Signs of Life

The Blue Jays are now, after a road trip through Tampa and Boston, sitting at 15-24. They are in dead last in their division. And yet, I am encouraged. Through April, and even through the first few games in May, there were a lot of places to point the finger of blame. At some point, every aspect of the game had failed miserably. Injuries, defense, lack of clutch hitting, bullpen meltdowns, starters getting shelled. Every night, you could see something going wrong, and it proved to be the Jays undoing twice as often as they were able to salvage something. 11-21 was the record as they set out on the road last week. they were, to my eyes, almost unwatchable.

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Web design 101 (or why didn’t Janssen pitch last night?)

I’m certainly no expert on web design. If it wasn’t for WYSIWYG sites like wordpress, I wouldn’t have a website to call my own. But I can tell you what not to do if you’re designing a website: Don’t make it look like the site of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

It’s an incredibly ugly and difficult to navigate site, which is why I’m at a loss to explain why Casey Janssen didn’t pitch last night for the Fisher Cats, despite the Union Leader reporting yesterday that he was scheduled to.

As for Shaun Marcum — and the Tao really beat me to the punch on this — his line from last night (3 IP, 5 hits, 4 K, 1 ER) is a good one to remember if you ever feel like discussing why ERA isn’t the best stat on which to judge a pitcher.

Marcum gave up 5 runs on the night, 4 obviously unearned, but the only reason they were unearned is because there was an error committed by shortstop Luis Sanchez with two outs. In a ridiculous quirk of score keeping, any runs scored after a two-out error are considered unearned. So Marcum following the error by allowing an RBI single and then a three-run homer doesn’t add anything to his ERA.

I don’t bring this up to slag Marcum at all. The guy’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and I really, really want to see him succeed, but, as the Tao says, “Let’s not rest our hopes on Shaun Marcum just yet.”

Marcum! Janssen! The 2009 rehab tour continues

Both Shaun Marcum and Casey Janssen are scheduled to pitch tonight as the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats visit Trenton, N.J., to take on the thunder, a Yankees farm team.

Tonight is expected to be Marcum’s final start before making the trip to Triple-A Las Vegas.

I had no idea Casey was so close to returning to the Jays. Did everyone miss in the non-stop Halladay insanity or am I just stupid?

I had no idea Casey was so close to returning to the Jays. Did everyone miss this in the non-stop Halladay insanity or am I slow?

Janssen, apparently being rehabbed in the role he should be used in (ie the bullpen) is scheduled to pitch one inning tonight and one inning tomorrow before joining ahead of Marcum and coming back to Toronto.

If you’re interested in following this game, milb.com links to audio streams of all the minor league teams, but after trying to listen to Marcum’s first start in New Hampshire, it seems as though you may have to listen to the Trenton stream because the good guys are being bad and won’t stream to Canada for some stupid reason.

Richmond’s back! (too bad it happened like this)

Blue Jays Phillies Baseball

Captain Canada, Scott (Kool-Aid) Richmond reappeared in the rotation last night and he did not disappoint. Eleven Ks against the defending World Series champs! And he did it against a lineup with quite a few powerful lefties, a group he’s not had much success against.

Yes, our Scotty pitched so well that the only reason Cito didn’t run him out for the complete game is that he didn’t want to risk injury. Makes sense considering three pitchers went on the DL earlier.

So, yes, I get my wish. Richmond’s going to get a regular rotation turn (for a little while at least) and Dirty Janssen’s out of the rotation. But I didn’t want it to happen like this. Never like this.

As I’ve said, Janssen’s good. When I said I wanted him out, I meant out in the bullpen, not out on the DL.

And let’s not even talk about missing Halladay or Downs.

Let’s just enjoy Richmond getting a regular turn, the Phillies helping the bats wake up, Brad Mills getting a shot in The Show and the return of Jeremy Accardo (let’s hope he brings his splitter with him).

UPDATE: Curious how Richmond went about dominating the lefties in the Phillies’ lineup? The Mockingbird says it’s because he finally started throwing off-speed stuff to them.

Roster moves!

Joe's back, and he didn't even need a Voodoo Whammy!

Joe's back, and he didn't even need a Voodoo Whammy!

Travis (Amazing Sniderman) Snider, Brett Cecil and Bobby Ray have all been sent down to Vegas.

Rickey Romero, Casey Janssen and Voodoo Joe Inglett are all on their way back to Toronto.

Janssen’s going to be starting tomorrow against Atlanta, and Romero’s getting the nod Tuesday in Baltimore.

Voodoo Joe is exactly the type of player that Cito doesn’t seem to like using and that’s too bad, because Inglett’s got the scrap that will keep the dummies happy. (And yeah, I enjoy that kind of play too.)

T. Snides going down isn’t all that surprising. He’s been struggling lately and his playing time has gone down accordingly. Lunch Box should mash completely in the PCL. Before you know it, the Great Pasty White Hope will likely be back in Toronto and better than ever.

As fro Cecil and Ray, they performed generally awesome while with the big boys, but they had to know coming up that they weren’t destined to be here for long. Hopefully they don’t take their respective starts against Boston to heart.