Game Threat: Jays (7-9) vs. Yankees (9-5)

The Jays return home after their early season road trip of unfortunateness and… wait a second… what’s this? Why it’s our old friend Pete Puma! Ahhh, there’s no better way to shake off the memories of the clusterfuck in Boston than by watching the Jays’ fantastic rookie Kyle Drabek outduel Mr. Yesterday’s News.

Then again, it won’t be pretty around here if the Yankees win it. But at least we get the opportunity to boo the fuck out of ol’ AJ, amiright?

News and Notes

No, that is not a typo: Travis Snider is actually hitting second tonight. Fucking eh!

Aaaand, according to Mike Wilner, John Farrell says it’s because Snider has some good numbers against Pete Puma. So, he actually knows how to look up stuff like that– maybe he should try checking out Octavio Dotel’s splits against left-handers the last couple years. Also: I’m sure that’s a wonderful sample size he’s basing that Snider move on.

Wilner also informs us that Rajai Davis is getting close to heading to New Hampshire on a rehab assignment.

Brad Emaus, the second baseman who was claimed from the Jays in the Rule-5 draft by the Mets, has been designnated for assignment. It’s very possible he ends up back in the Jays’ system.

TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups, by way of

Toronto Blue Jays

Y. Escobar SS
T. Snider LF
J. Bautista RF
A. Lind 1B
A. Hill 2B
J. Molina C
C. Patterson CF
E. Encarnacion DH
J. Nix 3B

K. Drabek RHP

New York Yankees of New York

D. Jeter SS
C. Granderson CF
M. Teixeira 1B
R. Cano 2B
N. Swisher RF
E. Chavez 3B
J. Posada DH
R. Martin C
B. Gardner LF

P. Puma RHP

  • rotr

    Wilner tweeted that Balir ad tweeted that Snider had a look in his eye. Love it.

  • Alex Grady

    i was getting a blowjob when snider won that game. best combination ever.

  • Alex Grady

    John Buck did it last year

  • Garafraxaguy

    I for one am glad Snider made me look like a fool. BTW how long until Brandon Wood is a Jay?

  • 511

    Watching Drabek pitch in the fourth inning last night, I had a moment – after that last strikeout – when I thought ‘this guy is gonna be one dominating ace one day’. I am SO glad he’s a part of this staff. As his confidence grows in this league, well, enough said. Not saying anything that a lot of Jays fans aren’t already thinking, but … we could be watching one very special pitcher in the making, here.

    Loved (LOVED loved) seeing Johnny Mac get his bat on that high pitch for that perfect bunt that scored Bautista. If he hadn’t replaced Hill, how might that have gone down? (And I like Hill, btw.) But what a funny game baseball is sometimes.

    And speaking of funny, with Travis doing little (nothing) against AJ, batting second because of past success against him, to see him snap his bat in two in a show of awful/beautiful frustration (depending on how it all turns out) and then win the game in the tenth … well, nothing new to say about it, but there’s an extra bounce in my step this morning. And then some. Thanks Travis. We all needed that.

  • FriedCalamari

    I love how they were beating Snider to a pulp during the celebration

  • Hell_Bent

    Here is Travis in NH breaking bat. Beast. Someone please gif the SN video of him doing it last night. The view from the Jays dugout is much better than the MLB/YES feed.

  • Butch Goring’s Helmet

    Allow me to retort.

    I wouldn’t “shit down their throats” until they approached, oh, around 700 plate appearances and showed ZERO improvement from the first to the last, and in fact showed regression at the plate, the fielding skills of a designated hitter who cannot hit, and the baseball acumen of a stick of gum. (seriously travis, you dont get to first base faster sliding head first, weird how wilner used to kill everyone that did this, yet no mention of it whenever the Franchise does it, just references to his great hustle)

    Neither Lawrie nor especially Thames are being touted as these major league saviors and franchise players that Snider has been for the last three years. So immediately the level of expectation is simply not there.

    In fact, most of my comments aimed at Snider are in fact aimed at the legion of his followers who believe, almost in a religious fashion, that he is the WAY despite all evidence to the contrary.

    And if you actually read my posts, I have stated MANY times that I believe he can be an average major league outfielder, just not the perennial MVP candidate Wilner et al feel he can become. I have never said to bench him. I have never said to even bat him low in the order. I want him to get as many plate appearances as he can so we can see what he can bring to the table.

    This is essentially an example of logic that you would like me to adhere to

    “hmmm, data shits on snider”

    “snider is young”

    “data will shit on all young players who struggle”

    When in reality this is the set of circumstances in play as I see it.

    “Snider is not producing”

    “Snider has spent parts of four different seasons in the majors”

    “Snider has trouble catching up to quality fastballs”

    “Snider has trouble recognizing breaking balls”

    “What the fuck is he good at hitting”


    “Can you make a living hitting only mistakes”


    “can you be the GBOAT doing this”

    “fuck no”

  • Butch Goring’s Helmet

    yeah, great idea, maybe he and jo jo reyes can have their own personal section in the club house called

    “we suck but fuck, we apparently have tools so i guess we get to stay up here until we burn a bridge for each of the teams in MLB”

  • Musto

    Potential heckling material:

    Swisher – Hey 33, aren’t you Van Montgomery?
    (Swisher’s wife, the actress)

    Jeter – Minka Still Dreams About Tim Riggins

    Yankees Suck just gets a little tired.

