Game 114: Toronto at Tampa Bay

millar.jpgThere is a new “No. 15” in town. It’s only been a few days since Alex Rios was sent to the White Sox on a waiver claim, but veteran Kevin Millar didn’t want to waste any time in grabbing his former digits.

“It’s gonna save my career,” said Millar, showing off his new jersey on Friday at The Trop. “Thirty was brutal.”

Asked if he talked to Rios about a possible switch during the spring, Millar replied: “Nah, I figured I was just the old guy coming in on a minor league contract.”

Millar said he’s been “15” for the most part since the ninth grade. He pulled out his first baseman’s glove and showed us the “ONEFIVE” stitched into the side and then pulled out a bat that still had “15” written on the handle.

One reporter kiddingly asked if Rios left any hits behind with his number. Millar smiled wide and kept to his jokester ways, responding, “He left ’em all. That’s why he’s in Chicago now.” Here’s hoping donning “15” can give Millar a boost. With “30” on his back, he’s hit ..236 with six homers and 27 RBIs through 59 games for the Jays.

AROUND THE BIRDCAGE: LHP Brett Cecil (left knee) threw in a normal bullpen session on Friday and has been wearing a brace during workouts. He’s scheduled to throw another bullpen on Wednesday and is on pace to make his next start as planned on Aug. 20. … The Jays promoted RHP Casey Janssen from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill the spot vacated when RHP Jeremy Accardo was optioned to Vegas on Wednesday. … Ran into RHP Jesse Litsch, who had Tommy John earlier this season. He no longer was wearing the brace on his arm. “I’m ahead of schedule,” he said with a shrug and a smile, “whatever that means two months into this thing. I’m day-to-day.” More like month-to-month. … C Rod Barajas has been in a little bit of an offensive funk of late. Manager Cito Gaston said it looks to him like Barajas has ben standing a little more upright in his stance. “But maybe he’s not — that’s just what I see,” Gaston said. … Former Jays C Gregg Zaun is now behind the plate for the Rays. He was traded during Toronto’s last Flashback Friday in Toronto, so Zaunie didn’t get to wave to his old home fans. Ah, well. But here’s a feature by Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times talking about how Zaun want to be the Julio Franco of his position.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (54-59)
Fourth place AL East, 17.0 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, LF
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Joe Inglett, RF

Starter: RHP Roy Halladay (12-5, 2.73)

Thumbnail image for Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (61-43)
Third place AL East, 10.5 GB

1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
5. Carlos Pena, 1B
6. Pat Burrell, DH
7. Gabe Gross, RF
8. Gregg Zaun, C
9. B.J. Upton, CF

Starter: RHP James Shields (7-8, 3.79)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian



  1. gsjays

    I decided to re-post this, since it’s not often a Blue Jays pitcher trows a no hitter.

    Well, my guess is there’s no way anyone is going to turn our 19th round draftee from this year, Dennis Tepera back into a reliever, not after today.

    Dennis went 7 innings today for a complete game, walked one, struck out 7, gave up no earned runs AND also gave up NO HITS……..First no hitter by a Jays pitcher for quite some time.

    Dennis improved his year numbers to:
    Innings pitched: 28.2
    Hits given up: 10
    Walks: 4
    K’s: 33
    era: .94

    Congratulations to Dennis on his no hitter today.

  2. yerouttaheah

    Just in case you weren’t watching, gsjays, Joe Inglett made a couple of highlight reel catches in New York this week to save hits, and runs. The error Inglett made last night was a line drive hit right at him–the most difficult ball for an outfielder to read — and he broke the wrong way. I have seen far more experienced men than Inglett get tied up on similar hits. He also has 2 assists in his 20 games in the outfield, so his arm isn’t bad either. At the plate, you can’t really say he is an amateur, because he is hitting .290 over his last 10 games, and .289 career. IMO, we could use a few more “amateurs” like Joe Inglett.
    In other words, gsjays, you are flapping your gums again, and you don’t really know what you are talking about.

  3. gsjays

    I guess we watched different games in New York, because the catches Inglett made there he also broke the wrong direction or broke late. They were regular catches which ended up looking good, because fortunately he recovered in time to make them.

    Once he didn’t and it cost us the game. He’s mediocre at best in right field, defend him all you want since you continually defend mediocre players and their play.

    Inglett’s hitting .242/.306/.303 with only 4 rbi’s, 2 doubles and no home runs for the year. Now if you think that’s what good outfielders hit and we need more like him in order to win, I feel sorry for you.

    Sometimes I think you get your baseball knowledge from a corn flakes box or baseball cards, I mean really. How in hell do you do know what’s the most difficult ball for an outfielder to read-because Jamie Campbell said so. lol

    But the most disappointing thing about your post is, we had a kid that threw a no hitter yesterday, the first time a Jays pitcher has thrown a no hitter for as long as I can remember and did you state anything about that.

    Nope-just more of the same nonsensical blather you always post, no meaning, no facts, just crap. You’re pathetic.

  4. inception

    If we take the two world-championship teams as examples, the question is would Joe be playing on those teams? The answer is no. He would not even be able to compete for a bench position. The fact that he languishes in the minors, and no other teams have opened up a position on their roster for him as a full-time player speaks volumes. It is time to re-build with youth, but with youth with high-end potential, like the kid who threw the no-hitter, and some of the other top 1-3 picks over the last few years. Joe is a nice player, who can entertain here and there, make most routine plays, etc., but he is what his career tells us he is, a minor-league player.

    On a different note. I really hope that we see some new faces in September. I will be sorely disappointed if we see the Janssen’s, Accardo’s, Inglett’s of the world finish out the year. I want to see players like Ruiz, Doparik, Arencebia, etc. up here. Hopefully, Jays’ management has enough brains to realize that fans do care about these youngsters, and want to see them play.

  5. gsjays

    Is Vernon Wells the least Valuable Every Day Player in Baseball? (A good analysis from Batters Box).

    It’s safe to say that the Vernon Wells contract has turned into a millstone that will weigh the Jays down well into the next decade. However the situation would not be as dire if Vernon was still a solid, if unspectacular, major leaguer. However even that faint dream has become a nightmare, as Vernon has turned in an awful season so far. All of which begs the question – is Vernon Wells the least valuable regular in baseball?

    Balance of blog entry here:

  6. inception

    Unfortunately, Vernon’s performance (or lack thereof) has all the hallmarks of steroids. Yes, I know that he continues to make easy ground outs to short, but in the past we ignored that because of his ability to drive fastballs hard. The ability to turn on a pitch – a-la-big-papi – seems to have left him. The only balls I have seen him turn on are the occasional breaking ball that is left hanging. That said, Vernon strikes me as someone who still cares. Let’s hope that during the off-season he finds a strategy for turning things around. Otherwise, it will be a long 4-5 years for him and the fans!

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