Inching towards mediocrity.


Oh, Doctor! (Now with 100% more David Ortiz plunking!)

roy halladayThis one’s for you, Big Papi.

Well.

I didn’t think he’d do it. I said he should, I wanted him to, but it just didn’t seem like the Doc’s style.

Guess I was wrong.

It’s wonderful to know that the Doc is still a team player…despite the trade rumors, a veritable cluster-you-know-what of a season…and yet there he was – nailing David Ortiz on one pitch in the bottom of the second, in EXACTLY the same spot Papelbon plunked Adam Lind on Tuesday night. He of course followed this un-Docly indiscretion by almost completely shutting down the Red Sox, throwing his second complete game shut-out in a row, allowing only three hits the entire night, and striking out nine.

Roy Halladay is the greatest human being to have ever lived.

FACT.

And I’m gonna miss the hell out of him. Thanks for everything, Roy.



Another weekend wrap-up. (now with 39% more babbling!)

Well.

Another great series in Toronto this weekend – the Jays managed to win three out of four against the Seattle Mariners, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind continued to be awesome, and Roy Halladay was, well, Roy Halladay.

The Doc played his last home gameĀ  of the season on Friday (and, maybe forever), and the Doc was , of course, outstanding.

Nine complete innings pitched? Check. Nine strikeouts? Check. No walks? Check. How many runs does that add up to for Seattle?

None.

Yep, Roy pitched a complete game shut-out, securing his sixteenth win of the season – a five nothing victory for the Jays.

It was a beautiful performance that became all to poignant by the ninth inning, when Halladay returned to the mound to finish what he started. The crowd was on his feet after he left during the eighth; and they stayed that way through most of the ninth. Poignant, because this was his last game at home this season. Even more poignant, because the folks at Rogers have drilled it into our heads that this might be his last game pitching in Toronto as a Blue Jay EVER.

Now, I can’t say for sure whether or not this is true. (Though, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it is.) The fact is, I’m tired of hearing about it. Especially from the good folks at Rogers Sportsnet. It was pretty damn embarrassing to see Halladay pitch such a magnificent game only to have Sam Cosentino start asking him more trade questions afterwards.

Give it a rest! Please! He doesn’t want to talk about it – I don’t blame him!

And right now…THERE’S NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT.

Yikes.

So. Regardless of the continual Halladay trade fumbling by both the media and the damn Blue Jays management…it was a pretty fun weekend to be a Jays fan.

I even went to Saturday’s game to bid farewell for the season. And, in doing so, had the pleasure of watching Adam Lind knock two out of the park.

(Incidentally, the Jays have more home runs this month than any other team in the American League. Coulda used those numbers in July.)

I seem to have gone out of my way to make these wrap-up posts as incoherently rambling as possible. I’d say the best way to end this post is abruptly.

(and that’s what I did.)



Halladazed

Well.

Last night’s game certainly didn’t go as planned. Especially for Roy “Doc” Halladay, our starting ace. He picked up his first ever loss agains the Minnesota Twins, in a generally decent outing – he went the whole nine frames and only allowed four runs. Vintage Doc? Not even close. But for most teams, it would have been good enough.

The Blue Jays offense, however, deemed the Doc’s performance to be less than stellar (which to be fair, for him it was), and scored only one run in the entire game. Perhaps they were expecting another one-hitter from Halladay, as in Friday’s game against the superior (to the Jays as well as the Twins) New York Yankees. Perhaps not. Either way, Halladay earned his ninth loss of the season, and not much else – except his seventh complete game, the current high in the American League.

So. Is Doc slipping? Is he still the dominating force in baseball he’s always been? Is he still the best pitcher in baseball?

It’s hard to say, really. I think the trade talks earlier may have gotten to him; also, as much as I respect him for it, I think his tendancy to play so many complete games is also taking it’s toll. (That, and the fact that it’s now September.)

If he were on a contending team, like say the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Phillies or the Dodgers, I’m sure he’d have twenty-plus wins by now easily. A nine inning game with only four runs given up is still pretty good; the Yankees or the BoSox would have easily given him the run support he needed. Not only that, but they would have (I’m assuming) properly pulled him from the game earlier. Doc’s insistence on throwing complete games is, I’m sure, as much his choice as it is necessity. When you’re bullpen is struggling, and somewhat depleted, you keep your Ace in for as long as you possibly can.

I’m sure Doc will return to his former glory by next season. The man is a competitor, straight up. He takes the game more seriously than perhaps, well, anyone. When he’s not pitching, he’s training. When he’s not training, he’s thinking about pitching. And so on.

Regardless of how he’s pitching next season, it may be his last with the Toronto Blue Jays. By the end of 2010, the face of the franchise will become a free-agent, and a fairly sought after one I’m sure. He’s not in it for the money, though; he’s in it for the win. Which, of course, does not bode well for our struggling team.

But more on that later. Tomorrow, in fact.

Until then, keep hitting those dingers!*

(* it’s like Don Cherry’s “keep your stick on the ice” saying, only more terrible!)