Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Provincial Town reacts to Boston Red Sox beating - looking for Toronto scapegoats

...and Adam Lind hits walk off homer in the 11th against Baltimore

Following are my notes from the Blogger Baseball Scorecard live scoring of last night's game at Rogers Centre:

From Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Baltimore Orioles (30-33)
Manager: Buck Showalter


Toronto Blue Jays (32-34)
Manager: John Farrell

Game 1 of 3

First pitch: 7:07 PM EDT

Starting Pitchers
Baltimore - Chris Jakubauskas
Toronto - Carlos Villanueva

Home - Brian Knight
3B - Hunter Wendelstedt
2B - Bob Davidson
1B - Jerry Layne

Temp: 16°C | 64°F
Wind: South-West at 10 kph | 6 mph
(home plate to right-centre field)


On the Boston brutalization over this past weekend, Jays' Play by Play man Jerry Howarth says, '..the 35 to 6 runs scored tally was the biggest run differential in a 3 game series in Blue Jays' franchise history.'

'The Jays didn't lose,' says Howarth, 'the Red Sox beat them.'

And but good.

Reading the Toronto papers last night, no one had that as their take home message. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star choose to pick on team management (link) - and Jeff Blair of the Globe wrote about a team in a rebuilding year, Drabek's ball to strikes ratio (and pointedly I think, not mentioning the gazillion balls in the dirt that Arencibia was seen running to the back stop to pick up while Bostons circled the bases), and didn't give a second thought to the idea that Boston has what may be the best line up in that franchise's history - and that they came to town in the midst of a hot streak.

In my opinion, this is an example of a failure by the hacks in the day to day trenches of sports copy writing to see the forest for the trees. But there was no excuse for that this time, with the day off Monday both writers had 24 hours to come up with something a little more insight-full.

My take during the game here and afterwards was that over the weekend we were lucky to have witnessed possibly a Great team in the history of the game, a Great team on a hot streak - one of the most awesome displays of hitting and running I have ever seen. The Red Sox took advantage of every opportunity offered - the way you're supposed to.

The take home message for this young Blue Jays team should be: 'Look! That's how you play baseball, That's how you hit the cut-off, That's how you play station to station, hit and run, and That's how you work the count - That's how you pitch strategically. But learning from the experience how the game is supposed to be played is a lesson that is not being head around here in baseball media so far this week.

And now the news that the Jay's are sending Drabek to AAA Las Vsgas. Sending Drabek down at this time - after this Boston juggernaut has just past - is a blink in a staring contest - a strategic mistake. Looking at their belly buttons when they should straighten their collective shoulders, admit that they had just witnessed a first division team firing on all cylinders, get up off the turf and get back in there. Drabek's next start would have been on the road against a National League team, where he would be a relative mystery - and not facing Boston.

The team won't admit that this is what they're motivation is at this time - in fact they undoubtedly aren't thinking this; they're lost, they're still in shock, they're knee-jerking - reacting.

Of coarse a lot depends how this plays in the club house - but I doubt, looking back on this season come October - many will say this was a good move.

Anyway, that's all I'll say on that.

Now we can get back to some competitive baseball, against a team in the same division, the same universe - the Baltimore Orioles first of three - Yay! - I can smell a win.

11th Inning

I thought I saw a bunny rabbit... I did, I did!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boston Red Sox commit Ornitholo-cide on poor, hapless Blue Jay

These are my notes from today's game scorecard of the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, Toronto, game 3 of a 3 game trouncing by the rocketing Red Sox - winners now, of 9 in a row.

Today's game was a lot like yesterday's game (16-4) - bat around innings, 7 run innings, bad defence by a Jays squad who's every weaknes was probed and proded with a stick until all that was left was a bloody, feather-ly mess. And then there's the bullpen....

The only difference was, by the 5th inning I couldn't bear to keep scoring this one.


