Poorly indeed. One misplaced Brandon League "slider" and the Jays drop two of three at home to the Sox. Scratch that: the eye-high fastball that emergent scumbag Dustin Pedroia coaxed over the left field fence was much more painful and impactful. More painful still was the low-and-away target that Barajas provided, the one Burnett missed by a good three feet. I don't even think eye-high does it justice. I think it was actually inside his eye socket. Either way, this was a hell of a game, one that the Jays will rue dropping for hours to come.
Much has been made (Jerry & Alan went on and on, and Wilner mentioned it also) of AJ Burnett's reluctance to come out of the game. Which is total horseshit. I'm going to be guilty of accusing AJ of something I would laud Halladay for, but freaking out because you're coming out of a tied game doesn't scream "gamer" to me, it screams "I want the W." AJ was bailed out by the Jays offence three starts in a row (before his gem against the Yankees) and today was no different. Burnett "kept his team in the game," but he also "bisected the plate with a fastball that Coco Crisp hit a long way." Would he have kicked up a fuss if he was ahead? What about behind? Having thrown 109 pitches, with the best bullpen in baseball behind him, how could he have felt that it was in the best interests of the team to send him out there for the 8th? It simply wasn't a very professional move. These rhetorical questions belie my continuing belief that AJ Burnett is awesome, but getting pissed off about taking a ND is just bad form.
Who isn't in bad form, you may ask? ROCCO BALDELLI'S FORM IS ANYTHING BUT BAD. Rocco hit his first home run since May 2007 on Friday, then smashed another bomb Sunday. He added a double from the clean-up spot, upping his OPS to .934. He's even looked downright spry on the base paths. Rocco has been serving as the right handed half of a DH platoon, meaning David Purcey is facing certain death, and will have a good seat for Rocco's first home AB since his return.
A comment on the DRaysBay regarding Rocco's contract status got me thinking curious things today. The Rays declined the club option they held for next year, meaning Rocco is an UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT. Of course I'd like to see Rocco on the Jays, but I also think he'd be a great fit if the Jays don't sign a big bat. He's obviously a vastly superior defender to Adam Lind, and while Lind is well beyond needing insurance, they could split time at DH/LF with Matt Stairs spelling both men as the part-time DH. A one year deal for Rocco to show the league he's healthy and allow Travis Snider a full season at Syracuse for seasoning. Everybody wins! Of course, I am pretty confident that Rocco will give the Rays a discount for standing by him and supporting him through his odyssey. But then again, he's a baseball player! They don't give a shit about that!