Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Roundup

Sometimes you have to lose a battle or two in order to win the war and knowing that we won't have to see Frank Thomas again until August goes a great distance towards taking the sting out of last night's 3-1 defeat.

The Hurt Feelings struck out (like a little girl) on an AJ fastball in his first AB, doubled in his second, then came out of the game with a sore knee. ESPN says he's been bothered since sliding into home two weeks ago in Cleveland and tweaked it last night, presumably running to second at half speed on the double. I'd say the odds of him appearing again in this series range from unlikely to extremely unlikely.

On to some unpleasantness.

We all thought the Jays were going to be a lefty-mashing squadron because that's the way it's been since pretty much as long as we can remember (2005?). Between this year (.605) and last (.848), we've dropped a staggering .243 points of OPS against lefties as a team, and it's not just a result of the departure of Frank Thomas (fine, and Reed Johnson) and the injury to Vernon Wells. Unsurprisingly, the key cogs in our lineup that usually can be counted on to rake against lefties have really been shitting the bed this year.

Some numbers for our uninjured regulars against LHP (Career v. 2008):

Rios: .289/.349/.464 (.813)*; .260/.296/.360 (.656)

Hill: .301/.367/.454 (.821); .256/.388/.359 (.747)

Rolen: .282/.405/.511 (.916); .259/.333/.296 (.630)

Stewart: .298/.374/.419 (.793); .282/.341/.359 (.700)

Overbay: .279/.316/.433 (.749) ; .208/.250/.226 (.476)

* but .900+ plus over his past two "breakout" seasons

That, my friends, is why someone like Greg Smith can absolutely handcuff the Jays time and time again. The Jays are 5-9 when a lefty starts for the opposition. If you're thinking that it might be a BABip aberation, you're wrong. It's just plain old collective suck. And it's shocking to see that the rot has spread to Rolen, who's looked absolutely fabulous in his month with the club. Overbay had actually hit lefties quite well over his career, but is off to a horrible start against his sinister-handed brethern this year.

To make matters worse, the one guy who had been getting 'er done against lefties, Vernon Wells (.333/.412/.433) is likely a non-factor offensively for the rest of the year because of that broken wrist. And to his credit, Wonder Boy is actually doing well, too, but we all kind of thought J-Mac would've been worked into the lineup against lefties...

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but it would appear that the Jays might be the first to face Joba Chamberlain, starter, early next week. Ian Kennedy strained lat has opened a spot in the Yankees' rotation and the pancake-faced Joba is in the process of being stretched out. I would expect him to be on a very strict pitch count, so it might be a good night to leave the bats on our shoulders and let him run out of gas before ripping shit against Kyle Farnsworth.

Putting a bat in the volatile Theo Fleury's hands, not a great idear...

All-Star Game--sorry, Red Sox v. National League game-- voting is a farce. Either come up with a ballot box stuffing software program or just boycott the whole process.

A very special note: The Oracle is doing a PREGAME Wednesday's with JP at 8:30 tonight, so call in and let'er fly. I just might ask whether he really knows who Jason Bay is or not, that guy is two kinds of awesome.


* How do you say "shoulder fatigue" in Japanese?

* Yankees sign Ben Broussard? Panic in the streets of Boston!

* Fantasy notes: Jay Bruce = Hunter Pence 2.0?

-- Johnny Was

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