12:00 PM Eastern

It’s rare enough to see a guy hit a foul ball with home run distance and then later in the same at-bat fix that and hit a home run, but it’s even more rare to see that happen when Roy Halladay is on the mound.  That’s what Carl Crawford did last night, though, getting it right with a mammoth blast to the back of the 200-level in right.

The homer scored a walk ahead of it, and that was all the damage the Rays did to the good doctor, but it was enough, because there was no support to be had from the offensive side.

Not counting the game he had to leave in the 4th inning with the groin strain against Florida, Halladay has no-decisions in three of his last five starts, and he pitched well enough to win them all.  He’s 10-2 now, but he really should be 13-1 with two starts left before the all-star break.

Here’s last night’s edition of The JaysTalk, with Zack Cooper and Jerry Howarth, for your listening pleasure:

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Tonight, the series with the Rays continues with Scott Richmond (on Canada Day Eve) taking on noted Blue Jay killer Matt Garza, who posted a 0.47 ERA in five starts against the Jays last season (though he only went 3-2).  I’ll be back in harness tonight after a long 5-day stint on the disabled list.  The Jays went 1-4 without me, as opposed to the 7-7 they went while Halladay was on the shelf.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

24 Responses to “Doc’s Back, I’m Next”
  1. 1.

    Hey Mike,

    I have never once criticized Rios or Wells, but boy if they could just perform under their career average, say around .270. The Jays may have a lot more wins considering they come up quite often in important situations.

    Lets hope they turn it around, and not too late to the point where an average rios or wells, is too late to help.

    For so many years we have had a hole in offence at SS and catcher (2000-2008), last year the whole offence was bad minus our outfield. This year, everyone else is overachieving accept the key cogs (rios and wells). I know they will turn it around, i just wish the baseball god’s could give us a perfect team with everyone performing, at or above expectations.

    - paolo
  2. 2.

    Hey Mike,

    Glad your back. Any truth to the rumor that Wells is still bothered by that wrist he broke last year? You have to start wondering that it’s true because he’s too good of a hitter to keep struggling the way he has been. I am thinking if he’s healthy he would have snapped out of this slump by now.

    As well what do you make of Jeff Blair’s comments the other day about the team willing to deal Wells or Rios essentially for anything they can get at this point. Is this Blair just being an idiot or does it have any real legs to it?

    MW: Wells did get a cortisone shot in his wrist in spring training, and no one has talked much about that. I can’t imagine that if it’s bothering him and they know it’s bothering him that they’d keep him in such an important position in the line-up. Blair’s comments are nothing that haven’t been said by many others over the last few weeks. But it was just Blair speculating.

    - Jeff
  3. 3.

    I apologize in advance if this post makes no sense as I realize you’ve been ill and probably had better things to do (like sleep) than listen to Jays Talk.

    The other day a caller asked Jerry if he’d ever seen a pitcher get three outs using only three pitches in an entire inning. Jeery could not recall that situation off the top of his head, but stated he’d like to see a pitcher get three outs with 9 pitches, all strikes. If that is what Jerry meant and I did not misunderstand his reply, then Jerry has seen such an occurence. It happened in game #5 of the 1985 ALCS between the Jays and Royals. In the top of the second inning, Royals pitcher Danny Jackson retired the side on 9 pitches (all strikes). This is a rare occurence as I know that as of 1995 Jackson was the last one to do this. I suppose it has been done since. If I misunderstood Jerrys reply, I apoligize in advance. Thanks Mike. Hope you’re feeling better.

    MW: Thanks. Jerry has mentioned to me a few times that he’s never seen a pitcher strike out the side on nine pitches. Danny Jackson doesn’t appear on any of the lists that I have found for nine-pitch, three-strikeout innings. It actually happened seven times between 1985-1995, and has happened 11 times since, the latest by A.J. Burnett last week.

    - Jim in Ohio
  4. 4.

    Hey Mike were you really i’ll or did something else happen.
    Obviously a personal question that doesn’t have to be anwsered i just found it weird how on Saturday people at the station already knew you wouldn’t be back until Tuesday.

    MW: They told me on Friday that I couldn’t come back until Tuesday.

