12:10 AM Eastern
Cito Gaston said it after the game – as good as Jesse Litsch was last night, Jair Jurrjens was tonight. He had the Jays looking like their old selves, off-balance, no clue, unable to hit the ball hard, and going down seemingly without a fight.
The kid is good, and might even be able to get the Dutch a win at the World Baseball Festival in the spring. Heck, if you look in the archives you’ll see he was my pick for NL Rookie of the Year and as we all know, my predictions are never wrong.
Dustin McGowan didn’t look great, and came out spec-less after the second inning, but really only Mark Teixeira did any damage. He’s really good, too, and the way he hit tonight almost made me think it’s a good idea to offer him the 8 year-$260 million deal that a commenter wanted to give him earlier this month. Almost. Texy would fix a lot of the Blue Jays’ problems, though, that’s for sure, and he will be available on the open market after the season.
So I’m guessing those of you who thought the Jays’ problems were fixed now that Cito and his gang are here and Gibby, Denbo and Pevey are gone are having second thoughts now, huh? Not even the fearsome twosome of Marco Scutaro and Joe Inglett could get the offense cooking tonight. I know some people have had issues with me throwing out Tuesday night’s scorefest in assessing the job that Scoot has done as the leadoff man, but one great game can skew all kinds of numbers. If you do throw that game out, Scutaro has been horrible out of the leadoff spot under Gaston, and I’m hoping that experiment ends tomorrow afternoon.
It’s amazing, isn’t it? The Mariners come in with the worst record in baseball and take two of three, the Braves come in with the worst road record in the game and make it look easy in the opener. The Blue Jays are SIX GAMES UNDER their pythagorean win-loss record, making them the unluckiest team in baseball this season. Amazingly, if the teams were ranked by how many games their run production for and against says they should have won, the Jays would be three games behind the wild card Oakland A’s and 3 1/2 back of the Red Sox for first in the East. The question has to be asked – what did the Blue Jays do to get karma so brutally turned against them? Have they had any breaks go their way the last five years? It certainly doesn’t seem they have.
Here’s tonight’s episode of The JaysTalk – it begins cordially enough, at least, but things went downhill as the show progressed. I don’t know, I just have a hard time thinking that someone who talks to his buddies has a better idea of the pulse of big-league baseball than someone who is actually at the ballpark every day talking to players, coaches, scouts and executives and other people who talk to such people everyday. Maybe it’s just me.
Remember, we have the extendo-pre-game show on Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon Eastern on the FAN590 and here on the website. I’m hoping to have an in-depth interview with new first-base coach Dwayne Murphy Saturday, I already have a good chat with umpire Joe West in the can for Sunday. The plan is for me to be outside the Dome at Gate 6A (southeast tip of the ballpark), but if the weather is as bad as it’s supposed to be, we might not want to expose our delicate radio equipment.
Comments are always welcome – and the banned Anton has asked for forgiveness (I’m not sure, let me know what you think) – I doubt I’ll be able to answer any before the game tomorrow, though.