Series Recap: Blue Jays @ Athletics, July 31-Aug 2.

The Jays continues their west coast swing with three against the Athletics of Oakland. A few notable events occured for the Jays going into this one: The big Scott "The Human Highlight Real" Rolen trade—if you haven't already, check out The Blue Jay Hunter's top 10 Rolen defensive gems as a Jay—which brought Edwin "E5" Encarnacion and Josh Roenicke to the lineup on Saturday; and on Friday Scott Richmond made his first start after coming off the DL.

Game Recaps
Game 1: Oakland 8, Toronto 5

Scott Downs Richmond made his first start since a month long stint on the DL and he stunk himself right out of the ball park. I was embarrassed to be a Jays fan watching this disgrace unfold. The entirety of the best fielding team in baseball was clearly murdered before the game and replaced with an inferior fielding group of cyborgs. Alex "I'm scared of a routine fly ball" cost Richmond a couple of runs in the first. The train was off the tracks and never quite got back on. Richmond went a pathetic 3+ having given up 7 hits, 6 runs—4 earned due to the Rios error—on only 19 batters. I'm not going to show the FanGraph win probability graph for this one; it looked like the heart-rate of a 400lb blob of a human chasing a twinkie.

What business did Kevin Millar have batting 4th? Jesus. His slash line was a joke going into this game: .227/.303/.370. Not cleanup hitter number. Those are teetering on Mendosa line numbers for Chirst sake. At least he made up for his pathetic batting with great defense. No wait. He bobbled a grounder routine that would have ended the 4th inning. Millar is useless and needs to be released. End of story.

My Cyborg speculation was proven to be true when Cyborg John McDonald committed an error on an innocently hit ground ball—the real Sir John A. would have made the play, clearly. The only bright spot of this one came from the one, two, three hitters—Scoots, Hill, Lind—who had 8 of the 10 hits. I'll be honest; this game was so bad that I passed out sometime during the top of the 4th and had to watch the rest of the game the next morning on

Game 2: Toronto 6, Oakland 5

Okay, game 1 had Millar in the 4 hole. This game had Overbay in the 4 hole? What the fuck is going on? I guess this begs the question, who else do they have to put in the cleanup slot? Fair enough. Personally I think Hill should be batting 3rd—I don't think he has the speed of a true number 2—and ideally Rios should be batting second. However, this year Rios's batting average doesn't warrant him a spot in the top 3 (I'm planning on writing a post on the 2010 Jays and a possible lineup soon). Anyway, Overbay as cleanup.

Cecil had a decent game. In fact, he only ran into real problems in the 2th. Taking away the 2th inning, Cecil had an excellent start. The Blue Jay bats were working in this one providing enough run support to squeak out a win. Wells AND Rios both had good days at the plate and Hill extended his hit streak, had 4 RBIs, and a home run that came at an absolute perfect time (look at the change in WP on the graph).

League continued his string of solid appearances going 3 up and three down relief of Cecil in the 8th. BJ Ryan Scott Downs had another rough outing which was saved by an apparent foot/leg/labia injury. Not sure if he took a dive so that he didn't blow another save, but in any case Frasor had to come on and clean up the mess. He did. We won. Yay.

After the game, Downs was placed on the DL and Accardo was bounced back up; he hadn't even left the hotel in San Fransisco yet...

Game 3:

Another game with Overbay in the 4 hole. Jose BAW-tista leading off? Oy vay. Anyway, this was a game to actually get a little excited about:

The Jays' hitters got to Athletics' starter right from the get go: Hill had a two run shot; Alex Rios hit a line drive double to left. It was 5-0 going into Romero's side of the first and the Jays never really looked back. Romero had a great game completing 7 innings, giving up 8H, 2ER, with 5K and 1BB. He also had a very impressive 50% GB% and recorded his 10th win of the season.

McDonald does his best Scott Rolen impression by starting a seemingly impossible double play. We also got a first look at the newly acquired Josh Roenicke. His 95 mph fastball was impressive; he struck out two of the four batters faced.

Finally a game where there offense and pitching were clicking at the same time. This was a great game to watch.

Thumbs up goes to...

Aaron Hill. Hill was an absolute monster this series. He went 6 for 14, had 2 2B, 2HR and cashed in 8 RBI. His wOBA for the series was a massive .545.

Rickey Romero. Recording his 10th win on a very good start on Sunday.

Jason Frasor. He continued his string of great relief—even in high pressure situations—when he cleaned up Scott Downs' mess on Saturday.

Josh Roenicke. Got a good first look in one inning pitched on Sunday.

Thumbs down goes to...

Scott Richmond. His first start back from the DL was brutal. Let's hope this was just an anomaly.

Scott Downs. Brutal. DL. Good riddance.

Alex Rios. His only hit of the series was his bases loaded double in game three. He didn't reach base in any of this other 11 plate appearances.

The next series is a short 2 gamer at home against the Yankees starting Tuesday. The probable pitchers are Pettitte (8-6, 4.51) vs. Halladay (11-4, 2.68) and Mitre (1-0, 7.90) vs. Rzepczynski (1-2, 3.25).

Looking forward to both pitching match-ups; it's always great to see The Doctor on the mount; and the battle of the youngsters should be great on Wednesday.

I'll have the Game Score Update done later tonight.