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Blue Jays vs Devil Rays official thread


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
With strong pitching, sharp defense and a pair of home runs, the Toronto Blue Jays put an end to their first three-game losing streak of the season. Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske hit homers, Hinske made a "game-saving" catch and rookie Casey Janssen earned his third victory in four starts as the Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 6-4. Tampa Bay had the tying run at third base in the eighth, but B.J. Ryan got pinch-hitter Toby Hall to ground out, turning the Rays away empty-handed. Ryan wrapped things up in the ninth to earn his 10th save.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Once again the game wasnt on television so I had to take this from bluejays.com

As Roy Halladay stepped off the mound and walked back towards Toronto's dugout, the fans inside Rogers Centre erupted with a loud round of boos. The negative reaction stemmed from the outing that he had turned in. The crowd wanted more.
It was the fans' way of pleading with Toronto manager John Gibbons to leave Halladay in. After all, the Jays' ace was just one out away from his third complete game of the season. Instead, those in attendance had to settle for an overpowering strikeout from closer B.J. Ryan, who sealed a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay and picked up his 11th save of the season.

"They love you or hate you. But as long as you win, they'll probably forgive you," Gibbons said with a smile. "We got down to that last out, and with anybody but Ryan out there we'd give [Halladay] the chance. Thankfully, it worked out like it's worked out 11 times this year."

It worked out the way that Halladay expected it to. He knew heading into the game's final frame that his skipper would turn to the club's new closer at the first sign of trouble. After inducing two groundouts, Halladay gave up a single to Jonny Gomes -- Tampa Bay's seventh, and final hit.

That prompted Gibbons to make the slow walk out to the mound and call for the 6-foot-6 Ryan, who inked a five-year deal this past offseason to become the Jays closer.

"You want to stay in as long as you can, but I knew I was probably going hitter to hitter, especially with B.J. over here now," Halladay said. "You get a save situation and guys on base, it's hard not to go to him. He does a great job and you never have doubts with him coming in."

Gibbons knew what the crowd wanted, but he had his own agenda -- making sure the victory was even more imminent than it seemed throughout Halladay's dominant performance.

"We didn't really want to use B.J. tonight," Gibbons said. "But [Halladay] gets the win. [Ryan] gets a nice, little one-out save. You can't beat it. What a country."

Halladay's win over the Rays was another typical day for the right-hander -- nothing fancy, very methodical, and always economical. But the description that best fits the season that Toronto's ace has built so far might simply be "reliable."

It was Halladay's fifth consecutive win in seven decisions. During that span, Halladay has posted a 2.36 ERA with 30 strikeouts versus eight walks for Toronto (25-20).

There Halladay (6-1) was again -- in the midst of ongoing issues facing the pitching staff -- mowing down the Devil Rays. He struck out seven, walked none and saw his ERA dip down to 2.77. Of the 26 outs he recorded, 15 came via groundout. Besides the hits -- six of which were singles -- only two outs notched by Halladay were of the fly-ball variety.

The only blemish on his outing was a fielder's choice RBI recorded by Tampa Bay's Greg Norton in the second inning. That grounder back to the mound allowed Ty Wigginton to score from third base for Tampa Bay (20-26). After that run, Halladay went on to retire 10 straight batters.

"He hit his groove probably about the third inning, when you could tell he found it," Gibbons said. "It wasn't like he was laboring early, but he just wasn't in sync. Then all of a sudden he took off. Typical Doc. You give him a lead and he's going to shut you down."

Rays manager Joe Maddon was particularly impressed with how Halladay shut down the left-hander hitters. The four lefties in Tampa Bay's lineup went a combined 1-for-13 against the former American League Cy Young winner.

"You look at his numbers against lefties, he just doesn't make mistakes against lefties. He just doesn't," Maddon said. "And if we had more righties, I'd put them in there. Because this guy just kills lefties. He's the starting version of Mariano Rivera."

The Jays gave Halladay all the support he needed through three frames. First baseman Shea Hillenbrand belted a solo shot off Rays starter Mark Hendrickson (3-4) in the second inning, and Troy Glaus chipped in with an RBI double that scored Vernon Wells in the third. Alex Rios and Wells both added RBIs in the seventh inning to give Toronto some insurance.

Toronto's rotation has been riddled with injuries and slumps all year, but Halladay has been solid throughout each mounting dilemma.

Halladay has three wins this month -- the same number of losses Josh Towers has piled up in May. Gustavo Chacin is currently out with an arm injury and Halladay has collected more wins this month than the lefty has starts. For every Major League appearance that rookie Casey Janssen has had for the Jays, Halladay has as many wins on the year.

