Whatever happened in the ninth, Shaun Marcum pitched his ass off in tonight's 6-2 win over the mighty Rays. And in case you didn't know by now, Marcum leads the Jays starters in ERA (2.59) strikeouts (44) and wins (4, for whatever that's worth).
We had our apprehensions about Marcum before the season, especially after a couple of lousy spring outings. But seeing the great control he has demonstrated over his pitches over his past three outings and watching him get the strikeout when he needs it (22 over his past three outings) has us wondering if this isn't a whole other sort of breakout season for the supposed number four starter.
Oh, and another thing. Marcum's singlehandedly delivered a free slice of pizza for all of the fans in attendance at his last two starts, so show his some appreciation. Shaun Marcum is your pizza man. Manga!
As Jerry and Alan pointed out on the radiocast, the Jays hadn't scored more than five runs in twenty games coming into tonight's contest. The last team to have that sort of streak? The 43-win 2003 Detroit Tigers. Kinda makes ya think: If it weren't for the starters pitching their asses off in this first five weeks of the season, this could be much uglier.
With that in mind, we were immensely relieved in the eighth inning after the Jays, apparently using some sort of tantric approach scoring, finally put a five spot on board. Hell, Marco Scutaro drove in two runs, so you know that something was working.
Actually, we think that what was mostly working for the Jays in tonight's game was that they finally got into a team's bullpen. Seeing the Jays have the chance to get their cuts in against the three stooges the Rays brought in to relieve Matt Garza reminded us of just how many starters were going late into games against them over the past few weeks.
Hinske: You suck, tubby!
Watching Hinske go 0 for 3, with 2 Ks reminds us of the old days. The days he seems to have forgotten, but that are etched in our mind like a teenage cutter's scars. The days when he squandered his promise, ate himself out of a job and stole the Blue Jays' money for four years. The days when he worked his hardest to make sure that Marty Cordova wasn't the biggest Rookie of the Year flameout in recent memory.
One last thought
Scott Rolen is the greatest Jay ever.