While running this morning, saw a guy in a Jays cap. This is not a familiar occurrence here (though there was a drug dealer in my old neighborhood who wore one), so naturally I gave him the old fist pump and "go Jays" as I ran by (this guy today, that is, not the drug dealer). He responded in kind, and I don't mind saying it kind of made my morning.
Depending on the outcome of today's game, the Jays will either win their 4th straight series or lose their first. The Jays' offense has cooled off a bit since the Minnesota series but they did draw 9 walks yesterday and scored 5 runs on Friday so it's not like things have gone completely cold. Lyle Overbay has the hot hand right now; he's hitting .429 with 6 RBI, 2 home runs, a double, and 2 walks over his past 3 games, and has walked more times (7) than he has struck out (5) so far this season on the way to a neat 1.002 OPS.
The big news is that Lyle and fellow lefty Travis Snider appear to be penciled into the lineup for today's game. Cito has been promising all along that neither Overbay nor Snider is being platooned, and today will be the first day either one will start against a lefty. Given that Overbay is hot, Snider has been hitting well, and Braden isn't an overpowering lefty by any means, today is a good day to get the two of them out there.
Pitching for the Jays is Ricky Romero, who has done a lovely job thusfar this season. He's 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, and a 7/2 K/BB ratio over 14 innings. So far, Romero's pitches have excellent movement and his fastball has good life. With only 2 walks in 14 innings, he's doing a nice job throwing strikes, getting a strike on the first pitch a nearly Halladay-ian 62% of the time. It would be great for a tired bullpen, which is likely without both Scott Downs (2 1/3 IP yesterday) and Jason Frasor (has pitched each of last three days) if Romero can go deep into the game as he managed his last time out.
Dallas Braden has done a decent job for Oakland so far but has gotten a little lucky with a 1.42 WHIP and stranding 85% of runners. Braden is basically a soft-tossing lefty who throws a fastball, a slider, and a changeup. He gives up a ton of flyballs (.65 GB/FB so far this season, .83 over his career) so it would be great to see the Jays continue their home run hitting ways against him.
Today's title: From Sonic Youth's "Sunday"
04/19/09 1:07 PM EDT
|Oakland Athletics||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Ryan Sweeney - CF||Marco Scutaro - SS|
|Orlando Cabrera - SS||Aaron Hill - 2B|
|Jason Giambi - DH||Alex Rios - RF|
|Matt Holliday - LF||Vernon Wells - CF|
|Jack Cust - RF||Kevin Millar - DH|
|Eric Chavez - 3B||Scott Rolen - 3B|
|Kurt Suzuki - C||Lyle Overbay - 1B|
|Mark Ellis - 2B||Raul Chavez - C|
|Landon Powell - 1B||Travis Snider - LF|
How many home runs will the Blue Jays hit this afternoon?
This poll is closed
four or more