Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brett Cecil out pitched by Rich Harden - Again

The Blue Jay hitters didn't seem to have a plan going into this, their second tilt in ten days against Oakland's Rich Harden says Gregg Zaun tonight in Oakland - radio broadcasting with Jerry Howarth on this road trip.

The Jays, manage only 2 hits over the 7 innings of shut out pitching by the A's Blue Jay killer, Starting Pitcher Rich Harden.

The Jays lost the last time they faced Oakland's Harden, ten days ago on August 9th at Rogers Centre (4-1). Brett Cecil pitched really well in that game too --- but Harden pitched better.

Now, too, again.

Filling in for Alan Ashby on the Blue Jays Radio Network, colour analyst Gregg Zaun says, Cecil 'can't spit the ('L') hook after another really good start'.'Cecil gave up one less run this time..' - Howarth and Zaun mussed in the eighth - '...but so did Harden.'

Cecil vs Harden - August 19th 2011

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitcher             IP  H  R ER BB SO HR  PC-ST   ERA
B Cecil(L, 4-6)     7.0 4  2  2  5  4  1  111-67  4.24

Oakland Athletics
Pitcher             IP  H  R ER BB SO HR  PC-ST   ERA
R Harden(W, 4-2)    7.0 2  0  0  4 11  0  115-72  3.91


Harden vs Cecil - August 9th 2011

Oakland Athletics
Pitcher             IP  H  R ER BB SO HR  PC-ST   ERA
R Harden(W, 3-2)    7.0 5  1  1  2  8  1  107-71  4.07 

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitcher             IP  H  R ER BB SO HR  PC-ST   ERA
B Cecil(L, 4-5)     7.0 4  3  3  2  5  2  108-76  4.31

This is the last time this year the Jays will face the troublesome Harden. Two games remain in this 4 game series - now tied at one shut out each.

ESPN Boxscore Toronto at Oakland August 19, 2011


Monday, August 8, 2011

Squaretender publishes on Blogger Baseball Scorecard

Very happy today to report that Erin McClam, who co-publishes Squaretender - a blog that is All About scorekeeping baseball games - published a flattering little piece about my 'Blogger Baseball Scorecard" project!


In all my searching of terms like scoring, scorekeeping, scorecard, scoring forum...I have not come across Squaretender, a site about scorecard keeping. The internet is a very big place I guess. I've searched the world wide web for anything at all to do with baseball scorekeeping in the last 2 years and I'm sorry to say, I didn't find this lovely blog.

These guys (Erin McClam and Mark Niesse) are as passionate about scorecarding as I am - but they're purists, they want the real thing, not some new fangled ipad or Microsoft Office thingy - over there it's all about the parchment and graphite - which makes a review there all the sweeter.

All along the design process of the Blogger Baseball Scorecard I've tried to make it as close to the paper and pencil method as I could. I learned to keep score on paper with pencil. I'm a writer who always had a notepad and a scribbling tool with him wherever he went. Reading a book on paper has a religious feel to it. A scorecard in an extra large artists' sketch book is heaven.

So I know where they're coming from - I just think my new html scorecard is pretty zippy too, and I hope it generates vast numbers of score keepers in the next generations.

Not only will the piece at Squaretender help spread the word about the Blogger Scorecard, I've just found a website I'll be going back to.

Thanks much Erin.

Blogger Baseball Scorecard - Home


Friday, August 5, 2011

Pat Tabler taking English Grammar Lessons - Jays win

- Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles - Game 1 of 3 -

- Brett Lawrie debuts with first major league BH - and E - Plays 3B -

- Bautista plays RF -

- Jays win 5-4 -

Pat Tabler, Rogers Sportsnet Blue Jays colour analyst is, by the sound of it, taking English Grammar Lesson (sic). In the past few games he's been using the singular form of some words in sentences where it is appropriate according to proper English grammar, in sentences where the usage is rarely practised in popular conversational English.

When talking about the Blue Jays franchise for example, he uses the singular "Blue Jay" ... rather than "Blue Jays". Like in this sentence I just made up: "The Blue Jay want to bring up as many minor leaguer's as possible this year." I think though, in this example, Tabler's usage is incorrect because "Blue Jays" is a proper name. It's the franchise's name. Blue Jays. So using the singular in this instance is incorrect. (His English Grammar Coach will undoubtedly bring that up at their next class when the team gets back to T.O. after this series - Monday, August 8th.)

Later in the game I hear Mr. Tabler make proper use of the rule, when he says, "The way the Blue Jays score all their run." referring to they way the Jays plated runs in this game - rather than the popular, incorrect, usage 'The way the Blue Jays score all their runs.'.

