Game 26: Baltimore at Toronto pregame

One storyline that hasn’t received a whole lot of attention this week has been the return of catcher Gregg Zaun, who spent the past five seasons with the Blue Jays. Last night, Zaun received a mixed reception from the crowd, but there were plenty of boos.

Zaun noticed.

“Thats pretty flattering, too,” Zaun said. “It’s been a long time since I was booed that vehemently. It’s been weird. It’s been kind of surreal.”

It was also a bit strange for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to have to face Zaun, especially considering the veteran catcher knows the right-hander’s repertoire inside and out. Two pitches into their first meeting on Friday night, Zaun drilled an 0-1 offering into center field for a two-out double in the second.

One writer jokingly asked if Halladay grooved a pitch to Zaun for old time’s sake.

“No, but I thought about hitting him in the ribs,” Doc quipped.

Halladay did say facing Zaun presented a unique challenge.

“He’s a smart guy,” Halladay said. “There’s a little bit of cat and mouse, because you know he’s got a good idea of what you do and you’re always trying to stay one step ahead of him. The whole time he was here, he was an intelligent hitter, and he’s always had good at-bats, quality at-bats.

“It’s never fun facing guys like that.”

Halladay got Zaun to ground out to short in the fourth inning and he struck him out in the seventh.

“He gave it to me the next two at-bats for sure,” Zaun said.

UPDATES: LHP Ricky Romero (sidelined with a right oblique strain) threw 40-45 pitches in a bullpen session on Saturday morning and felt good, according to manager Cito Gaston. Toronto’s skip said Romero will throw another ‘pen on Monday and will likely be sent out on a Minor League rehab after that. … Gaston rested 3B Scott Rolen on Saturday and gave the nod to Jose Bautista. While it won’t be this way every time, Gaston said he will probably give Rolen the day off on day games after night games throughout the season. It’s a way to hopefully guard against the right shoulder injury that has bothered Rolen late in the year in recent seasons. … Gaston said RHP Robert Ray is able to throw 100 pitches, even though his latest Minor League start was only 4 1/3 innings. “I hope that gets us through eight,” Cito said with a smile.

Today’s lineups:

Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (9-14)

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Adam Jones, CF
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Aubrey Huff, 1B
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Luke Scott, DH
7. Lou Montanez, LF
8. Gregg Zaun, C
9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Starter: RHP Brad Bergesen (1-0)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (16-9)

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

Starter: RHP Robert Ray (MLB debut)

LOOKALIKE:

Ray.jpg

Blue Jays righty Robert Ray

AJBurnett_2007_017.jpg

Former Blue Jays righty A.J. Burnett

Just saying…

~JB

7 Comments

In Casey Janssen’s 2nd start today in Dunedin, he went 4 innings, gave up no hits, 1 walk, struck out 3 and maintained his 0.00 era over a total of 7 innings.

Nice debut by Roy and a great momentum win for the Jays.

Jason Frasor has turned into the ultimate vulture. He’s appeared in 10 games, went 10.1 innings, given up 4 hits, 1 walk and 6 k’s. He’s held opposing hitters to a .125 BA and has a microscopic .48 whip.

He’s also 4-0, which is tied for the most wins he’s had in his Jays career and one back of mlb win leaders. I’d say that change up or splitter or whatever he wants to call it is working rather fine.

LOL, even before I saw those pictures I thought Ray did look like Burnett. Seems like I missed a great game today. Hill is reminding me of why I missed watching him last year.

Great game today . Ray pitched very well in his MLB debut . Hill is on fire . I hope he remains that way and the rest of the Jays follow suit .

I don’t undertand why fans boo a returning player . Its not like Zaun was given an offer to return to the Jays. People need to be thankful for what that player did for the team when they played for that team. Zaun gave his all when he was with TO but in the end Barajas beat him out. It was time for Zaun to move on . I will say this , Thank You Zaun for the 5 years you gave the Jays and best of luck to you in Baltimore ( just not against the jays ….lol )

Not a big deal, but I don’t really get booing Zaun. He gave us five good seasons, wore his heart on his sleeve for us then moved on when he wasn’t really wanted here anymore. I’d have given him a tip of the hat on his first at-bat back in Toronto.

No one booed Zaun when he his the grand slam last year vs. the Rays – he did not jump ship like so many players do.

I agree – save the boos for AJ.

I only get to see the Jays live maybe a handful of times a year since don’t live in Toronto. Let me tell you, this was the most exciting game I’ve seen in a few years.

I even caught Aaron Hill’s game-tying HR in the bottom of the 10th!!! First ball I ever got at a ball game. Now only if I could get Hill to autograph it…

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