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7/7 Game Thread: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays

Saturday, July 7 - Toronto, Ontario
1:07 PM (EDT)

Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore cf
Casey Blake 3b
Victor Martinez c
Travis Hafner dh
Jhonny Peralta ss
Ryan Garko 1b
Trot Nixon rf
Ben Francisco lf
Josh Barfield 2b

Pitching: Fausto Carmona, RHP

Toronto Blue Jays

Vernon Wells cf
Reed Johnson lf
Alexis Rios rf
Matt Stairs 1b
Frank Thomas dh
Greg Zaun c
Aaron Hill 2b
Howie Clark 3b
John McDonald ss

Pitching: Shaun Marcum, RHP

Wow. Sparky's catch yesterday was truly awesome. Don't know if it was game-saving, but it might've been, what with Hafner coming up as the winning run. It really was magnificent.

Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett fired back at JP for his comments earlier this week.

Oh, wait. Actually, AJ went out of his way to be gracious to JP, saying that he understood JP's frustration. However, AJ did stick up for himself, saying exactly the same thing I said a few days ago. How can JP say that AJ needs to pitch through pain? - clearly, there's something wrong with his shoulder - he took two starts off and still was not himself, although he tried his best to pitch through it. Now he's shut down again. Even if AJ could insist on trying to just pitch through it, it's clear that (1) not effective; and (2) only risking further injury. You'd think that with the Jays invested for the next three years (unless AJ opts out after 2008, which, of course, he won't do if he sustains a long-term injury), they'd want to protect their investment.

Anyway, enough on A.J. Shaun Marcum faces off against Fausto Carmona in an interesting matchup of two young pitchers who look to be having breakout seasons. Reed continues to hit second as Vernon is absolutely mauling out of the leadoff spot (.354/.415/.854 in 48 at-bats). I actually suggested batting Vernon leadoff back when he was slumping, but as his performance there doesn't make any sense, I can't take any credit (to that end, neither can Gibbons). Of course, I couldn't take credit anyway, as moving the slumping player to leadoff was the tactic of an old coach.

Incidentally, Lyle Overbay started his rehab yesterday for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Lyle was 0-5, but hit 3 long fly-outs and reportedly, the hand felt good. Yeah, Lyle! I'm psyched to watch today - hopefully I don't get called out of my own home so it can be shown to a prospective buyer! Let's go Jays!