And - the grammar lessons are paying off in other ways too I think. His mind is better ordered now. He doesn't come out with non-sequiturs and horribly structured ideas as much anymore (such as blurting out the conclusion of an idea and then realizing it 's hanging out there like a pink elephant, and then working (badly) back to the introduction of the idea). So good for him. He's made great strides in broadcasting since last year when he forced me to start the "I Can't Believe He's a Major League Announcer" label here at Baseball Blogs. Impressive. Old dog, new tricks.  Good for him!

Tabler had some really good analysis tonight. For example, on how the length of the grass backfired on the Baltimore defence, who couldn't turn a double play due to the long infield grass which slowed a batted ball's arrival at shortstop on one particular play (the Orioles are cutting the infield grass long - trying to get a defensive advantage with ground ball pitchers on the mound).

Brett Lawrie's debut line:
Player        AB R H RBI BB SO E  AVG 
B Lawrie 3B   4  0 2  1   0  1 1 .500         

On both balls where Lawrie doesn't make a play (error in the 2nd and RBI single in the 6th - also an error imho), he's cheating towards the throw. In both cases he has time to get in front of the ball, but instead plants and backhands, beginning his step into the throw before he has the ball.

Just thought I'd mention it - by the slight, off-chance that none of the coaches notice it; and it spirals into a batting slump or something. As Brett Lawrie knows: catch first, then throw - plenty of time.

Bottom 7th

Umpires miss the Robert Andino batter-runner interference call with no outs and one on. There were actually two ways the Umps could have called an out on the batter-runner! First, Andino actually touches pitcher Luis Prez while he's fielding the ball on the infield grass! AND - the batter runner never ran in the batter-runners lane! He is always - from the moment he completed his swing to until he touches the 1B bag - on the infield side of the foul line!

To add insult to error Perez is tallied an error. Later between the innings John Farrell gets ejected for continuing to argue with the umpires that the umpires are incompetent. In this case the two umpires in the middle of the play should have/could have made one or the other call. They both really blew their responsibilities on this one. Lets see if it changes the lead in the game, 2 on, 1 out, 4-3 Toronto...

Outs 2 and 3 are pitched by Litsch - no runs plate.

Otherwise, the call becomes my 'Play of the Game' - and I have a lot more to say about bad umpiring. :)

Interestingly, on one of the replays I see a Third way the Jays could have gotten the batter-runner out on the play. As the errant throw passes Andino in foul ground to his right, he takes a half step towards 2nd just as Hill (backing up the play nicely) comes into view and scoops up the ball. Hill doesn't act on a possible throw to first for an out - his mind is on a possible throw in behind Cesar Izturis rounding at second.

And this is the 'Interesting' part, the 1B umpire, Jerry Layne, has his back to the play at this point - he doesn't see the half step in towards the infield - even though he responsible for a call if the Jays choose to throw to first.

..if there were errors for umpires...

And 'they' say nothing happens in a baseball game. For these two umpires (Brian Knight HP & Jerry Layne 1B) - on this day - that would appear to be very, very true.

Top of the 8th

Jays get the insurance run:

Colby Rasmus (CF) steals second on the Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones with a nice tag-up from first on Aaron Hill's RBI SAC fly.

Colby Rasmus is looking good in centre field, he takes clean lines to difficult balls. This Jays' team now 2/3's of the way through the season, is a very different team than I reviewed at the 1/3 mark.

ESPN Boxscore for this game.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Joe Maddon says, "Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!" Blue Jays watch.

It was a sight to behold.

The Tampa bottom of the 2nd started with a HR run off of Carlos 'no-control-tonight' Villanueva. Then one after the other two hard hit balls; the first through the left side, the next straight up the middle dying in the centre field turf-grass - moving the lead runner first to third.

The Jays have no idea what's coming. This isn't yesterday where two great pitchers served up very few hit-able balls. That was then - this is game 2. Then intrepid manager Joe Maddon pulls a rabbit out of his hat - and everyone seems to just stare.

"What the f*ck is that?! Where did you get that rabbit man? This is a baseball game you know, not a friggin magic show."

But it looked like a magic show - with the Blue Jays playing the awe struck crowd.

8th hitter, shortstop, Scott Rodriguez lays down a beautiful safety squeeze between the third base line and the mound. As soon as B J Upton, the base runner at third, sees that the ball's on the ground, he boots it for home. The Jays' starter Carlos 'no-control-tonight' Villanueva is true to form - he fields the bunt and promptly throws it over J P Arencibia's head to the back stop. Run plates, runners first and third and everybody says, 'that sucked'.

