Game 8: Toronto at Minnesota pregame

On Saturday, I tried to talk to Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg after Toronto’s 5-4 win over Cleveland, following another rough outing by closer B.J. Ryan. Arnsberg didn’t want to discuss Ryan’s ongoing issues, saying “I need to let it all sink in first.”

Fair enough.

Today, us scribes approached Arnsberg again to try to find out a little more about what’s going on with Ryan. Sure, his velocity is back up and his stuff has shown improvement, but Toronto’s stopper isn’t throwing strikes. Arnsberg defended Ryan, and spoke out against what he has perceived to be negative coverage, but ultimately the pitching coach admitted that he can’t really explain what’s going on.

“I don’t know why he’s not throwing the ball over the plate,” Arnsberg said. “I know he’s got a heart the size of Texas. I know he’s busting his [rear] to thrill all the fans in Toronto — make everybody turn their backs on the B.J. Ryan saga. That’s all we’re doing. Again, one foot in front of the other and that’s it. I don’t have the answers.”

Manager Cito Gaston and Arnsberg both said the only option right now is to keep running Ryan out there. If he continues to struggle and it begins to really hurt the team, Gaston said he will have to consider making a change — that goes for any player who is battling persistent problems, not just Ryan.

So, if a save situation comes up again today, expect Ryan to head out to the hill in the ninth here at the Metrodome. It’s early in the season and Ryan has only made two appearances. That being the case, his struggles will obviously be magnified in light of his bloated numbers. Even so, his woes date back to the spring and the Jays can ill-afford to have their bullpen, especially the late-inning arms, become a liability.

On a side note, I picked up Pearl Jam’s remastered version of their debut album Ten this afternoon. After listening to just a few songs, I was blown away by the changes. It was like hearing the songs for the first time. Eddie Vedder’s vocals are more crisp, and the music has more bite to it. If any of you are P.J. fans, I highly reccommend picking up the CD. It’s quality.

Back to baseball…

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (5-2)

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Travis Snider, LF

Starter: RHP Jesse Litch (0-1)


Twins.jpgMINNESOTA TWINS (3-4)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jason Kubel, DH
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Brian Buscher, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Jose Morales, C
9. Nick Punto, SS

Starter: RHP Kevin Slowey (1-0)

~JB

31 Comments

Its good to see some consistency in the lineup day in and day out.

I think in some ways the negative news coverage on Ryan’s velocity problem has caused some problems. I think he’s trying to hard to throw in the 88-89 range as a result of the coverage and he’s losing control and movement.
In this last outing I noticed he threw more strikes with better movement when he threw at 86 to 87 range, but when he cranked it up to 88-89 most of them were balls and had less movement.
Maybe he just needs to relax and let it happen. Let’s hope.

JB
By the way, the speed of signing on and posting has improved dramatically today-I hope it continues. Thanks for your help in getting it fixed.

If Jays fans are concerned about any of our starters check out Chien-Ming Wang of NY, who threw 42 pitches in the 1st inning tonight against TB and gave up 4 hits, 1 bb.’s, 4 runs and just raised his era to 21.21.
Go Yanks-not.

Hopefully the Jays can keep up the winning and take another series, this time from the Twins.
It’s been pretty exciting watching Lind, Rolen, and Scutaro, get off to a great start, hopefully the rest catch up soon.
JB- I’ve been a PJ fan for years, and I agree, the new remastered album is great to listen to.

So in the 2nd inning, Mein gave up a single, single, walk, walk, which gave up a run threw a total of 61 pitches and was yanked with TB leading 5-0, no outs and bases loaded.

Go Yanks-lol

Woops, forgot to mention, Albaladego replaced Mein and gave up a grand slam, so Mein is charged with 8 runs in 1 inning, raising his era to a Cy Young performance level of 28.93. Tb lead 9-0 and there’s still no outs.

Go Yanks-lol

Litsch! Talk about teeing it up for Kubel!

Wells looked pretty bad in both his rbi situations so far this game!

Great base running by Overbay

The Jays have got to run the bases better! Twice they have been tagged on poor running! Hopefully the Jays can come back and win this one!

I hope that Jesse is OK! That is the last thing the Jays need is another injury to the rotation!

Maybe we see Cecil sooner than later

Lets go get Pedro.

How about O-Dog.

Moonraker comes through again

Hill’s now 3 for 3

Not that I’m trying to continually beat up on Wells, but the fact is after 3 at bats over 5 innings, he’s left 5 runners on base and is 0 for 3.
But at least this time, he’d didn’t hit into a double play.

Dumb play by Overbay. He had no chance to get that runner wasn’t even close

Overbay makes up for it

Snider’s homerun = wow! even if the jays stink the rest of the way, he’ll be worth keeping an eye on.
Hopefully Litsch is ok. If not I hope Casey is ready to go soon. I’m getting nervous about watching Ryan should he come in.

Snider really drilled that one, good thing there was a wall or it’d still be going.

Hey-Ryan closed it out-good for him

Now that was a ballgame.

So Snider has now played in 6 games, had 19 at bats and hit 3 hr’s, 2 doubles. If he keeps that up, they might vote him ROY unanimously. lol

Yanks lose to TB: 15-5
Oakland: 6 Boston 1, after 5 innings

JB
Nice post on last nights game. I particularly liked Ryan and Barajas’s ‘s comments: “”It’s a different team,” Ryan said. “You get guys like Lind and Snider in there doing what they’re doing right now, it brings a lot of energy to the club — not only on the offensive side, but for us pitching. You know you do have a little wiggle room each way, because these guys are going to continue to swing the bats for us.”

“He’s so strong,” Toronto catcher Rod Barajas marveled. “Effortless swing. He has the ability to hit the ball out of any park, whether it’s pulled, dead center or opposite field. Hes just got that much power.” ( On Snider)

Only item I’m not crazy about is Snider’s nickname-”Lunchbox”. lol. I like the nickname the guys on Blue Jays Banter have give him much better: Moonraker”, which is quite fitting when you look at those two blasts he hit last night.

Woops, that should read Bluebird banter.

jmspratt,
I am with you, I want Reed Johnson back , what an amazing catch. He is a true gamer and a fan favourite wherever he plays.

Good game last night with the exception of Litsch going down. Twins and Jays always seem to be evenly matched and the games are always close. Ryan looked good , I hope its the start of a better year for him.

Nick Swisher actually pitched the 8th inning for the Yankees last night . I wonder if the Jays have any position players they can tap into . With Litsch out, it might just come to that . Have a great day all and take care ……GO JAYS

Good game. I will admit I was very frustrated through the first 6 innings. The Jays seemed to be a bit too aggressive and swung at a lot of marginal first pitches – leading to many foul ball pop ups. In the end it word out nicely.

indigo
Not only did Swisher pitch, but a k, a pop up and a shallow fly ball. I loved his swagger when he walked of the mound-priceless. Maybe we send Rios to the mound. lol

That was a great catch by Reed, and I’d like him back as well, only problem is with Lind and Snider, I just don’t see how Reed would fit in.

The thing that was very concerning about Litsch was the description of his injury was identical to the description the Jays issued for Marcum, so I hope Litsch doesn’t have a meeting with Dr. Tommy John.

Loved seeing the Red Sox lose as well, there might soon be some panic set in there.

Looks like sportswriters are starting to pick up on our guys. Check this out:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/ted_keith/04/13/weekone-surprises/index.html?eref=T1

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