Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Knuckling under in Boston

God, we hate when we get all punny with our blog post titles. We would like to think that sort of lowbrow humour is beneath us, but it's just not. We are that lame.

So what did we learn in last night's 2-1 loss to the Boston Chowderheads? We learned that when a shitty shitballing shitbird throws shitty shitballs all night long, the Jays may be in for a shitty night of shitty pop ups to the infield. By the end of the game last night, we felt like it was 1987 and we were watching Frank Tanana toss junk around, frustrating us to a point that leaves emotional scars for decades afterwards.

Although to be perfectly reasonable about this, it is still May, and there's still three-quarters of the season to go.

Breakin' it down: The Dopeness
After a shakey first two frames, Brian Tallet was nails for the next four innings, locking it down and giving the Jays the chance to work their way back into the game. Tallet went six, struck out 5 and walked two, likely keeping himself in the rotation for another two starts at the very least. Welcome back to the Summer of Tallet...

We're not sure of Cito is a genius for playing Kevin Millar last night, or if Millar is a savant for putting pretty much the only good swing on a Wakefield pitch. Let's just call them both awesome and move on...

The Beej looked alright, even with seemingly diminished velocity last night. We never saw him throw anything over 88 MPH, but his location was mostly spot on, and he worked at bats well. He looks a lot more composed on the mound, and doesn't seem to be rushing his delivery, which likely makes all the difference...

Breakin' it down: The Wackness
We're not entirely sure how Alex Rios got thrown out trying to steal on a floating knuckleball that the catcher double-clutched on, but it happened. Perhaps the Blissfully Oblivious Gazelle forgot halfway between bases that there was some urgency involved with making his way to second...

We hate to dump on Adam Lind's defense, because we can see the guy is really trying to improve, but his throw way up the line to no one in particular in the second inning was quite the brain cramp. Let's hope that Cito or Brian Butterfield can work they mystical magic on him before we get to Atlanta...

It's easy to pick on Vernon Wells' and his propensity for popping out (twice last night, along with a lazy fly and reaching on an error), but the whole team seemed to want to get under Wakefield's floaters last night. Six pop ups and seven mostly lazy flyballs later, the Jays did their bit to keep the basepaths neatly manicured and the bases pristinely white.

Breakin' it down: The Media Section
Ok, first off: What the fuck was up with TSN2 using the NESN feed? All of this scrapping over carriage on the Rogers cable system, and the CTVgm folks can't even see to it that a Canadian crew is employed to broadcast the game? How was this different than Rogers just giving the free MLB Extra Innings Preview? (Our guess is that TSN2 didn't have an HD production truck at its disposal, given TSN's hockey duties, so they decided to take the easier simulcasting route. Actually, we're pretty sure that "Take the Easier Simulcasting Route" will be the title of Ivan Fecan's forthcoming autobiography...

We were actually happy to watch the NESN broadcast, which probably has the best production quality of any local MLB broadcast. However, spending close to three hours listening to Dennis Eckersley's ridiculous meanderings just about drove us batty. Really, can we have another five minute discussion of "sneaky cheese"? It made us appreciate how good Pat Tabler has become over the past decade in the Jays' booth. Too bad we can't pair Tabby with NESN's excellent playcaller Don Orsillo...

Next Up
The lanky southpaw rookie versus the tubby washed up righty: Brett Cecil (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 15 Ks / 4 BBs) versus Brad Penny (3-1, 6.69 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 20 Ks, 16 BBs).

44 comments:

eyebleaf said...

For the record, I was one of the idiots advocating for J.P. to sign the tubby washed up righty. Hey, shit was bleak back in the winter. I believe I was all for signing Carl Pavano too.

I hang my head in shame.

Here's hoping the kids can help us win the next two.

And the dumping on Vernon Wells will be strong today. Bastards.

Darren Priest said...

I liked Eck, but he did hit a lot of the same notes all night.

I think the Jays will feast on Penny tonight.

Ghostrunner said...

Eck made Darrin Fletcher sound like Vin Scully. I wasn't impressed. But Don O, he completes me.

Ian H. said...

I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Rod Black. I don't know if I can take 2 more games of Eck's social commentary.

The Ack said...

Ack says Eck was fucking awful - do some research, man.

off the top of my head....

Brian Butterfield is not Brad Arnsberg.

