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It's Easy as 1-2-3 - Game 34, Rays at Jays

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Wow. An exciting game last night, wasn't it? It looked exactly like one of the Jays' frustrating games of late April until Matty Stairs strode to the plate in the 7th and took a Javier Vasquez pitch deep to give the Jays a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish, though not for lack of trying. B.J. Ryan, only annointed that day as capable of going two consecutive games, walked the bases loaded with 1 out in the 9th, only to end the game in dramatic fashion on a comebacker he turned into the old 1-2-3 double play (hence the Jackson 5 reference in today's title). It was a little worrisome to see Ryan with such poor control of his slider, but hopefully it was just a one-time thing. Ironically, Ryan's walk to Konerko was the first walk issued by Jays' pitching since Friday. His walk to Dye was the second, and his walk to Swisher the 3rd. Dustin McGowan was magnificent, going 7 1/3 innings and walking no one, surrendering just 4 hits and striking out 6. He extended the Jays incredible streak of effective pitching performances to 9. In other notable news, Shannon Stewart looked decent at the plate, and Sir John MacDonald was used as a defensive replacement.

Today, Little Rock's finest, A.J. Burnett, will face off against the Rays' Andy Sonanstine and looks to keep the Jays fabulous streak going. Burnett has been up and down and has showed little of his improvement in control from the second half of last season, striking out 26 and walking 20 over his 37 1/3 innings, en route to an ugly 1.61 Whip. He was great last time out (though he did add to that walk total by 5) so perhaps he can continue his effectiveness. Andy Sonanstine has been quite good for Tampa Bay, with a 21/8 K/BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings and a 1.16 Whip. He's certainly taken advantage of the Rays improved defense, surrendering only 37 hits in his 38 2/3 innings despite not having many strikeouts.

I'll be running after work today and won't be around to post the lineups, but I will be back for the game. If we win, we're back to .500, as quickly as we plunged from it. Let's go Jays!