12:51AM Eastern

The Blue Jays finally broke out of their win two/lose two pattern of this young season with a third straight victory, backed by the strong left arm of Ricky Romero and another big inning.

For the second straight game, the Jays threw down with a four-run frame, it’s as though you can see the offense starting to rev up.  They kept up with the clutch hits as well, going 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position, a category in which they continue to lead the major leagues with a .344 batting average.

Romero was in real trouble only once in his eight innings of work, loading the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 5th, immediately after the Jays had put up their four-spot.  He got his double-play grounder from Alcides Escobar, but Yunel Escobar threw away the relay, allowing an extra run to score.  Romero followed by inducing two more ground balls to stop the uprising right there.  In the absence of the injured Sergio Santos, it was Francisco Cordero who worked the 9th to earn his first save as a Blue Jay, though it wasn’t easy.  He let the Royals put the tying run on first base before inducing a game-ending double play ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Brayan Pena.

Oh, and in the top of the 8th, the Blue Jays got a big insurance run when Brett Lawrie, who had singled in a pair in the 5th, stole home.  It wasn’t a straight steal like he attempted against the Orioles at Rogers Centre last week – this time Lawrie was on the front end of a double steal with J.P. Arencibia.  Why the Royals threw through to second base, I have no idea – that’s a mistake they won’t make again.  Humberto Quintero tried to block the plate as Lawrie bore down on him, but instead of sliding around him, Lawrie slid right through him, pushing Quintero’s foot off the plate and clearing a path for himself.  It’s the first time he’s ever stolen home as a professional.

Here’s this afternoon’s edition of The BlueJaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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The Blue Jays, 5-1 on the road so far this season, will bring their brooms to Kauffman Stadium along with their suitcases on Monday night, looking for the four-game sweep of a Royals squad that has lost ten in a row overall and is 0-9 at home.  Brandon Morrow looks for his first win – he’s had two saves blown behind him – he’s up against former Blue Jays farmhand Bruce Chen.  We’ll be on across the Blue Jays Radio Network starting at 7:30PM Eastern for an 8:10 first pitch, but on this very website and on Sportsnet590 The Fan, we’ll have a special extra pre-game show for you beginning at 7:00PM Eastern.  In it, you’ll hear from Blue Jays’ third-base coach Brian Butterfield, to whom it is always a great pleasure to listen talk baseball, and we’ll also get up close and personal with Kelly Johnson.  Join us, won’t you?

Please give me a follow on The Twitter, I’ve been having a good time interacting with you tweeps during the games – you can find me @wilnerness590.

Comments are welcome, I read them all and respond to most!

 

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14 Responses to “Three In A Row!”
  1. 1.

    Hi Mike

    I have to admire what AA has done for the Jays since he took charge. He has a sound plan, including bringing in an innovative manager in Farrel. You can see the athletism with Lawrie and Rasmus, allowing Farrel to play the ‘Tampa Bay’ style of play as opposed to the very predictable type that Cito had.

    The slumbering bats will come around. Pitchers are pitching consistently to the seventh inning and the kids they keep bringing up are talented. Maybe they can trade one of their top prospect pitcher or catcher for a top prospect second basement for 2-3 years down the road.

    Now the Jays play the way Tampa Bay does. Unpredictable,

    - francis
  2. 2.

    Love the blog Mike. First place I come for analysis after every game. I think Bautista is more of the .260 hitter we saw in 2010 with a great OPS. With his defence and veteren presence he is still of good value. The talk I was hearing with people I know was after 2010 and they sign the extension, if Bautista hits 25 HRS and knocks in 80, with the plus defence and multiple positions he can play, it is a great signing. He just happened to go off last year offensively. Love that cannon out in RF. Looks like most of these guys just needed to get back on the road to start hitting the ball. Again, awesome work Mike.

    MW: You may well be right about Bautista, but he raised people’s expectations with that huge 2011.

    - Aaron
  3. 3.

    On the play where Lawrie stole home, I was thinking the same thing, why in the hell would they be throwing to second. We have a play we use in fastball in that situation where the catcher stands up and makes the appearance to be throwing to second but the throw is cut off by the pitcher. On this play, if they had done that, Lawrie would have been out cold at the plate. What do you think?

    MW: It’s quite possible, though I doubt he’d have been knocked unconscious.

    - Dan From Elmvale
  4. 4.

    It’s good to see the Jays be able to win against the faltering Royals.

    I’ve been thinking about the Blue Jays last year vs this year. The hitting potential on this team is just so much better with the addition of Lawrie and Rasmus (yes, I said Rasmus, who is now 2nd on the team in OPS). And the bench is much stronger too, stacked with veterans.

    Bautista is struggling right now on the plate but he is leading the AL in walks, which means that he’s seeing the ball well.

