The Happy Recap
The Jays managed to split the series with Detroit, taking the final game 2-1 behind the pitching of Josh Towers.
Towers was the story of the day, no doubt, who won his first start since May of 2006. Over 7 2/3 innings, Towers allowed only one unearned run (Josh's error) and struck out 4, walking only 1 -- his first BB of the season. Will Towers be able to hang with the Yankees and Sox? I don't know, but he looked just dandy today.
Interestingly, Towers didn't seem as much in command as he did in his last start, basically sticking only with his fastball and slider and not using his curve or change much at all. He only surrendered 3 hits, which is not very Josh-like.
On offense, the Jays had just enough, almost all provided by the bottom of the lineup. Lyle Overbay continued to look better with 2 hits, and Adam Lind was 1-3 with an RBI single. But Royce Clayton and John McDonald were equally vital - Clayton hit his 5th double (!) of the season and scored the winning run when McDonald singled and Clayton ran right through Third Base Coach Brian Butterfield's stop sign. Clayton scored when the throw was cut off to attempt to strand McDonald between 1st and 2nd.
I don't know what Clayton and McDonald are up to, hopefully they can keep it up until Glaus and Reed return.
Scott Downs was again employed in the LOOGY role. I only keep harping on this because Downs, in my opinion, is too good to just pitch to one batter every other day, and he seems very frustrated with this role. The other day, when Downs retired his lefty and Gibbons came walking out, Downs seemed to be shouting into his glove and looked very upset. That said, it made sense to use Downs for one batter today (to get Granderson) and finish the 8th before going to the closer. And he has been good so far at getting the lefties.
"Playa-Hatin" Royce Clayton Watch : Royce was 1-3 and scored the aforementioned winning run. He did also strand 3 runners, including striking out with Overbay on 2nd and Thomas on 3rd and 1 out.
In other news, B.J. Ryan was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained elbow. Ryan will be examined by Dr. James Andrews, words that strike fear in the hearts of fans. Jamie Vermilyea will be called up to take his place in the bullpen, while Jason Frasor was named the replacement closer, a situation with which he is familiar. However, today the closer was Shaun Marcum, and he did a great job, striking out one and letting no one reach base.
Jays of the Day
Josh Towers who showed real heart in turning the crowd's boos early on to a nice ovation as he left. I was especially impressed at how he bore down after his throwing error. John McDonald had another good day, playing a good 3rd base and going 2-2 with the winning RBI and a walk. Honorable mention to Marcum , for his first big-league save!
Author's Note: Down the left sidebar, you will see a running tally of "Jays of the Day." Presently, Aaron Hill is in the lead with 4 nominations!