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Red Letter Day That I Learn I'm Sure You Get What You Deserve: Game 21, Jays at Royals and Jesse Litsch Update

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Today's post title comes from the defunct Kansas City-area band (actually Lawrence, Kansas, but close enough) the Get Up Kids, who put out two really good records early on and a couple of pretty bad ones after that. It seemed fitting given what a red letter day today is for the Jays - 6 series wins in a row, best record in the American League, most runs scored in baseball (3rd best OPS), 3rd best pitching staff in the AL despite injuries that are legion, best run differential in baseball, most efficient defense in the league, etc, and of course the geographic connection between the band and our hosts for tonight, the Kansas City Royals.

Even better, Jesse Litsch got some good news today. Not quite a clean bill of health, but young Mr. Litsch was assured that there was nothing wrong with him that a little more rest and relaxation wouldn't fix. Good to see the Jays and Litsch are being careful, and even better to see that nothing is wrong. I always felt like Marcum was rushed back from his injury last season, and whether I was wrong or not, now I'll always feel like I was. Sounds like Litsch will be ready to come back around the end of May to me, which is a little later that what was originally hoped, but not too bad - particularly with Romero and Janssen due back before that.

What to say about tonight's pitching matchup? David Purcey goes for the Jays, and looks to build on his last outing, which wasn't bad. Nothing against the Royals, but he needs to have some success against a team featuring Willie Bloomquist in a corner outfield spot hitting 2nd, and John Buck DH-ing.

As for the Royals' starter, I'm a huge fan of Brian Bannister the guy, but am not all that enamoured of Bannister the pitcher. He does a nice job limiting walks, but gave up way too many home runs last season and has always had pedestrian strikeout rates. He'd be a decent pitcher in the NL, but I think the Jays can get to him today. This is only his second start of the season as he started the season at AAA Omaha before being called up when Horacio Ramirez was revealed to be Horacio Ramirez to yet another team. Bannister has a traditional arsenal of pitches and pinpoint control with his fastball is the key to his success. The Jays go to their opening day lineup to face him.


Lineup

Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals

04/27/09 8:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays Kansas City Royals
Marco Scutaro - SS Coco Crisp - CF
Aaron Hill - 2B Willie Bloomquist - LF
Alex Rios - RF Mark Teahen - 3B
Vernon Wells - CF Jose Guillen - RF
Adam Lind - DH Billy Butler - 1B
Scott Rolen - 3B John Buck - DH
Lyle Overbay - 1B Alberto Callaspo - 2B
Rod Barajas - C Mike Aviles - SS
Travis Snider - LF Miguel Olivo - C


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2009 - David Purcey 0-1 6.10 1.69 23 15


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2009 - Brian Bannister 1-0 0.00 1.00 1 2

Let's go Jays!!!