A funny thing happened on the way to a win over the Twins. The Jays took the lead late, and that meant the game was over. Over. No longer a contest. So awesome is the Jays bullpen, they only threw 14 balls over 6 innings. 14 non-strikes! Are we unwilling to give JP credit for assembling and maintaining this excellent core of relievers? What about Brad Arsnberg? Can the pitching coach not be worthy of praise for taking journeymen and drifters, guys traded for Bubbie Buzachero and guys plucked from the Expos and turning them into the best bullpen in baseball? Can we not give more credit to JP for signing the team's best reliever to a very modest contract? Other than Ryan, the entire bullpen is on the cheap! Note: Wilner keyed on many of these same points today. Not only am I a hack, I'm lazy and put off writing this last night. I get what I deserve.
Cito's bullpen management leaves a little to be desired. He's an old-school "roles" guy. Scott Downs is the 8th inning guy, so you'll see him in the 8th. I would have brought him in to face Mauer and Morneau, but Carlson did a great job. Cito doesn't manage the bullpen as well as Gibby did, so it might be an even bigger compliment to the guys down there when you consider they aren't being deployed as effectively.
Mystery Call Up Theatre
This year's edition is lacking. Not even a Coats-based pun in the offing. Curtis Thigpen in sink or swim mode? Or Curtis Thigpen being turned out by JP the Killer Pimp? Either way, this year's additions aren't the sexiest. Not even a Romero! Travis Snider now represents JP's wad; embarrassingly blown all over the back seat of his Civic.
The National League, decidedly terrible
It must be a coincidence, but Manny Ramirez moved from the 4th best hitter's haven to one of the preeminent pitcher's park in baseball, lost any real line-up protection (which may or may not be bullshit), and had to adjust to life three time zones away. How did he respond? By adding 300 points to his OPS of course! CC Sabathia went from being a former Cy Young winner having a decent season to Bob Gibson. His ERA+ has tripled. That is insane. There can be no debate, the NL is laughably bad.
It's Wednesday, that means JP gets yelled at on the radio tonight! A.J. Burnett will beg and plead for a win tonight, hoping that the Yankees and Red Sox may become embroiled in a bidding war! Oh, the boos he'll hear.