Why So Blue, Jay? Jays-Sox Gamer I

We've discussed before how a blue jay, despite its showy appearance, is nothing more than a crow. Heck, its feathers aren't even blue!

Perhaps there's a lesson here for the eponymous team from Toronto, which every year is the pretty pick to make a splash in the American League East. Wowed by its flashy feathers — Roy Halladay, Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus, B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett, Lyle Overbay — the pundits flock to it, picking it as the sleeper playoff team or even — like last year — as the division winner.

Every year, however, when the feathers are crushed, and the light is gone, we find the bird is nothing more than another ugly crow.

The situation is reversed this season — the pundits predicted no better than fourth place for the Toronto ballclub, some even assigning the Blue Jays the ignominious last-place spot. Surprise, surprise, it's the Jays in first place by a commanding margin.

For that commanding lead, they owe some thanks to the Red Sox, who will be trying to put a dent in it beginning tonight. The Sox are coming off another lousy road trip (they seem to have had plenty of those over the past two seasons) that saw them simultaneously slip away from Toronto and slip closer to New York. Their starters suck, the bottom of their batting order sucks, their bench has sucked, and David Ortiz — for no sane reason back in the No. 3 spot tonight — has sucked more than any sucker has ever sucked a suck.

Still, the Red Sox love playing at home. They're 13-4 in the Friendly Confines. They'd love to make it 16-4; the bad part is that even if they can do that, they'll still be in second place. First, of course, they have to win tonight, when Tim Wakefield faces Brian Tallet.

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60 comments… add one
  • Ha ha, Kottaras got Rios trying to steal to end the inning. Eat it, BJs.
    Wakefield a little wild (couple 3-2 counts), but the end results were good. K, slow roller to 2nd, infield hit down the 3rd base line.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:19 pm
  • Hmmmm, Ellsbury might have been safe there.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:21 pm
  • jeez. we just had our second earthquake in 2 days out here in southern california. internet service was knocked out for a good 15 minutes and just coming back on.

    sf rod May 19, 2009, 7:22 pm
  • 2-0 count to papi. that’s the best at bat he’s had so far this season.

    sf rod May 19, 2009, 7:24 pm
  • radio guy’s saying papi has changed up his stance (more of a crouch). they’re saying him an magadan have worked extensively over the weekend on it.

    sf rod May 19, 2009, 7:26 pm
  • Wakefield strikes out a batter on three pitches, and walks a batter on four pitches in subsequent ABs. 2 down, 1 on.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:31 pm
  • Popped to the track in left-center. Wake through 2.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:32 pm
  • Lowell finds a hole and the leadoff man is on in the 2nd.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:35 pm
  • Lowrie has rather prominent front teeth.
    You would think the dude OBPing .384 would be a little higher in the order…Drew, I mean. Making Tallet work here.
    And he walks.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:39 pm
  • Every time Lugo comes up I think, foolishly, “hey, maybe he’ll do something to make me hate him less”, and every time he doesn’t do it.
    Asshole.

    SF May 19, 2009, 7:41 pm
  • Woohoo, Bailey. 1-0 Red Sox.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:43 pm
  • Tallet BLOWS an 86mph fastball by Kottaras.

    SF May 19, 2009, 7:45 pm
  • Good job by GK to work the sac fly. Blue Jay LFer out to lunch on the throw.

    SF May 19, 2009, 7:47 pm
  • Kottaras sac fly scores Drew. Bad throw lets Bailey go to 2nd.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:47 pm
  • Hard shot by Ellsbury, but right to the 1B. Good inning.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:49 pm
  • What teams have the Jays been playing that gave them this record and when do we get to play them?

    LocklandSF May 19, 2009, 7:50 pm
  • Whoa…Scutaro just a liiiiitle out in front, otherwise that’s in the monster seats.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:54 pm
  • No good contact on Wake until this inning, then two solid singles with 1 out.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:55 pm
  • A bit lucky to get out of that inning scoreless as Rios hit it solid, but Bay gets it on the track.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 7:57 pm
  • I read (on SoSH, I think) that the Jays are 8-7 in the 15 (out of 41) games they’ve played against teams above .500. So yeah, there might be something to their “overperforming” theory. But it’s only a 2-run lead in the 3rd, so I don’t want to say too much.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:02 pm
  • “their” makes no sense in that last post.
    Anyway, Ortiz still sucking pretty bad, swinging at strike two and three, which weren’t close (three had decent sinking movement). At least he walked in the 1st.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:03 pm
  • In other news, Lugo sucks. Throw was short. He’s lucky the guy didn’t get to 2nd.
    Whoa, Bay had to get on his horse to grab that one.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:09 pm
  • I can’t wait till Lowrie is back, even if his defensive rep ain’t awesome. Watching Green and Lugo butcher shortstop has been pretty painful.
    Drew grabs the flyball, two down after the leadoff error.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:10 pm
  • Overbay K. Toronto can’t score through 4.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:12 pm
  • Wakefield’s amazing tonight. The Sox are really hitting Tallet well, but they’ve gotten some bad luck — Ells and Pedey both could easily have two hits.

