Game Threat: Jays (23-25) @ Yankees (22-23)

Bear
To the Bronx!

Is it just me, or have we sort of hit the dog days of late May a little bit? I don’t know if watching the Jays continually list back and forth around .500 that’s making me sea sick, or if trying to keep out all thoughts of how good the damn Red Sox are playing is too psychically taxing, but I’ve been finding myself getting a bit cantankerous about nearly every idea for something to write about that I’ve considered today.

Russell Martin finally moving the needle, blowing his wRC+ up from 17 to 32 in just one game, and his ISO from .008 to .055? I mean, that’s impressive stuff this deep into a season. It’s novel. But how many ways can you point out he hit two home runs last night? And that it was fun? And that he still yet has a long way to go before all of April and May’s dog shit can be wiped off his season?

Pivoting off ESPN writing a piece about why the Blue Jays make everyone mad? Sounds great-ish if that brawl wasn’t, like, two weeks ago.

Highlighting an excellent BP Toronto piece on how Jays batters are being pitched to differently this year compared to last? I mean… I admire the analyze-every-kernel approach, and I think this one covers some particularly fertile ground, but my takeaway is basically: they’re seeing a few less fastballs so far, and the extra breaking balls have caused them to maybe miss a few hittable fastballs, so they need to adjust a little, but they’re good hitters and usually do and so probably will. And it’s not that it isn’t great to have some data to back up those notions, it’s just… meh.

Maybe I’m just being a jerk, I don’t know. Maybe yesterday’s They Live piece, and all its trips to the thesaurus, took too much out of me.

Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure one very probable cure for tthis would be the Jays going to town on CC Sabathia this afternoon, then cutting those damn Red Sox down to size over the weekend, and making this feel a little bit more like it’s a race again. Or… at least a race that isn’t between Boston and fucking Baltimore!

Let’s do it! I mean, afternoon baseball! What’s not to like???

Scuttlebutt

Jose Bautista had his suspension appeal hearing today, which… meh!

No Tulo today, as you can see, but it sounds like they’re being cautious. He was out on the field before the game and seemed pretty alright by any account I saw.

Speaking of Tulo, the Dufferin Mall is having a contest to name their food court, which… *COUGH*

TV: Sportsnet

Next Game(s): Tomorrow vs. Boston, 7:07 PM ET
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista(R) RF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Edwin Encarnacion(R) DH
Michael Saunders(L) LF
Justin Smoak(S) 1B
Russell Martin(R) C
Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Devon Travis(R) 2B
Darwin Barney(R) SS
J.A. Happ LHP

New York Yankees

Brett Gardner(L) LF
Aaron Hicks(S) CF
Starlin Castro(R) 2B
Carlos Beltran(S) RF
Alex Rodriguez(R) DH
Brian McCann(L) C
Chase Headley(S) 3B
Didi Gregorius(L) SS
Austin Romine(R) 1B
CC Sabathia LHP
  • Barry

    Well, the Martin homers were a bit of a pick-me-up for me. I’d been feeling pretty miserable and ready to do an uncharacteristic rant, which is the sort of thing I abhor, but I almost wept with joy when he hit the second home run.

    Sure, I know a two-homer game that lifts a season OPS up to .480 is hardly a “he’s back” moment … I just felt damn good for the guy, who has to be in the dumps in a huge way about his season so far.

    He may not end up with great overall numbers this season, but if I can at least see some decent monthly splits from here to October, I’ll be good with that.

  • b4 the windup

    I’m sensing a little something sparky-positive in the air. Two series wins on the road’ll do that, sure, but …

    Some of it might be the aftermath of Jose showing the baseball world he’s a tough cookie for real; not every player could’ve taken the abuse he did and barely flinch over the ensuing days. I don’t know how the numbers stack up (since the punch) but it seems he’s motored along doing what he does leading the team as he does, every day, getting on base as regular as always, swinging the bat as nicely as ever, at times, beautifully. And always with the walks. So solid.

    Another part of it is having Travis back. It’s early of course but it seems he’s sliding back into the lineup so quick-and-easy, contributing right off the bat, you’d hardly know he’d been away for so long for such a complicated and serious reason. The way he started out last year, appearing and fitting like he just belonged, he’s doing again. I’d normally prefer to not use a word like ‘winner’ but he really does have an easy, winning kind of style about him, no? Very glad to have him back right now.

    All things considered, we might be right where we need to be at this moment.