12:12AM Eastern

If the first meeting of 2012 between the Blue Jays and Yankees was any indication, then it’s going to be one fun year for the boys in blue.

The Yankees were simply no match for the home side, it wasn’t even close, as the Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead through three innings in support of a very strong Kyle Drabek on the way to a rout.

Each of the Blue Jays’ first seven runs scored as a result of a two-out hit on a night when every facet of the game – pitching, hitting and defense – showed up for the Jays at the same time.  Heck, even Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect inning!

There were four home runs, one each for Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia on their way to three-hit nights (Arencibia missed the cycle by a triple).  Jose Bautista hit a laser beam that took about a second and a half to make it to its final resting place in the 200 level, his fourth home run in six games, and Kelly Johnson blasted the 100th round-tripper of his career.

As  for Drabek, after struggling through 4 1/3 innings in Minnesota last time out, throwing 84 pitches over the first three frames, the 24 year-old shoved it right up the Yankees’ big bats, holding them to just a run on three hits over seven innings.  All three hits were ground balls and the run scored on a two-out  bad-hop single by Mark Teixeira.

It was an overwhelming victory – certainly one that doesn’t prove that the Yankees aren’t capable of competing with the Blue Jays this season, but a dominant win nonetheless.

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

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Before the game, the Commissioner’s Office handed down a four-game suspension to Brett Lawrie for his “aggressive actions” against home plate umpire Bill Miller on Tuesday night.  Lawrie appealed the suspension and should have a hearing sometime next week in which he can tell his side of the story.  It’s quite possible that the mitigating circumstances, Lawrie being a first-time offender and his genuine contrition over having hit Miller with his batting helmet as it bounced off the ground might get the suspension reduced by a game.  Lawrie will continue to play until the appeal is heard and a ruling is made.

The two-game mini-series wraps up Thursday night with 21 year-old Drew Hutchison taking on the Yankees for the first time in his career.  He’s coming off his best start yet – six innings of three-hitter in Minnesota – and will face the consistently inconsistent Phil Hughes.  We’re on the air at 7:00PM Eastern – join us, won’t you?

Please follow me on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590.  Kyle Drabek is @kyledrabek4.

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

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17 Responses to “Bombing The Bronxers”
  1. 1.

    Mike if Lind continues to struggle, can we see maybe Edwin stay at first, Thames go to DH And Snider take over in LF??

    MW: No, but we could see Lind sent down to Las Vegas.

    - Justin
  2. 2.

    Mike Great start by Drabeck! Do you think he is hear to stay or could we see him sent back down?

    MW: You never know, he did look pretty rough the start before, but I think the Blue Jays would love to have him here to stay.

    - David
  3. 3.

    Hey Mike!

    What do you think of Hutchison so far? Do you think he has the ability to stay, or can we see him go back down to AA. Also is Cecils future done with the Jays?

    MW: I think Hutchison definitely has the ability to stay, but he’s only 21 and it’s very rare for someone – especially a starting pitcher who was a 15th-round draft pick – to stick in the big leagues for good at 21. As for Cecil, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him work his way back to the big leagues, but it doesn’t seem as though the Blue Jays have much room for him so long as they stay relatively healthy.

    - Lacy
  4. 4.

    Well The lawrie suspension was no big surprise, I realize the intent was not there. Hopefully they reduce the suspension down to two games. I have been very impressed with Alveraz and Drabek this year they have both made great strides forward. They should be fun to watch for years to come. I will be at tonights game and I’m looking forward to it. Go Jays!

    - Jamie
  5. 5.

    Hey Mike

    I loved the call from the guy from Alabama, that was cool to get his point of view. Like he said, it is only May.

    On Kelly Johnson, he is a quiet hero to me. He just does his own thing, very efficient in turning the double play, man, he is quick. Great guy to have on the team.

    This team is improving. Good starting pitching, good defence. Yes, they will boot the ball around some day, so will the best teams. The key is to do it less often than the year before. At the end of the day, this team will be fine.