    - James Brown
  5. 5.

    cito gaston was on with the morning guys today (tuesday) and was asked about why he opted to not sac hill in order to move the runners…he echoed what you said about hill being the best hitter etc, but then went on, in his own defense, to say that it basically wouldn’t make a lot of sense to sacrifice your best hitter to set the table for the guy with the biggest struggles on the team…

    does this strike anyone else as absolutely ridiculous?

    if you don’t feel comfortable setting the table for your 3 hitter, why on earth is he your 3 hitter?

    i understand that he believes wells is a vet, and can work through his struggles no matter where he is in the lineup, but if he manages ballgames to keep him out of higher leverage situations, does he really even believe that?

    i guess my point is that if you are making in-game decisions based on wells’ struggles, then it’s time to make the change and move him down, because even you’ve (cito) lost faith in him…at this point, cito is costing the team as much as vernon is…

    MW: You’re right – if you’re afraid of your 3-hitter coming to the plate, he shouldn’t be your 3-hitter.

    - Jay B
  6. 6.

    Mike. So glad you’re back. A lot of rumors out there that Rios will be traded (Gammons, Blair). What’s your take considering they would be trading him at his lowest value?

    MW: Trading Rios for pennies on the dollar is a move made out of either panic or exasperation, and we haven’t seen the Jays make any moves like that over teh past few years.

    - Renegade
  7. 7.

    Mike,

    My mind has been drifting to 2010 lately. Before this year started, the talk was that 2010 would be the year for serious contention and that this year could be ugly. What I am wondering is what will be different with this team next year from this year?

    Marcum in the rotation, and a year’s experience for the other starters (so far would be Richmond, Romero, and Cecil with Tallet to help shore up the pen). The offense is going to be the same. Are the hopes of this team being pinned on Snider coming back to play fulltime?

    Let’s assume Snider is back up patrolling leftfield next year (not platooning). Let’s also assume everyone of the regulars are back as well. What are your thoughts on the following batting order:

    Scutaro
    Overbay
    Hill
    Lind
    Rolen
    Rios
    Wells
    Snider
    Barajas (or whoever they use from AAA)

    MW: It’s very difficult to see them hitting Wells 7th, I really don’t think there’s any reason to believe that his struggles will continue all the way through the next year. There’s NOTHING in his track record that suggests they would. I also don’t think Hill is the right kind of hitter to be in that third spot. Hopefully, as well, 8th is way too low for Snider.

    - Aaron Ker
  8. 8.

    Hey, I suppose this is a question more than a comment.

    Two weeks ago, Roy Halladay looked like he was going to the All-Star game and probably even start it. Looking today and seeing that there are four other pitchers with 10 wins and possibly more by the break, does Roy still have a spot on the team and the starting job? I would like to think and hope that he still has the spot and the start but if he doesn’t get to start, why would that be? If two weeks ago people would of agreed he should start why all of the sudden would they change their mind? Has something made him less of an All-Star? I know nothing is final and this is just thoughts but I was thinking about it. Thanks if you have any ideas.

    MW: Halladay hasn’t lost his spot on the all-star team, and he never had the start secured, so I don’t know if he’s “lost” that, either. What’s happened over the course of the last two weeks is that Halladay has been caught in wins by three pitchers, and the leaderboard in the league in general is far more bunched up than it was when he got hurt. He might get the start, but so might Zack Greinke or maybe even Edwin Jackson.

    - Jean-Marc Racheter
  9. 9.

    On tonight’s show I learned that Kevin Millar is causing Scott Rolen’s success this year.
    Please hurry back Mike!

    MW: That had nothing to do with me being gone – it wasn’t one of my replacements who said that.

    - Andrew
  10. 10.

    Why was Halladay done after only 6 innings and only throwing 88 pitches? Especially because he seemed to be getting stronger after that home run to Crawford? Was he on a pitch count or did Cito just not want to wear him out on his first trip back from the DL?

    MW: I think the latter is more the case.

    - Richie
  11. 11.

    Hi Mike,
    It is the bottom of the 3rd of game 2 vs. the Rays. Scutaro & Hill just reached base with one out, bringing up the worst #3 hitter in baseball. And, of course, because he is hitting .179 with runners in scoring position, got out as usual, ruining the best aspect of our lineup – the fact that Hill & Scutaro get on base a lot. Yes, Rolen came up with a chance to bail out Vernon and failed, but there is only so much Scott can do.

    It is way beyond time for Vernon to be removed from the #3 hole. In fact, and I think I’m being reasonable, I would remove him from the lineup.

    I understand your logic that we are closer to a wildcard spot now than anyone would have imagined, but I don’t watch baseball that way. We have a shot at contending this year and our best players are healthy and awful. They should be benched. What harm would it do?

    Oh, and one more thing: Is Russ Adams really the best we can do in left field? He is not MLB calibre, and he’s proved it year after year. Enough already. Go get a power left fielder !!

