The Happy Recap
Our Heroes spoiled 20-year old uber-prospect Phil Hughes' first big league start, defeating the New York Yankees 6-0 for their first shutout of the season.
A.J. Burnett was not unhittable, but not too far off either. A performance like his (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K against a lineup as strong as the Yankees (although they did feature Douggie Eyechart batting 2nd) cannot be oversold. A walk or two too many, but anytime you give up zero extra-base hits, you can afford a few control glitches.
Philip Hughes had problems right out of the box when Rios sharply singled on his second pitch. Hughes struck lind out (the first of 3 times he did so) but Wells followed up with a long double over Damon's head, and Thomas followed that with a nifty little opposite field single. Good to see Thomas just go the other way and not try to do too much.
Hughes settled down, but continued to have trouble with Rios and Wells. The pair combined to go 5-7 with 3 walks, not to mention 2-2 on the basepaths, and scored 4 of the Jays' 6 runs. It is nice to see Rios walking a bit more (4 walks in his last 7 games after only walking once in his first 14), although he has a lot more to do in that regard before he becomes a good leadoff hitter, and Wells is just locked in right now. Since the 2-game Boston series began, Wells has raised his OBP from .289 to .374, and has done it with lots of walks and extra base hits en route to raising his OPS from .761 to .971 in the same 3 games.
Thomas and Overbay added sacrifice flies and Lyle also walked twice. Lyle really needs to get going, but he is showing that he won't kill you even when cold. He has only 17 hits on the season, but his 10 walks trails only Thomas (12).
Hughes showed promise with 5 Ks in 4 1/3 innings, and only walked 1, so that wasn't the problem. Wells had the only extra-base hit, in fact. Hughes just ran into the Jays, and Wells and A.J., at the wrong time. He also had some control issues, falling behind too many batters and getting backed into hitters counts. It is always exciting to see a new young talent break in. Welcome to the show, good luck against the rest of the league!
After Burnett departed, Accardo and Downs made sure the Yankees didn't get back into it with an effective last two innings (0 H, 1 BB, 2K)
Jays of the Day :
Wells , Rios , A.J.
Pain in My Heart: Injury Update
Unfortunately, it looks like Zaun will be out through June. The Blue Jays have called up Salvatore Fasano to share time with Jason Phillips (Sal's mustache requires its own spot on the 40-man roster, which is the only reason he wasn't up sooner), but Bench and Campanella these two are not. Get well soon, Z-man! (my least favorite Jay nickname, but Zaun seems to like it (he had it tatooed on him))
No news on BJ Ryan, since he isn't even allowed to throw a baseball for the next few weeks, except that he was moved to the 60-day DL. This is more square with his anticipated return time, as I wouldn't expect him until around the all-star break.
In happy news, Troy Glaus has rejoined the team, and is expected back for Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers. John McDonald and Jason Smith filled in very well in his stead, but we can't get the mighty Troy back soon enough.