Thoughts on the weekend sweep

Everybody loves Aaron

Everybody loves Aaron

Friday and Saturday past were my first two chances to get out to the Rogers SkyDome Centre this season. Of course I used the opportunity to drink a little too much, but here are some thoughts from those two games that I had at the time and somehow managed to remember:

Friday’s 8-4 win (or The good Doctor cures the Jays of the runs)

• Coming off the dismal series against the Royals, I was a little worried at what was going to transpire in this weekend series. Doc’s first inning on Friday (specifically the Nick Markakis dinger) did nothing to make me feel better. Doc’s next seven innings, and the performance of the offence in general, relieved me of any worries I had.

• Crowd cheering Gregg Zaun in his first at bat of the weekend? Classy. Crowd treating Zaunn like he’s a Yankee after that first at bat? Horseshit. Whatever you think of Zaunn, this is a guy who loved playing Toronto and didn’t want to leave. He doesn’t deserve the hate.

• Details from the rest of the game are a bit hazy, but I do remember Adam Lind hitting a mammoth bomb to straight away centre and I remember that Scott Downs finished out the game.

Saturday’s 5-4 11-inning win (or Aaron Hill toys with Baltimore then crushes it)

• Going in: “I hope Rob Ray gives us enough to win.”

First inning: “Home run to the second deck in left? Rob Ray is not doing so well.”

Innings 2-4: “The Orioles are hitting this Ray kid pretty damn hard. This does not look good.”

Fifth inning: “Ray got through this inning pretty quickly. Hmm.”

Sixth inning: “Hey, he’s striking people out now! Must’ve just been nerves earlier on.”

By the end of his 5-2/3 innings, Ray had gone a long way toward winning me over. Like his ice-bound namesake, he seems pretty scrappy. Fighting through some awful innings in a major league debut to put in an overall good performance (4 hits, 4 walks, 3 ER), I hope this guy gets another shot.

• Hey, Cito, I know you make the team win and I like that, but I’ve got a question for you: Why the hell do you stick with your lineups through thick and thin, never pinch hitting because it might destroy confidence, etc… Why do you employ that philosophy and then, in the bottom of the 8th, with the bases loaded in a tie game, you pinch hit for Overbay?

Seriously, does Millar give you something Overbay doesn’t? What, he does. He gives you a downgrade defensively when he doesn’t come through at the plate and the game goes into extras.

And what is Overbay supposed to take from being pinch hit for? Cito’s apparently got faith in every other hitter on the team, but not him. Or is Lyle just so mentally tough that it won’t get to him at all?

I don’t get it.

• Seriously, why do the Jays fans boo Zaunnie?

• Aaron Hill: On his way to becoming Greatest Blue Jay Ever. I’m convinced he screwed up that play at second just so he would have the chance to tie the game with a dinger in the 10th and then drive in the winning run in the 11th.

Sunday’s 4-3 win (Sweep!)

• I didn’t see this game, but I didn’t have to. With Scott (Captain Canada) Richmond on the mound, you pretty much know exactly what you’re going to get. Opponents score three runs, Jays win. Bingo Bango.

Leftovers

• That may have been Toronto’s first series against the AL East, but Baltimore doesn’t really count, does it?

• Scutaro apparently knows a thing or two about which stats people should be paying attention to.

• Today is May 4. The Toronto Blue Jays are 18-9. The Toronto Blue Jays are leading the AL East by two full games. The Toronto Blue Jays are not going to be jinxed by me saying the P-word. Not today.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on the weekend sweep

      • I don’t understand why Cito keeps rnniung him out there. I’d almost rather see Johnny Mac DH.@infieldflyrule Nope …. good call.@infieldflyrule Millar should be parking cars some place.Also, Ian, thanks for giving me a Jays-related topic to think about that’s not a depressing trade rumour.

  1. Overbay should 100 per cent be pinch hit for when there’s a lefty in a situation like that late in the game.

    Plenty of times I’ve found he just looks sick hitting against lefties.

    I agreed with that decision and think Cito should use his guys off the bench more often when there’s a favourable matchup to be used.

    About time you get to the Dome!

    • I agree that Cito should be using his bench more, but that’s not the point. Cito’s got an established practice of not using the bench unless a game is out of hand in one direction or another. The justification that’s often given for the theory is that it’s supposed to build confidence or something. It seems to be working — the team is winning — so it’s all good.

      As for pinch hitting Millar, yes, you’re playing the percentages, but what message are you sending to Overbay? If it had been reversed, with Millar up facing a righty, there’s no way that Cito puts Overbay in.

      But who knows. Maybe this is a new strategy he’s trying out. It’d be nice to add another meaning to the “Don’t doubt The Cito.”

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