Gibbons doesn't underestimate how important it is to have a pitcher of Halladay's caliber on his staff.

"He's arguably the best pitcher in the game," Gibbons said. "He's big every year. He's your ace and we really missed him last year when we lost him [to injury] after July. He's a cornerstone guy. Teams need those guys."

Whether the fans agreed with the ninth-inning decision or not, teams also need guys like Ryan. Halladay wouldn't argue.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
One again I am sorry but the game is not playing on television because of the Mememorial Cup, but it should end soon, so I'll have my real reviews. This is from bluejays.com

It was a fate that seemed increasingly inevitable with every start that Josh Towers made for the Blue Jays. It was a move that Toronto probably didn't want to make, but needed to, considering the playoff aspirations that entered this season right alongside the revamped roster.
On Wednesday night, the Jays quickly pulled the plug on another rough outing for Towers and they decided that a trip to the Minors might best suit their scuffling starter. Following Toronto's 10-8 loss to Tampa Bay, the club outrighted Towers to Triple-A Syracuse, where he'll aim to work through the problems that have plagued him all season.

"All I'm going to say is he's going down to clear his head. That's all I'm going to say on that," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "I don't want to beat it to death. That's pretty much all I'm going to say."

Toronto also optioned shortstop Russ Adams, who has been working through some defensive issues this season, to Triple-A after the loss. Gibbons said that John McDonald and Minor Leaguer Luis Figueroa will split duties at short for now. Figueroa is expected to be with the team on Friday, but the roster move hasn't officially been announced.

With Towers (1-8) out of the current picture, Gibbons said Toronto will call up a reliever to help the bullpen out until injured starter Gustavo Chacin returns to the mound on Tuesday. Filling in on the starting staff for Chacin is rookie Ty Taubenheim, who will make his second appearance of the year on Sunday.

Upon Chacin's return, though, the Jays don't need a fifth starter to take over for Towers until June 6 due to off-days on Thursday and the following Wednesday. Gibbons wasn't ready to say who might replace Towers in the rotation at that point.

"We've got it set up until next week," Gibbons said. "We'll deal with it after that."

Towers, who cleared waivers prior to his win over Tampa Bay on May 14, wasn't available for comment, but Gibbons did note that the expectations that the Jays had for this season played a role in his demotion.

"We've been saying that from day one," said a frustrated Gibbons. "You try to win anyway, but we're going to put the best team out there that we can every night."

Buried in the boxscore of Toronto's latest defeat is another dismal stat line for Towers. The struggling right-hander may have avoided the loss, but he couldn't escape his season-long issues.

It didn't take long for the Jays to pull Towers, who dropped eight straight decisions to start the year and saw his ERA jump to 9.00 after the outing against Tampa Bay. After he had faced just three batters -- two of which singled -- Toronto had reliever Scott Downs warming up in the bullpen. Towers had only thrown 14 pitches when Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg came jogging out to the mound to talk things over with the pitcher.

Fans were still entering the gates at Rogers Centre by the time Towers was pulled from the game. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- and gave up four runs on six hits, including a two-run homer to Carl Crawford in the second inning.

After the homer by Crawford, who went 5-for-5 with a franchise record five runs and four stolen bases, Towers walked Jonny Gomes. That's when Gibbons cut Towers' outing short and Downs emerged from the 'pen. The pitcher threw 43 pitches, including 27 for strikes.

"Even great players have had to go back [down] and get it together," Gibbons said. "It's not unusual. It's probably not as common as it used to be, but sometimes you have to do it."

Downs turned in 2 1/3 scoreless frames, but the relievers that followed him didn't fare as well. Francisco Rosario gave up one run in the fifth, Scott Schoenweis and Jason Frasor combined to give up three in the seventh, and Justin Speier yielded two in the ninth.

Toronto (25-21) led 7-5 in the seventh -- thanks in part to home runs by Shea Hillenbrand and Aaron Hill -- but Frasor (1-1) picked up the loss after giving up a two-run shot to Toby Hall that gave the Rays (21-26) the lead for good.

Adams entered the game as a pinch-runner for catcher Bengie Molina in the seventh inning and remained in the game at shortstop. Adams made two putouts in the field and chipped in an RBI double in the ninth inning that cut Toronto's deficit to 10-8.

It wasn't enough, though, and just a few minutes after knocking home the Jays' final run, Adams was called into Gibbons' office, where he learned he would be heading to the Minors with Towers.

"We're just doing what's best for both of them and best for the team right now," Gibbons said. "It's that simple. Josh can go down there and get it together. It's not happening here. Russ can go down and clear his mind."