Rzepczynski - Zep-chin-skee

Rzepczynski—a 40 point word in scrabble given no bonuses—made his Major League debut last night against the Tampa Bay Rays; the kid was impressive. He went 6.0 innings allowing only 1 run on two hits. He also K'ed 7 but gave up 4 walks. His biggest test came in the 4th inning, where he walked two batters and gave up a single to load the bases with two outs. The only run given up by Rzepczynski came at this point when we walked Kapler to score Pena. With the bases still loaded, he pitched very well to Navarro, eventually getting him to ground out (6-3) to end the inning.

The bottom of the 4th showed that the kid has some guts: He got himself into trouble walking Pena, Bartlett and Navarro, but stayed composed and got himself out of the inning with little damage done. Seven strike-outs over six innings is definitely Big League worthy, but it will be interesting to see how professional hitters adjust as more scooting reports come in. He threw a total of 106 pitches, but only 62 strikes; control was definitely a issue throughout the outing, but the kid was probably struggling with nerves. Handshakes came from all around after the 6th as the kid was replaced by Camp in the 7th. He sat in the dugout with a smile beaming from ear to ear knowing that his first Big League start was a good one. Unfortunately, the Jays hitting couldn't get him the win.

The highlight of the game came in the top of the 8th when Scott Rolen singled to centre-field, extending his hit streak to 24 games and scored Scutaro from 3rd in the process, which eventually forced the game into extras. Shawn Camp pitched 3 no hit innings, with a strike-out and a walk. Unluckily for Brandon League, Burrell got a hold of a good pitch in the bottom of the 11th, ending the game with a two-run walk-off to the gap in left-centre.

My complete scorecard can be found here.

A disappointing loss for the Jays who now slip further into oblivion and sit 8 back of Boston for the division lead and 7 back of the Yankees. Do the Jays have a chance at making the post season? Not with how great The Sox and The Yanks have been playing over the past month. But, it's really in their hands. With a lot of inter-divisional games left to play, anything can happen.

I still have hope, I think.