Regression to the Mean Streak
It is difficult (or at least it should be) to complain about the Jays bullpen, given how shutdown dominant they've been. Even goofy Pat Tabler could see the Jays pen labouring last night, repeatedly falling behind and missing spots over the plate. That is the nature of relief pitching though, mistakes are magnified. Shaum Marcum's line seemed better than he actually pitched. He threw a lot of pitches (for him) and always seemed to have guys on. But 7 innings and 1 run is still 7 innings and 1 run.
My question remains unanswered: why let Marcum start the 8th? Gibby is certainly a players manager, but LOOGYs exist to face tough lefties in late inning situations. Four run leads or otherwise. Brian Roberts is certainly a tough lefty. I'm going to go ahead and dub him a ballplayer. Guy whom I'd rather assault than praise Kevin Millar has beat up on the Jays this year, hitting two home runs including a second deck bomb last night. Nick Markakis is indeed the Greek Rocco, and encouraged all Jays pitchers to bite the pillow.
Armando Benitez was a low risk/high reward pick up from the start. The reward wasn't worth the risk any longer, given his calamitous outing yesterday and the Jays new-found health. Armando was DFA'd to make room for Brian Wolfe, Vernon Wells and Johnny fucking Mac. Joe Inglett will have to break out his flimsy, weather-beaten E-ZPass, as he's headed back to Da Cuse. I recommend he hit up Syra-juice for a sadness smoothie. Aaron Hill has something more serious than an ice cream headache, and he's frighteningly headed to the DL due to his concussion. Scary stuff, but if Ryan Church can be back and playing after this, Davey Eckstein's wing couldn't have done that much damage? I certainly hope not.
The less said the better. The O's are absolutely housing the Jays. Gibby has emptied the bench, even Salami and Cheese Thigpen is seeing action. Congrats Curtis, you're the new Hector Luna. Vernon Wells entered the game for Shannon Stewart in the second inning, which is good (bordering on shocking) to see. Stewart has struggled in June while Wilkerson has come back to life. Another thrust deep into Adam Lind's raw spot. Wilkerson is an obvious improvement defensively, and so long as JP keeps the car battery hooked up to his nipples, a serviceable left fielder at the bottom of the order.
Speaking of fielding, with almost identical sample sizes, Alex Rios has outperformed Vernon Wells as a center fielder in terms of Zone Rating and Range Factor. Interesting, no? Not a bad problem to have. Two plus outfielders sucking balls out of the poweralley at a rate unseen since my impovrished turn as a college student.
Pointless Update One: Vernon Wells hit a double, and even Curtis Thigpen picked up a single. No runs of course, but encouraging signs.
Pointless Update Two: Those hits came off Steve Trachsel, so they only count for half.
Pointless Update Three: Steve Trachsel is charged with a wild pitch, allowing two runners to move into scoring position. Wild is not a word usually associated with the Human Rain Delay. Even his wild pitches are boring and mundane. Kevin Mench passed out waiting for Trachsel to come set, but the pitch ricocheted off his bulbous skull into centre field allowing the Jays to score two. Trachsel has been pulled in favour of someone with a pulse and a soul.
Pointless Update Four: The Jays add two more with a Wells sac fly and a Scutaro fielder's choice. Cheap runs are all well and good, but those are valuable outs if one intends to make an 8 run comeback.
Final Pointless Update: The Jays had no intention of making an 8 run comeback. Thigpen strikes out looking with two out and a man on in a four run game. I think I need a Quaalude. Look for the Jays to emblazon their jerseys with GoldenPalace.com in the coming weeks. I'm done trying to make sense of it.