And so the roller coaster ride continues…
The last time these two starters faced off I initiated the first of many “Glimmer of Hope” editions here at Jays Journal. That game Buehrle was hammered early and often, giving up seven runs in just his first three frames. Hellickson pitched five shaky yet effective innings allowing 6 hits, 4 walks and 3 earned runs on 101 pitches. Hellickson left with a 7-3 lead after being up 7-0 at one point but didn’t factor in the decision thanks to the “kids don’t try this at home” combination of Fernando Rodney, Joe Maddon and J.P. Arencibia. The Blue Jays amazingly came back that game down seven runs on the road for the unbelievable 8-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Since that glorious evening the Jays have continued to give us brief glimpses of hope… only to promptly fall flat on their face or play the Yankees (or both). At least we don’t have to worry about the latter for awhile. But when will this team start to look like the Greatest Show On AstroTurf Gameday Grass?
Take for example Buehrle. For the most part he has been terrible this year and even before this season started doubts were raised about his ability to pitch in the AL East. Soft-tossing lefties generally don’t hold up well in what is probably the toughest division for pitchers in baseball. Many people (myself included) had written him off. But then his next start after the aforementioned shellacking he looked like Mark Buehrle, circa 2005. It was a vintage performance. And as the encore to his inconsistencies, the last time Buehrle took to the hill he allowed five runs but didn’t give up a dinger in the sandbox that is Yankee Stadium, which had been his problem all year. I still have no idea what to expect from this guy… and it’s maddening.
One thing that is for certain is that the Blue Jays need better pitching – the only staff with a worse ERA is the
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News & Notes:
Jose Bautista has hit .400 his last 8 games against Tampa… Rays are 10-3 their last 13 including 4 of 5 on this road trip… Toronto has lost 7 of last 10 home matchups against the Tampa Bay… Evan Longoria extended his hitting streak to 15 games last night and is hitting .400 with 3 HR and 14 RBI during this stretch… He’s also batting .512 with 16 RBIs in a 10-game hitting streak against the Jays… Hellickson is 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA his last 5 starts (ESPN)… Blue Jays enter today 10 games back in AL East and 7 games out of Wildcard.
Blue Jays Starting Lineup:
.@bluejays lineup(4:37pm start) Gose-LFBautista-RFEncarnacion-DHLind-1BArencibia-CLawrie-3BRasmus-CFIzturis-2BKawasaki-SSBuehrle-P
— Blue Jays-Official(@BlueJays) May 22, 2013
Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup:
#Rays lineup: Jennings CF, Roberts 3B, Zobrist 2B, Longoria DH, Loney 1B, Rodriguez RF, Johnson LF, Molina C, Escobar SS, Hellickson P
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 22, 2013
The @bluejays have now given up 56 HRs this season, 10 by former Blue Jays. Nearly 20%.
— Toronto Blue Jays(@BlueJaysFacts) May 21, 2013
Per Sportsnet’s stats doctor, Adam Bell: The #Bluejays are 14-0 when scoring five or more runs. Record when scoring four runs or less: 4-26.
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) May 21, 2013
— STATS LLC (@STATS_MLB) May 20, 2013
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays