series Continues After Day Off

After the longest opening day in Major League Baseball history, the Indians and Blue Jays will continue opening weekend today at 1:05pm when Ubaldo Jimenez takes the mound for the Indians against Brandon Morrow and the rest of the Jays.  Ubaldo Jimenez is currently appealing a suspension after throwing a pitch at former teammate Troy Tulowitzki during spring training.  Jimenez is frequently clocked over 100mph and is regarded as the hardest throwing pitcher in the majors, averaging an MLB best 96.1 mph in 2009 and 2010.  His tailing 2-seamer and forkball have earned him a 54.4% ground ball percentage.  He has thrown the only no-hitter in Colorado Rockies franchise history.

Brandon Morrow was 11-11 in 2011, making 30 starts for the first time in his career.  He started last season on the disabled list but is healthy and ready to go to start 2012.  Despite his .500 record last year, Morrow was decent on the road going 6-3 with a 3.07 ERA.  He was 0-1 in two starts against the tribe last season and sports a career 5.28 ERA against the team from Cleveland.

The two teams pick up after an a much needed day off, resting from their 16-inning opening day marathon.  The Blue Jays are trying to ride their spring time momentum that was perpetuated by co-heros Edwin Encarnacion and JP Arencibia on Thursday afternoon.  Every member of the Blue Jays bullpen was used, and both starting catchers caught the entire game.

Quick Hits

  • Despite going 3 for 4 with a home run in the opener, don’t count on Jose Bautista keeping up his .750 season average.  Bautista is 0 for 9 in his career against Jimenez.
  • Indians 3B Jack Hannahan is 1 for 7 in his career against Brandon Morrow.
  • The entire Blue Jays bullpen combined for 11 scoreless innings Thursday afternoon.
  • Prior to Thursday’s game, Brett Lawrie had never faced the Indians in his major league career.
  • In 11 games as an American League pitcher since July 31, 2011; Ubaldo Jimenez is 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA

Line-Ups

Cleveland Indians (0-1)

  1. Brantley, M – CF (.167)
  2. Cabrera, A – SS (.143)
  3. Choo, S – RF (.250)
  4. Santana, C – C (.000)
  5. Hafner, T – DH (.250)
  6. Duncan, S – LF (.500)
  7. Kotchman, C – 1B (.000)
  8. Kipnis, J -2B (.000)
  9. Hannahan, J – 3B (.333)

RHP – Ubaldo Jimenez (2011 – 10-13  4.68 ERA)

Toronto Blue Jays (1-0)

  1. Escobar, Y – SS (.250)
  2. Johnson, K – 2B (.200)
  3. Bautista, J – RF (.750)
  4. Lind, A – 1B (.333)
  5. Encarnacion, E – DH (.286)
  6. Lawrie, B – 3B (.000)
  7. Thames, E – LF (.000)
  8. Arencibia, J – C (.143)
  9. Rasmus, C – CF (.000)

RHP – Brandon Morrow (2011 – 11-11  4.72 ERA)