    - Francis
  6. 6.

    Mike,

    I thought I heard Buck say ESPN said Jose Bautista’s home run was “the fastest of the year” I am assuming that means the fastest to leave the yard? I searched around but could not find this stat…can you elaborate, as in, how “fast” was the home run, and in comparison, what is considered an average speed home run? It looked like an absolute seed leaving the yard, on TV anyway.

    MW: It was. Apparently the ball left the yard at about 118 miles per hour. I have no idea how that ranks relative to other homers or where to find that stuff out.

    - chris
  7. 7.

    Hi Mike –

    I think that the commissioner’s office got the suspension correct, and I believe that 4 games is appropriate. Do you think another mitigating circumstance could be that Miller escalated the situation through his actions? MLB might never say that, but I think that if this incident happened without the provokation, Lawrie would get a harsher sentence.

    This incident was a good reminder of how young Brett Lawrie is, especially when he uses phrases like: “maybe not throwing the helmet or any equipment toward the umpire because you can get an unlucky hop,” and “I’m just playing the game the way I’ve always played it.”

    Yes he was provoked, but he has to learn to be the bigger man – easier said than done! Though, anyway you cut it, his actions cost his team his services, and that’s on him. I hope he doesn’t continue to ‘play the game’ by having tantrums when he’s upset.

    - Graham
  8. 8.

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve been listening to Jerry Howarth call Blue Jays games for as long as I can remember. Back before every game was televised, I can remember sitting in my bedroom listening to the games on the radio, and recording different stats (I had my own unique way of scoring a game).
    Anyways, I spent a lot of the weekend in the car and got to listen to you and Jerry call the games (I thought you did a great job). I was wondering if you could speak to what it is like to work with Mr. Howarth. He has always come across the airwaves as a truly genuine and nice man.
    I hope he continues to call Jays games for as long as I can listen to them.

    Thanks as always.

    MW: It’s really difficult to sum up what it’s like to work with Jerry. Having sat beside him in the booth for 11 years now, his love of the game shines through in his broadcasts, he is diligent and meticulous in his preparation and his work constantly serves to provide lessons for young broadcasters.

    - Rob H
  9. 9.

    Mike

    Not to pile on Lind, but is Cooper not even in the mix to get a shot? What more does he have to do?

    MW: Hit for more power.

    - Dan
  10. 10.

    Now that the suspension to Brett has been handed down, I feel compelled to react about this whole “embarrassing the umpire”. As far as I am concerned, Miller embarrassed himself and his brotherhood of umpires a lot more than Lawrie should have. That gesture he made to Rodney, seemed to indicate, don’t worry about it, I will handle this. Totally unforgivable. The umpires should be graded constantly. Everyone is talking about what Lawrie did wrong. As far as I am concerned, he has been dealt with. Now, it’s time for the umpires union to deal with their guy, although I’m not holding my breath. Just last night, Swisher gave the ump an ear full after being called out on strikes and the ump looked the other way. Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and now the Rays are constantly given so much credit for “working the count”. It shouldn’t matter what uniform you are wearing, a strike, SHOULD be, a strike. I would have NO problem with a robotic strike zone. Who in the world ever thought we would someday see a camera inside every net in the NHL? The “human element” that everyone seems to be so fond of only allows the haves, to remain the haves. It is, in fact, equal to discrimination because calls are base on who you are and what colour you are wearing. I sure wish baseball would look at fixing this situation. Heading to the game tonight and I sure hope the team didn’t use up all of the mojo last night.

    - Dan From Elmvale
  11. 11.

    I was trying to remember what Jared Weaver took for throwing a fastball at someones head. I think it was five games and if that’s true something is out of whack. I understand that players really can’t throw things at umpires so I think some dicipline is necessary, but those were some very provocative strike calls that are virtually impossible to believe are mistakes. It just seems like such a rip off

    - gabe
  12. 12.

    Mike,

    Like I said yesterday, the Jays just need to take the calls away from the umps and take charge like they did with their big bats.