    Paul SF May 19, 2009, 8:14 pm
  • Drew K, but another good AB (7 pitches).
    Lugo hits it to center…Wells barely had to move.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:17 pm
  • Tallet’s best inning. Ump might have helped him a bit on that last strike three.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:19 pm
  • Millar hits a leadoff bomb to the monster seats and the lead is cut in half.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:21 pm
  • I really don’t care who Millar plays for, any time he does good it makes me smile.

    LocklandSF May 19, 2009, 8:22 pm
  • Clean inning after the homer.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:24 pm
  • Kottaras rip juuust foul down the RF line.
    Then he Ks.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:26 pm
  • Actually I would have liked to have seen a replay on that fair/foul ball that Kottaras hit.
    Ellsbury singles on the 0-2 pitch.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:28 pm
  • Ortiz. :(

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:34 pm
  • Wakefield. :)
    (So far.)

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:37 pm
  • At one point, Sox looked poised to start hitting Tallet, but nope. He turns in a solid six innings (if he doesn’t come back out, got to just over 100 pitches last inning).

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:46 pm
  • Wakefield has gotten a metric ton of popups this game. Let me see if I can find the actual total.
    7 says Gameday. About 1 per inning. Pretty awesome.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:51 pm
  • With a 1-run lead and a plenty-low-enough pitch count, will Wake come back for the 8th? I think he probably will.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 8:56 pm
  • Another popup for Wakefield after the leadoff walk in the 8th.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:01 pm
  • Should have been another popup but Pedroia and Bailey can’t figure it out.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:03 pm
  • 2 down on the pop to left. Biggest AB of the game right here against Wells with 2 on, 2 out in the 8th.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:05 pm
  • Whew, Wakefield really brought the awesome today.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:06 pm
  • Nice work Tim!

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:06 pm
  • Also, this game is less than two hours old and we’re in the bottom of the 8th.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:07 pm
  • Jacoby! Plate this run, Sox.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:10 pm
  • WTF was Pedroia bunting for with Ellsbury at 2nd?

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:11 pm
  • Ugh, what a shit steal attempt. And Pedroia immediately hits a single. Way to waste it, Ellsbury/coach-who-called-for-the-steal-with-nobody-out.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:13 pm
  • Why was Jacoby stealing with none out? Dumb baseball.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:13 pm
  • Papi still looks atrocious.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:15 pm
  • That’s a really awful AB by Papi.
    Papelbon with a 1-run lead.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Well, that was a big waste. Three outs to go, come on Paps.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Agreeing with SF: As fast as Ellsbury is, you still don’t have him try to steal third with none out, especially with the heart of your order coming up.
    And indeed, Pedroia’s single would have scored him.

    Hudson May 19, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • You can’t assume Pedroia would have singled, but nonetheless you might have expected Pedroia to either have gotten on base or advanced Ellsbury, so the steal was completely unnecessary. With one out, perhaps.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:23 pm
  • Good win, starting pitching coming through. Still, Papi looked lost.

    SF May 19, 2009, 9:26 pm
  • Nice, old-school “you ain’t got nothing on me” outing from Papelbon. Really ate ’em up there.
    Good win. Super-awesome outing from Wake.

    Devine May 19, 2009, 9:26 pm
  • What the hell? I get home and the game is already over?
    At least we won, and Wakefield was awesome. Could have gone the whole game if it wasn’t a one-run game.
    Ortiz 0 for 3. Sigh.

    Atheose May 19, 2009, 9:28 pm
  • During the Dale and Holley Show today on WEEI, Tito confirms that Papi will bat third again tonight and Baldelli will play RF in place of Drew.
    Tito also said that he has no plans to drop Papi in the batting order. He wants him to work his way out of it. He doesn’t want him to come out of it when he’s batting in the 6 or 7 hole.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 20, 2009, 12:29 pm
  • It’s painful, but I feel that when Ortiz breaks out of this he’s going to do so in a huge way. Papi has carried the team for the last five years; we owe him some more patience. Personally I would give him until mid-June.
    You have to think that a significant portion of this is mental at this point; he has looked depressed in the last two weeks. Once he cracks that first homer he’ll start rebounding.

    Atheose May 20, 2009, 2:09 pm
  • It is hard to watch, but I agree: the best option is to wait and hope. He has looked awful, but as the team was very bad the first eight games of the season, so they eventually rebounded. I just don’t know what kind of rebound to expect from Ortiz (I don’t think he’s THIS bad, though). That last AB yesterday was so bad.
    I think they should drop him in the order at the end of May or so if things aren’t getting better.

    Devine May 20, 2009, 4:39 pm
  • Papi > Shaughnessy/Massarotti writing about Papi.

    I'mBillMcNeal May 20, 2009, 5:09 pm
  • Atheose May 20, 2009, 5:47 pm

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