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Toronto Blue Jays II: Not Again

Posted By Cliff Corcoran On July 2, 2010 @ 12:00 pm In Cliff Corcoran,Series Preview | Comments Disabled

We’ve seen this before. Last year, the Blue Jays shot out of the gate, were 27-14 (.659) on May 18, but went just 48-73 (.397) the rest of the way. This year, the Jays were 25-17 (.595) on May 19 and have gone 15-23 (.395) since. Of course, they took two of three from the Yankees in Toronto during the latter stretch, but that’s because the one thing the Jays still have going for them are some strong starting pitchers.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: the Jays have scored just three runs per game since June 1, but lefties Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero and righty Brandon Morrow, the same three pitchers who will face the Yankees this weekend in the Bronx, held the Yankees to a total of four runs in 23 combined innings in that previous series. Cecil, who faces A.J. Burnett tonight, has struggled in his last three starts (0-3, 9.19 ERA), but the other two, who face Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes over the weekend, have remained sharp.

Of course, the focus today will be how A.J. Burnett responds to the early-week return of pitching coach Dave Eiland. Not that Eiland had any magical fix. Here’s what he had to say upon returning to the team on Tuesday [1]:

For me to sit here and say the reason that A.J. pitched the way he pitched was I wasn’t here is not fair. A.J. has been pitching a long time. He knows what he needs to do. It’s nothing that A.J. and I haven’t addressed and discussed already. Every pitcher you have to stay on about certain things, and with A.J. there are a couple of things. They’re very minor things that are going to make a huge difference. But A.J. has to do it. He’s been told over and over in the past what they are.

It seems Burnett’s main problem was opening up his left side to early. Said Eiland Thursday [2] after working with Burnett in the bullpen, “It’s not like I gave him anything new today. Mike Harkey was telling him the same thing.”

There’s a certain element there of not wanting to throw Harkey under the bus for failing to get Burnett straightened out, but there’s also a lot of exasperation in those Eiland quotes.

Normally you’d feel good going up against a pitcher like Cecil who has been 0-3 with a 9.19 ERA in his last three starts, but Burnett has gone 0-3 with a 16.55 ERA in his last three starts and was 0-5 with a 11.35 ERA in June. The big question heading into tonight’s game is which one of these guys is going to snap out of their funk. The upside might be that, if the answer is neither, you have to like the Yankees’ chances of winning a slugfest in their own park.

Toronto Blue Jays

2010 Record: 15-36 (.294)
2010 Pythagorean Record: 17-34 (.333)

Manager: Cito Gaston
General Manager: Alex Anthopoulos

Home Ballpark: Rogers Centre

Bill James Park Indexes (2007-2009):
LH Avg-104, LH HR-115
RH Avg-107, RH HR-129

Who’s has replaced whom:

  • Jarrett Hoffpauir (minors) has replaced Edwin Encarnacion (minors)
  • Dewayne Wise has replaced Jeremy Reed (minors)
  • Nick Green has replaced Mike McCoy (minors)
  • Jesse Litsch (DL) has replaced Brian Tallet in the rotation and Rommie Lewis on the roster

25-man roster:

1B – Lyle Overbay (L)
2B – Aaron Hill (R)
SS – Alex Gonzalez (R)
3B – Jarrett Hoffpauir (R)
C – John Buck (R)
RF – Jose Bautista (R)
CF – Vernon Wells (R)
LF – Fred Lewis (L)
DH – Adam Lind (L)

Bench:

R – Jose Molina (C)
R – John McDonald (IF)
L – Dewayne Wise (OF)
R – Nick Green (IF)

Rotation:

R – Shaun Marcum
L – Brett Cecil
L – Ricky Romero
R – Brandon Morrow
R – Jesse Litsch

Bullpen:

R – Kevin Gregg
R – Jason Frasor
L – Scott Downs
R – Shawn Camp
R – Casey Janssen
L – Brian Tallet
L – David Purcey

15-day DL:

OF – Travis Snider (sore right wrist)

60-day DL:

RHP – Dustin McGowan (setbacks after labrum surgery)
RHP – Dirk Hayhurst (frayed right labrum)

Typical Lineup:

L – Fred Lewis (LF)
R – Alex Gonzalez (SS)
R – Jose Bautista (RF)
R – Vernon Wells (CF)
L – Adam Lind (DH)
R – Aaron Hill (2B)
L – Lyle Overbay (1B)
R – John Buck (C)
R – Jarrett Hoffpauir (3B)


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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2010/07/02/toronto-blue-jays-ii-not-again/

URLs in this post:

[1] Tuesday: http://www.lohud.com/article/20100630/SPORTS01/6300358

[2] Thursday: http://www.lohud.com/article/20100701/SPORTS01/7010383

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