Shawn Camp is not Jesse Carlson.

Robert Ray is the name of the other "kid" doing a nice job in the rotation.

Gene Tenance and Cito do have a history together from before this season.

Yes, Jason Frasor can really hit 94 on the gun.

Tao of Stieb said...

Funny about Frasor hitting 94, and the unhittable overpowering Papeldouche hitting 95.

It seems like either one of those dudes is getting overlooked, or one of them is getting overhyped. Likely, both.

(Although velocity isn't everything.)

The Ack said...

^^ and of course by Gene "Tenance" I meant Gene Tenace. Unobservant typo douchebag.

See what happens to me when the Jays drop a close one to the Sox? With Papelfuck closing it? CHRIST.

Voodoo Matt said...

Ack: You missed out on Lind really carving out a spot for himself as the everyday left-fielder.

Turning on the TV to watch a Jay's game and getting Dennis Eckersley announcing is worse than walking into your parents' bedroom when they're in their full leather B&D gear. Eck was my most hated player in 1992, when I was younger and much more angry.

Watching a knuckleballer throw makes it worse. After all that emotional scarring I was put through last night, you go and throw Frank (Shitty, shitballing, shithead) Tanana in the mix? Damn, that was cruel.

The Ack said...

Voodoo, yeah, forgot that gem about how Snider is apparently the DH - just so many to choose from. Although, if Snider is on his way down soon, we might just see more of Young Adam in left....

My hated for Eckersley peaked immediately after, as Jack Morris called it, his little-league "bang-bang" show up move in the '92 ALCS (top of the 8th, Game 4). Of course, Robbie Alomar taking him deep (top of the 9th) to erase the deficit eased the rage somewhat. That moment was pure awesome, and in my mind, right up there with Carter's blast in '93.

Matty L. Rock said...

NESN just has the worst broadcast crews ever, their Bruins announcers both have mass-hole accents. And criticize the refs even when the replay shows how flagrant of a penalty the Bruins just committed.

I can only imagine what the Sox guys were like.

Joanna said...

re. Frasor "He's little!!! That was sneaky cheese!" frasor has always been able to hum.

And calling Doc the best pitcher in baseball and then apologizing for it. Dennis, never apologize for the truth.

Christopher said...

Beej looked a bit better but let's not forget that he would have given up a run if Chavez didn't nail Ellsbury at 3rd.

The announcers were so awful last night I had to mute the sound. And I NEVER mute the sound.

Anonymous said...

Guys, please fix your Mike Wilner link.

S'93 said...

Reason #8910 why Major League Baseball not having archived video on YouTube drives me crazy:

We should all be able to watch multiple angles of Alomar's homer in the '92 ALCS this morning.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Remdawg is absent from NESN!

Tao of Stieb said...

Wilner link is fixed. For now. It seems like we're fixing it every few weeks.

Re: Beej's phantom run

Ellsbury doesn't score from second on Pedroia's single, and he didn't make it to third because B.J. Ryan is awesome and got the ball to Chavez quickly.

End of story.

eyebleaf said...

Chavez's gun kind of factored into the equation. Chavez is a likable backup catcher. Rotund and jolly.

I was listening on the radio. I'm kind of sad I missed Eck.

And I'm with S'93. I'd love to watch Alomar's home run, daily. And it's a shame Scott Rolen's amazing play from Monday isn't on the internetz. Like, fuck.

Ian H. said...

Can we start lobbying to replace Eck with The Ack? I think it would make for a much more enjoyable baseball experience.

Tao of Stieb said...

Not sure that the Ack could grow the mullet to fill in for Eck.

Layth said...

I think part of the reason why Eck was such a dick last night was because he was having worst flashbacks then a Vietnam Vet of 1992 all over again. Seeing Cito in the opposing dugout only made it worse for the fucker.

Anonymous said...

Getting a bad feeling about this series. Just read that Youkilis is back in the Sox's lineup tonight.

j.d. said...

All the errors and lack of preparedness on Eck's part were pretty bad, I'll admit. However I did find him to be kind of affable. I relly didn't mind him overall. If you can imagine him doing commentary for the Jays and actually knowing the difference between Shawn Camp and Jesse Carlson he probably would be better than any of our current options.

Torgen said...

