12:42AM Eastern

Blue Jays fans have long dreaded the beginning of interleague play because it’s a place where the Jays’ playoff hopes, faint though they may have been, have gone to die in recent seasons.

For some strange,unknowable reason, the Blue Jays have rarely fared well against NL teams during the regular season, posting a winning record in interleague play only three times since its inception in 1997.  In fact, over the past eight seasons, the Blue Jays have lost an average of three games a year in the standings to the Red Sox and Yankees through the 18 interleague games.

This year, though, started with a bang.  Five bangs, actually.  A pair of homers each for J.P. Arencibia (who has four big flies in his last three games) and Rajai Davis (his first-ever multi-homer game) were lovely bookends for Yan Gomes’ first big-league homer – a laserbeam to left field that took about a second and a half to get out of the park.

Gomes has made quite an impression in his first two games, he’s 3-for-5 with a walk and a sacrifice fly to go with the homer, two runs scored and two RBIs.  If the plan was to ship him back down to Las Vegas after the weekend, once Brett Lawrie comes back, he seems determined to make it very difficult for the Blue Jays to follow through with that.

In all, every Blue Jays starter reached base at least once and they all came around to score at least once, save for Ben Francisco.

The Mets only managed one 1-2-3 inning on the mound, the 8th, and the pitcher was Rob Johnson, who happened to spend the first seven innings behind the plate.

Ricky Romero wasn’t exactly back to his old self – he walked four in his six innings of work but only allowed a run on three hits and left after having thrown 99 pitches since the Blue Jays had a 14-1 lead.  Carlos Villanueva picked him up with a shutout 7th, Evan Crawford and Luis Perez combined to give up four in the 8th and Francisco Cordero threw a hitless 9th, issuing a walk.

Crawford had to come out of the game (kicking and screaming,  mind you) because of a low back spasm, but the Blue Jays don’t think he’ll have to go to the disabled list.

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

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The series continues with the return of Miguel Batista.  The 41 year-old, who was the Blue Jays’ number two starter in 2004 and their closer in 2005, resurrected his career last season after spending some time with the Mets’ AAA Buffalo Bisons team.  His year so far has been kind of rough, posting a 1.737 WHIP in 12 appearances, three of which have been starts, despite a 4.26 ERA.  Brandon Morrow will oppose and we’ll have it for you along the Blue Jays Radio Network starting with the pre-game show at 12:30PM Eastern for a 1:07 first pitch.  We are expecting to have Alan Ashby back in the booth with us, it’s been an incredible honour (and a lot of fun) to fill in for him these last two games.  Join us, won’t you?

Please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590.

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

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7 Responses to “Interleaguic Good Times”
  1. 1.

    Been wondering for 15 years what that “unknowable” reason might be. The sample size entering tonight’s game is no small pile of rubbish: a 123-142 record and the Jays’ have the AL’s 3rd worst winning percentage in IL play (only Balt and KC are worse).

    It obviously isn’t the “NL-teams-get-a-DH” factor since every AL team at home facing an NL team would see that take place.

    Do NL teams get more XBH from artifical turf bounces? Do our pitchers hit worse than other AL pitchers? Are our players rattled by clearing customs in unfamiliar NL cities’ airports?

    These assertions are obviously all irrational but there has to be some reason for the team’s lack of success.

    It’s been bothering me to no end since Otis Nixon dug in against Curt Schilling at the Vet for the club’s first ever IL game back in ’97.

    - Adrian, co-alumnus
  2. 2.

    Always enjoy your blog! However, I’m unable to open the newest Blue Jays This Week podcast. Is anyone else having a problem with that?

    MW: We had some issues, but they’ve been resolved!

    - Judy
  3. 3.

    The Jays have a lot of good players on the team.Do you think most of the players have a chance at the allstar team?

    Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Arencibia, Johnson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Janssen????????????????

    MW: I would be surprised if the Blue Jays had more than one or two players at the all-star game this summer.

    - Jason
  4. 4.

    Mike:
    Does this year’s Baltimore team not remind you inaneany ways of a team 3 years ago that started 27-13? I am not saying the O’s are going to rattle off 12 straight losses and 17 out of 20. Just saying I am not sold on them. At all. You?

    MW: Not sold on them even a little.

    - Chris
  5. 5.

    Hi Mike, if Gomez keeps up playing the way he has, do you see Ben Fransisco’s job in jeapordy. I am not sure if Gomes could play a little LF in a pinch. Can u make a decision like that on a very small sample size too? I suppose the Blue Jays have a pretty good idea if Gomes is ready to stay in the big leagues.

    MW: You can’t make a decision like that on a sample size this small and Gomes could probably play the outfield in a pinch, but I don’t expect he’d be able to cover a lot of ground.

    - douglas mccallum
  6. 6.

    If Gomes continues to shine in the next two games why would the Jays not keep him up and use him at first base part time and at DH when Encarnation is at first?

    MW: They might, but the key thing is to be able to keep him in the line-up. If they can’t get him sufficient playing time, he’ll have to go back down to Las Vegas.

    - Paul
  7. 7.

    Hi Mike, heard any updates on either McGowan or Litsch?

    - douglas mccallum
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