Riding the pine

MILWAUKEE — It’s another sunny day here with the dome open at Miller Park, but boy is it chilly. Noticeably colder than yesterday, so good thing I brought the ol’ sweatshirt to the ballpark to help battle the open pressbox.

Anyways, the Jays’ lineup had a noticeable omission for tonight’s game. Right fielder Alex Rios is on the bench, though manager John Gibbons said it was simply a way to get more left-handed bats in the order to counter hard-throwing righty Ben Sheets.

Gibbons said Rios being out had zilch to do with his 0-for-4 showing with three strikeouts in last night’s 7-0 loss to the Brews. Still, it’s worth noting — as we’ve been doing all year — that Mr. Rios just isn’t producing the way Toronto had hoped he would.

Over his last 42 games, Rios has hit .237/.284/.305 with no home runs and 11 RBIs, moving between the leadoff spot and the No. 3 hole. Whether he’s in the middle of the order or at the top, Toronto can ill afford to have Rios continue to perform this poorly.

If you ask me, Rios is the key to Toronto’s offense. He came into the year as arguably the Jays’ most potent hitter and definitely with what we thought was the most upside. He could still turn it around, and for the Jays’ sake, here’s hoping he does.

If Rios were producing as the power threat we all thought he’d be, Toronto’s offense might not be in such sour shape. Now, he’s hardly the lone hitter at fault here. But, especially with Rios struggling, there’s just no hitter to fear within the Jays’ lineup.

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (35-37) at MILWAUKEE (37-33)
at 8:05 p.m. ET at Miller Park

BLUE JAYS
Brad Wilkerson, LF
Joe Inglett, 2B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Matt Stairs, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
David Eckstein, SS
Shaun Marcum, P

BREWERS
Craig Counsell, 2B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1B
Corey Hart, RF
Russell Branyan, 3B
Mike Cameron, CF
Jason Kendall, C
Ben Sheets, P

QUOTABLE: “What do you want me to do? Light a little fire?” –Gibbons, when asked his plan for turning the bats around

4 Comments

A friend of mine said he felt the Jays should get paid each time they produce , that might light a fire under them . Of course he says that about every sport , no production no money . It works for the rest of us, maybe they need to give it a try …….lol…..
Have a great evening all and take care

Comming into this season, we had one of the best offensive teams in the game with everyone speculating what this lineup can do when healthy. I don’t even think that we are producing poorly, to me this is almost unbelievable. Even last year with all of our injuries we produced better.

I have not lost complete faith in the bluejays this year, but I will not be signing on here until after the allstar break. I am just so tired of commenting on something negative about this team besides their pitchers who are doing great and dont deserve to be losing games. But hey, maybe they will surprise us and are all just holding back until the time is right.

I will also bet that if the jays arent in contention by after the allstar break, we can say good bye to Gibbons.

I agree with Jordan about Rios being the key to this offense but i’d like to add Aaron Hill’s name into the conversation. He’s not healthy now but when he comes back i’d like to see more production out of him when he’s settled again.

Freedom, i’m also giving this team untill the all star break to show me that they can play better and provide some incentive for me to continue to watch. I’ll still continue to sign on here though.

Mike Wilner pointed out today that the Jays are something like 1 and 21 when they trail a game by 3 runs or more. That stat alone is enough to convince me to change the channel when they get down by 3. It’s sad but that’s the way things are going with this team right now.

Toronto has to start winning series and soon. There hitting is anemic. Amazing stat you provided Enigma. That doesn’t surprise me and I am sure it didn’t surprise you. Toronto has major problems scoring runs. For the Jays to win, there hitting doesn’t have to be great, just consisently good. Hitting with runners in scor. pos. and moving runners along will get the job done. Situational hitting is the key for the Jays. What happened to Wells and Overbay? They were very good hitters but not anymore. Wells should be hitting close to .300 and driving in runs. Overbay the same numbers but less power than Wells. Is Overbay’s hand still bothering him? It’s been a year since Overbay hurt his hand. I assume Wells’ shoulder is still an issue with him. Sometimes you just have to fight thru the injuries. The Jays were one of those teams when the season started, you wouldn’t be surprised if they won 93 games or 81 games. Something tells me it will be closer to 81 games.

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