Thursday, September 3, 2015

Series Win over Tribe likely a Social Engineering play - courtesy of Jays Front Office



Indians at Jays September 2, 2015 - 7:07p

R A Dickey / Josh Thole batteried win tonight likely a brilliantly engineered, physiological management win - courtesy of the Blue Jays front office.

In keeping Thole on the roster for Dickey starts - by any-means-necessary (by optioning him first to AAA Buffalo in the last rotation which included 3 off days, and then to A Ball Lansing Lugnuts this week (which shortened his option because the league season ended - and that meant that - by MLB rules - his necessary stint there ended; which allowed the Jays to recall him to the 40-man roster early ... as in - for Dickey's next start) - allowed this feel-good start by the veteran knuckle-baller who goes to 10 Wins and 10 losses with a 4.09 ERA over 28 starts with a 7 win and no loses run starting after a July 18th loss to Tampa Bay that had the veteran at 3 and 10.

The importance of the 'Battery' when it comes to knuckle ballers was front and centre tonight. Through-out the game I recorded moments when Thole pulled into the strike zone, pitches that were called strikes - but which were in fact, balls.

The pitches that were fooling the Tribe, I thought, were also in the coarse of events, fooling Umpire Andy Fletcher. In one such instance - in the 3rd - the erratic-ness of the knuckle ball/fastball/change-up combination resulted in a 13-pitch inning - and that - the inning after Dickey fooled the opponents in a 3-up 3-down, 6 pitch inning in the 2nd - together which undoubtedly helped shut down the Indians over all but for 1 run in the 4th - their only run.



Image: BrooksBaseball | R. A. Dickey against Indians, September 2, 2015 - Inside/Outside pitch zone with number in at-bat | http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?month=9&day=2&year=2015&game=gid_2015_09_02_clemlb_tormlb_1%2F&pitchSel=285079&prevGame=gid_2015_09_02_clemlb_tormlb_1%2F&prevDate=92&league=mlb


Also of note in this game was the running play by Josh Donaldson in the 2nd with the bases loaded - that intuited the fact that the Jays weren't scoring a lot of runs against this hot Indians team* - Donaldson at third decided to make a try for a run with 2-out (after the hit-ball-out) with a 4-0 lead - to steal home on a high pop to shallow right-centre which Kipnis was peddling backward on when he made the catch - and beat the throw just up the third base line by jumping over the catchers' arm-swinging tag by actually jumping over the tag and landing with his left hand on the plate!

MLB Video:


On the defensive side of the equation - of note was the play by Goins in the 7th in which he tracked the ball hit to the deep hole at second (in shallow right-centre), made the catch of the ground ball and then planted and turned 270 degrees with his next step and panted a throw to the outside corner of the 1B bag - which Smoak scooped nicely for the out. (No embed for some stupid reason - thanks again to MLB Advanced Media) - http://m.mlb.com/video/v442891283/?game_pk=415634



* By "a lot" I refer back to my previous "Tweet-post" (see embed below) about the jays' scoring 'slump' following the Yankess series loss at the end of their 11 game winning streak - which meant they weren't scoring more than 5 runs per game; which matches their god-like scoring performance through that streak and in fact through the entire season (5.49 Runs/Gm).





mh

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jays' experience essential play-off-team Learning Moment in loss to hot Cleveland Indians



The first indication that the Team was letting the recent record of this hot Indians Team effect them (which since August 15th mirrors the performance of the Jays in all of August), was the Goins throw in the first inning to 3rd to erase a lead-off double instead of going for the sure out at 1st. The throw to 3rd - which Donaldson couldn't clutch on the bounce - resulted in runners on 1st and 3rd (the next at-bats' double-play scored the runner which until the 9th was the game's margin of scoring).

That was the end of scoring in this game until the Bottom of the 5th when the Jays scored 2 - which was answered by the Clevelands in the 7th.

The next indication that Jays were trying to do too much was in the Top of the 9th when Donaldson cut in front of Tulowinski (the standard play - it's 3rds' ball if they can get to it) and tipped a hit ball to his left, which he then corralled and (as it was his only play) hurriedly threw (high) to third to try and get the lead runner - which tipped off Troy Hawkins' glove (covering) and ended up in the third base camera bay - resulting in a two bases for the runners on - a run scored (4-2) and the batter-runner to 3rd.

Interesting to see if the Jays can turn this Zeitabschnitt* around in game two.


* Zeitabschnitt | http://www.dict.cc/deutsch-englisch/Zeitabschnitt.html



mh

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Umpire Bob Davidson miss-uses Bench Warning in 1st after Detroit Purpose Pitch up-and-in to Troy Tulowitzki


Umpire Bob Davidson issues warnings to both benches after the Jays hit two home runs in the 1st - which results in Detroit pitcher throwing an message pitch high and inside to Troy Tulowitzki.

Now if Toronto pitcher Mark Buehrle hits a Detroit batter the Umpire will have to decide if it was intentional or not and perhaps choose to throw a Jays pitcher out of the game! This means the Blue Jays pitching now can't throw message pitches.

