The Houston Astros move into the American League means that we’ll see National League teams much more frequently. Does the balanced number of teams, which requires much more inter-league action, mean that we’re looking at the possibility of expansion in the near future? Does it mean contraction? Does it mean we’ll see the DH in the National League? Whatever eventually happens, the Jays play 20 inter-league games this season and 4 games against the Atlanta Braves this week. The Braves are a good team and the Jays will need to play hard and well to earn a split, let alone win 3 or 4 games in this series.
Melky’s May Meter
Melky hit his way on base early in several games lately, but didn’t do it yesterday or today. However, he is walking a little more frequently, and getting on base that way. It is because of his ability to get on base that he continues to score a few runs.
A 2-run home run by Colby Rasmus got the ball rolling—the look on Cory Rasmus’s face was priceless—and a two-run single by Edwin Encarnacion put the Jays up by four runs early. The Jays led at that point 4-0.
Mark Buehrle was the Mark Buehrle that everyone expected. He was never in serious trouble throughout his 6 IP. Base runners generally got on base with two outs, and he recorded the third out without any damage. The one run that the Braves did score against him came with 2 out. He left the game earlier than expected because he took a come-backer awkwardly off his chest, and by that time the Jays built a 6-1 lead.
The Braves put another 2-spot on the board after the Jays extended the lead to 9-1. If not for what the Jays could learn from the hitter, it wouldn’t even be worth a mention. Evan Gattis homered to right-center field against Brad Lincoln to make the score 9-3. Gattis is still somewhat of an unknown after bursting on the scene as a replacement for Brian McCann early in the season. In the game he singled, doubled and homered against Buehrle and Lincoln, and he has easy power. If, over the next three games, the Jays find themselves in a close game with Gattis coming to the plate they’ll need to be wary.
Tim Hudson was hittable tonight. He’s struggled with his control all season, as evidenced by a high ERA coming into the game, and the Blue Jays took advantage of his relative wildness. The Jays used 8 hits and 2 walks to score 6 ER against an old nemesis.
Edwin’s 3-run home run against Cory Rasmus and 2-run single early in the game against Hudson made him the offensive star in the game.
Speaking of struggles, is anyone else surprised by BJ Upton? His peripherals weren’t great coming into this season but they weren’t this bad. The 60 Ks are within expectations, but his slash line this season is .148/.236/.252. Wow.
A couple of notes from tonight’s game in this abbreviated recap. First, Brett Lawrie slid awkwardly into second base. He twisted his ankle and, after reviewing the replay, he’s lucky it wasn’t worse. As it turns out, he left the game shortly thereafter with an ankle sprain.
Second, Jose Reyes took BP and FP for the first time since suffering his own ankle sprain. He’s a little ahead of schedule, but looked and felt good. This bodes well for the Jays.
Third, from the family file Colby Rasmus faced his younger brother Cory Rasmus in the game tonight. Rasmus the Younger has a terrific fastball that topped out at 96 mph, but he was a little wild. Colby likes to strike out or hit home runs. Colby worked the count to 3-1 before doubling into the left field corner. Yes, you read that correctly…the left field corner. If Colby approached every at bat the way he approached the AB against his little brother, he’s be an all star. Colby and Cory have a younger brother who’s a catcher in the Cardinals system.
This was a good win for the Jays. They took a good team out to the wood shed and gave ’em what for. There have been too few laughers in the Jays’ favour (this is #6), but particularly laughers against good teams. This gives the Jays three wins in their last five and evens their record for May at 12-12.