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Toronto Blue Jays Bats Cannot Prop up Their Starting Pitching Woes

June 20th, 2012 at 7:51 PM
By Toby Gottlieb

The Blue Jays were forced into calling up Joel Carreno to start this afternoon matinee against the Milwaukee Brewers.  This was his sixth appearance and his second start for the Jays this season and it was one I'm sure he would like to forget.  Carreno only lasting three innings and gave up five hits with three of them going for long, no-doubter-type home runs.  He was charged with five earned runs and was clearly struggling as he battled with his command against a pretty potent Brewers lineup.  He is credited with the loss on his record as the Brewers defeated the Jays 8-3.

'Ryan Braun' photo (c) 2008, Steve Paluch - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ryan Braun was impressive once again in inter-league play.  He went 3-4 with a home run and two RBIs.  His batting average improved to a phenomenal .321 and he is showing the world just why he was named National League MVP in last year's campaign.  He was, however, not the only guy in the Brewers lineup giving Toronto fits on this day.  Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado also went 3-4 with a home run and two RBIs.  His bomb to left field was just as impressive as Braun's dinger in the seventh inning.

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Brett Cecil Helps Toronto Blue Jays Sweep Philadelphia Phillies in Season Debut

June 17th, 2012 at 7:13 PM
By Toby Gottlieb

In front of 45,000 fans at the Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-2 to complete the three game series sweep.  Due to the rash of injuries the starting rotation has seen over the past week, Brett Cecil was called up from the minor leagues and appeared in his first game of the season.  He pitched quite well, going five innings and giving up an average of one hit per inning while striking out a batter per inning as well.  Even though two of the five hits allowed were solo home runs, Cecil seemed to pitch with a fair bit of control as he only walked one batter.

'Colby Rasmus' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Colby Rasmus had an excellent performance in this Father's Day affair, with his controversial father in attendance no less.  Rasmus went 3-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.  It could have easily been a four RBI day for Rasmus but an error charged to Hunter Pence in right field caused one of the runs he batted in to not count in the statistical category.  Rasmus was the only Blue Jay in the lineup to have more than one hit on the day and his success at the plate increases his batting average to .255.  His home run in the 5th inning was his 10th of the season as he seems to be getting more and more comfortable knowing that he is going to be hitting out of the second spot in the batting order every time he is in the lineup.

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Starting Pitching Woes Poised to Doom the Toronto Blue Jays

June 14th, 2012 at 9:08 PM
By Ryan Baasch

Adding insult to injury last night, Kyle Drabek left in the middle of his start after feeling a 'popping sensation' in his elbow. Remarkably, it appears as though Drabek avoided any serious injury, but his poor outing was just another punch to the stomach in a week that has been full of them. The Blue Jays have been more or less devoid of respectable pitching performances during a span of games that has dropped them below .500 and into a tie for last place with the Boston Red Sox, and after losing Brandon Morrow for an undetermined amount of time, it looks like things could get worse for Toronto.

The pitching staff – never expected to be a strength of the team this year – did have glimpses of promise at the beginning of the season. Ricky Romero was coming off of a season where he posted a sub-3.00 ERA, Henderson Alvarez had struck out five batters for every one that he walked in his rookie debut, and Kyle Drabek – after securing a spot in the rotation at the end of spring training – was sure to be better than he was in 2011, right? Well, Alvarez is now not even striking out twice as many hitters as he walks (a difficult task to accomplish when you're only walking 1.88 per nine) and Drabek is one walk short from repeating the notorious feat he pulled last year – walking more batters than he struck out. Romero, meanwhile, has been a shell of the near-ace he's been in the past, as he sports an ERA over 4.00 and the worst K/BB rate of his career. 

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Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals Beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2

June 13th, 2012 at 5:15 PM
By Toby Gottlieb

Overall is was a pretty depressing day at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday afternoon on what would have otherwise been a beautiful day for a ball game.  The Washington Nationals completed a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays beating them for the third time in three days.  On this day it was the Nationals' pride and joy starter Stephen Strasburg going up against Kyle Drabek, who has proven to be the weakest starter in the Jays starting rotation this year.  

Strasburg was quite phenomenal, going six inning and giving up only five hits and one walk.  He struck out eight Blue Jays batters and was rarely in any trouble at all.  The two runs he gave up to the Jays came off of a Rajai Davis triple that was cashed in by Brett Lawrie on a ground ball out to shortstop, as well as a towering home run to Jose Bautista.  Bautista now has 19 home runs on the year and sits only three dingers back of Josh Hamilton who is the American League home run leader with 22.  After the third inning was over, Strasburg, as well as the Nationals bullpen, rarely had problems silencing the Blue Jays offense for the rest of the game.

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Toronto Blue Jays ‘Release’ Vladimir Guerrero

June 12th, 2012 at 3:27 PM
By Ryan Baasch

As an update to our earlier posting, Vladimir Guerrero has now been released by the Toronto Blue Jays. Apparently, he had an opt-out clause in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent at any time, and after passing the date that he gave Toronto as an ultimatum for a 'promote me or release me' deadline, Toronto has opted to set Vladimir Guerrero free. The (possibly) Cooperstown-bound outfielder was none too pleased with Toronto either.

Promises made to me were not fulfilled. I am not a child. One day I heard one thing and the next day another. I left the team, right now I am at home in Anaheim. I was not treated as a professional. I am not a boy. I proved that I'm ready.

There have been conflicting reports about what Guerrero's next step will be, but his agent Bean Stringfellow seemed to indicate that he will most certainly still be pursuing a major league job. In addressing rumors that Guerrero would be permanently hanging them up, Stringfellow told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

Nothing could be further from the truth. He is hitting, running very well

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