  - and seemingly goes back to their memories of Yesterday's Win -

Because the next batter, 9th hitter, catcher Robinson Chirinos is bunting too!!! Aron Hill is running to cover second (?) as the pass bunt makes a perfect section of the turf between the mound and the first base line. Lind fields it and turns to get the out at first, he doesn't think he has a play at the plate right in front of him. But as soon as Lind turns he sees Aaron Hill isn't on the same page of the play book - Hill is nowhere near the first base bag, he doing a marathon from 2nd trying to beat the batter-runner over a similar distance as from the plate. The ball, the second baseman, and the batter runner arrive 1,2,3.

 - But not in that order. -

Run plates, safe at first - runners first and second, one out.

- Now the Jays are feeling stupid -

"What kind of a bunch of useless, turd, baseball players are we anyway? ..can't get an out when it's handed us. Not any more though boy-o! Just try That again - Now we're ready!!!" 

They never do that do they? When ever your ready for the bunt - they don't bunt. That's when they hammer the ball down your throat as your charging. ...Right?


Desmond Jennings lays down a perfect bunt on third base line. Bautista's playing in on the edge of the grass - so he's ready for this - he'll make an out with this...

But no, the fleet-of-foot Desmond beats out the throw - bases loaded.

Finally the Rays play real baseball - Jonny Damon hits a proper fly ball deep to centre field for an out - but it plates the runner from third. two are out. The next batter Evan Longoria fly's out to centre as well.

But its a bat around inning, 4 runs are in and this isn't a pitcher's duel - for sure.

Yesterday is gone.

The next AB's for the Rays in the 3rd is worse only because it's happening so soon after the last time - they send 8 to the plate and score 4 more. The game is over.

James Shields gets in a grove thereafter and shuts down the Jays' bats.

Tampa Bay  IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR  ERA
Shields    7.1  3   1   1   3   6   1  2.95

Final is 1-9.

The complete game scorecard for this game is up - at the Blogger Baseball Scorecard: "August 3, 2011 Jays at Rays - Game 2 of 3".

Also, check out the Scorecard's new 'Landing Page': Blogger Baseball Scorecard - Home Page.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays 3 games over .500 for first time since April 8!

Jays win beautifully defenced pitchers' duel, 3-1.

David Price is out done by Rickey Romero.

Romero gives up 1 Hit (a lead-off HR in the top of 6th) with 4 BB and 7 K.

109 Pitches

Complete game Scorecard at the link.

Game 1 of 3 in Tampa Bay.

Jays playing well - 3 games over .500 - first time since April 8!


Monday, August 1, 2011

I like "Graphics Interchange Format" (GIF) images

3B Kyle Seager's swipe-tag too quick for Ump

Jeff Sullivan from Lookout Landing is making a habit of making .gif images out of clips from television baseball coverage. GIF images are a series of still graphic images, or 'bitmaps' that display at a set speed so they look like a video! I like them so much I've been adding them to my sidebar. In this fast paced world full of 15 second sound bites and the fleeting of the famous and infamous - GIF's are perfect.

GIF has it's limitations, it doesn't support super high quality photographic colour sets. But as far as I'm concerned, that's good - this isn't supposed to be the original, above for example, is a re-purposed artifact of something the gretaer culture created - it's a parody, a comment. It is an icon of the televised game a memory if you will - and there it plays for poor Kyle Seager, like a nightmare - over and over and over... (Or perhaps for the Ump more so.)

The GIF format was invented by Steve Wilhite in 1987 while he worked for CompuServe. All the relevant patents on the software have since expired.

File:Newtons cradle animation book 2.gif
(Animation of "Newton's Cradle" via Wikipedia - also included in a article about the GIF format

File:Rotating earth (large).gif
(Rotating_earth_(large).gif‎ (400 × 480 pixels, file size: 1.36 MB, MIME type: image/gif, looped, 44 frames, 4.0s) - via Wikipedia)
When you click "copy image" and download one of these "images" all the bitmaps are downloaded; and then they're yours, and then you can put them anywhere you want - just like you would add an image from your computer to a blog post. (Always credit the source - then we'll still be friends.)

You can make your own GIF images in a couple of different ways:

There are Online GIF Maker Programs, (Google Search Page) where you upload your images to their server and then a program produces the GIF according to several parameter you're able to set...

- or - can download the free open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) software package - which has a GIF production interface, for all your GIF-Y needs.

Here's a brief introduction to the software: "How to Make an Animated GIF Image with GIMP"
(from MakeUseOf website - one of those answers for everything advertising aggregation websites , but it's  about GNU software - I never go to these sites because they about money not enlightenment, but it is a popular take on the product - and well written and has good graphics.)

This post was cross posted at Michael Holloway's FilterBlogs.