Youkilis doesn't erase a 5 run difference in starters' ERA.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I saw "Gene Tenace - Pitching Coach" flash up on the screen. It was as though Eck was putting up the text too.

Anyway, a win will give us more exciting things to chat about ... this feels more like a "dumb ... slow ... knuckleball loss" kind of discussion. The kind I hope to never have again -- not that I hang any of that on the brilliant Tao.

eyebleaf said...

Why don't more mother fuckers throw knuckleballs?

The Nation said...

One down, two more to go. By Sunday, we'll be in first again and you guys can share the basement with the Os. All I heard about was the great Jays offense. Those two games against the Yankes they lost, they scored next to nothing. And yesterday you couldn't even hit a shitball pitcher. the Jays aren't for real and you guys are pipedreaming. Maybe some of you can help us raise the World Series flag next year?

Voodoo Matt said...

The reason more motherfuckers don't throw the knuckleball is that it's almost impossible to throw consistently. If a pitcher is rolling (rolls off a finger or the thumb) one out of every ten he'll end up with an ERA in the twenties or thirties.

I will defer any other comments to the unparralelled intelligence of the poster above me.

Capt. Obvious said...

You know those games the Jays lost? They didn't score as many runs as the other team. But in the other games that they won, they scored more runs than the other team. What a crazy game this baseball.

The Nation said...

Voodoo Matt, I am intelligent I root for a good team. You hosers are being played by Ricciardi and the attendant hype. You really think you can take a game from us, when the Yankees couldn't? You can talk smack when you've beaten an AL East team that is not called the Os. So far, you have dead weight like Wells and Rios as your 3 and 4 hitters? How the fuck can you win with underachievers like that? You have an average team with a great pitcher,very good bullpen,and two shitty 3 and 4 hitters. God luck in staying out of the basement,boys.

eyebleaf said...

@ The Nation: Kiss my ass. You douchebags can help us raise our pennants.

Speaking of great offense and pipedreaming, how about that Ortiz guy?

jroberts said...

The Twins have RA Dickey, a decent reliever who throws a "hard" knuckleball. Fun to watch, but infuriating to listen to the local announcers retread the same crap every time he comes into a game--can't trust the knuckleball in a big game situation, easy to steal off of, can't trust him to come in with guys on base, etc. Jesus Christ, he's a pitcher--can't you just analyze him like any other reliever by looking at baserunners and runs given up and shut up about the potential passed balls?

cd said...

I realize Kevin Millar has a reputation for doing these sort of things, but did anyone else hear about him visiting the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday before the game to talk to Ortiz in order to help help him break out of his slump??

cd said...

And because I forgot to include it with my comment above: WTF. Did he also cry in the Jays dugout after hitting that homerun?

Tao of Stieb said...

The Jays' approach on the knuckler was totally wrong last night.

"They" (yeah, those fuckers) say that the best way to try to hit a knuckle ball is to just focus on trying to hit it directly back through the box to the pitcher. The Jays were trying to tee off on it and with the exception of Millar, they never really squared one up last night.

All this knuckleball talk has us thinking: Who was the greatest knuckleballer in Jays history? Candiotti or Niekro?

eyebleaf said...

Candiotti.

Anonymous said...

On why Francona believes Ortiz will get hot:

Francona: "Because players do. Even not-so-great players get hot. And David's been an elite player . . . he's not going to go all season hitting .207 with no home runs. When he gets hot, where's it take him? Well, let's find out. I want to live through that before we get too crazy here."

Tao of Stieb said...

Oh come on...of course it is Niekro!

(Or maybe we're just being a contrarian! Like Toth!)

Darren Priest said...

Did Craig Grebek ever get hot?

Tao of Stieb said...

Craig Grebek probably got hot when he accompanied Frodo Baggins up the side of the volcano with that ring in the Lord of the Rings.

Joanna said...

tao, you got yourself a red sox troll!!! who talks shit about clean up hitters like Ortiz isn't in their line up!!!!!

eyebleaf said...

I imagine more members of the fine Red Sox Nation will be dropping in tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Whoever said this would be a bellwether series may be right, as it seems obvious that the Jays cannot roll with the big boys in the AL East.

Anonymous said...

yeah, losing the first two games in an 18 game season series is crippling

Torgen said...

It seems obvious that Boston cannot roll with the big boys in the AL West like Seattle and Anaheim and Oakland.