Apr 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baseball fan Edward Burnett tries to stay warm during the second inning of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

LIVE Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays (11-21) at Tampa Bay Rays (14-16): Glimmer of Hope Edition


There is still a glimmer of hope for the Toronto Blue Jays. Yesterday the team showed us what they could really be. Sure it was against the Seattle Mariners and many had penciled in a Blue Jays win before the game even started with Joe Saunders and his 0-3 road record taking the mound, but I’m going to be annoyingly optimistic today. The Blue Jays needed that game if there was ever such a thing as a must-win game in May. Tonight they are back to business facing the only American League East division rival they have yet to battle in the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.43 ERA) takes the hill against Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.71 ERA). Not exactly an elite pitching matchup but great news for the Blue Jays who are trying to build off yesterday’s 15-hit effort. I was looking forward to this series as a Jays fan but as I look at the numbers on the Rays offence they really aren’t bad but I can’t tell if maybe it’s just because I’m comparing them to the Jays atrocious start. Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Kelly Johnson are all having productive offensive seasons so far. As a team they have an ISO (stat that measures power or ability to hit for extra bases) that ranks 14th in the league at .156, which isn’t great but only slightly behind the powerful Blue Jays. They are also slugging better than the Jays at .404 compared to .394. I actually had to rewrite this part of my post based on how good the Jays did yesterday. More reason for blind optimism! Regardless I think everyone expects we could be in for a high-scoring affair this evening. (Stats courtesy of FanGraphs)

Although I’m still trying to be optimistic, it must be said that the Jays record against Tampa the last couple years has been awful. They haven’t won a series at Tropicana since August 6-8, 2010 and since that time have compiled a 12-30 record including getting decimated last year 14-4. But as Joshua Menezes pointed out earlier, Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have both pitched well against the Rays in the past and with every year brings a new team. I try not to get too hung up on comparing historical performances. However recent none of those losses occurred against this year’s Toronto Blue Jays. Hopefully by the time Friday rolls around we can still say they are undefeated against at least one American League East team.

This GIF from GAMEREAX pretty much sums up what has happened to the Blue Jays after they get our hopes up after a big win:

We are still waiting to hear what type of lineup the Jays will field tonight. Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera have both been a bit banged up. Unfortunately they both can’t play DH so we will have to see if either is held out of the lineup today.

Other Random Stuff:

Buehrle is allowing a brutal 11.3 H/9 and 2.3 HR/9, maybe he doesn’t belong in the AL East… Hellickson hasn’t been great either allowing 8.2 H/9 and 1.5 HR/9, still better than Buehrle though… I only use historical stats when it helps the Blue Jays – despite James Loney‘s recent tear (17 for 34) he’s a career 4 for 24 (1.67) against the Jays (ESPN)

We are starting off today’s LIVE Game Thread with a question for the people – do you still have hope for this year’s Toronto Blue Jays?

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Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

  • Justin Jay

    It would be nice to carry some momentum into this one! Rays pitching staff is tough though

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      seems like it’s never easy for the Jays a lot of good arms popping up across baseball

      • Justin Jay

        Just a lot in the AL East. It’s tough with the resurgence of Boston, Showalter’s Orioles findings ways to stay in games, the Yankees just seem to put anybody out there and win… and then there’s the crazy good arms of Tampa Bay… tough playing in the AL East

        • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

          I can’t wait for Interleague… except that we get the Giants. At least I will be there to witness.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Hellickson is one of those sneaky good pitchers. Reminds me of Jeremy Guthrie when he was in his prime with Baltimore a few years back.

      • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

        i was impressed with his stuff but his head wasn’t all there tonight

  • Jay Blue

    Go Leafs Go. Oh, wait a minute….

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      haha i’m so voting that one down

      • Justin Jay

        I voted up… #BostonAreaKid

        • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

          haha the only hockey score you will catch me checking is the Red Wings

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Wow, the wheels just fell off for Buehrle. A grand slam and a two-run homer in the third inning and all of a sudden its 7-0.

    So much for the Henry Blanco experiment for Buehrle.

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      I think he might be beyond hope

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Soft tossing lefties don’t normally hold up well in the AL East.

        • Justin Jay

          I forgot that crazy stat somebody put out there about Buehrle and the AL East… but it wasn’t good at all

  • ehi

    any thoughts about gibbons being dismissed? just an idea.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      We’ve discussed both sides here, but personally, I think other changes would come down before the team bails on the manager or any significant member of the team.

      • ehi

        yes, ive read the posts. still think nothing changes until gibbons is gone, the lack of emotion/enthusiasm at the top is certainly evident in the teams play.

        • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

          i listened to AA on SN590 today he seems to be really disappointed but said he will start to seriously evaluate trades once the season gets into June… not sure if he includes the manager in that discussion or not but if it gets bad enough i wouldn’t be shocked if it happened out of desperation.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Want to know how not to keep a rally going?

    WATCHING STRIKE 3. SWING THE BAT MEAT!

  • Justin Jay

    I think you should post the entire exchange I just had with the Big Garfoose Mike… geezus

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Someone should tell Dirk that I’d take the four runs Buchholz has surrendered tonight over the 7 Buehrle has given up.

      • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

        haha @facebook-50205064:disqus Dirk got owned (again) maybe you should lay off him it sounds like he’s having a tough week lol

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      I missed it – what just happened?

  • Justin Jay

    Thank god for the top spin Buck! IT DIDN’T MATTER! LONGORIA KILLS/MURDERS/HUMILIATES THE BLUE JAYS! I’m so sick of it!

  • Kyle Franzoni

    I’m starting to get behind the need for the Mark DeRosa veteran presence theory…does that make me shallow?

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      not if he keeps hitting like this

  • Justin Jay

    Did Buck just pronounced Edwin’s last name properly? Or at least, how most english speakers pronounce it?

  • Justin Jay

    This game has turned out to be pretty exciting! I’m excited!

    • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

      can’t complain about gibby managing tonight he’s pulling out all the stops late

  • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

    JPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

  • http://twitter.com/Wrayzerblade Michael Wray

    what a ballgame!

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