  • Bastard Ump

    Fuzz. Will have to tune in on the radio tonight. No SN1. No biggie. Last night’s excitement should tide me over for a couple of days.

  • Alex Grady

    i was watching the game at my girlfriend’s house last night and was explaining to her that last time bautista faced AJ he hit a good tater off him, and if memory serves me correctly, he got beaned the next at bat, or at least thrown at, and that there was just a whole lot of spite taters and beans and stuff going around. By the time I finished my story there was a high meatball being sent to the seats.

  • Carl Winslow

    More like Bo Jackson like bat break, and noone holds a candle to the bo breaker,

  • Tom Jackson

    I think you’re thinking of the Ivan Nova game, even though Bautista pummeled the shit out of A.J. in the Rogers Centre last year as well. He crushed one off Nova for his first of the night, then hit a foul ball into the upper deck in his next at bat (?). The next pitch sailed over his helmet, and he was…Uh…Less than impressed. Later in the game he belted one off David Robertson and glared at him seemingly the whole way around the bases, and took his sweet fucking time, pumping his fist up and down as he arrived at the plate.

    1st HR:

    Pitch over the head:

    2nd sweet HR:

    That was my favourite game from 2010, and it was made extra special by the fact that it came against the Bombers. Fuck yeah!

  • allisauce

    interesting article on MLB attendance.

  • Tom Jackson

    Would I like Travis Snider to be a more consistent hitter? Hell yeah. But he is 23. One of the latest objects of everyone in Blue Jay land’s infatuation is Eric Thames, who’s 24 and has 62 AAA plate appearances. Yes, he’s had injuries that have slowed him down. So has Travis (less severe injuries than Thames, but they have still slowed his progress) and he has nearly 750 MLB PA scattered over four years.

    The Jays greatest position player of all-time (in terms of his stats as a Blue Jay), Carlos Delgado, just retired. Through his age 23 season (Travis is just starting his), Delgado had a .194/.300/.378/.678 (75 OPS+) slash line with 12 HR and 35 RBI in 260 PA in 82 games – that projects to 24 HR and 70 RBI in 162. He had struck out once every 3.61 PA, and he was already a failed catcher and a failed left fielder. What a fucking bum. What a AAAA stiff. He’s never gonna figure out MLB pitching. He’s just going to be an average major leaguer, if he doesn’t completely flame out.

    So far, barely into his age 23 season, Snider has a .246/.311/.429/.740 (97 OPS+) slash line with 26 HR and 85 RBI in 741 PA and 200 games, which projects to 21 HR and 69 RBI in 162. He has struck out once every 3.8 PA, and may eventually need to move from LF, but is a viable option there for now.

    Am I saying hey Data look, same guy, and therefore Snider will be the GBOAT that overtakes the current GBOAT? Fuck no. I would never say that because it’s ridiculous to say that of a 23 year old, but I think he’s going to be just fine thank you very much. You say he’ll be an average MLBer, I’ll say when all is said and done, he’ll be an above average MLBer. However, I refuse to smoke from the same crack pipe that Wilner’s smoking from, and I do not think he’s going to be a perennial top 10 MVP candidate. Shit, how many players outside of Pujols can you say that about in today’s game?

    One more thing: Minor League Stats:

    Delgado: .302/.403/.520/.923 with 125 HR 475 RBI (26 HR 100 RBI/600 PA) in 2850 PA at all levels.

    Snider: .302/.376/.530/.906 with 69 HR 283 RBI (26 HR 105 RBI/600 PA) in 1610 PA at all levels.

    Scary…Probably the fact that Snider’s eye is nowhere near as good as Delgado’s was, will stop him from reaching Delgado’s level, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an above average major leaguer.

  • pete

    That’s a fantastic statistical comparison. Snider’s swing, btw, reminds me an awful lot of Delgado’s as well. And it anyone remembers that first LF season of Delgado, he looked pretty lost at times. Last night a whole lot of people were talking about how badly Snider was missing by, I wonder if anyone remembers how bad Carter looked on the pitch before he took “Wild Thing” deep.

  • Tom Jackson

    This will be shorter than the last Tolstoy, I promise. Snider so far in 2011:

    First 66 PA: .153/.242/.254/.497 with 1 HR 11 RBI


    First 75 PA: .125/.253/.250/.503 with 2 HR 4 RBI

    Next 55 PA : .385/.418/.769/1.187 with 4 HR 11 RBI
    (until injury)

    First 75 PA: .211/.253/.338/.591 with 2 HR 6 RBI
    (after return)

    Next 109 PA: .311/.330/.547/.877 with 6 HR 11 RBI

    This year’s start is kinda deja vu all over again for him unfortunately, and he is quite prone to extended slumps, but he can also go on tears that last just as long. Sounds like a young hitter to me. His swings, as you point out, have not looked good, but I doubt they looked all that great in that first 75 PA last year either. If we’re prepared to say Travis will only ever be able to be an average major leaguer based on these horrible 75 PA, I can’t imagine what we should be saying about Brett Gardner and Carl Crawford. Hitters go through these kinds of funks all the time. It’s just way more noticeable at the start of a season.

