It was great to see Josh Towers pitch incredibly well today. In my last blog I was saying how terrible he has been so far this season. And I definately do not retract that statement. However, he may have turned a corner. Today, Sunday May 14, Towers threw 68 pitches going into the 9th inning, having faced only two over the minimum and giving up one unearned run. He ran into trouble in the ninth though, giving up a two run shot, and was relieved by B.J. Ryan. Towers performance was outstanding though: 68 pitches through 8 innings is unheard of. I definately would not jump the gun and say Towers is going to be perfect the rest of the season, but he is a streaky pitcher and he has had a very bad stretch, so he could be due to make a good run of it.
Besides that, it seems like every Jay has had a good couple days at the plate. In my last post I said that Rios had been slumping a bit of late, six days with a sub par performance - that has ended drastically: the last two games he is 4-10, 3 runs scored, 4 hits, a home run, and 3 rbis. Watch him roll.
Hillenbrand is on fire. He is a streaky hitter, and he has been on a hot streak for almost four weeks now - since April 18, he's hitting .412. He is truly an amazing hitter. He hits the ball hard every single time - even when he's slumping he still crushes the ball.
Wells struck gold today when with runners on second and third he hit a dribbler to the second baseman, and beat out the toss to first which was dropped anyway, and both runners scored, netting Wells a nifty two rbis.
The defense of John McDonald must be preached. He is so reliable and he makes so many great plays that Russ Adams would miss at least a third of the time; I would rather see John McDonald in the lineup everyday than Russ Adams. It's not just that Adams can't throw and McDonald can, it's that McDonald gets you extra outs, he takes away hits and base runners like very few infielders do. The Jays pitching staff can use the help, and their offense should be fine considering Russ Adams is the weakest link in the lineup anyway.
Little can be said for the Devil Rays over the last two days. They have shown very little worth noting. I've seen donut shops with better lineups; at least at this moment in time. I'm sure they'll get better, but nobody except Gomes and some of the starters (Kazmir, Hendrickson; McClung has looked good recently too) has pulled their weight so far this season. The Devil Rays are last in the AL in hitting.
I think these wins for the Jays were quite big. Especially Josh Towers' excellent performance. What also makes these important wins is that for whatever reason, over the past couple seasons, the Devil Rays have had their way with the Blue Jays. The Devil Rays are the kind of team that the Blue Jays need to capitalize on playing, and the last couple years they could not do that. Hopefully that has changed. The Blue Jays are 21-16 right now.