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Games Recaped: Canada/Italy, Jays/Yankees

Italy 6 Canada 2

Man that was a stupid game. Ernie Whitt, self proclaimed  'Best Manager the Jays Never Had' has the bases loaded in the 4th, 2 out, down by 2, lefty pitcher in. And lefty batter Pete Orr up. Now Pete, is a fine guy I'm sure, but he is hasn't looked good swinging the bat. So here he is in an inning where we finally look like we might score some. And Whitt leaves him there to hit swing over strike 3. Didn't Ernie understand that he needed to win this game? He needed to manage like he needed to win it. So later in the game, a runner on, another lefty pitcher and Whitt leaves Orr out there again.

Oh well, we are out of the tournament without using our best pitcher. I was a bit worried before the game when I realized I had heard of the Italian starter but I hadn't heard of the Canadian starter, Vince Perkins. I was right to be worried, Perkins in his two innings plus couldn't find the strike zone with both hands and a compass. When he did accidentally find the strike zone, it was hit hard.

Italy scored a run in each of the first 4 innings and 2 more in the 7th. Canada scored two in the 4th. The middle of the Canadian lineup did well, 3rd hitter Joey Votto was 1 for 4 with a walk, 4th hitter Justin Morneau was 4 for 5 and 5th hitter Jason Bay was 2 for 2 with 3 walks and drove home both our runs. These were the only guys to manage a hit off the great Italian pitching trio of Serafini, Cooper and Grilli.

Guys that had a rough game: Chris Barnwell was 0 for 3 with a walk. Russell Martin was 0 for 5 with 2 strikeouts, one of our few right handed bats going against the lefty pitching. Matt Stairs was 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving 6 guys on base. Nick Weglarz was0 for 3 with a walk and 2 strikeouts. And Pete Orr was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts, leaving 4 on base.

After losing a good game against the USA team, this game was a big disappointment. Whitt's gamble to save Scott Richmond for a possible start against Venezuela didn't work out. It is too bad he didn't use Richmond in one of these two loses,  because a decent start in US game might have bought us a win and a good start in this game could have made a big difference. Oh well, the WBC was fun while it lasted.

Jays 6 Yankees 2

It is getting harder not to get too excited about our young pitching. Brad Mills started and did give up his first 2 runs of the spring on a homer by Yankee's center field prospect, Brett Gardner. Other than that Mills did well, 4 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts. Casey Janssen pitched a good 2 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out 2. Brian Burres and Rick Bauer pitched the final 3 shutout innings, not that they have a shot at making the team.

Offensively Russ Adams and Travis Snider each hit a homer. Other than that, Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay each were 1 for 3 with a double. Backup catcher candidate Raul Chavez went 2 for 2 with a double. Chavez is the only catcher looking for that backup job that has more than 1 hit this spring. JP Arencibia went 0 for 2 and Michael Barrett also went 0 for 2, he is now 0 for 9 on the spring. Still that's not many at bats.Let's not write him off just yet.

Personal favorites Scott Campbell went 1 for 3 with a walk and Jason Lane was 0 for 2 with an RBI. Lane is batting .455 so far this spring. Campbell is at .278, he is starting to look like someone I'd like called up when Scott Rolen takes his turn on the DL this summer.

Tomorrow the Jays play the Rays, Matt Clement will get the start for the Jays.