Toronto Blue Jays

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MLB is reviewing Josh Donaldson’s lewd gestures/comments to the Angels bench

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As I mentioned in yesterday’s recaps, Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson was somewhat animated in his interaction with the Angels’ dugout during Monday afternoon’s game. Specifically, there were some gesticulations and words with which Donaldson suggested that the Angels do things to certain parts of his anatomy which they were not likely inclined to do.

I’m guessing he’ll get a token “won’t someone think of the children?!” fine given that his anatomical suggestion to the Angels’ dugout was likely loud enough to be heard by fans and MLB is rather taken with the family experience these days. I mean, back in the 70s they were probably more worried about the fans being bad influences on the players — really, crowds in the 70s were drunken, loutish train wrecks — but it’s 2015 now and we expect some damn decorum around here.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Seven games yesterday. Six of them decided by one run. Three of them in extra innings. Not bad?

Blue Jays 10, Angels 6: The Blue Jays ended their five-game skid, thanks in part to a big long homer by Jose Bautista, who drove in three runs in all. Bonus fun: at one point in the game Josh Donaldson yelled obscenities across the diamond at the Angels dugout. Specifically, Angels’ pitching coach Mike Butcher. And while I normally don’t mind working a tad blue, this stuff was so radioactive I don’t really even want to link the video and/or GIF in which you can clearly read Donaldson’s lips. If I did, your reaction would be like Mrs. Schwartz’ in “A Christmas Story” after Ralphie’s mom tells her that Ralphie heard “fudge” from her son. Except Donaldson didn’t say “fudge.” He didn’t even say THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word. Just go Googling around if you want to be thoroughly scandalized and if you have some time this morning to retire to your fainting couch.

Mets 2, Cardinals 1: Matt Harvey tossed eight shutout innings, striking out nine but didn’t figure in the decision because John Lackey only have up one run and then, in the ninth, Mets reliever Jeurys Familia gave up two singles and a sac fly to let the Cards tie it and send it to extras. In the 14th Cards reliever Samuel Tuivailala walked a couple guys to lead things off, one of them got to third base and then came home to score the winning run on a John Mayberry infield single. That’s the second start in a row where Harvey gave up no runs but was staked to only a 1-0 lead and ended up getting a no-decision.

Brewers 3, Tigers 2: Carlos Gomez was hit in the head by a 97 m.p.h. fastball on Sunday. On Monday he hit a homer to lead off the game and and added a tiebreaking single in the seventh. Not too shabby. The Tigers had a chance to go back ahead in the eighth, putting men on first and second with nobody out. But then they experienced Martinez failure as Victor — who is hitting a mere .216 — hit into a double play and J.D. struck out. Folks, we tell you this all the time, but check the batteries on your Martinezes every spring when you set your clocks forward and every fall when you set them back. It can save lives.

Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2: Dan Jennings’ first game in the dugout was close, but he did not end up with a victory cigar. Not that any of it was his fault as it was a tactics-and-intrigue-free game. It went 13, with the Dbacks winning after Chris Owings singled, stole second and moved over to third on a ground out before David Peralta drove him home with a go-ahead double. Jennings did get a nice uniform modification, though:

White Sox 2, Indians 1: Carlos Sanchez singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning, but those going home from this game were likely thinking about how nice a starting pitching matchup they saw. Corey Kluber went nine, striking out 12 and allowing only one run on five hits. Chris Sale went eight, allowing only one run on four hits. Bullpens really were buzzkills yesterday, no?

Athletics 2, Astros 1: OK, not all bullpens were buzzkills. The A’s bullpen — which has an application pending for current, exclusive use of the term “much-maligned” — tossed four and two-thirds scoreless innings and Brett Lawrie hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth. The win snapped the A’s four-game losing streak and the loss snapped the Astros’ five-game winning streak.

Phillies 4, Rockies 3: Hey, you guys: the Phillies aren’t in last place! That after their sixth straight win. Odubel Herrera broke a tie in the sixth inning with a two-run double and Cole Hamels allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth. The Rockies added a couple of runs in the eighth and ninth to make it close, but close ain’t good enough.

Mark Buehrle on the Blue Jays: “we stink”

Mark Buehrle
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The Blue Jays just finished a 1-6 road trip and sit at 17-22, good for last place in the AL East. It’s only five games back of the leaders because the AL East is kind of nuts this year, but it’s not good.

And Mark Buehrle said so in pretty clear terms after yesterday’s loss:

“I’m stating the obvious, we stink. We’re not playing very good on any aspect. When we’re pitching good, we’re not hitting. When we hit and score, we’re not doing a good job pitching, we’re not holding them.”

After that he talked about how they had to turn things around “before another fire sale and we start selling guys.” Which he knows all about having been a one-year wonder on that would-be contender Miami Marlins team in 2012 season.

Refreshing honesty.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Shelby Miller
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Braves 6, Marlins 0: Shelby Miller has a no-hitter broken up with one out to go. Sorry kid. Still, a 94-pitch shutout is nothin’ to sneeze at. It’s something that even has a cool name. And let the record reflect that Miller is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts while Jason Heyward is hitting .252/.310/.382. I’d rather have the Cardinals’ record than the Braves, but so far the Braves are winnin’ that trade.

Orioles 3, Angels 0: Mike Wright’s major league debut: seven and a third innings pitched, four hits no runs and his first big league strikeout came on a swing-and-miss by Mike freakin’ Trout. Not bad!