Moving a batter off the plate is part of the game - and because this Blue Jays team is hot and hitting the ball out of the park at an unprecedented pace as well, the advantage goes to the Blue Jays. On the other hand, if the Detroits start teeing off on Buehrle, he won't have the option of using the brush-back pitch.

The result of this early warning will likely be a greater slam-athon by the Jays  than might of otherwise been a normal slam-athon - which Toronto's fans of winning Toronto sports teams will love. but which takes away from the quality of baseball game which we will witness today.

Rule 8.02: Throwing at the Batter
     Rule 8.02 states as follows:

    d. The pitcher shall not intentionally pitch at the batter.

        If, in the umpire's judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:
        1. Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or
        2. may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.

If, in the umpire's judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially "warned" prior to the game or at any time during the game.

(League Presidents may take additional action under authority provided in Rule 9.05)

Rule 8.02(d) Comment: Team personnel may not come onto the playing surface to argue or dispute a warning issued under Rule 8.02(d). If a manager, coach or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop. If he continues, he is subject to ejection.

To pitch at a batter's head is unsportsmanlike and highly dangerous. It should be - and is - condemned by everybody. Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.
(http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/rules_interest.jsp#8.02)


On this continuing power and run scoring show by this Blue Jays team - game, after game, after game - is starting to travel into a surreal universe.

Score after 4 innings: Tigers 0 - Jays 6

ESPN Boxscore - Tigers at Jays - Sunday, August 30, 2015 - 1:07pm start | http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=350830114



mh

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Indications that Blue Jays run scoring slump may be easing:

Jays Phoenix over immolating Angels

Toronto Blue Jays were the Dark Angels of mercilessness for the faithful at Angels Stadium tonight, scoring 15 runs on 20 hits. Only 2 home runs (plating 5 runs) as this 9-cyclindar offense catches fire.

Toronto starting pitcher Marco Estrada (W, 11-7) threw an excellent five and two thirds innings relinquishing 2 solo home runs late as he challenged the Angels hitters with a 10 run lead. Brett Cecil worked out of a jam caused by a Donaldson throwing error in the 6th - with one pitch. Then the team of Hawkins, Hendriks and Schultz held the Angels down for good, giving up just 1 hit over three innings stellar relief.

Felt guilty at the end.

(Not one of my worst quadruple-mixed metaphors).




Image re-purposed from screen capture of the game's scoring summary at espn boxscore: http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=350822103



mh

Friday, August 14, 2015

Yankees end Jays streak in 9-inning nail-bitter

Yanks at Jays - Friday, August 14, 2015 - 7:07 pm

Top-3 - Jays ask for a review after a close play at first on a tough hit ball to 3B by the Yankees nine hitter Brendan Ryan. Jays loose their review privileges as MLB review umps rule Ryan is safe for the visitors 3rd hit of this scoreless game here in the 3rd.

This can't continue much longer. But it does ... Price strikes out the Yankees four hitter Teixeira with 2 on to end the Top of the 3rd.

Top-6 - Chris Young's slow bounder off Price up the middle - Goins bare-hands it and in one motion throws for the 3rd out of the 6th ... another zero. This can't go on.

Bot-9 - Troy Tulowitzki at bat against Yankee closer Andrew Miller with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 out down 4 runs to 3: Strike (looking), Ball, Strike (foul), Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike (swinging).

This loss will have no effect on the team as they battled the evil empire right to the last out. Great streak.

Yankees lead the AL East by 1/2 a game.

The Jays bats have been struggling over the last 4 games - see if they can turn that around tomorrow; game 2 of 3 (1:07 start).


Boxscore
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
 -
 R
 H
 E
 LOB
New York Yankees
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 4
 0
 -
 4
13
 0
    8
Toronto Blue Jays
 0
 0
 3
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 -
 3
 6
 
    7


Scoring:

Bot-3 - Tulowitzki grounded into fielder's choice to pitcher, Pillar scored. (1-1)
Bot-3 - Bautista doubled to left, Tulowitzki scored. (1-2)
Bot-3 - Encarnación hit sacrifice fly to center, Donaldson scored. (1-3)
Top-8 - Headley hit a ground rule double to center, Teixeira scored. (1-1)
Top-8 - Beltrán homered to right center, McCann and Headley scored. (3-4)


Score Card Line-ups:

New York Yankees

J Ellsbury CF
B Gardner LF
A Rodriguez DH
M Teixeira 1B
B McCann C
C Headley 3B
C Young RF
  (Top-8) Beltrán PH-RF
D Gregorius SS
B Ryan 2B

I Nova P (W, 5-4) 7.0 IP
D Betances P (H, 19) 1.0 IP
A Miller P (S, 26) 1.0 IP


Toronto Blue Jays

T Tulowitzki SS
J Donaldson 3B
J Bautista RF
E Encarnación DH
J Smoak 1B
R Martin C
R Goins 2B
  (Bot-9) C Colabello PH
    (Bot-9) C Pennington PR
K Pillar CF
B Revere LF

D Price P 7.1 IP
A Sanchez P (L, 6-5; B, 1) 0.2 IP
B Cecil P 1.0 IP




Stats via espn: http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=350814114



mh

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Blue Jays win 11th in a row - sweep third consecutive series

A's at Jays - Thursday, August 13, 2015 - 1:07 pm

Nothing much to say about this game except that the expected god-like performance of the batting order and the pitching staff unfolded just as the universe apparently intended.

