Inching towards mediocrity.


The Red Sox are very sore losers. (Now with 62% more bitchin’ about Boston!)

(Edit – Sweet gravy Jesus! Halladay nailed David Ortiz in the second inning! I did NOT think the Doc had it in him! Way to go, Roy!)

Well.

Excellent game last night. The Jays offense was on fire (as it has been for most of September – I like to pretend it’s June!) and they continued to take their newfound role of Wild Card spoiler very seriously. Unfortunately, thanks to the Texas Rangers losing to the Angels last night, it was all for not.

Still, it was nice to see the Jays finally beat the Sox at Fenway this year (twice in a row, no less!), and they did it in impeccable style. (Stylish up until the bullpen almost blew the game in the eighth, allowing the Sox to rally to a 8-7 deficit.) Toronto now leads the American League in home runs this month, and they made sure to add to that tally tonight. The Jays knocked it out of the park six times – Jose Bautista, Kevin Millar and Aaron Hill all went yard, with the ever reliable Adam Lind adding three (count them! Three!) of his own, a career best for him.

Lind’s incredible achievement was short lived though, when in the ninth inning the Red Sox once again proved to be one of the dirtiest and cheapest teams in the MLB – sore losers who act out and throw temper tantrums when things don’t go their way, and when they find out that they ain’t all that. After retiring Bautista and Hill, Boston’s closer Jon Papelbon apparently decided that Adam Lind didn’t deserve his shot at a fourth home run, and proceeded to – on the FIRST PITCH, mind you – launch an inside fastball at Lind, painfully drilling him on his right elbow. Lind dropped to all fours, grimacing in pain, but managed to stay in the game, trotting over to first. Better luck next time, Papelbon!

Vernon Wells hit next, and I wanted nothing more than to see V-Dub drop one over the Green Monster, or better yet, knock a line drive into the front of Papelbon’s skull. Alas, it was not to be, and Vernon predictably popped out. Jason Frasor was closing for the Jays, and managed to not only clean up reliever Shawn Camp’s mess from the eighth inning, but shut down the Sox for good in the bottom of the ninth – ending the game with a strike-out on Red Sox meathead Kevin Youkilis. This allowed rookie Ricky Romero, our starter this evening, to finally pick up his first career win against Boston.

I gotta say though, it’s frustrating to see our guys get hit so much this season. The Red Sox and the Yankees have been particularly nasty with this. It’s dirty, pathetic, and just not good baseball.

Now to be a hippocrite for a second, if I may.

The worst part is, we don’t retaliate! They keep doing it because they keep getting away with it! Papelbon attacks Lind tonight, and we barely even get a hissy fit from our manager, Cito Gaston! Show some passion, Cito! Don’t have a kindly discussion with the umpire…get all up in his face, yo! Sure, maybe you’ll get kicked out, but you’ll rally your team and at least look like you give a damn!

Unfortunately though, like all bullies, the Sox and the Yankees can dish it out but they can’t take it. When we finally did retaliate, as we did in New York a few weeks ago, they throw temper tantrums. And Jesse Carlson didn’t even bean Jorge Posada; he just threw AROUND him, as a warning. And still, the Yankees act as though they’re the ones being mistreated.

Again, I do not condone hitting batters in baseball. Nor do I condone fighting in baseball. But I don’t condone bullying, either, and sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself to get that message through that THIS HAS TO STOP. And this is the perfect time, too. The season is over for us…we have like, what? Four games left? Let the benches clearing brawls begin! Suspensions? Injuries? We’ve got nothing to lose!

But the Red Sox sure do.

Now, while I think it’s totally beneath him and not even remotely in his character, nor his game plan, I gotta say this. You wanna send a message? Tonight, have Roy Halladay knock out one of the Sox (preferably Dustin Pedroia or Youkilis), and then have him just stare them down with that scary laser beam he’s-not-thinking-about-anything-other-than-baseball-at-this-moment-and-that-includes-his-family-or-even-his-own-survival-at-this-or-any-point-within-the-next-nine-innings stare to REALLY drive home the message. Why would a hit from Halladay especially be effective? Because Halladay DOESN’T MISS. If you get beaned by him, you damn well know he meant to do it. And it’s completely unexpected, too, as Halladay has too much respect for the game and the other players to ever lower himself to that level. Which, sadly, is exactly why I DON’T want him to go that route.

