5:39PM Eastern

You can pretty much take the blog post I wrote two and a half weeks ago and re-read it.  Brandon Morrow was great back on May 3rd in Anaheim, throwing a three-hit shutout and striking out eight, and he was great Saturday afternoon against the Mets, throwing a three-hit shutout and striking out eight.

The difference between the two games?  Morrow issued one more walk this time than he did that time – for a grand total of one – and he threw five more pitches.

The righty was dominant from start to finish, retiring 20 of the first 21 batters he faced and facing just three batters over the minimum.

In five of his last six starts (not counting the last one against the Rays in which he hit a wall in the fifth inning and got lit up), Morrow has allowed a grand total of two earned runs on 25 hits, walking six and striking out 38 over 36 2/3 innings.  That would be an ERA of 0.49, a WHIP of 0.845 and a K/9 rate of 9.33  Those numbers are phenomenal, and hopefully show that Morrow has taken a huge stride towards becoming the legitimate ace so many expected him to become – he was taken 5th overall in 2006, after all.

Morrow did catch a rather huge break in the top of the 9th, though.  With one out and a runner on first, Mets’ DH Mike Baxter ripped a line drive down the right-field line.  Jose Bautista played it off the low retaining wall, spun and fired a blind strike to Yunel Escobar, who swiped at thin air as Baxter slid past him into second base……and was called out.  Escobar completely missed Baxter, but second-base umpire Brian Knight was in no position to see that, and so he went up with his fist since the ball beat the runner.  It was a terrible call, and just enhances the reasons to have robot umpires – or instant replay at the very least.  Instead of the Mets having runners at second and third and one out – the tying run in scoring position – and their third and fourth hitters coming up, they had a man on third and two out.

Just an awful call, though it has been a while since one that bad favoured the Blue Jays.  Still, these guys work awfully hard out there and with the technology available since, you know, the 1980s or so, there’s no need to subject them to the vagaries of human judgement.

The Blue Jays’ only scoring came in the bottom of the fifth inning and Jeff Mathis started the rally by stroking a single to left with two out and nobody on.  Kelly Johnson followed by ripping an RBI double into the gap in right-centre, moving to third when the ball scooted under the glove of Mets’ centrefielder Andres Torres.  Johnson scored as Yunel Escobar smacked the next pitch into right field for a single.

That was it – those were half the hits the Blue Jays managed for the afternoon – but it was one more run than Morrow would need in his dominant performance.

Here’s this afternoon’s super-extendo version of The BlueJaysTalk, for your listening pleasure – thanks to all the long weekend cottagers for calling up:

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The series and the homestand wrap up Sunday afternoon, and it’s Henderson Alvarez tasked with securing the sweep and the Blue Jays’ fifth straight win, which would be a season high.  His mound opponent will be righty Dillon Gee, who has been kind of unlucky to post a 5.65 ERA so far this season.  His opponents’ batting average on balls in play is an unusually high .351, and he’s walked only nine in 43 innings of work.  Gee has had a little trouble keeping the ball in the park, though, allowing six home runs, and the Blue Jays have hit 11 homers in their last four games including this last one, in which they didn’t hit any.  We’ll be on the air at 12:30PM Eastern with the pre-game show for a 1:07 first pitch – join us, won’t you?

Please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590. Brandon Morrow can be found @2Morrow23.

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

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8 Responses to “Morrowtastic”
  1. 1.

    Mike,

    Was at the game today and it was great to see a nice crowd and a great win!

    Right from the get-go I knew Morrow had great stuff as he was spot on and aggressive and getting a ton of first pitch strikes! When Edwin hit a lead off double, I told my fiancee jokingly that we should bunt him over cuz all we need today was a run or two! Even though we didn’t score that inning, we did give Morrow a couple of runs to work with which was all he needed!

    As far as the ninth is concerned, it was a bang bang play and the ump had a terrible angle to make that play as he was completely blocked off at 2nd. But I don’t feel sorry for the Mets whatsoever!!

    With the way our rotation is setup and running well right now, we have been spoiled by how great our starters have performed, its a joy to watch these guys out there dominate teams out there!! I truly believe our top 3 can typically take care of business on any given day, if Drabek and Hutchinson can more or less pitch .500 ball, we are in serious good shape moving forward!

    Quick question, why was Rasmus not in there in the 9th rather than Thames!? Vizquel was brought in for Gomes, but strangely Thames was left in. Perhaps Farrell thought that Morrow was so dominating that there was no point, I though it should be a move that needs to be made everytime we are in a close game with a lead in the 9th no!?

    MW: I’m not sure why that change wasn’t made, either, it generally has been late in close games. Maybe it’s because the game was close and Thames was due to lead off if there was to be a bottom of the ninth.

    - Antony
  2. 2.

    I really hope this is the Brandon Morrow we can get used to seeing out there lately or at least for most of this season so far, and I hope we don’t see too much of the Brandon Morrow who walks too many batters, gets hit hard and doesn’t last past 5 innings, that I was used to seeing in the past. He looks like he’s finally put it all together Mike.

    MW: He does, but this was near perfection. I wouldn’t expect that too often.

    - Mike_Fahmy
  3. 3.

    I got a field level seat! have a question re interleague and how it works in the standings. Since we are in different leagues, I don’t quite understand how a win effects the standings. great crowd on Fri. how many?

    MW: I’m not sure what you mean. The standings are based on each team’s win-loss record, regardless of what team they’re playing. Wins and losses against National League teams count exactly the same as wins and losses against American League teams.

    - barb
  4. 4.

    With Rasmus out of the starting lineup for 2 straight and have given Davis chances, Do you think the jays have given up on him?

    MW: Not even remotely.

    - Jason
  5. 5.

    Is Lawrie allowed in the
    Dugout while suspended
    From playing?

    MW: Not during the game.

    - Chris
  6. 6.

    Mike, the Jays are 3rd best in the AL in team ERA and 3rd worst in team batting ave. Do you think they will regret not having procured another proven bat (like Prince Fielder) in the off season. I’m worried that this fine pitching staff is going to burn out by having constantly having to keep this team in low-scoring ball games.

    MW: I think the offense will improve as the season goes along – no one is really producing at the level we had reason to expect save for Edwin Encarnacion – and if it doesn’t, reinforcements will likely be added.

    - Paul McDougall
  7. 7.

    I’m a little confused regarding your staunch belief in Colby Rasmus. When or where has he ever shown his offensive numbers? When you speak of him I think your talking of some potential all-star.
    The guy was drafted in the first round however 27 went before him. He’s been in professional ball all of 3 years and has a ‘lifetime’ batting average of .246. So why do believe he’s going to become something he’s never been?

    MW: I look at important numbers, and batting average isn’t that. Take a look at what Rasmus did with St. Louis in 2010 as a 23 year-old and if that doesn’t impress the hell out of you, then you really need to re-evaluate how you understand baseball.

    - gary
  8. 8.

    Aside from the fact I don’t have have an understanding of this game I’ve heard you time and again use batting averages in defending your point of view. And if Rasmus put up such important numbers as a 23 year old why did La Rusa give up on him as I read everywhere.

    MW: You’ve almost never heard me use batting average in defending my point of view. It’s a very incomplete stat. I’ll more often use it in combination with on-base percentage and slugging percentage. LaRussa didn’t want him around because he didn’t like Rasmus’ laconic style and his interfering father.

    - gary
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