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The Streets of Baltimore

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The Happy Recap
The Blue Jays managed to take the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, 6-4.

A.J. Burnett started and had a bit of a mixed outing. He rolled through the first 3 but got into trouble with walks in the 4th and 5th and ended up surrendering 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 (and hitting 1) while striking out 8. A Brian Roberts 2-run HR did half of the damage, though the 2 walks in the 4th were equally problematic for A.J.

The Jays offense performed okay, drawing 4 walks and scoring 6 runs. Jason Phillips hit a solo HR and Alex Rios had 3 hits (2 of the infield variety), while Troy Glaus and Vernon Wells both added 2-out RBI hits in good pieces of hitting. Frank Thomas continues to really struggle at the plate and was 0-4. However, most of the offense (4 runs) came in the 5th and was aided by poor control and an error on Cabrera's part.

Burnett left after 6 2/3 and the game was left to Downs-Janssen-Accardo, the usual triumverate of close-game relievers. Janssen in particular looked sharp, inducing a textbook double play ball in the 8th after Downs surrendered a dying quail single to Markakis (only a hit because Adam Lind was playing ridiculously deep for some reason). Accardo set the O's down 1-2-3 in the 9th and has still yet to allow a run on the season.

Waxing/Waning Gibbons
It's interesting, Gibbons has really developed something of an automaton bullpen management style despite Ryan and League being out. So far, though, the system has been working (except when the 3 are unavailable). I would like to see Frasor get some more shots at late-inning assignments, since he has shown over his career that he is up to it. He's sort of being wasted at the moment, and I'm afraid Gibbons is painting himself into a corner by only trusting 3 of his 7 relievers, while essentially using Towers, Frasor, Vermilyea and Tallet all for mop-up work.

On an unrelated note, perhaps Gibbons can talk to the players and coaches and let them know not to wander in between bases when they can't tell whether or not an outfielder catches the ball. This is the second time this week that the Jays have gotten doubled off on a questionable out call on a fly ball.

Doc on the Mend
The latest news from the team is that Doc is way ahead of schedule, had a successful bullpen session Monday, and is looking at a May 31st return to the starting rotation against the Chicago White Sox. At this point, I would not be shocked to learn that there is in fact nothing wrong with Roy's appendix, and that he in fact spent the last few weeks fighting bloodthirsty terrorists or alien invaders with hand grenades shaped and painted like baseballs.

Jays of the Day
Jason Phillips was 2-3 with 2 runs and a solo HR, not to mention a walk in a very good at-bat. Honourable mention to Rios who set the table well with speed, to Glaus who continues to show the good touch with the bat, and to Janssen and Accardo for slamming the door.