But man, would it ever be sweet if he did.

(Or hell…let Roy have his seven innings or whatever, and then get League to drill Veritek or something.)



Over the Hill

Well.

Great game last night between the respective fourth and fifth place teams in the American League East – our Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles.

It was a good game to be sure – multiple home runs from third basemen Edwin Encarnacion, leading a rally in the eighth to take the game into extra innings.

But the real story here was second basemen Aaron Hill’s 99th, and then 100th, RBI of the season – a career high for the first time All-Star.

Hill’s 99th RBI came courtesy of a solo home run in the third inning – which was quickly followed by a second solo shot from Encarnacian, tying the game at 2.

The Orioles reclaimed the lead, 5-2, and it didn’t look like the Jays were going to mount much of a comeback. However, a two-run homer from Encarnacion in the eighth, followed by a bases-loaded-hit-by-a-pitch-walk-off-Jose-Bautista (there has GOT to be a better way to say that), tied the game and extended it into the tenth inning, after the Jays failed to bring anymore men home.

The game remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 11th – when Aaron Hill’s walk off double scored Bautista, notched Hill’s 100th RBI, and won the game in suitably dramatic fashion.

The Jays have not been great this season when it comes to extra inning games, walk off wins, or comebacks. But thanks to the ever reliable Mr. Hill, they were able to pull it off, certifying a sweep against Baltimore this series, and certifying Aaron’s reputation as a prominent, and hopefully long-lasting, cornerstone of this team.



Rumble in the Bronx.

Well.

Slugfest. It was indeed last night at Yankee Stadium in New York City, and in more ways than one.

(Specifically, two ways.)

First of all, the Jays offense was on fire – launching five home runs to win the game 10-4. Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacian and Jose Bautista each hit one out of the park, with rookie Travis Snider adding two of his own.

The pitcher was the ever reliable Roy Halladay (15-8), who pitched respectively, if not spectacularly, allowing only two runs in seven innings.

Then came the eighth inning…where things REALLY got out of hand.

A huge rumble erupted in the bottom of the eighth, with reliever Jess Carlson pitching. Carlson, in apparent retaliation for an earlier attack on Aaron Hill, threw a pitch behind the back of Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Posada, none to pleased with this turn of events, had some words with Carlson that briefly cleared both teams benches. Umpire Jim Joyce seemed to settle the matter, and Carlson promptly walked Posada. A few batters later, all hell broke loose.

Carlson allowed a single that scored Posada; on his way back to his dugout, he elbowed Carlson. Carlson fired some remarks back at Posada, and then it was ON.

Joyce immediately ejected Posada, but that didn’t stop him from charging Carlson with Barajas caught in the middle of the fray, attempting to protect his pitcher. Then both teams were on the field, brawling in a huge dog pile of testosterone-y madness, resulting in both Posada and the Jay’s pitcher being sent packing.

Pretty intense.

Now, the Jays have had some trouble lately with getting beaned by other teams pitchers, especially the Yankees and the Red Sox. Whether by accident or not, it all seems a bit convenient. While I do not condone fighting in professional sports (it’s weird to see a group of grown MILLIONAIRES scuffling like drunken frat boys), I think it was about time one of the Jays stepped up to deliver a message. Carlson swears that it wasn’t intentional; just a bad pitch. But it TOTALLY WAS.

Whether or not suspensions are handed out remains to be seen; it was a foolish move on Posada’s part at any rate. While the Jays have pretty much nothing to lose, the Yankees will be heading into the playoffs soon. A suspended player, or worse, an injured player is not something they want or need.

All in all, it was kind of fun to see at least some passion from our boys on the field, even if it may have been directed poorly. But, hey, apparently John MacDonald punched Yankees manager Joe Girardi in the head, so I guess that’s something.