11:45 PM Eastern
Roy Halladay must not have known what was going on, having to sit in the dugout for so long between opportunities to go out and stick it up the Bronx Bombers’ ummm… bombers. The Jays fell just six runs short of matching their combined total of runs scored in all of Halladay’s nine losses this season.
The offensive blitz was the Jays’ third 20+ hit game of the season, and the second time in four games that they’ve torched the scoreboard for double-digit runs. This time the charge was led by Joe Inglett and Marco Scutaro, each of whom had four hits, and Alex Rios and Adam Lind, who chipped in with three hits each.
The top three hitters in the batting order combined to go 11-for-17 (.647) with three doubles, a homer, eight runs scored and seven RBIs. The clean-up guy was the only one to take the collar, but Vernon Wells absolutely scorched two balls – a line-drive out to left in the 4th, which was the hardest-hit ball of that three-run inning, and a line drive that Johnny Damon ran down in left-centre.
I could go over every offensive player tonight, because everybody hit, but I’ll specifically highlight just a couple more things. John McDonald had another great day at the dish, with a big two-out two-run single to cap the five-run 3rd and a single to lead off the 5th. Both balls were hit to almost dead centre, and in his next at-bat, he flied out to deep left. I’ve said it dozens of times – if McDonald can even be an average big-league hitter, heck, even slightly below-average – he’s a huge asset to any team. He bounced back very nicely from a pair of 0-for-3s, and has hit .289/.319/.400 over the last two weeks. With his glove, that makes him an outstanding player.
Roy Halladay just “shoved”, as Joe Inglett said after the game. I guess you can add “the ball up their ***es” to the end of that. Halladay took a three-hit shutout into the 7th, walking one and striking out eight to that point, and was staked to a 7-0 lead through three and a 13-0 lead after five. It was an embarrassment of riches for the Jays’ ace, who isn’t used to much run support at all – in fact, the Jays have scored a total of 20 runs for Halladay over his nine losses – and he still pitched as though he was in a one-run game. Best pitcher in the league, the Jays have to trade him, right?
Good to see quick healer Scott Downs back on the mound, as well. After collapsing with that right ankle sprain in Detroit last Wednesday, it looked like he’d be out a while, but he didn’t miss a beat in taking down the Yanks 1-2-3 in the 8th on a three-pitch strikeout, high chopper infield single and double-play grounder.
Speaking of trades (I did! A paragraph ago!), the Jays picked up Jose Bautista from the Pirates in a waiver deal before the game. They’ll option Kevin Mench down to Syracuse to make room, and Mench will be back on September 1st. Bautista is a cheap add, he’ll cost the Jays just over $400,000 for the rest of the year, and he’s been a strong bat against lefties this year, hitting .253/.363/.547 with six home runs in just 75 at-bats. Sad as it is, Bautista brings his 43 career homers in just over three seasons and becomes the Jays’ home run leader this season – he’s hit 12 for the Pirates, even though National League numbers don’t carry over.
The Jays will send a player to be named later to the Buccos to consummate the trade, we should find out who that is late this week or early next. In order to trade a player on the 40-man roster, he has to clear waivers, and the Jays would have to put the PTBNL through trade waivers if he’s on the 40-man, but not the 25 (since it’s safe to assume almost all of the 25-man guys would already have been put through). If I had to guess who the player heading to Pittsburgh is, I’d guess John Parrish, Curtis Thigpen or Russ Adams.
Bautista will battle Scutaro for playing time against righties, and should take away David Eckstein’s playing time against lefties, with Scoot moving over to second base. It’s a minor improvement, but it doesn’t cost the Jays much. Just another one of those moves that so many critics love to hate.
It was a fun JaysTalk tonight, though I always wonder why people don’t ever seem to want to talk about the actual game that just finished. The last caller was a beaut. I love people who say stuff like “stats are for fools”. The funny thing is, your eyes and your heart will deceive you – any listener to the fine post-game that is The JaysTalk knows that happens all the time. The stats are the only way you can tell what is actually happening. Statistics can lie, of course, and they can be manipulated in an attempt to prove or disprove a point. That’s why I always say no one statistic can tell a complete story. But all of them together certainly do. And no, Marco Scutaro isn’t even in the conversation as to who should be this team’s MVP. Here’s the whole show – listen up!
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!