One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A couple updates (or three)

Jason Kendall also bats bare handed, I thought I saw an old articles where he started wearing gloves, but if he did, he isn't now with the Brewers. Also, Gregg Zaun now has one batting glove, on his bottom hand on the bat. He is a switch hitter, so that could be either hand, right hand batting left, or left hand when batting right.

Frank 'The Tank' Thomas, as they called him in Toronto has been released from the Jays on April 22nd, only to be picked up by the A's two days later. The Jays bigwigs didn't feel like they could afford waiting for him to get out of his slow start in the AL East. They will fill his spot from within. Adam Lind should be in the lineup once his strained neck gets better. The A's are in rebuilding mode, but with their good start to the season, they still plan on making a run for the postseason.

Other players released this month include the Giants releasing LHP Steve Kline, and the Reds releasing LHP Mike Stanton.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Batting bare handed.

I was watching the end of the Jays game, and Gregg Zaun came in for Matt Stairs defensively, after Stairs pinch hit for Barajas. Anyway, he was batting with gloves, and had been this season, I only noticed after the play by play announcer mentioned a game or two ago. So he lost his bat tonight swinging, second time I have seen him do so. Apparently more than those two times too. So, after losing his bat he got rid of the batting gloves, to bat bare handed. Prior to this season, Zaun has normally batted bare handed, so it should be interesting to see what he does in coming at bats.

Another catcher I know off the top of my head that bats bare handed is Jorge Posada. Vladimir Guerrero also bats with no gloves. A short article I found.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sweeping the Sox

So I won't go into too much detail about game three, as I watched it on television.

Game three of the series of Boston at Toronto had Josh Beckett up against Roy Halladay, making for a good potential pitcher's duel. The only difference was Josh Beckett was just off the disabled list with a lower back strain, so he would have had a limited number of pitches he could throw. In the end he threw 92 pitches, 59 for strikes, which amounted to four and two thirds innings.

Boston scored first thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury's first home run, a solo homer. That was in the top of the third, and in the bottom of the fourth, Vernon wells gave the Jays the lead with a two run homer. The next inning, Boston tied it up again with another solo home run, this time from Jason Varitek. In the Jay's half of the fifth inning, Frank "The Tank" Thomas hit a grand slam, to give the Jays the lead that would end up being enough to sweep the series.

All in all very well played baseball from the Blue Jays. If they keep it up they could definitely be up there in the AL East. I saw Frank Thomas comment how the Japan travel does takes its toll for about a week after returning, so no doubt the Red Sox were somewhat tired and fatigued.

David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were both silenced for the most part during the series. David Ortiz went 1 for 11, getting his first hit on Sunday. He drew 2 walks, and struckout twice. Manny did a little better going 3 for 11. He drew one walk, and struckout three times. Both only got a single RBI each.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boston Red Sox (Game #6 Road #6) at Toronto Blue Jays (Game #5 Home #2)

The Blue Jays second home game of 2008 was another good game for the Jays. It was actually a close game until the bullpen took over for Boston. It was 4-2 in favour of Toronto when Kyle Snyder came in to replace Clay Buchholz.

It was the bottom of the 4th when the Jays took the lead, and kept it. Aaron Hill laid down a perfect bunt, which not only advanced Lyle Overbay into scoring position, but he safely got himself on with a bunt single. After Scutaro walked, Gregg Zaun singled on a ball that Sean Casey could not handle, allowing Overbay and Hill to score. That allowed Toronto to take a 3-2 lead. If the error didn't happen, it would have been 2 outs with runners on 2nd and 3rd, and only one run in.

The bottom of the 6th was when the hounds were released on Red Sox pitching, as they needed three pitchers to get through the inning, going through two, Kyle Snyder, and Bryan Corey both only recorded one out. Kyle Snyder was designated for assignment the next day. His performance was said to have nothing to do with the decision, as it had already been made.

Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch went 5 innings as well, with a respectable performance, and enough to be credited with the win. The next four inning saw the Jays use a new pitcher each inning. Brian Tallet, Brian Wolfe, Jason Frasor, and Randy Wells went the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th respectively. They combined to allow 3 hits, 1 walk, and got a couple strikeouts. It was the first appearance of 2008 for Frasor and Wells. Tallet was credited with a hold, as he entered the game in what would be a save situation.

Hold as defined by MLB:

A relief pitcher is credited with a hold any time he enters a game in a save situation, records at least one out and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. A pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save in the same game.

Something I forgot to notice on the home opener was the shift for David Ortiz, as there is so much to watch for in baseball, so I made sure to remember on Saturday. Scutaro, the third baseman went over to play a deep second, while Hill, the second baseman was just about between first and second, but halfway to the right field wall, and Overbay, the first baseman, played deep at first. David Eckstein, the shortstop, just played slightly deeper. I was sitting in the 500 level, around the back of third, as I am just any other baseball fan, and I don't have the money for the big seats! Anyway, it was the perfect vantage point to see the David Ortiz shift.

Toronto Blue Jays Home Opener (Game #4, Home #1)

Opening Week started at Skydome hosting the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, April 4th, 2008.

Festivities started by honouring Roberto Alomar Jr., and then Paul Beeston, who I suppose deserved it, but it is not too often management gets honoured unless they are very special. Anyway...

I was sitting in the 200 level, in right centre field. It was pretty much a pitcher's duel until the bottom of the 6th, when Tim Wakefield gave up 3 earned runs, starting with a solo home run by Canadian Matt Stairs. The very next inning, in the top of the 7th, the Red Sox responded with J.D. Drew hitting a three run home run to right field. The Jays responded right back with 2 runs in their half of the 7th. Frank Thomas got out of his mini slump to start the season, by hitting a 2 run double off Manny Delcarmen.

The Blue Jays added a little insurance, who knows if it would have been needed, but good to get runs regardless, with David Eckstein getting an RBI single. A couple batters before that, Marco Scutaro was out on a sac bunt that advanced Aaron Hill to second.

All in all, another good home opener, especially with the announced 50,171 waving the rally towels that were given out to start the game!

Of note:
The last 3 Blue Jays runs were with 2 outs.
Alex Rios and Marco Scutaro both got their third stolen bases.
I'm sure 99.8% of people would agree ballgames are better in person, among many reasons, it is what you can't see on television, such as pigeons roaming the outfield while the game is going on! Maybe the Detroit Tigers could sign them!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Back from Toronto!

I'm back from Toronto, after catching the first two Toronto Blue Jays home games. I got back early this morning, and just watched the Blue Jays sweep the Red Sox! So soon I'll write a post about the first two games in person, including some pictures, and the third game that I watched on television. Stay tuned!