    I agree with the first caller on the Saturday night edition of the BlueJays talk. Starting pitching is a weakness. I’m excited, sure to see Hutchinson, but 6 games above A-ball and he’s in the majors? I don’t think this is wise player developement, at all. It’s exciting enough to see 22 year old Alvarez and our #1 trade for Halladay (Drabek) play as it is. That’s enough excitement. I would trade away Snider or Thames plus prospects for a reliable #3 or #2 pitcher, and move Hutchinson to Vegas. I’d move either Drabek or Alverez to Vegas too once McGowan comes back. The team has a tremendous depth in LF and there’s just one (or two) too many out there. You have to think about where you are going to put Gose in August should all go well for him.

    Why are the Jays pulling up pitching from New Hampshire? It seems that Vegas is the AAA for batting but the Jays are using the Fisher Cats as a AAA club for pitching. Is that because the PCL is just unfair for pitching?

    Anyway, it’s good to see the Jays do well on the road. It’s early.

    MW: It’s a good thing you’re not the GM.

    - Tim in Niagara Falls
  5. 5.

    hey Mike,
    with the Jays having a bit of a soft spot in LF, does mark trumbo not make sense?? he seems to fit AA’s style. Hes young, controllable, and can play multiple positions… and hes a right handed guy who can play LF. seems like itd be a pretty good fit

    MW: He also has a really hard time getting on base.

    - Benny
  6. 6.

    Hey Mike, I know it is early in the season but do you think we will see the Lunchbox soon? He is mashing in Vegas like a beast

    - Ken
  7. 7.

    Michael, in recent discussions, trying to convey to the uninitiated the nature of the achievement that is the perfect game, I wanted to compare total number of them to total number of MLB games ever played. However, not only did I not have a sense of what that number would be, but my Google browsing couldn’t find that number either. But you’re such a stats guy, you must know that? Right? Please?

    MW: Off the top of my head? No chance. Keep hitting that google, you’ll find it somehow!

    - Mikie
  8. 8.

    Mike

    Do you think the Jays wil try to lock up EE to a new deal?

    MW: Probably, but it’s up to Edwin as to whether or not he wants to test the market.

    - Dan
  9. 9.

    michael,
    c’mon now… let’s talk you and i here can we?
    forget about our dh/1b slugger ee for the moment, cause’ he’s absolutley tearing it needless to say.
    but how about my guy colby rasmus and how he’s coming along huh?
    those 2 home runs he smacked out (and off of the lefties) no less during that weekend game.
    how sweet was that i ask you?
    i mean it michael, you know just how hard it is for a lefty to turn on a lefthander like that in such convincing fashion as he did in those 2 at bats.
    i’ll tell you right now,
    both those balls were out of the park before either of those pitchers left foot hit the ground.
    BAM!!!! outta here!
    love it.
    my man colby r.
    that’s what i’m talking about.
    quickly becoming my favourite blue jay ever…

    MW: Only one of them was off a left-hander.

    - darrell bishop
  10. 10.

    Mike, I was wondering what your thoughts were on Adam Lind. I respect his evolution from an outfielder to an infielder and think he has potential with his bat. However ,if he continues to show only average power and a poor OBP, is first base an area AA might look to address come July? Especially with their being no real blue chip first base prospect in the system.

    MW: Lind is doing just fine, but not great, against right-handed pitching so far this season (.270/.341/.486). If he keeps that up, he should be fine. If not, then the Blue Jays will likely look for help.

    - Brendan
  11. 11.

    michael,
    that was a tough one. i won’t lie. struggled with it for awhile before i posted.
    doesn’t sound quite right but think i got it correct to be honest… “before either of those pitchers left foot hit the ground…”
    you’d think maybe correctly put, it would be ” before either of those pitchers left feet hit the ground…”
    but i wasn’t referring to them collectively, moreso on an individual basis hence “foot hit the ground.” not “feet hit the ground.”
    so what do you think there mr. grammatical smarty pants??
    was i right or not? i really don’t know. was going from the seat of my pants on that one to be honest.
    playing a hunch is all…

    - darrell bishop
  12. 12.

    Hi Mike,

    Re: a new baseball stat?

    It’s not so easy to calculate (for me at least) but after combing box scores to make a spreadsheet, I can now report that the Jays starters have averaged two more outs per game (19) than their counterparts (17) over the first fifteen games this year. And since their opening series, Jays starters have won this battle every game since then.

    Not sure how meaningful this stat is without more data but I hope to keep an eye on it as the season goes along. As for naming it I’ve got some ideas but will go with the John Farrell Index for now.

    Any further thoughts from you are most welcome.

    Cheers

    MW: Well, here’s the question – what does it mean? How does it contribute to wins?

    - Joe from Ottawa
  13. 13.

    michael,
    man oh man… you’re right (again) i coulda sworn my man’s dingers were both off lefties.
    tracked back, checked the highlights. not in fact the case… damn…
    doesn’t matter though you negative nelly you. he’s still my favourite blue jay.
    so there…

    - darrell bishop
  14. 14.

    Joe,
    I understand the relevance of tracking how many outs a starter gets. But how is this new stat different than Innings pitched per start?

    - Brendan
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