July 2007

Game #95: Blue Jays at Yankees pregame

Toronto (45-49) at New York (48-44)
at 1:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Alex Rios, RF
Matt Stairs, LF
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Frank Thomas, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Howie Clark, 1B
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan (5-5)

YANKEES
Johnny Damon, DH
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Melky Cabrera, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Andy Phillips, 1B
Wil Nieves, C

PITCHING: RHP Chieng-Mien Wang (10-4)

NOTES: 1B Lyle Overbay became light-headed and passed out in his hotel room on Thursday morning. He showed up to the park with scrapes on his forehead and nose after falling and hitting a chair, and was kept out of the lineup as a precaution. Overbay met with a local doctor and he didn’t suffer a concussion and was deemed OK. Overbay said a similar accident happened to him roughly 10 years ago. … LF Reed Johnson was given a day off. … Toronto manager John Gibbons said LHP Scott Downs was not available out of the bullpen for Thursday’s game.

AL EAST STANDINGS
entering Thursday
1. Boston 56-38 (–)
2. New York 48-44 (7)
3. Toronto 45-49 (11)
4. Baltimore 42-52 (14)
5. Tampa Bay 37-56 (18.5)

AL WILD CARD RACE
entering Thursday
1. Cleveland 55-39 (–)
2. Seattle 53-39 (1)
3. Minnesota 49-45 (6)
4. New York 48-44 (6)
5. Toronto 45-49 (10)
6. Oakland 45-50 (10.5)

Game #94: Blue Jays at Yankees pregame

Toronto (45-48) at New York (47-44)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Reed Johnson, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Jason Phillips, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum (5-3)

YANKEES
Johnny Damon, DH
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Jorge Posada, C
Robinson Cano, 2B
Andy Phillips, 1B
Melky Cabrera, CF

PITCHING: RHP Roger Clemens (2-4)

NOTES: For the first time since Spring Training, manager John Gibbons said his pitchers needed to start paying closer attention to baserunners to help combat against stolen bases. The Jays rank dead last in the bigs with a 10 percent CS%. From the NY Daily News about the ninth inning on Tuesday: "Andy Phillips started the inning with a single and Miguel Cairo pinch-ran. Cairo exited the dugout telling his teammates and coaches, "I’m going to steal on the second pitch." He lived up to his word." Ouch. … McDonald was back in the lineup after sitting the past three games. … RHP A.J. Burnett threw on flat ground again on Wednesday, continuing his throwing program. Burnett might make it on a mound in the next week or week and a half. … And, somebody call Elias, there is a player with the last name of "Phillips" hitting eighth for both clubs.

AL EAST STANDINGS
entering Wednesday
1. Boston 56-37 (–)
2. New York 47-44 (8)
3. Toronto 45-48 (11)
4. Baltimore 42-51 (14)
5. Tampa Bay 36-56 (19.5)

AL WILD CARD RACE
entering Wednesday
1. Cleveland 55-38 (–)
2. Seattle 52-39 (2)
3. Minnesota 49-44 (6)
4. New York 47-44 (7)
5. Toronto 45-48 (10)

Game#93: Blue Jays at Yankees pregame

Toronto (45-47) at New York (46-44)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Reed Johnson LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Royce Clayton, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay (10-4)

YANKEES
Johnny Damon, DH
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Jorge Posada, C
Robinson Cano, 2B
Andy Phillips, 1B
Melky Cabrera

PITCHING: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-6)

NOTES: Toronto manager John Gibbons said he wouldn’t rule out moving Overbay between Glaus and Thomas in the lineup, meaning Thomas could see some action in the No. 6 hole coming up. "We’ll see how that develops," Gibbons said. … Fresh off three-straight multi-hit games, Clayton remained in the starting lineup for the third game in a row. "I like the way Royce is swinging it," Gibbons offered.

AL EAST STANDINGS
entering Tuesday
1. Boston 56-36 (–)
2. New York 46-44 (9)
3. Toronto 45-47 (11)
4. Baltimore 41-51 (15)
5. Tampa Bay 35-56 (20.5)

AL WILD CARD RACE
entering Tuesday
1. Cleveland 54-38 (–)
2. Seattle 52-38 (1)
3. Minnesota 49-43 (5)
4. New York 46-44 (7)
5. Toronto 45-47 (9)

SIDEBAR: Out of sheer boredom, and maybe a dash of curiosity, I went to retrosheet.org today and looked up box scores from the day I was born: Sept. 21, 1982. More specifically, I headed to the box for the Chicago Cubs, which was my favorite team as a kid growing up in Chi-town. I should’ve seen the signs coming that I’d someday be covering the Blue Jays. The winning pitcher for Chicago was Canadian-born Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins. And, in the lineup as Chicago’s third baseman? One Pat Tabler — former Jay and current jays broadcaster. "I probably went 0-fer," Tabler quipped. Sure enough, he went 0-for-2 in a 1-0 Cubs win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Game #92: Blue Jays at Yankees pregame

Toronto (45-46) at New York (45-44)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Reed Johnson, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Royce Clayton, SS

PITCHING: RHP Josh Towers (4-5, 5.07 ERA)

YANKEES
Johnn Damon, DH
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Jorge Posada, C
Robinson Cano, 2B
Andy Phillips, 1B
Melky Cabrera, CF

PITCHING: LHP Kei Igawa (2-2, 7.14 ERA)

NOTES: John McDonald and Howie Clark — neither of whom were in the lineup — didn’t make too much of the A-Rod shout incident that happened back in May. Neither did manager John Gibbons, who claimed he hadn’t even thought about it until a reporter brought it up yesterday. Keep an eye on how Towers pitches to A-Rod in their first meeting. Even if nothing happens on Monday, Toronto has a whole four-game set to send a message. We’ll see if they do. … Gibbons once again indicated that Wells was moved back to the No. 3 hole to try to get him more RBI opps. No hint as to whether it’s a permanent switch, but the manager did say today that the leadoff spot is Reed’s spot. … From now on, until the Jays are eliminated, I’ll be including the standings here on the pregame posts.

