Considering the brutal pummeling laid on the Rangers pitching staff at the hands of the Jays in the weekend series opener, it would be easy to drop a post raving about the bats. I could talk about what a bad, bad man Travis Snider is turning into (he is), I could talk about how Aaron Hill and Adam Lind look like they're getting their strokes back (they are), and I could talk about how Vernon Wells effectively flipped off those ready to pounce after his recent mini-slump (he did). I could use our favourite words when describing this offensive explosion; words like "raking" and "mashing" and "boners!" (I still might).
I could do just that, but it would be too easy. What am I, some amateur-hour weekend warrior who relies on cutesy titles and cliches for a chuckle (don't answer that)? Instead, let's talk about the real key to this victory: Casey Janssen.
Much maligned of late in some parts, Janssen did the unthinkable in this mashing slugfest (sorry, couldn't resist) - he shut the Rangers down for three innings of nails relief. In a game like this one, that ain't nothin'. To me, that effort stood out as the difference.
Janssen is an easy target - he doesn't start, he doesn't close, and he rarely sees high-leverage innings. He's the dude on the staff who's asked to come in and keep the game respectable - so when he shits the bed, it's easy to derisively announce that he should be the next arm out of town to make way for (fill in MiLB name here). After all, what purpose does he serve? He's middle relief, fer chrissakes. Bring on the next big thing!
Well, I don't think I need to tell you that I keep a special place reserved in my baseball loving heart for middle relievers. Hell, I took my nom-du-blog (if you will) from an old favorite. And I'm here to tell you that Casey Janssen can be the next Danny Cox. He can be the next Tony Castillo. Hell, with a little luck he can be, dare I say it?.....the next Jim Acker.
Sure, why not?
Debuts in Dunedin!
Friday also marked the debut of the Jays' Cuban Derek Jeter (RIGHT?!), Adeiny Hechavarria, for single-A Dunedin. Having not seen any highlights nor having read any game recaps - only viewing the boxscore - I can tell you that his 1 for 5 consisted of a hard hit single, three screaming line-drive outs, and a strikeout on a bush-league missed call by the umpire. Oh, and defensively he showed Ozzie Smith-esque range with a Shawon Dunston arm.
Maybe just don't go telling your friends that's how it went down in case I was wrong on a few of the details.
Providing relief of my own
As detailed in his post, the Tao is stepping away from the blog for a few days or so, presumably to get another set of eyes on Adonis Cardona or some other equally mysterious endeavour, I'm sure. So you're stuck with me for the time being.
I can't promise daily posts, but I'll do my best to ensure you're good and ready for the Tao to return by the time I'm through. That's how I roll.