12:55 AM Eastern
Just a quick post tonight because, and this is kind of funny, I woke up this morning with a stiff neck, so it’s hard to sit at the computer and type too long, especially since I’ve been doing it all night at the ballpark.
What’s kind of funny is that if I really think about it, this stiff neck could probably be called a tight trapezius muscle on my left side. Although I think my lat is a little sketchy too. So dig me, I’m a combo of Brandon League 2007 and B.J. Ryan 2009. Anyway, I’m hoping it gets better in a hurry, since my old-man softball team is having its first practice on Saturday.
I’m starting to think that Scott Richmond might be a lot better than I, and many others, thought he was. Granted, he has no pedigree whatsoever, he’s a 29 year-old rookie and his numbers in independent ball weren’t especially impressive. He was just OK in his five-start stint last year, with the overall numbers helped out a lot by a rain-shortened six-inning shutout in Baltimore on the next-to-penultimate day of the season. He didn’t pitch that well in the spring, and was in the process of getting lit up when the rain yanked him from his first start this season.
There was really no reason to think of him as anything but a decent-enough 5th-starter type who would hold onto that job until someone better was ready.
But then there were his last two starts. He shut down a lefty-heavy line-up in Minnesota, and came back tonight and stuffed one of the best-hitting teams in the majors. As I wrote before that Twins start, Richmond was going to have to find a way to get lefties out if he was going to be able to stick in the majors.
Tonight, lefties went 3-for-10 against Richmond, posting an ugly .300/.417/1.000 line. Ugly if you’re the pitcher, that is. But the thing is, Richmond destroys right-handed hitters. Going into this game, Richmond had held right-handed hitters to a ridiculous line of .143/.191/.175. That’s just wrong.
Tonight, Richmond gave up two singles to Nelson Cruz and one to Michael Young. The righties combined to go .214/.214/.214 with six strikeouts in 14 at-bats.
I’m not sure what to make of this, but it seems that the facts that Richmond rarely walks anybody and that righties can’t touch him mean he can be bad against lefties and still pitch effectively. If he perfects that change-up and makes it a real weapon against lefties, or gets them fishing for his curveball on a regular basis as he did with Chris Davis tonight, Richmond’s ceiling could wind up being way higher than I thought, and I would love to be proven wrong on him.
Bryan Bullington wound up getting the call to take B.J. Ryan’s spot in the bullpen. The first overall pick in 2002 by the Pirates, Bullington has allowed 10 hits and a walk in 9 2/3 innings with Las Vegas, striking out 10 and allowing just two earned runs. He’s worked at least three innings in two of his four appearances, and gives the Jays a long-relief option, with everyone else moving up a spot. Scott Downs is the closer, Jason Frasor and Jesse Carlson likely handle the 8th and Brandon League the 7th.
It was a good edition of The JaysTalk tonight, second in a row where there haven’t been any irrational whiners calling in. A caller mused, and probably rightly so, that it was because Rios, Wells and Overbay all homered and Ryan didn’t pitch. None of the favourite targets were in the sights. Here it is, for your listening pleasure:
Tomorrow, a special treat for you FAN590 listeners. I have been trying all week to get a John McDonald/Omar Vizquel interview done, the two of them being good friends, two of the best defensive shortstops ever and former teammates with the Indians. This afternoon, it finally happened. It started off with Vizquel interviewing McDonald, but Johnny Mac switched sides halfway through or so. It’s nine minutes of radio gold, and even though I plan to use it on The Blue Jays This Week this week, I’m going to play it for you during the pre-pre-game show Friday at 7:05 pm Eastern. Make sure you tune in!
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!