Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Roundup

I return to you punch drunk from the desert heat (and margartias) of Arizona and haven't seen a Jays game since Thursday, though I'm aware they they put on radical exclamation point on a crucial road trip my taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies of Philadelphia.

Don't start planning the victory parade, yet, though. The wheels looked like they were about to come off in Cleveland and this club returns home just as capable of losing 5 in a row as the opposite. Enter the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, United States of America, not Mexico.

The Jays have looked great against the Angels, even when they were a playoff team, over the past few years. Last year they were 4-3, 6-4 in 2006, and 5-1 in 2005 for a cumulative 3-year record of 15-8. Whereas, say, the Rangers might be a poor-average team that has given us fits over the years we seem to be the bug in ointment for the Angels. So bring on the AL West leaders without fear in your heart.

Random trivia courtesy of Baseball Almanac:

Did you know that "On August 25, 1979, the Angels set a team record for hits during a game with twenty-six (26) versus the Toronto Blue Jays?" That was a 24-2 win if you didn't open the box score. Serious pwnage, but odds are you hadn't even been born then, so who cares really?

Tonight's matchup should be an interesting one as Dustin McGowan takes on Angels ace John Lackey. As Juan Guzmany as McG has been through the first month and a half of the season, he still remains a lock down stud at home (2-0, 1.86 ERA, .614 OPS against), where he throws tonight. In general, McG has been more hittable, given up more BBs and registered fewer Ks than he did last year. Getting a start against a relatively impatient, free-swinging club might help him get back on track. Lackey, just off the DL, is one of the best starters in the AL and looked good last week against the Chisox in his first start of the season. Is a low-scoring 2 hour, 20 minute affair in the cards? Perhaps.

If you too disappeared into an alcohol-induced haze over the weekend, no better place to catch up with the Jays than by checking in with Senor Mike Wilner.

Why has Alex Rios sucked so heartily thus far? Don't ask Cathal Kelly because he doesn't know.

The sched gets a little soft and gooey for the next 19 games: the Angels (6) are a very good team but don't have much luck with the Jays, the Royals (4) are still the Royals, which is a polite way of saying they only suck a bit less than in the past, the A's (3) defy expectations, the battered Yankees (3) and wrapping up with the expectation-defying Orioles (3). Let's start rollin', boys!


* No hitters against the Royals (or Orioles) are less special than no-hitters against proper teams, so forgive me the lack of any Jon Lester love.

* As they like to say at Ghostrunner on First, this is more gay than 9 guys blowing 8 guys. Why this Yankee Stadium construction worker opened his fat gob (to Yankee fans presumably) in the first place is beyond me. Will they order a complete demolition of the new stadium and greater security screening for the crew on rebuild? Only time will tell.

* Random trivia, part II: Did you know that roughly half of big league managers are, like John Gibbons, former catchers? What's Pat Borders doing? He used to be a catcher. I caught a few innings (with a second baseman's glove no less) back when I was 10, too. Hello, job offers?

-- Johnny Was

No comments: