Good afternoon, everyone. Well, that was a heck of a fun game yesterday. Great to see the bats come alive, and Henderson Alvarez looked extremely sharp. Yeah, it's Baltimore, and he hasn't faced great offenses, but he's 21 and any success against major league hitting is a very encouraging sign. I certainly wouldn't mind penciling him into the 2012 rotation. I'm still trying to figure out why we stuck with Jo-Jo for so long (not necessarily at Alvarez's expense, just saying), but that's water under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge now.
The Jays go for a road series win this afternoon with the getaway game. Luis Perez pitches for the Jays. Perez has been quite adequate as a starter in his two tries, with one excellent start and one so-so one. I don't think he has a long-term future as a major-league starter, but if he can prove himself adequate in a starting role it'd make him a perfectly good and cost-effective swingman. Lefty swingmen are nice to have because they give you an extra lefty in the pen.
Tommy Hunter pitches for the City that Reads and his game is pretty simple: low Ks, low walks, leaves the ball up a bit too much (though he's improved his groundball numbers in limited major-league innings this season). He doesn't throw particularly hard and doesn't have a good fastball so if the Jays can get ahead in the count at all, they could be looking at a good offensive day.
Let's go Jays!
Today's title comes from the amazing song "Hard Times" from the equally amazing Gillian Welch and David Rawlings record "The Harrow and the Harvest" that just came out this summer. I can't remember having heard a new record executed so perfectly, with such incredible songwriting and musicianship. If you even somewhat like music, grab this record, pour yourself a drink (I've been loving the Yamazaki single-malt "whiskey" recently, myself), put on some high-quality headphones (I promise not to get too snobby here, but if your headphones came with your mp3 player, you really need to upgrade) and lie back - you are in for a treat.