    Even Bill Miller can’t take away homeruns from us.

    This season is all about learning and playing with heart for our young core. The Jays are a tight knit group and the latest incident will be soon forgotten as Lawrie and learn and grow from it.

    Quick question for you Mike:

    In a one run game in the ninth inning with Jays winning, would you put Vizquel out there instead of Escobar? I haven’t seen Vizquel play much this year but he seems to still play good defence. What are your thoughts on that?

    MW: As much as I respect Vizquel’s ability and the career he’s had, I think that at this point in time, Escobar is the better defender.

    - Antony
  13. 13.

    Mike,
    MLB ruled Laurie was in the wrong .

    Let’s stop making excuses for his juvenile behavior.

    If he did that on the street , he’d likely be charged with assault.

    - Bert
  14. 14.

    Hey Mike,
    It seemed like Bret was called out again last night on a pitch outside of the strike zone. Do you think the umps have a grudge against him, based on what he did and the length of the suspension? If so, do you think it will continue beyond this series?

    MW: I hope not. He’s serving his time.

    - Jeff
  15. 15.

    I think Brett will be fine with the Umpires. I agree with you the way he has handled it will help with the appeal and in avoiding a bad rep with Umps. I do think he will find out soon enough that the fans in the Bronx and Fens,and rest of the league will really give it to him. I’m sure he’ll hear all kinds of nastiness on the road from the fans and it will be interesting to see if it affects him.

    - Rezzer
  16. 16.

    Good evening, Mike. I hope you are not unwell.

    Yep, you are right about Henderson. He’s coming along nicely now, getting himself out of some situations. Hopefully, he can keep it up until the reinforcements arrive around the all-star break.

    A couple of thoughts about the moves made today:

    First, I think it was the right move to send down Adam Lind. Offensively, the worst 1B in baseball. Defensively, with 5 errors, there was really no justification to keep him here and he wasn’t improving. Hopefully, he works it out in Vegas and comes back in better form. I’m still trying to figure out his issues. Is it conditioning? Just lack of effort? It’s a message to the rest of the team as well (except Bautista) — that they will demote veterans.

    Second, Brett Lawrie. He makes no excuses for his level of passion, but you know what? He went too far. Yep, he was absolutely justified to argue that 3rd strike, but I hope he learned an important lesson.

    I firmly believe in team momentum, streaks, and clutch. It’s not just pure variance that certain pitchers (Drabek, Morrow) can have ridiculously low numbers with RISP. It’s not pure variance that the Jays’ RISP numbers are very high. There’s stories to be told by the numbers… that the Jays don’t hit well against starting pitching the first time around, which may indicate pensiveness.

    Similarly, with Lawrie’s outburst on Tuesday night, I really think this might have fired up the team. It seems like the Jays caught a virus out in California which carried into Minnesota and back into the Tampa series. The Jays were kicking around the ball, literally, and let poor defense be the culprit in the two losses to Tampa. 15 errors in 10 games? Yikes. It just seemed that the Jays were languishing out in the field, and the pitchers were slipping too in the number of walks.

    Perhaps Lawrie’s outburst and consequent suspension fired up the team to concentrate and do better. Drabek and Hutch, with two runs against the 2nd best hitting team in the AL (OPS). No errors. And a flawless bullpen. Or, it might be nothing.

    Tampa seems to always have the Jays numbers, and if the Jays make the playoffs, it’s quite likely that they may end up against the Rays. The Jays have to figure out how to beat the Rays.

    MW: I don’t believe in momentum, streaks or clutch as a repeatable skill, so we’re at an impasse there.

    - Tim in Niagara Falls
  17. 17.

    RE Post #16 — Sort of interesting that Lind’s “non-improving” error total actually DID improve after he was sent to LV. MLB removed an error from his total (and added 5 ER’s to Morrow’s line) on appeal from the Rays.
    This may be the first time in history that a fielding percentage improved after the player was no longer in the league!

    - Norm
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