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More on last night’s game

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And today’s lineup

MLB: Wild Card-Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Although all we talked about, last night, was the pitching change, I think the real difference between the two teams was defense. Almost every hard-hit ball by the Blue Jays found a glove. There weren’t many hard-hit balls by the Rays, but we didn’t seem to want to get into the way.

The triple off Robbie Ray was a good example. Do you think the Rays outfield would have let that get to the wall? To me, there was no way that should have been a triple, but we played it into one.

Then there was the wild pitch. I hate that official scores have to award a wild pitch or passed ball. I think it should be one category and blame shared. In last night’s case, I think most would say Jansen should have blocked it. Mistakes happen, but that was a bad one.

On the other side, I don’t know if the Rays are just terrific at placing their fielders, or if their fielders are just that good, but anytime a ball was hit hard, a fielder was there.

Hopefully, today, we can hit them where they ain’t.

One of the things I wish we could get past is ‘the manager did something I don’t agree with, he is stupid’. Or ‘he should be fired’. No manager will ever make all the same decisions I would (thank goodness, what would I talk about on here).

On Twitter, many people brought up Matt Shoemaker’s August 16th start against the Rays. In that one, he went 3 innings, allowed 1 hit (and then picked off the runner at first). In the 3 innings he had 5 strikeouts.

The fourth went poorly, a one-out single and a walk, then a strikeout and a home run.

I think there is a new idea out there that pitchers should be pulled before they have problems. I’m old. I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like that. I like seeing a pitcher go deep into a game. Get into and out of trouble.

But I do see that it is an idea with some merit. When a pitcher loses it, it is hard to get him out of an inning quick enough. I was amazed that the Rays took Snell out in the sixth when he seemed to be rolling (he gave up a single, but then had a line out and got Cavan Biggio to strikeout, and then he was out of the game. At 82 pitches, I’d have been looking for him to go another inning.

I believe that if you run through a bunch of relievers, you are likely to find the one that doesn’t have it today.

But that doesn’t mean that I think it is stupid to have a different opinion.


Today’s lineup, I like Gurriel third. I’d like to flip Grichuk and Hernandez but that’s pretty minor.

Today's Lineups

BLUE JAYS RAYS
Cavan Biggio - 3B Mike Brosseau - 1B
Bo Bichette - SS Randy Arozarena - DH
Lourdes Gurriel - LF Brandon Lowe - 2B
Vladimir Guerrero - DH Yandy Diaz - 3B
Randal Grichuk - CF Manuel Margot - LF
Teoscar Hernandez - RF Hunter Renfroe - RF
Travis Shaw - 1B Willy Adames - SS
Joe Panik - 2B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Danny Jansen - C Mike Zunino - C
Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP Tyler Glasnow - RHP

I need this today, something is wrong with my cable, and I’ve lost the program guide. They are sending someone Sunday. By then I’ll be driven crazy.