And since we mentioned a debut, let’s mention a finale. I won’t give anything too major away here in case people haven’t seen it, but I’m OK with how “Mad Men” ended. The big thing to remember: you don’t spend eight years pounding the twin ideas of cynicism and people’s powerlessness to change and then suddenly give your main character enlightenment or transcendence or something. If Don Draper had done anything other than what he did here it would’ve been a nice payoff for fans, yes, but it also wouldn’t have served the show’s central ethos very well. So, I liked it. If you require crazy twists, stunning personal journeys and catharsis, “Mad Men” really wasn’t your kind of show to begin with.

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 0: Sean O’Sullivan was hit way harder by his own catcher than he was by any Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks managed only five hits off of him. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit O’Sullivan in the throat when he tossed the ball back to him. He was shaken for a second but stayed in the game, delivering one more pitch to complete his six innings of work. The Phillies have won five in a row, you guys.

Royals 6, Yankees 0: The Royals were powered by a battery: Edinson Volquez tossed three-hit ball for seven innings and Salvador Perez homered and drove in two. The third 6-0 game of the day. The seventh shutout in fifteen games overall. Everyone was gettin’ away for getaway day, I guess.

Giants 9, Reds 8: The first half of the line score here is sort of messy, as the Giants had a five-run lead early and squandered all but one run of it in the third. Crooked numbers and disorganization. The last half of the line score is very satisfying for the sort of person who likes symmetry and order, as each team scored one run a piece in the fifth, seventh and eighth, leaving that one-run margin for San Francisco. Brandon Belt homered Nori Aoki drove in three.

Mets 5, Brewers 1: Noah Syndergaard got his first career win, allowing one run over six innings and striking out five. He also beaned Carlos Gomez in the ear flap, scaring the hell out of everyone, but thankfully Gomez is OK. It also led to this bit of good sportsmanship.

Rays 11, Twins 3: The Rays rattled 19 hits off of Twins pitching to avoid the sweep. James Loney had four of those hits and three RBI. Chris Archer allowed only one run in six innings. Also: the way “Mad Men” ended TOTALLY keeps the idea of “Don invents ‘New Coke’ in 1985, ruining his career” speculation in play! McCann-Erickson did that campaign! Don pitched the Max Headroom “Catch the Wave!” commercial, everyone loved it and then it totally fizzled. Or, perhaps, Peggy did that while Don was off on some bender or another journey around the country. Don watches it fail, comes back and pitches “Coca-Cola Classic.” If I were AMC It’d throw a truckload of money at Matt Weiner to do that as a six-episode mini-series 10-15 years from now.

Astros 4, Blue Jays 2: Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus homered and Collin McHugh allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and struck out nine. Mark Buehrle went the distance for Toronto and, though he lost, he served his second-best purpose and kept this game to a crisp two-hour, twenty-two minutes.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A.J. Burnett tossed seven shutout innings. Last August the dude said he’d probably retire, but came around to give it another go. Then in January he said he only had one more season left in him. So far, however, he’s 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 43/18 in 52 innings. That’s the sort of thing that can change a man’s career plans.

Rangers 5, Indians 1: Mitch Moreland had a two-run homer and hit another ball off the top of the wall. Carlos Carrasco pitched all eight innings the Rangers batted, making him the second dude on the day to do that after Buehrle. Going the distance in a loss is the new inefficiency.

White Sox 7, Athletics 3: The sweep. The first White Sox sweep in Oakland since 1997. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer. Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs over eight.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 0: James Paxton tossed eight shutout innings. Kyle Seager homered, drove in two and scored twice. Everyone has talked about how the Red Sox’ starting pitching stinks, and it has, but the offense is no great shakes either, ranking 11th in the American League in runs per game and 14th in slugging percentage. And yet they’re only three and a half back because the American League East is kind of a hot mess. But some hot messes are fun, so who cares?

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Mike Bolsinger and three relievers combined to three-hit the Rockies. Kyle Kendrick limited Colorado to a run and three hits over seven innings, but he walked five and one of those walks put a man in scoring position prior to the RBI single which proved to be the only run in the game.

Nationals 10, Padres 5: Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer, tripled and drove in four on his 3-for-4 day. On the year he leads the National League in games, plate appearances, runs, home runs, walks, slugging percentage and OPS. Clearly overrated.

Cardinals 2, Tigers 1: Ausmus. Matheny. The battle of the Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers concluded with King Handsome Ausmus’ squad taking two of three from Prince Handsome Matheny’s squad. Matheny prevailed here, however, as Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth and Lance Lynn allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth and hit an RBI to [altogether now] help his own cause. This will not, however, alter the handsomeness standings as it was a non-title match. All bets are off if the Tigers and Cardinals meet in the World Series.

Michael Saunders will rest for 4-6 weeks due to knee injury

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders returned to the disabled list this week due to renewed discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Saunders, who was acquired from the Mariners over the winter, injured his knee in a freak accident in late February when he stepped on a sprinkler head at Toronto’s spring training facility. Surgery was originally expected to leave him on the shelf until around the All-Star break, but the timetable was moved up after he had 60 percent of his meniscus removed. The 28-year-old made his season debut on April 25, but batted just .194 (6-for-31) with a .499 OPS over nine games before landing on the DL this week.

The hope is that rest will do Saunders some good, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted that he might not be 100 percent until the offseason. Bad news for someone who looked like a quality pickup for Toronto.

Dalton Pompey was demoted to Triple-A after a slow start and Jose Bautista has been limited to designated hitter duties due to a shoulder injury, so the Blue Jays are currently relying on a combination of Kevin Pillar, Chris Colabello, Ezequiel Carrera, and Danny Valencia in their outfield.