Johnny Mac and the Clutch Hit Pack

I’m so happy with my Jays.  Last night, if you didn’t happen to see it, the game was an exciting one.  In previous months, when we were tied at the bottom of the ninth and going into extra innings, we all probably would have assumed we would lose.  We just had such a bad reputation for leaving runners in scoring position, especially in crucial situations.  Finally, it’s gotten to the point where I feel it could go either way.  Last night, though, it was all Jays.

A.J. Burnett pitched just over 6 innings, and did a pretty decent job, though not spectacular like we sometimes get from him.  Rod Barajas deserves a lot of credit for keeping several wild pitches in front of him and preventing runners from moving up.  Downs, Carlson, League, and B.J. also made appearances.  Carlson is pretty much my favourite out of those, because I feel him to be the most reliable….. normally Downs and B.J. would’ve also been on that list, but lately, I just don’t know.  I’ve never liked League, sorry League if you’re reading this (haha).  I just feel that just because someone can throw hard doesn’t mean they will get guys out, and if you’re in the Majors, the first priority is to get guys out.  THEN, and only then, if you can wow them and intimidate them, that’s great.  If you’re just throwing wacky pitches really hard all over the place, they’ll figure that out pretttttty darn quick, and will just wait you out for a walk.  Pitching is not a show-off position; most of the time, if you’re a great pitcher, it’s because you make the game boring (no one hits).  Look at Doc.  That’s the way to do it.  He actually, coincidentally, has a high number of strikeouts….. but ask anyone and they’ll tell you that’s not why he’s a great pitcher.  He’s smart, he’s logical, he’s a workhorse, and he throws consistently.  Downs has been having some trouble with control lately, and I’m just hoping this is a temporary thing.

I’m worried about Lyle.  He’s mentioned his hand is still bothering him, and today on the Blue Jays’ website, it’s a featured article.  That doesn’t sound good at all.  Luckily, it’s the end of the season soon.

I’m very very very very VERY happy for Johnny Mac.  For all the talk that goes on about his poor offense, he sure knows when to pick a good time to hit   🙂   (For those not aware, he got a walkoff hit last night in the bottom of the 11th inning, which you can also see on the main site replay video today.)  So congrats Johnny!!  😀

And what to say about Travis Snider….. well, welcome!!  Four times on base, and a couple crucial clutch hits….. I’m just hoping this isn’t beginners’ luck, and that it means he can handle the pressure.  It sure seems that way right now.

I’m just very content about last night’s performance, considering there were a couple times we almost gave it away, but managed to come back and eventually win it.  That shows persistence and a confidence that I’m almost positive is inspired by Cito Gaston.  When the Twins made mistakes, we capitalized, and that ended up being the difference.  So, yay!

I just wanted to write that little note, since I think that game was definitely worth commenting on…..

Go Jays!

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Tonight’s Jays game comments and some thoughts

Disheartening.

Another Jays loss on the books, bringing us to 48-51 on the season.  This particular loss comes after a sweet win yesterday where Rios and Scutaro helped the team come back from being down 3-4 in the third inning to eventually win it 9-4, even with sucky pitching from Parrish.  The game tonight was another example of sucky pitching, this time from Litsch.  Now, I like Litsch, but I seriously am rethinking that position after he’s gone 1-6 in his last nine starts, with an ERA over 6.  I know everyone goes through slumps, but this is a little bad.  As in, rotten eggs bad.

Then again, I wouldn’t be complaining so much had we won.  Well, maybe I would, but still.  With Vernon Wells out of the games, you’d think we’d be winning more (hey — even he said as much).  And I’m sorry if I blame Alex Rios entirely for this offensive slump.  Even though he’s a big part of it.  But guys, we did well with the small-ball, why are you now going back to working the count?  It’s the Ingletts and the Linds and the Scutaros and the Ecksteins that have the right idea.  Yes, home runs are nice.  But when we don’t have small-ball working for us, and the homers go slumping, runners will get stranded.  And since none of us really expect certain players to be able to hit us the big ones (*cough* Ecksy *cough*), why not go for quantity?

I don’t think I’m being very clear here.  Okay.  We have a lineup of 9 dudes who can at least hit singles.  Not all of them can hit homers.  Therefore, if one or more of the few guys able to hit homers goes into a slump, and we’re counting on those for all our runs, then we’re in a sucky position.  BUT, if one or a few of the dudes who are able to hit singles goes into a slump, it makes less of a difference, since all the rest are capable of picking up the pieces.  The one thing I actually really admire about Rios is his ability and willingness to steal bases.  THAT’S a good small-ball attitude.  Quick.  Aggressive.  So more singles, more base-stealing.  Oh, and this hitting into double-plays business has got to stop.  The fact there are so many of them hints at bruised confidence.  Which is understandable, but not excusable of course.  I hope Cito will be able to help with that, as he has the experience Gibby didn’t have.  Hopefully, we’ll get things straightened out again and get winning again soon.

Oh, and one last thing: put Johnny Mac back in!

Get well Aaron Hill, Jeremy Accardo, Vernon Wells, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Shannon Stewart, and Casey Janssen.  We miss you all dearly.

GO JAYS!