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Take a Long Drive With Me on California One: 8/2 Game Thread, Jays at Oakland

Hi everyone. After evening up this series last night behind home runs by Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill, and tough pitching, outside of one bad inning, by Brett Cecil, the Jays look to take the road series with a win in this Sunday afternoon game.

Ricky Romero pitches today for the Jays, while Vin Mazzaro goes for Oakland. After a quick start, Mazzaro, a righty, has taken his lumps, so it's a good opportunity for the offense.

Enter Jose Bautista, leadoff hitter. Although Bautista has never been a good hitter against righties, and this season hasn't been any exception, he has shown a strange ability to draw free passes against righty pitching - he is hitting walking a bizarre .212/.368/.247 against starboard-siders. You'd think that with that kind of hitting, righty pitchers would stop putting him on. My guess is that it's just a sample size anomoly, since he only has 105 plate appearances against righties.

Bautista hits first because Marco Scutaro is getting the day off to rest a sore heel, so John McDonald gets the start at shortstop. Hope nothing is too wrong and Marco is back soon, it doesn't sound too bad. Edwin Encarnacion, who the Jays apparently didn't want and have little use for - that is, if you go by Richard Griffin's analysis - gets the start at third base. Lyle Overbay, who homered yesterday, gets the start in the cleanup spot.

In other injury news, Scott Downs is headed back to the DL with an aggravation of the same toe injury (wonder if he was rushed back), while Voodoo Jeremy Accardo is back from AAA. I wouldn't be shocked if we don't see Downs again until the very end of the season, if not later.

Oh, and I've had nothing but respect for Jays' beat writer Jordan Bastian. In a wasteland of cliches, facile analysis, boring conventional wisdom rehashing and over-the-top bombastism (I might've made that word up), I've always found him to be hard-working, reasonable, to-the-point, and interesting. Of course, that he's a fellow runner doesn't hurt. That's what makes it especially hard to learn he's a Kings of Leon fan. Ouch.

As a final note, hitting, by Aaron Hill:


Toronto Blue Jays @ Oakland Athletics

08/02/09 4:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays Oakland Athletics
Jose Bautista - LF Adam Kennedy - 3B
Aaron Hill - 2B Rajai Davis - CF
Adam Lind - DH Kurt Suzuki - C
Lyle Overbay - 1B Scott Hairston - LF
Vernon Wells - CF Jack Cust - RF
Alex Rios - RF Tommy Everidge - DH
Edwin Encarnacion - 3B Bobby Crosby - 1B
Rod Barajas - C Mark Ellis - 2B
John McDonald - SS Cliff Pennington - SS