One note of interest: the line-up did not include Troy Tulowitzki at short stop and leading off - but instead the nine hitter, Ben Revere (LF), usually in the nine spot (to turn the line-up over) moved to lead-off; and the Jays most recent acquisition, Cliff Pennington (2B) took the turn-the-line-up-over spot in his second game for the Jays as Tulowitzki had a get-away-day off with Ryan Goins moving from second base over to short stop. That change seemed to have no effect on the team as the Jays go on to win their 11th in a row - the second time this season they have accomplished that feat (June 2-14).

Tomorrow evening it's the just passed for 1st place in the AL East, New York Yankees - in town for three. Interesting to note the NY bloggers are lamenting the Yankees lost offense this week, after the Jays held them to 1 run over 28 innings last weekend.


Usually the Yankees break out of slumps against the Jays at home - it will be interesting to see if that pattern holds this weekend - as it would appear this year is not like any other in recent baseball history for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Boxscore
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
 -
 R
 H
 E
 LOB
Oakland Athletics
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 2
 0
 -
 2
 8
 0
    6
Toronto Blue Jays
 0
 4
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 0
 x
 -
 4
 6
 
    1


Scoring:

Bot-2 - Pillar singled to right, Navarro scored. (1-1)
Bot-2 - Goins homered to right, Smoak and Pillar scored. (3-4)
Top-8 - Burns tripled to right center, Semien scored. (1-1)
Top-8 - Canha grounded out to second, Burns scored. (1-2)

Score Card Line-ups:

Oakland Athletics

B Burns CF
M Canha 1B
B Lawrie 2B
D Valencia 3B
J Phegley C
  (Top-9) S Vogt PH
B Butler DH
J Reddick RF
C Crisp LF
M Semien SS

J Chavez P (L, 6-12) - 6.0 IP
Pomeranz P - 1.2 IP
Rodriguez P - 0.1 IP


Toronto Blue Jays

B Revere LF
J Donaldson 3B
J Bautista RF
C Colabello DH
D Navarro C
J Smoak 1B
K Pillar CF
R Goins SS
C Pennington 2B

Buehrle P (W, 13-5) - 7.0 IP
Sanchez P (H, 6) - 1.0 IP
Osuna P (S, 12) - 1.0 IP


Stats via espn: espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=350813114



mh

I Rue the day the Blue Jays lose 2 in a row


It started last week, on Friday, August 7th - the day after the Jays swept the Minnesota Twins - on the FAN590 Toronto Radio, on their flagship show, Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown --- for a full 2 hours before the away game against New York Yankees the round table talked baseball.  Since then, the attention paid to this team on local media has gone from a space filler between talking about the National Hockey League Toronto Maple Leafs - to *THE* topic of discussion.

The fanatical shift turned up another notch last night as the Jays won and the Yankees lost; which saw the Jays vault into first place in the AL East: I hear Mike Wilner, the Jays' 5th inning play-by-play announcer and post game call in show host, say - this team might be a better than the 1992 World Series team.

After the post game phone-in on "Sportsnet Overnight", I hear announcer Mike Oz say this team might not loose another 10 games this year' (with 47 games to go, 9 loses a .801 winning percentage!).

So from a baseball fan living in a market that can't talk baseball for more than 1 minute before trying to make a allusion to Maple Leafs hockey - now once again, after 21 years of waiting - I live in a baseball town.

But don't be fooled (again), this is not a baseball town - this is a city of fans of winning home teams.

If the Jays loose 2 games in a row it is likely that Jays' General Manager Alex Anthopoulos will be run out of town by a torch and pitchfork wielding mob of insane former Blue Jays fans.



References:

Podcast | Prime Time Sports - August 7 - The Friday Roundtable - 5pm: http://pmd.fan590.com/podcasts/pts/pt_20150807_175553--Prime-Time-Sports---August-7---5pm.mp3
Podcast | Prime Time Sports - August 7 - The Friday Roundtable - 6pm: http://pmd.fan590.com/podcasts/pts/pt_20150807_185523--Prime-Time-Sports---August-7---6pm.mp3

FAN590 Toronto / Prime Time Sports / Recent Podcasts | http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/prime-time-sports/

Mike Oz Retweet announcing his Wednesday, August 12, 2015 "Sportnet Overnight" gig (real time widgets at the website disappear history):



Tweet URL: https://twitter.com/JeffSammut590/status/631675367393206272




mh