11:15 PM Eastern
Wow, I just looked at this thing and noticed that I haven’t posted anything since Wednesday night’s “Worst Crowd Ever” evening at Rogers Centre. Sorry about that, but I’ve at least been answering comments every day – and a lot of times that stuff is better than an actual post.
So the Blue Jays’ defense betrayed them tonight – Marco Scutaro made an error in the 9th and another in the 10th, each of which led to an unearned run in yet another one-run loss in a season that has seemed full of them. The Jays are now 17-25 in one-run games, so almost a third of their 79 losses this season have been by the slimmest of margins. The White Sox (18-25) and Diamondbacks (20-25 going into tonight) are the only other teams in the bigs with as many one-run losses, and they both have a better winning percentage in such games.
Stunningly, the Seattle Mariners have the most one-run wins in the major leagues this season – they’re 29-17 – and yet they have the worst batting average, on-base percentage and OPS with runners in scoring position in the bigs. Explain that.
Anyway, the Blue Jays were officially mathematically eliminated from the post-season race with tonight’s loss, which brings up a rather interesting question. Can a team be unofficially mathematically eliminated? Or better yet – now that there’s no longer even the faintest amount of hope for any kind of run this year, can the Jays now turn their focus to next season enough that they might actually give people a hint as to how they plan on attacking 2010 and beyond?
The answer is yes and no. I’m sure they know – Paul Beeston gave a hint last week that all will be revealed “in short order” – but they’re probably not going to tell us until the season is over.
So David Purcey looked pretty good tonight after that horrific start to his outing. He gave up a home run down the left-field line to Ryan Raburn to lead things off, then walked the next two and it seemed as though a meltdown was imminent. But he struck out the incredibly dangerous Miguel Cabrera (.331/.464/.512 vs LHP) and that seemed to put some wind in his sails. Purcey went on to retire nine of the next ten Tigers he faced, and wound up with a solid line of 5 2/3 innings, four hits, one run, two walks and four strikeouts following those first three hitters.
He’ll get another start or three as he attempts to put himself back into the picture for a spot in next year’s rotation.
Congratulations to Adam Lind on hitting the 100-RBI plateau with his three-run, opposite-field bomb in the 6th inning that gave the Jays the lead that Aubrey Huff would eventually take away. I know that RBIs have far more to do with opportunity and with teammates than anything else, but to pick up a hundred in a season, especially in one’s first full season in the major leagues, is most assuredly worthy of a mazel tov. So mazel tov, Adam, to you and yours.
Vernon Wells got run from this game in that five-run 6th inning by first-base umpire Mark Wegner. Wegner had blown a call in the bottom of the 5th, calling Tigers’ catcher Gerald Laird safe as he slid into first base, failing to beat Edwin Encarnacion’s throw after an INCREDIBLE defensive play in which EE snared a hot shot down the third-base line in foul territory with a full-out dive to his right, then threw from his knees across the diamond. Cito Gaston came out and rather cordially let Wegner have it.
In the 6th, Wells was on first on his second hit of the night, and jogged back to the base on a light pick-off throw by Justin Verlander. Miguel Cabrera made a hard tag, though, and may have pushed Wells’ foot off the bag – Wegner called him out. I didn’t see Wells’ reaction, but he seemed to be rather calm in his disagreement. Still, Vernon must have said something, because Wegner threw him out of the game. As he ejected Public Enemy Number Two of most Blue Jays’ fans, Wegner said (you can read his lips if you watch a replay): “You’re gone. Boom.” He actually said the word “Boom”. Seriously. This is a major-league umpire.
Wells, by the way, seems to finally be raising his offensive game. It started with his three-hit game in the finale against the Yankees last Sunday. Over his last nine games, Wells is hitting .517/.559/.690. It’s about time.
So I guess I owe you some JaysTalks for your listening pleasure, huh?
OK, let’s start with tonight’s epic four minutes, thanks to us having to go to NFL Football:
Now here’s Sunday afternoon’s show:
Here’s Saturday night’s show:
Here’s Friday night’s show:
And finally, Thursday afternoon (the trees are drawing me near, I’ve got to find out why):
OK, that should hold you for a while! And yes, I know I’m a couple of days off with the Moody Blues thing, it just felt right.
Tomorrow, the first of two against the Yankees and Sergio Mitre, the guy the Jays pounded for 11 runs in 4 1/3 innings the last time they faced him. Please join us at 7:00 PM Eastern for a 7:10 first pitch. Roy Halladay will start for the Jays – I guess because they want to make sure they throw their best at the league’s best. It’s too bad – since Halladay came off the DL at the end of June, he’s made 14 starts and 11 of them have been against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays (back when they were good). The guy could really use a break.
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!