    MW: I’ll let this one go, because it’s not a knee-jerk comment. But again, the time has long since past for Wells to be taken out of the three-hole, though I don’t know how good a benching will do.

    - Michael
  12. 12.

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the quick reply to my 3rd inning Vernon rant. Of course, I could, but won’t, write a 6th inning Vernon rant.

    Also, welcome back. I forgot, in my frustration, to mention that in my last post. I hope you’re feeling better.

    Please give me your best retort to my concern that our organization keeps marching Russ Adams out there, year after year. And, into a power position no less. Yes, I’m designating LF a power position, since we’ve squandered having power from our 3B, 1B, RF, CF positions. Okay, 2B makes up for it this year, but I believe we’re last in our division for power. I know our hitting stats are solid, but they aren’t good enough to keep us in the race, I fear.

    MW: Well, they don’t exactly keep marching Russ out there year after year. He didn’t play at all last season, and was little more than a September call-up the year before. I don’t know, though, what they have to lose this season by trying out someone else.

    - Michael
  13. 13.

    This team will never win with Vernon Wells batting 3rd. How do you have your worst hitter batting behind your best? The manager’s job is to put the lineup on the field that gives his team the best chance to win isn’t it? How is it that Cito continues to move Rios down yet Wells stays put? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    - Renegade
  14. 14.

    Hi Mike,

    Glad to see you’re on the mend and back attending to your bloggage.

    Warning: the following is neither rational nor reasonable – Fire Everyone. This team has been decimated by injuries to the pitching staff and with essentially Halladay(who just came back from a stint on the DL), three rookies and long reliever comprising the starting rotation, they’ve kept the Jays in ballgames. This is the same anemic, pathetic, decrepit, withered, desiccated, infirmed offence that reared its ugly head last year in April and June. These guys couldn’t hit a beach ball with a paddle right now with RISP.

    Here’s a fearless prediction: the Jays will go 5 and 11 in this stretch against AL East opponents. Just enough to bury themselves as far as the hunt for a playoff spot and then play .550 the rest of the way. The same MO we’ve seen year after year.

    Seriously though, when do you hit the panic button when it comes to Rios and Wells?

    MW: Really, I don’t. I mean, I wouldn’t be leaving Wells in a high-leverage spot in the batting order, but sometimes guys have bad seasons. Rios isn’t having a year bad enough to panic over.

    - Rob Theriault
  15. 15.

    1/2 of jays remaining games are against red sox, yankees and rays. jays will be lucky to win 40% of them at best. the jays will prob be below .500 at season’s end. what an embarassing end to a team that was 14 games above .500. and then we have to go through this all over again next year!

    MW: Weren’t you one of those who said they were all but guaranteed to be in the playoffs after the hot start?

    - marco
  16. 16.

    Hey Mike, hope you’re feeling better.

    You’ve obviously spoken to Vernon on many occasions, if only at a cursory level. What do you think the chances are that he’d be willing to renegotiate his contract (aka Chipper Jones) in order to free up $$$ for Halladay? I’d become a Vernon Wells fan right quick if I read in the paper that he walked into Beeston’s/JP’s office and asked that $5 million a year be moved from his salary to Roy’s over the the duration of his contract.

    MW: I wouldn’t bet on it.

    - Terry Bradley
  17. 17.

    Hey Mike, I want to run this potential line up by you (vs. righties that is) and see what you think…

    Scutaro
    Hill
    Overbay
    Rolen
    Lind
    Wells
    Rios
    Barajas
    Adams

    MW: I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t think at this point that Wells deserves to be hitting ahead of Rios.

    - Pramit
  18. 18.

    Hey, Mike. You had a call tonight about the park.. There is nothing wrong with the park.. Rather then build a new park and suck tax-payers money.. I think that you could change the porch dimensions and ad some charecter to the place.. I realize it is a multi-event complex, but it would sure be nice to walk into a park and see maybe a high wall down left field , maybe a jutt in the wall, and then head deep to centre and repeat going to right with funky stuff.. If they had of built it that way from the begining. You might have something like Alamars Alley.. Anyway Mike my idea of a porch is ,not somebody who takes a string and draws a complete semi-circle for the outfield fences.. This still could be changed.. The positives kill the negatives.. Whats your take Mike?

    MW: You cold funkify the dimensions of the playing surface a bit, but only by making it smaller. There certainly couldn’t be a high wall added or anything like that, nor could you back up the fences, because of the seating.

    - FLIPPER
  19. 19.