The Game Notes

From Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada:
Boston Red Sox
Manager: Terry Francona
Toronto Blue Jays
Manager: John Farrell
Game 3 of 3
First pitch: 1:07 PM EDT

Starting Pitchers
Boston - Jon Lester
Toronto - Kyle Drabek

Home - Jeff Kellogg
3B - Mark Carlson
2B - Tim Timmons
1B - Eric Cooper

Partly Sunny
Temp: 16°C | 61°F (at 12:34)
Wind: North-West at 19 kph | 12 mph
(left field corner to1B line) 

Listening to the radio again today, with Jerry Howarth and Gregg Zaun; that's Gregg with three g's. Oh, and now that I've been here a few times apparently Mike Wilner does the 5th and 6th play by play at home games.

Middle 5th

I can't do this anymore... Hit after hit the Boston's score, one after the other - and in order most of the time. Station to station, then big bats to clear them all; then they fill them up again.

It's unbearable.

The Boston Red Sox are HOT. This is the hottest team in baseball right now.

After witnessing this I'm left asking, Is this the hottest team in history? One would have to add some parameters to the question - over how many games, by what metrics? Run differential might be a good one... ..etc.. But I'm thinking after the Yankee Sweep and now this 3 game pummelling...

With this win today the Boston's have won nine in a row. Going back to the beginning of May the Sox lost 3 (May 4th, 5th, 6th) then swept Minnesota, lost 2 in a row to Toronto May 10th and 11th, then swept the Yankees, Baltimore, Detroit and the Cubs; won 2 out of 3 over Cleveland, then 3 of 4 over Detroit - before losing 3 to the White Sox; and then starting on this 9 game win streak going into June. That's a pretty good month, 19-10, and a scintillating start to June.

'Perhaps the best order ever?'  Some were asking in Boston early this year. I read the articles but my puritan side said you don't talk about those things like that - and the Boston's April proved my superstition right - and perhaps that bears a little closer look - Most agree on paper this line-up is fantastic, and Boston, being the Baseball Media Capital of the World wouldn't let these individuals forget it - the pressure to perform as the greatest line up of all time fell upon Crawford worst of all, his start was particularly gruesome - but even Big Papi was being pilloried by the Boston media, 'Trade him!' they shouted, '..but what could we possibly get for this sort of washed up lay about?' they moaned in chorus...

Not any more, this team has turned a corner this week - just in time to embarrass this young Jays team but good.

All the pressure seems to have come off off the pitching staff as well - now they're looking like last years version again.

The New York Yankee's 1961 line-up is considered by many as the best line-up of all time. Here's the most common lineup the 1961 Yankees fielded:

  1. Boyer
  2. Kubek
  3. Maris
  4. Mantle
  5. Berra
  6. Skowron
  7. Howard
  8. Richardson
  9. Pitcher
1961 Yankees from Baseball-Reference.

The 1927 Yankees lineup wasn't too bad either; this is my favourite - the one I'll be using for comparison, watching Boston's progress this year:

  1. Combs
  2. Koenig
  3. Ruth
  4. Gehrig
  5. Meusel
  6. Lazzeri
  7. Dugan
  8. Collins
  9. Pitcher

1927 Yankees from Baseball-Reference.
(all links go back to BB-Ref.)

 9th Inning

The FAN590 radio Play by Play voice of the Blue Jays, Jerry Howarth just opined that he had never seen such a lopsided series in 30 years of broadcasting, Gregg Zaun added he can't remember a trouncing this bad as a player.

For example I think I can count 7 runs scored by the Boston's this weekend, the result of high throws from the outfield that missed the cut-off allowing runners to move up that then scored - that wouldn't have if defenced properly. This young team has some lessons here - if they choose to seize them.

Final Boston 14 - Toronto 1


* * *

Scorecard: June 11, 2011 Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays - Game 2 of 3

Scorecard: June 12, 2011 Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays - Game 3 of 3

ESPN box score.