5:45 PM Eastern
The Blue Jays are 0-2, and have 10 hits combined in two games! Disband the parade committee.
Actually, the results of these first two games don’t matter at all. Neither do the results of the next 28, so long as no one gets hurt, so let’s nobody panic about the “slow start”.
Truth is, there were some pretty good things that happened, Blue Jay-ically, in this latest loss to the Tigers, among them:
- Roy Halladay got in a second and third, none out jam in the second inning, and then got two ground outs and a shallow fly to get out of it on just FOUR pitches! The first ground out scored a run but still, that was vintage Halladay.
- Frank Thomas absolutely destroyed a ball to left-centre in the fourth. I thought it was going to hit the scoreboard, and so did Frank, but the wind held it up and it banged off the wall for a double.
- Lyle Overbay, who didn’t play in either intrasquad game because of a stomach bug that saw him lose seven pounds in less than a week, went 2-for-3 with a sharp line single to centre off lefty Nate Robertson and a double over the first-base bag off righty Francis Beltran.
- Brandon League faced five hitters, struck out one and got three others to hit ground balls. If his power sinker is back as an effective weapon, look out.
Of course, it wasn’t all sweetness and light. Russ Adams’ glove reared its ugly head again. He came in to play third base in the fifth, and successfully handled neither ball that was hit his way. The first, a grounder by Jacque Jones in the 8th, went under his glove for an error. Adams fielded the next one cleanly, a two-hopper by Wilken Ramirez in the 9th. But his throw was horrendous, even by Russ Adams’ standards. He threw the ball almost straight into the ground – it hit the dirt behind the pitchers’ mound – and it slowly hopped over to first, where Chip Cannon couldn’t pick it off the dirt as it was rolling. It was generously scored a hit, not that that matters.
Methinks the “Russ Adams, infielder” ship has sailed. The last thing you want in a major-league ballplayer is to have him NOT want the ball to be hit to him, and it really seems as though that’s what’s going on with Russ. It’s time to move him to left field, let him not have to worry about throwing the ball to a spot, just to a general area, and see how that works. There’s no question the guy can hit.
Tomorrow, we’re on the air for the first time – Jerry, Alan and I will be broadcasting from St. Petersburg, starting with a full pre-game show at 12:30 pm Eastern. David Eckstein will be my guest on the pre-game show. Dustin McGowan starts for the Jays, to be followed by Casey Janssen, Jeremy Cummings, Ryan Ketchner, John Parrish, Tracy Thorpe, rule 5er Randy Wells and Jesse Carlson. Jamie Shields is scheduled to start for the Rays.
The Jays’ starting line-up for Saturday:
Reed Johnson cf
Shannon Stewart lf
Alex Rios rf
Scott Rolen dh
Marco Scutaro 3b
Rod Barajas c
Russ Adams 2b (obviously, they’re not listening to me)
John McDonald ss
Curtis Thigpen c
Comments are encouraged, as always!