Posted by: Jeremy | May 29, 2010

Baltimore rolls into town, life instantly gets better in Jayland


"But Jimmy, it's just as good!"

Is there anything better in baseball than getting to face the Baltimore Orioles at home? The Jays got just that tonight in the opener of a three-game set at Rogers Centre, winning 5-0 behind six shutout innings from Shaun Marcum, solo homers from Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells and an “infield homer” from Jose Bautista, according to the genius sitting behind me, which was actually a triple off the right field wall with a throwing error (The fan also noted the rarity of the event, remarking to the girlfriend he somehow acquired that it “only happened twice per year”.). Even though it’s just as good as a homer, I had promised a kid in the hospital that Bautista would deliver the real thing, so he’s now required to catch a fly ball with his hat as atonement in tomorrow’s game.

Marcum wasn’t dominant — he gave up six hits and it took 106 pitches to get through six — but never really got into any serious trouble, with an early 3-0 lead never giving this one the makings of a close game. Shawn Camp, Casey Janssen and Kevin Gregg each pitched a shutout inning in relief, with Marcum lowering his ERA to 2.59 and grabbing the win to go to 5-1. Since beating Oakland May 2 for his first win since September 2008, he’s 5-0 in six starts, with the only no-decision coming in a 7-4 win over the White Sox.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak and leaves Toronto at 28-22 — good for third in the East and a game up on the Boston, which dropped its second straight to the Royals at Fenway tonight, 12-5. Brett Cecil (4-2, 4.10) has the ball for the Jays in Saturday’s middle game, with Baltimore’s Chris Tillman making his season debut on the eventual losing side.

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Responses

  1. What did the girl friend look like?? I’m guessing nothing too special, or you would’ve corrected the boy friend, and gave her your number!!!

    I believe Hill’s starting to get his bat straightened up. There always seems to be one or two per night that steps up with the stick. Although the AVG is almost lowest in the AL, the power is 1st in the major categories. Is it time for definition of roles regarding hitting, and the power guys hit that way, and the table setters forget the all or nothing approach??
    If they survive the home-stand with a winning record, is it time to think of believing in a play -off push?? What’s needed?? Maybe just buy a first baseman with heavy bat that’s on a team that’s out of it at the break??

  2. That is really funny. Oddly enough it reminded me of something that was in the S.I Presents Baseball 1997 edition that I still keep in my baseball book collection as it is the only thing that proves my favourite player Mr. Kelly Gruber almost made a comeback in 97 with the aforementioned O’s. Anyways, I have some time before dinner so I am going to key in the article for you. It is one of my favourite baseball articles written ever as for the most part I agree in full with it! Sound something like what you wrote?…

    Excuse Me, But… By Tim Kurkjian

    I sat in the stands at the Astrodome one day last year and listened to htis chump sitting behind me as he tried to impress his girlfriend with his baseball knowledge. He told her that on a balk the batter is awarded first base…that Babe Ruthe is overrated (“He was slow, unathletic and couldn’t throw”)…that the really great shortstop on his slow-pitch softball team is just as good defensively as Ozzie Smith because he plays closer to the hitter…and that if a batter reaches base on an error, it isn’t an offical at bat.

    I cant stand that guy–or others like him–because I can’t stand the rampant misconceptions about baseball. After 40 years as a fan and 20 as a baseball writer, here are my 10 biggest pet peeves–misguided notions that drive me right up the outfield wall.

    1. “Tie goes to the runner”. People think this is a rule of the game or at least an established guideline for umpires. It isn’t and it never has been, not even in Little League,

    2. “Hitting for the cycle is a tremendous feat”. This is not a profound offensive achievement; it’s a statistical oddity. A rarer and greater accomplishment is getting four extra-base hits in a game (Ted Williams, for one, never did it). What’s better, hitting for the cycle or hitting two homers and two doubles?

    3. “It’s fun when a manager argues with an umpire”. When a grown man throws bases, kicks dirt and spits on someone’s shoes, it’s stupid, childish and sets a terrible example. Hall of Fame manager and notorious hothead Earl Weaver of the Orioles finally stopped throwing tantrums in 1986 after his dad told him he was embarrassing himself and his father.

    4. “The increase in strikeouts is no big deal”. In 1996, 62 players struck out at least 100 times. Babe Ruth never did that. Joe DiMaggio never struck out as many as 40 times in a year; Tigers first baseman Tony Clark struck out 43 times IN SEPTEMBER. Yet players, managers and G.M’s don’t seem at all bothered by the trend. They should be: It’s deadening the game.

    5. “Pitchers don’t have to catch pop flies”. Why is it that every time there’s a pop-up to the middle of the infield, the pitcher is waved off while the third baseman or first baseman goes diving across the mound to make the play? Pitchers are athletes. They are supposed to field their position. Let them.

    6. “It’s not an error unless the fielder touches the ball”. Official scorers, please take heed: When two players let a catchable pop fly drop between them because they couldn’t decide who should catch it, that is not a hit. That is an error, and if you can’t decide “whose” error, make it two errors.

    7. “The only outfielders who deserve Gold Gloves are centerfielders”. Why are three centerfielders selected in the outfield category virtually every year? There are three outfield positions; there should be one Gold Glove for each. No American League leftfielder has won a Gold Glove sine the Yankees’ Dave Winfield in 1983. That’s ridiculous. By the same logic, four shortstops should be awarded all the infield Gold Gloves. (By the way, another peeve: It’s a Gold Glove, not Golden Glove. that’s boxing, not baseball)…on a side note this still rings true for the most part. However Daren Erstad won a Gold Glove in 2000 as a Left Fielder. Ichiro has won a bunch in RF over the last 10 years and Shawn Green and Jermaine Dye are the only two non CF’s to win however since 1997.

    8. “The “hold” is a great new measure of a reliever’s effectiveness”. The hold is a meaningless stat. Let’s say a reliever comes in with the bases loaded, no outs and a one run lead. he gets a double-play grounder that allows a run to score, then strikes out the next man. Great job, but no hold. Now let’s say a reliever comes in with the bases loaded, two out and a four run lead. He gives up a three run double and retires the next hitter. Terrible job, but it’t a hold.

    9. “Team batting average is the best way to evaluate team hitting”. In the daily stats, teams are ranked by batting average; they should be ranked by runs scored–the truest measure of a team’s offensive worth. The Mets, for instance, were third in the National League last year with a .270 average but finished 10th in runs. It’s no wonder they finished 20 games under.500.

    10. “Baseball is easy”. The average person thinks it’s an easy game. Let’s see…a rock hard ball curving toward your head–or is it? –at 95mph. If everyone had to bat one time against Randy Johnson or play third base once on turf with Albert Belle at the plate, they would know: Baseball is the hardest of all sports to play, no question.

  3. @bill: Hill is gonna be just fine. He’s been a good hitter for five years, so he’s not just gonna forget like that. Another homer today…

    As for a playoff push, I’m trying not to think about it and enjoying the fact that nobody seems to be noticing them this year, unlike last season when everyone was talking them up. Love the way things are going though!

  4. @anon aka Angry Mike: Thanks for posting that…I couldn’t agree more, plus have a few of my own I’d like to add to that. Future post, for sure…

  5. Huh, I wonder why it made me anon. My info is just saved on my computer. That is strange.

  6. http://google.com


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