  • pete

    Also, would anyone else rather have either Emaus or Wood playing third than Nix?

  • pete

    He also started slowly in AA in his last year where he started the season in the minors.

  • Butch Goring’s Helmet

    You are proving my point. Age is just a number when you don’t take experience into account. Your numbers highlight a major discrepancy between snider and delgado..

    when delgado was up to 750 plus plate appearances, he was hitting 270/353/490 and was a bona fide major leaguer.

    instead you are citing delgados 260 PA vs sniders 750+.

    that is not a fair comparison. Adding digits to your age doesnt make you better.

    As i recall, delgado was having trouble with breaking pitches early on. he simply didnt see anything straight. Snider too has trouble with breaking stuff, difference being that delgado would crush heaters and snider cant catch up to them or gets beat, which is why he so often is hitting balls the opposite way.

    if snider were 23 and had 200 plate appearances, i wouldt be near as hard on him.

  • Scott Hall

    1-0 already for Oakland. Fuck you Boston.

  • stoeten

    You’re right. Wait for it.

  • stoeten

    I thought you were referring here to giving you a blowjob during a Snider walk-off.

  • Froggy

    SB Nation story on Vernon’s struggles

  • stoeten

    You know what pitchers do when a batter loses bat speed and can’t catch up to fastballs? They throw a lot of fastballs at him– in his brief time with Tampa this year, Manny Ramirez saw over 84% fastballs. Snider is at about 50%, the same as Jose Bautista. Snider’s swinging strike percentage is, so far (in a very small sample) lower than any of his other partial seasons in the majors. He’s made contact on 90% of pitches in the strike zone– Bautista? 83%. He’s swung at fewer pitches outside the strike zone than Adam Lind.

    He could certainly be doing better, and you’d like to see him not go opposite field every time, but the basic foundations of your criticism of the kid– can’t hit fastballs, can’t recognize pitches– are just not true. Give the 23-year-old some time, guy.

  • Tom Jackson

    No, I am not proving your point. Delgado was not hitting .270/.353/.490 for his career at around the PA number that Snider’s at now. That is what he hit in his first full season in the big leagues (something which Snider has not yet had), which came in 1996 at age 24 in his 4th crack at it (This is Snider’s fourth shot too, hopefully he finally gets a full season, so we can see where he’s at). I think being on the big team from game 1 to game 162 is the only way for him to get any kind of rhythm, so I’m not dismissing him until I see where he is at in a full season (assuming he can stay healthy – looks like a big assumption at this point).

    You seem to be taking this 66 PA sample size, holding it up and saying “See, this is what Travis Snider is. At best, he’ll be an average major leaguer.”, as if most players that have ever played this game (except the non-human ones like Pujols, but even he’s probably had some bad stretches) have never had horrible stretches where they’ve looked completely lost at the plate. But it’s the old axiom: “A player is never as bad as they look when they’re scuffling, and never as good as they look when they’re hot”.

    Following that full season that you referenced above, Delgado’s career OPS+ was an even 100. Coming into this year, Snider’s was 103, and it has now dropped off to 97. Delgado is hardly wiping the floor with him, when you take into consideration the difference in the eras they played in. Here’s a look at Snider right now, and Delgado (1993-1996):

    Snider (741 PA): .246/.311/.429/.740 (97 OPS+) Adj. League Average: .262/.331/.415/.746

    Delgado (823 PA): .246/.337/.455/.792 (100 OPS+) Adj. League Average: .274/.347/.439/.787

    Delgado’s the better hitter at this point in their careers, but not by as much as you seem to be indicating. In fact it’s a pretty razor thin edge that he enjoys over Snider, despite the shit show. He has a 52 point edge in OPS, but the league he played in when adjusted for park and era has a 41 point edge in OPS, over the league Snider played in.

  • pete

    Tom. I think I love you.

  • Brisco

    MLB takes over LA Dodgers…!?

  • Tom Jackson

    Whoa! Guess they got sick of all the bickering and squawking.

  • Carl Winslow

    Their organisation is under investigation into the finances and policies of the league.

  • Candy Catalanotto

    remember that douche of a sports journalists covering the white sox who came up to toronto last year when his team was in town, talking about how the jay’s attendance was pathetic and the team would be moved?

    well, according to your article, the jays outdrew his white sox by an average of almost 3K a game.

  • Candy Catalanotto

    (didn’t see the figure was for ’11, not ’10, where jays drew 20K — which is actually kinda sad considering the season we had – to chi sox 27k)

  • Tom Jackson

    How could I forget him? Joe fucking Cowley…A writer with the integrity of a cockroach, who uses this kind of pathetic shit to raise the number of hits his column gets to justify his miserable livelihood and existence. Wow, what a great writer. :drenched in sarcasm in case you couldn’t figure it out:

    Here’s the asshole’s Wikipedia page: