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 (almost complete) Game Review

Hey, I’m back.

I thought since I’m waiting on the rain delay in the Jays/Orioles game tonight, I can comment about the game last night.

Well, first of all, can I just remind my readers about my suggestion at the end of my post two days ago?

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

I’m glad Cito was thinking the same thing, because yesterday he was fantastic as per usual.  Johnny Mac is probably my favourite, or at the very least tied for my favourite Blue Jay, and if you watch Jays games, you already know why.  Johnny Mac does not make the highlight reel, no no.  He IS the highlight reel.  I wish I had the videos of all the games last year that he played, to compile all his incredible defensive plays….. but I fear that compilation video would be over 10 minutes long.  Someone made a YouTube video last year of some of his plays, but frankly when I watched it I thought, “oh, but there were so many even BETTER plays not included in this!”  The video has since been taken off YouTube (aww, spoiling our fun), but I hope one day someone will put up another.  Like I said though, it might take a while to make.

So last night, he did a few things typical of him, and another not so typical.  First, the typical, an excellent grab, preventing a possible double.  Next, the not-so-typical, hitting a 3 RBI clutch double….. 2 outs, bases loaded has been a situation my boys have been struggling with all season, and heck, even last season.  As a reward, Cito put him in to start at short today as well.  I like this attitude; reward for good performance.  Had this been the case last year, he would have started every game.  Some think we need offense more and that’s why he gets taken out of games…… however, I think the team really feels more confident knowing that he’s out there.  I’d like to see the stats on how everyone else on the team hits with him on the field.  I mean, Ecksy is good, but still.  I’d love to see Johnny get more playing time; he’s like a secret weapon out there.  Everyone in the Majors knows and respects Eckstein, but who really knows Johnny Mac — save us Jays fans and maybe a few out there who have done their research?

Another thing: LIND.  Yes, I liked him when he came up to the Majors last year, and was sad to see him sent down when Reed came back — even though I liked Reed too.  I just always had a feeling he’d play a major part in the team’s future.  Now that Cito’s giving him the confidence he needed (knowing that he’s going to play every day), he’s made a stellar performance at the plate.  I know a few games ago they mentioned, since the managerial switch, he’d already racked up 22 RBIs.  Now, that’s a pretty good number for a guy who was just dealing with being up and down constantly, depending on the altered lineups Gibby was juggling.  I’m not saying it’s Gibby’s fault that he wasn’t being played as much as he should’ve been — I do think, though, as I’ve said before, that Cito gives the team reason to play their best.  He inspires them.  They know what he can do.  Some of them haven’t played in World Series games (like Ecksy and Zaun have, for example), so that experience really can have an impact.  This was just what the team needed: a reason to fight.  Why were they having such trouble coming back when they were losing after the 7th inning?  Easy answer would be that they were giving up, which, in turn, means they felt they had nothing to fight with, nothing to fight for.  No confidence and no cause?  Well, no wonder there were no comebacks.

So anyway, go Lind!  I like this guy.  Another under-the-radar guy I’m a fan of: Inglett.  He’s just racking up the numbers.

Apparently the game’s gonna continue at noon-oh-five tomorrow (actually, now today — my birthday 🙂 ), right before the next game at 12:35.  Does that work?  Let’s hope so.  I could really enjoy a birthday having two wins in a day from my boys.