TORONTO — At the season’s midpoint, the Blue Jays were a half-game out of last place in the American League East and seemed to have little hope of doing much in the second half. Each year, us scribes are charged with the task of making a “fearless” forecast for the second half, for our annual midterm report.

Yours truly went with this: Fearless second-half prediction: In an increasingly tough AL East, the Blue Jays will make a push in the second half to finish in third place. Considering how the first half went, that’d be a solid placing for Toronto.”

The standings back then:

BOSTON        57-40 (–)
TAMPA BAY  55-39 (.5)
NEW YORK   50-45 (6)
TORONTO     47-48 (9)
BALTIMORE  46-48 (9.5)

And the standings today:

TAMPA BAY  85-54 (–)
BOSTON       83-57 (2.5)
NEW YORK   75-66 (11)
TORONTO     74-66 (11.5)
BALTIMORE  63-77 (22.5)

Jays have won six in a row — the club’s longest streak since 2004 — and the Yankees are slipping. Toronto might just snag its practically-annual third-place position after all. That series against the Yankees from Sept. 23-25 is gonna be HUGE! Mark your calendars.

Today’s lineups:

TAMPA BAY (85-54) at TORONTO (74-66)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Akinori Iwamura, 2B
B.J. Upton, CF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Cliff Floyd, DH
Willy Aybar, 3B
Eric Hinske, LF
Dioner Navarro, C
Gabe Gross, RF
Ben Zobrist, SS

PITCHING: RHP James Shields (12-8, 3.66)

Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, CF
Vernon Wells, DH
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C
Travis Snider, RF

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum (8-6, 3.60)


The strike zone must be about 2 feet squar today,It’s going to be a hard day for the pitchers.

square forgot the E.

Nice outing by Marcum. 7 innings, 7 k’s and no runs. It’s nice to have him back.

Marcum pitches a great game and all for nothing.Fell asleep after the 6th only to wake up and find the game tied and in the 11th what happend for crying out loud.

nice outing by Marcum, shaky one from Ryan
Last game was close too.. would suck to see them lose after 6 games streak 😦

I was happy to see Zaun get a start and it looks like it paid of big time.Way to go Zaun.
7 in a row best run in a long time,GO-JAYS.

Congratulations To Zaunie. Hey Bosox, where’s the thank you. lol

what a game!… I agree with you garry it was nice to see Zaun come through. Hopefully he can find a backup job somewhere in the majors next year. 7 in a row. It’s a real shame that this team couldn’t have put it together offensively earlier in the year or they’d be in the thick of the race. What was up with Adam Lind being pulled for Wilkerson though ? I found that very odd.

Garry, sumner I owe you guys an apology, i’m sorry. I was confused as to who did what. Though I still disagree about whether or not they have a good team (they do in my opinion) the accusation I made was uncalled for.

Gregg Zaun with a walk-off Grand Slam? Who’d have thunk it! What’s next, Jason Frasor makes a spot-start and pitches a no-hitter???

Accepted and forgotten. Hey, we are always going to have different opinions here; that is what a blog is for. Frankly, I was surprised at Lind being lifted as well, I was wondering if something was wrong with him.

I feel sorry for Marcum. He pitched a great game and deserved a win. He gets more than his share of no decisions with games like this.

I’t looks like Cito is replacing Lind for defencive purposes in the late INN.So far Lind has done the job but Cito knows best.He said he would like to finish 10 games over 500,Looks like he will.
New York here we come and then Tampa.
Bosox where is the thanks for the blue

This team is now showing us what they are made of,If JP had made the move a month earlier[Gibbons for Cito] where would we be now.But of course he can’t see into the future,I can feel you smile Plus.

For sure Cito has these guys playing far better than they were before he got here. Hey, there had to be some reason he won back to back world series.

Bluejayswin What do you think of that win,To come back and win a game that I thought for sure was lost says a lot about this team. Looks like Snider has run into real Major league pitchen,but I think he will come around tomorow.
Purcey has his work cut out for him tomorow as do the rest of the Jays,It will be a tough one.

If the Sox win tonight and we beat TB tommorrow, it will be interesting to see how TB respond. Today had to be a tough loss for them, and the Sox do know how to play in September, we’re about to find out if TB do.

Well, I guess we can’t expect Snider to keep hitting .460, he was due for a slow down. I am hopeful we get a good start from Purcey tommorrow. He’s had his ups and downs so far which is normal, but I think he’s about to get more consistent.

Garry-here’s a thought

If the Blue Jays win all remaining 21 games they’d be 96-66 for the year. So they need a Colorado finish. lol

With Gaston and everyone saying that if Burnett opts out they want the younger guys to step up, it is pretty obvious that we are not going to try to sign Burnett, Sabathia, or Sheets. My ideal rotation for next year would be
But I dout thats going to happen, what do you guys want to see our rotation look like for next year?

The Jays’ expected win/loss record is 80-61 which has them tied for 3rd in the entire league, and has us in the wildcard lead…
10 hits in normal situations throughout the year would clearly win us that many games, to bad we couldn’t have pulled our bats together earlier this year.

Bluejaysfan.LOL.for sure.
Freedom if Burnett ops out I still think the pitchen will be okay.But we need at least 2 bats.Rolen may not be the right guy at third,his defence is the best but the shoulder may be a problem as it afects his bat.Overbay is playing the way he did in 06 so he should be okay,I wish they would settle the shortstop problem,Maybe they will this winter.

Personally, I expect the Yanks to sign Sabathia and one or two of Burnett and Sheets, or who else they feel are the best available. They will have at least $80 million in budget to spend and have already stated they intend to significantly upgrade their pitching next year. I expect them to hand their check book to Sabathia and let him fill out how much he wants.

I also do not expect McGowan back until late May.

That being said I think we will have to rely on our home grown guys of
and two of Purcey/Romero/Wolfe/Cecil/Janssen/McGowan

If we get lucky and Accardo, Janssen and McGowan all come back healthy and strong, then I’d like to see Janssen and McGowan fill the last two spots.

nice too see marcum back on blue jays lineup. and what”s going on bj ryan?i dont trust that guy as a closer. blue jays should move carlson as a closer instead of ryan coz ryan always mess many games that he mess up. hope blue jays can find another closer.

Ryan having a bad night once in a while isn’t too bad,every closer has them,even Rivera.

I think what we’re seeing with Ryan is that recovery from Tommy John surgery takes a long time. His velocity is still down 2-4 mph and he hasn’t yet got the control he had before the operation. Frankly, he’s probably ahead of schedule in recovery which shows he really worked his training program and pressed to get back. The best medicine for his recovery is exactly what they’re doing and run him out there every chance they get.

Most guys actually get more velocity once recovered, so with a good off-season program, I’m hopeful we see a significant improvement in Ryan next year. Cross your fingers. lol

BJ Ryan.He makes me nervous and I don’t think he’s worth the money that he was paid.BUT what do you do,if you put Downs or Carlton or League in his place and they fail you now have nothing,With BJ we at least know he can do the job,also he is very entertaining is he not.I would like to see him stay for next year.

BJ is signed through 2010. He gets $10 million for each of 2008, 2009 and 2010.

What I meant is they DON’T trade him this winter,Like I said I don’t think they can replace him.The 10 mil. a year they pay him for the next 3 years may be cheap now after a certain GM raised the price on pitchers by bidding against himself.My brother went to an auction and bid 50 dollars for a half ton someone else bid 100 dollars he then bid 700 dollars for a truck he could have had for 150 dollars. that made me think of a certain GM bidding against himself.

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