    Hi Mike. Glad to hear you’re back. The Rays are looking like a very confident team again this year. I would think you might be regretting calling them 1 year wonders. I love watching a team like the Rays and the moves they have made to get where they are. A team that values bench players, evaluates talent properly. They have Zobrist and Aybar, we have McDonald and Bautista. With Longoria, Upton, and Crawford signed for the foreseeable future, I can see why you think our Blue Jays are going to be a monster team in 2010. In my humble opinion, we must make moves designed to improve our future, with 90 plus win seasons in mind. Keep Halladay, Lind, Hill, Snyder, Romero, Downs, and Cecil. Gut the rest, including JP. With proper direction, we should have some chips to parlay into some decent prospects. It should be perceived as a blessing that Rolen, Overbay and Scutaro are playing well. Trade them now because they most certainly aren’t going to be around when we finally start to contend. The longer we continue to fool ourselves into thinking we are contenders, the longer mediocrity will reign over our team. This will be the 8th year we have not played a meaningful August game. One last thought that really irks me. When the Mets crumpled again down the stretch last year, mainly due to their bullpen, Seattle sent them a gift in JJ Putz. Why does our gm sit on his hands and do nothing, when the Mets would have jumped at the chance to get BJ Ryan. Putz was more broken down than Ryan. Please don’t tell me he probably tried to trade him, because you would really be missing my point. Dump contract to have some extra money for our hall of famer.

    MW: I would have been active in trying to trade B.J. Ryan this off-season, but there are those who would have traded Scott Rolen for a bag of balls this off-season. I never called the Rays a one-year wonder, but I did say that I thought they’d drop off and be about a 78-win team this season before being good long-term. Maybe I went a little worst-case there, but I don’t think the Rays will be in the playoffs this year, nor do I think that they’l be as good as seemingly everyone seems to believe they will in the long-term.

    - dave
  20. 20.

    Mike, its a shame Doc couldnt be back for Sundays game vs the Phillies. I say this because if he was, it would be a Doc vs Burnett encore presentation at the new Yankee Stadium.

    Its great to hear you recovered Mike! I can’t wait to hear your voice on the post game. Its a shame you weren’t on the show when someone called up and said, “Hi Alex, How come the Jays always hit into pop flies and double plays?” I laughed my eyes out when I heard that.

    One more thing Mike: I can’t seem to convince my friend that you can’t just “get rid of” Rios and Wells. I constantly told him no one wants the 50 million dollars in Vernon’s last 2 years and Rios’ value is probably at an all time low and you couldn’t get anything worth trading for him. Also, these two guys can turn it up and suddenly go on 10 for 16 type streaks and then go on a tear. I just want to know whos side you back up.

    MW: I think that the Jays could find a trade partner for either Wells or Rios if they really wanted to move them, but I don’t see a point in trading guys at the low point of their value.

    - Warren
  21. 21.

    Regarding post #3, I stand corrected. I got my info from Bill James on the radio one day back in 1995, obviously your info is more accurate as he spoke off the top of his head. If Jackson did indeed strike out the side in the second inning of game #5 it is possible it is not listed because it was a post season game. Just a thought.

    MW: It is possible that it’s recorded elsewhere because it was a post-season game, but I can’t find a reference to it anywhere.

    - Jim in Ohio
  22. 22.

    Hey, Mike:

    Not much to say about the Jays that hasn’t already been said (ad infinitum), so instead I’ll get a bit “picky” with a couple of posts.

    1. Your response to #11 — “the time has long since past…”. Wrong word! In this sentence construction, the word should be “passed”.

    2. Terry, Post #16 — “renegotiate his contract (aka Chipper Jones)” — the abbreviation “aka” means “also known as” — rather hard to figure out how a contract can be “also known as” Chipper Jones! Probably you meant to say “ala”, which (roughly) means “as in”.

    MW: 1 – You’re right, or probably I should have used “is” instead of “has”. 2 – Very true.

    - Norm
  23. 23.

    Mike, a couple of days ago I asked you about the status of Kyle Phillips, and you said you thought he was “still hanging around”, awaiting developments.

    For anyone else who may have been interested, I see he appeared in last night’s game at Las Vegas, coming in to catch after they pinch-ran for JP Arencibia. So I guess the “developments” have “developed”, at least as long as Barajas can function a bit.

    - Norm
  24. 24.

    I see that Scutaro is only 3 for his last 32. I think he needs a day off, and not just on the off-day Thursday! Sit him out Wed., and with the off-day Thurs. as well, he should be rejuvenated for the Yankee series.

    MW: Or not.

    - Norm
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