The Jays have a deserved day off today while they head down to Tampa Bay to face the very tough Rays. They earned a series win against KC despite losing a close game Wednesday that had starter Zack Greinke shutting down Jays bats for the majority of the game. Alex Gonzalez continued to display his power in 2010 with his 5th HR of the season, and that it came against Greinke makes it that much more special. Shaun Marcum has a good start, not great, allowing 3 ER over 7 innings, once again saving the pen that has been under worked all season long.
Only one thing bugs me about this game – that John McDonald was allowed to hit in the 9th to record the last out. I’m positive that if you asked John whether he’d be pissed about being taken out of the game to give the Jays a chance to hit, he’d say no way. I will even go as far as to say this – Cito Gaston is obviously under utilizing Randy Ruiz because he is absolutely certain that a hot Randy Ruiz would kill his chances of being able to use Lyle Overbay in the lineup, something he adamantly wants to avoid. What would happen if Randy was brought in all of those times he should have been and he produced something big? Management and fans alike would have pressured Cito to play Randy. Instead, Cito keeps Randy on the bench, keeps Lyle and John in the lineup, and hopes Lyle finds hit swing again so that the Jays can trade him when they get a decent offer.
If Cito really wanted to win, Randy would have been in the game. Would I love for John McDonald to have produced and started a come from behind win rally? Certainly, but it would not have led to John having more confidence than he ever had at the plate. John reached his ceiling a long time ago offensively, and no one hit is going to change that. He knows how he can help the team win and that’s defensively, not with the bat.I would guess that 26 MLB coaches would have brought in Ruiz instead of McDonald in that situation, if they wanted to win.
My wish for the rest of April is that all Jays hitter be over the Mendoza line by the time May comes around. Jose Molina, Travis Snider, Fred Lewis, Lyle Overbay, and John Buck are all below the line and are killing the momentum of the lineup in turning over and scoring lots of runs. Hopefully the return of Aaron Hill help make this happen!
Here are some Jays notes:
- Edwin Encarnacion has been placed on the 15-day DL;
- Aaron Hill is going to be activated from the 15-day DL on Friday;
- Brett Cecil was called up to make Brian Tallet’s start as I predicted! I hope he does well against the potent Rays, a tall order but one that could build the confidence the Jays have in his arm;
- Brian Tallet was placed on the 15-day DL; and
- The Jays are now 9 and 7 on the season, 2 games above 500, in 3rd place in the AL East, 2 games behind the Rays, 2.5 games behind the Yankees and 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. They are also 7 games ahead of the lowly Orioles, so it’s good to be a Jays fan at this point.