Toronto Baseball Guys
Saturday, June 19, 2010
  That’s What I’m Talking ‘bout Willis!
Take a seat Weiner Jays, this return engagement of the Winner Jays is a welcome sight. Rather than getting pasted all over the field, the Jays are doing what it takes to win. The starters are keeping the run totals down, the defence has been steady and stellar the last couple of nights, and the opposition pitchers are being reminded of the fact that when 9 guys swing for the fences over 27 outs, some of them will eventually connect.

Question 1: What’s more demoralizing to a pitcher than loading the bases?
Answer 1: Cruising through the game until giving up a lead changing home run. Screw OBP! What does it mean to a team that last drove in a runner from third with less than two outs around the time John Olerud switched to the batting helmet with just a single ear flap. Did you see all the fancy batting averages the Giants are sporting? Who cares? Gaints’ pitchers have some of the lowest run support totals in baseball.

Question 2: What builds more confidence and team morale: a 10-1 victory in which hits are piled up against a bottom of the barrel relief pitcher working mop up duty OR a 3-2 win with runs scored in the last at bat?
Answer 2: The close win to be sure. Have the Jays even won a game that wasn’t in doubt in the late innings?

Here are some positive thoughts about the recent struggles of the Jays:
-The team that learns to lose together will have a much greater appreciation for their 2011 pennant race, 2012 playoff appearance and 2013 World Series championship.
-Brandon Morrow has been dominant, but his era remains in the fives (well 4.97 now, but who’s counting). His odd disastrous start has bloated his numbers enough to keep opposing teams from worrying about seriously scouting him. Rather than prepping for the game, they’re spending the night before a Morrow start hanging out with Hedo Turkoglu on a “flu day”. Hopefully Jesse Litsch can use the same system to parlay that Mile High Dud into more outings like he had today (7 IP 0 ER) against the Giants. Hey can we hack into the league office and make all the Jays’ stats look crappy. It’s a great plan, and we won’t even have to worry about touching up Hill’s and Lind’s numbers.
-Cito’s approach: Last year, as the bats cooled, Cito would speak to the media after each game and comment on how the opposing pitcher with the era in the sixes suddenly found his groove. It was like a 90210 fan claiming that the university years were actually good, but only seemed bad since they paled in comparison to Saved By the Bell’s version of post high school episodes. This year, Gaston has admitted that the Jays are struggling at the plate and has insisted on some extra BP. Kudos to Cito for getting his head out of the sand.
-I'm not going to question Alex Anthopoulos since, unlike the previous GM, he's neither dishonest, rude nor self centred but the move to pick up Nick Green in place of Mike McCoy doesn't jive with me. I don't know who Nick Green is, but I do know that he's 31 and never had a season OPS higher than 700. So what's the point of demoting a younger and incredibly plucky Mike McCoy who's speed defense and versatility are a little hard to match. Oops, I stand corrected, this AA guy's an absolute genius.

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