AL EAST STANDINGS
entering Monday
1. Boston 55-36 (–)
2. New York 45-44 (9)
3. Toronto 45-46 (10)
4. Baltimore 41-50 (14)
5. Tampa Bay 35-56 (20)

AL WILD CARD RACE
entering Monday
1. Cleveland 54-37 (–)
2. Seattle 51-38 (2)
3. Minnesota 49-43 (5.5)
4. New York 45-44 (8)
5. Toronto 45-46 (9)

Game#91: Blue Jays at Red Sox pregame

Toronto (44-46) at Boston (55-35)
at 2:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Reed Johnson, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Matt Stairs, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Royce Clayton, SS
Jason Phillips, C

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch

RED SOX
Coco Crisp, CF
Alex Cora, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Eric Hinske, RF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Josh Beckett

NOTES: As announced after Saturday’s game, RHP Brandon League was activated from the 60-day disabled list and was at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon. Gibbons said the club would likely keep him in a middle relief role to see how he pitches before possibly transitioning League into the setup role. League said he’s hitting between 93-95 mph with his fastball, and he’s had to learn to adjust to not having the overpowering high-90s heat. … Wells was out of the leadoff spot for the first time since June 30. … DH Frank Thomas was given the day off for the first time this season, minus in Interleague games on the road.

The Return of Brandon League

More on this on Sunday, but the Blue Jays activated RHP Brandon League from the 60-day DL after Saturday’s game. League, who has been out since Spring Training, is expected to be in Boston for the finale against the BoSox. Jordan De Jong was optioned to Triple-A. Toronto manager John Gibbons hinted that League may help out in the setup role, which has been occupied by Casey Janssen. Thoughts?

Game #90: Blue Jays at Red Sox pregame

Toronto (44-45) at Boston (54-35)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Vernon Wells, CF
Reed Johnson, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Frank Thomas, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan

RED SOX
Coco Crisp, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Jason Varitek, C
*Eric Hinske, RF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka

*J.D. Drew out with a hamstring injury

Game #89: Blue Jays at Red Sox pregame

Toronto (43-45) at Boston (54-34)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Vernon Wells, CF
Reed Johnson, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Frank Thomas, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum

RED SOX
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Julian Tavarez

NOTES: RHP A.J. Burnett threw on flat ground again prior to Friday’s game and expects to move his throwing distance up to around 90 feet on Saturday. It’ll likely be another two weeks before Burnett begins working off a mound, meaning a return by the end of the month is unlikely.

Game #88: Blue Jays at Red Sox pregame

BOSTON – After two delayed flights, another flight canceled, 15 hours of travel and one lost piece of luggage, I have made it to the pressbox here at Fenway Park. It was one hectic day for me on Wednesday, when it was also reported that Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill was going to land on the DL. Well, that became a running joke among the players in the tiny visitor’s clubhouse here this afternoon, considering Hill was A-OK. "I broke my left elbow, too," Hill joked. So, all’s well with Mr. Hill and Toronto’s lineup, for the time being. Here’s today’s pregame, and a pile of notes:

————————————————————————————————-

Toronto (43-44) at Boston (53-34)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Vernon Wells, CF
Matt Stairs, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Frank Thomas, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

RED SOX
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Coco Crisp, CF
Doug Mirabelli, C
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Tim Wakefield

NOTES: As noted above, Hill was NOT placed on the DL. His left knee was indeed sore last weekend, and the Jays considered giving him more time off, but he felt fine after receiving treatment over the break in Florida. … RHP A.J. Burnett played catch for the first time since landing back on the DL, making about 25 throws and reporting no issues. GM J.P. Ricciardi said he might try to "super-speed" Burnett’s return to the rotation. … LHP Gus Chacin threw in a bullpen session on Wednesday with no issues. … Ricciardi talked about the trade deadline, saying that he has no plans to dismantle the team: "Someone would really have to knock us over with something. I like this group." He told the reporters that they could go golfing on July 31, because there were no plans to make any deals. … LF Reed Johnson wasn’t in the lineup because he’s hit just .111 in his career against Wakefield. Plus, manager John Gibbons wants to find ways to get Matt Stairs in the lineup as much as he can. … 1B Lyle Overbay was activated from the 15-day DL as anticipated and was back in the lineup, batting sixth and playing first. … Ricciardi said that the current plan is to keep Curtis Thigpen behind the plate and that he’s in the future plans still as a catcher, not an infielder. The GM batted C Robinzon Diaz’s name around in terms of a possible position switch. … Ricciardi also said that the Jays could potentially have RHP Brandon League back in the bullpen by the end of the month.

UPDATE – Scott Downs exited Thursday’s game after being struck on the right foot with a line drive by Boston’s Dustin Pedroia. An X-ray after the game showed no structural damage, and Gibbons said Downs suffered a bruise.

2007 All-Star Game

A handful of photos from the 2007 All-Star Game.

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