Sox Gamers/Postmortems

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 replies on “Why So Blue, Jay? Jays-Sox Gamer I”

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.

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.

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.

Wakefield strikes out a batter on three pitches, and walks a batter on four pitches in subsequent ABs. 2 down, 1 on.

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.

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.

What teams have the Jays been playing that gave them this record and when do we get to play them?

Whoa…Scutaro just a liiiiitle out in front, otherwise that’s in the monster seats.

No good contact on Wake until this inning, then two solid singles with 1 out.

A bit lucky to get out of that inning scoreless as Rios hit it solid, but Bay gets it on the track.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

Drew K, but another good AB (7 pitches).
Lugo hits it to center…Wells barely had to move.

Tallet’s best inning. Ump might have helped him a bit on that last strike three.

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.

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).

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.

With a 1-run lead and a plenty-low-enough pitch count, will Wake come back for the 8th? I think he probably will.

2 down on the pop to left. Biggest AB of the game right here against Wells with 2 on, 2 out in the 8th.

Also, this game is less than two hours old and we’re in the bottom of the 8th.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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