Well well ... the white sox are looking a little cowardly these days ... or so their manager seems to think ... Ozzie's pissed about the way they are losing (apparently there's a serious lack of effort or some such thing ... a white sox fan would know better than i would) ... thank goodness the Jays were lucky enough to be the recipients of those games the White Sox lost apparently with no help but their own ...
So, the word of the year so far, and especially of this series, is streak. Or sweep. But that's just a predecessor of the streak. The Jays have not won more than 3 games in a row, and have won the first two games of a three game series four times and each time failed to sweep. It's the pitchings fault really, why the Jays can't get streaking ... Towers certainly didn't help, and now Ty Taubenheim is the newest curse ... oh well, Gustavo Chacin is back next week and Casey Janssen has been great since coming up from the minors, posting a 0.975 whip in 44.1 innings pitched and a 3.25 era, so the Jays pitching staff is looking to have some stability soon. And then Burnett is due back soon to - he's going to throw off a mound on monday for the first time since the injury (he's just been playing catch so far). But he's not too too far away. So I expect the Jays pitching staff to look a lot better than it has over the last two months.
After two bad starts (right after I gave him props) Ted Lilly came back and threw a great game against the White Sox. He's getting a lot of strike outs. On friday night he pitched 6.1 innings and tallied 7 strike outs (4 in a row at one point, he looked great). He had 11 baserunners though, which is not great, but you can't argue with two runs. He ran into trouble in the 7th, two men got on, but he was relieved by Speier and then Schoenewies who did not allow a runner to score. Likewise, on Saturday, Janssen got into a tight spot with the bases loaded and one out in the 6th inning of a 1-1 game, and Scott Downs came in and did not allow a run to score. The Jays bullpen threw 15 innings over the three game series (6.2 innings today because Taubenheim let it go early), and allowed only 3 runs. They gave the Jays a chance today, and except for B.J.'s mistake were clutch in the close game yesterday that the Jays won in extra innings.
As I just mentioned, B.J. Ryan gave up a run and thusly blew his first save of the year. But to that I say whatever, I have no worries with him. He's only human, and no one keeps a .45 era forever.
Hitting wise - Wells got a home run, so he now has two in may. Rios' hit streak ended at 13 games today. Hillenbrand won the game yesterday with an 11th inning homerun (the boy does not want to leave Toronto). Overbay has been very hot lately, going 9 for his last 20, with two home runs today. This whole month Overbay has really been hitting as he was expected to hit, with 5 of his 7 home runs, 8 of his 10 doubles, and a consistent .315ish average. He should have about 100 rbis at the end of the season, .280-.310 average, a ton of doubles, and a lot of walks.
Glaus is doing really well. In 47 games played he's got 15 home runs (he hit one today), 41 rbis, 41 runs scored, 27 walks, a .262 avg. He's only taken one day off this year - he's healthy and hitting the ball as good as he ever has. He has so much power, as much as anyone else in the league, but as it often is with power hitters he is susceptible to striking out. All around though he is a great run producer, and a good clutch hitter: he hits .170 with 2 outs, but he hits .263 with RISP and two outs. That .170 avg. with two outs includes the .263 avg. with two outs and RISP, so he must be hitting way worse than .170 with two outs and no runners in scoring position. That is to say, he's clutch. With RISP he's hitting .280 with a .400 obp and an .840 slugging - so 1.240 ops with RISP. Woot.
Once more, I'm just going to shout out to John McDonald, who i've been giving a lot of credit to of late. My deal is that John McDonald gets extra outs, he makes playes that others don't make, and is all around fantastic with the glove. He just proved my point again in that close game against the white sox - when Janssen had loaded the bases, in the sixth, and Scotty Downs came in. I'll let Jordan Bastian of MLB.com take it from here:
Both starters traded zeros until Gibbons and Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen were forced to turn to their respective bullpens. Gibbons called upon left-handed reliever Scott Downs after Janssen had retired just one batter and loaded the bases on three singles in the sixth inning.
Downs struck out Rob Mackowiak and then induced a grounder from Uribe that seemed destined for left field. The ball slipped under the glove of a diving Glaus, but shortstop John McDonald snagged it with a back-handed grab before firing a strike to first baseman Lyle Overbay.
"It's always fun when you get to make a play that affects the outcome of the game," said McDonald, who left the game with a groin injury in the eighth inning.
Janssen admitted that, when the ball left Uribe's bat, he thought Chicago (31-17) would notch the go-ahead run.
"My heart sank for a second," said Janssen, referring to when the ball scooted passed Glaus. "But then I saw [McDonald] there and he flung it over there and my heart stopped again -- oh man, it was unbelievable. That was a big play in the game."