The obvious thing about tis year’s staff is that it’s missing the ace, but judging by performances of the staff thus far it certainly isn’t lacking any depth. Dana Eveland pitched about as great a game as you can expect from a starter and has impressed everyone once again. He did get a lot of help from Jose Molina who not only took a pitch to get the first run of the game through, but also from the game he called. Molina walked up to the mound at a key time in the 5th inning to give Eveland a breather after he threw 4 balls in a row for a walk to Jose Lugo, including one ball in the dirt that seemed to surprise Molina. Eveland got Adam Jones to pop out the very next pitch, thanks in part to the breather.
Here are some other game notes I have:
- Dana Eveland was so effective that he only needed 6 pitches to get out of the 7th inning. He threw to contact, everything had movement, and he changed speeds very effectively. Even though he didn’t get the Ks you’d expect from one, he pitched like an ace, he really did.
- Although it was great that Eveland had such a great game, I do know there are some relievers on the Jays roster who haven’t seen game action yet this year. Is that a problem? No, it’s just indicative of the quality of the starts the Jays have gotten thus far. I’m sure they’ll be out there some time soon, but Cito Gaston‘s going to have to trust them in the 8th and 9th at some point if the starters continue to do this well and go deep into games.
- Scott Downs did put out one nice fire in the 8th with 1 runner on, inducing a double play out of Adam Jones – all of the sudden I’m a huge Jones fan, he’s doing everything right for the Jays.
- Alex Gonzalez needs to take more pitches. If he did, 20 HRs and a .280 average are not out of the question. As it is, he swings at everything but the flies and makes for quick innings from opposing pitchers.
- Travis Snider earned a walk once on his own, then was intentionally walked twice. Jose Molina made them pay both times; once by getting hit by a pitch, and then with an RBI single in the 6th – way to go Jose! To me, this Jays win is entirely attributed to Jose ( 2 for 3 with 2 RBI) and Dana Eveland - two guys brought in by Alex Anthopolous, so he gets some credit here as well.
- Encarnacion, Lind (2), Gonzalez, Molina all doubled while no HRs were hit by the Jays. Get used to this while Hill is out, the Jays do lack some power but have very good doubles hitters.
- Speaking of Encarnacion, he made a very nice barehanded play in the 6th to get the 1st out of the inning. Overbay scooped it off the ground, but he had to be aggressive to get the ball away in time and did it fairly well.
- Speaking of defensive capabilities, how nice is it to have Alex Gonzalez at SS? Every time the ball is hit in his direction, I think – there’s another out. With the many ground ball pitchers the Jays have in house this season, it should bode very well or them and shorten innings.
- I’m actually enjoying watching Jose Bautista in the 2 hole. Is it possible that it becomes the lineup of choice whenever McCoy is in there even when Hill returns? McCoy, Bautista, Hill, Wells, Lind…..makes sense to me!
- My man Mike McCoy had a bad night to say the least, leaving 6 guys on base in the game. He did work the counts, earning 1 walk and scoring thereafter on a Lind double, but couldn’t find any holes when he did drive the ball.
- Jason Frasor earned his 3rd save of the season. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.
The Jays are now 4 and 1 on the season and go for the sweep of the O’s tomorrow, when Shaun Marcum goes up against Kevin Millwood.