Can the Jays sweep? They've just won the first two games of a three game series against the Red Sox, right after winning the first two games of a series against the white sox and failing to sweep them. That was the fourth straight time the Jays had won the first two games of a three game series and lost the last game. So can they do it this time? I can't garauntee that the Jays will sweep the red sox, but I think it's a pretty good bet. The Jays starter tomorrow is Ted Lilly, and among the teams he has had the most success against in his carreer is the Red Sox. "Lilly is 5-3 with a 3.57 era in 17 career appearances against Boston" (that statistics bit is from MLB.com). After his first start of the season, which was not good, Lilly had a majestic performance against the Red Sox, pitching seven innings, with six hits, no walks, 10 strikeouts. Boston is sending David Pauley to the mound, a rookie from AA. So far this season, the Jays have won seven of ten games against the Red Sox, and each of the three losses was a Josh Towers start. Unless David Pauley can pitch an excellent first major league game, the Red Sox are sunk, because I expect Ted Lilly to pitch an excellent game.
So, a few things to note: The Jays can hit a fastball. Yes sir they can. As I posted a while ago to Reedster who has Beckett on his fantasy team, the Jays have Beckett's number. This is the third start in a row they got to him good. They got to him for 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched, with 10 hits, and 4 home runs. Josh Beckett just cannot fool them. His 97 mph fastball is not effective against the Jays. They did the same thing to Freddy Garcia (another fastball pitcher) last week, where he gave up 5 runs, 12 hits, and 3 home runs, in 5.1 innings pitched. I just would not put Beckett in against the Jays. Beckett did have one good start against the Jays at the beginning of the season, but he's stick a risky choice.
What else? Vernon Wells is hot hot hot. He's hitting again, for extra bases, for home runs. He had three home runs tonight. That is now five home runs in five games, after hitting only one homerun before this streak in all of May. He has 15 on the season. I'm unsure about where he's heading - carreer year perhaps, or on to another plateau altogether, or just fall off and have regular numbers. He's only 27 years old, I suppose he could improve. It could be that he is motivated by being on a contender for the first time in his carreer. A lot of people seem to think the World Baseball Classic had an effect on him (seeing how Griffey worked,or in Wells' own opinion, 'being there with the superstars of the game, and feeling like he belonged' - i.e. confidence). However, it's too soon to tell where Wells is headed. He really cooled off for a long time there. Before I'll think he's any different from the Vernon Wells of yore he needs to keep up the pace for a while.
Glaus also had two homeruns tonight. Probably worth mentioning. He's at 17 now, second in the A.L. Now Glaus is steady. The guy just hits the ball so hard that home runs are inevitable, his batting average notwithstanding.
Oh, it's taken me a while to mention Aaron Hill, so i'll do it now. He's been hitting quite well of late. He's 25/67 - .373 avg. - since may 8, a day he entered batting .183. He's raised his average up to .257, which is quite the feat. He is definately one of the unsung heroes on the Blue Jays team - he is their best everyday infield defender - he has the best arm and the best range. He did a nice job replacing Orlando Hudson at second, and now taking over for Russ Adams at shortstop. He's only 24 years old, so there's definately room for improvement in his bat, which is already quite good. His swing is remarkably quick.
And what the hell, I just don't know about this Edgardo Alfonzo character. The Jays picked him up when they demoted Adams, and Alfonzo has played in two games so far and done close to nothing of interest. No hits, one ground out rbi, some decent glovework. John McDonald is hurt, that's why Alfonzo is in there. It's too bad Alfonzo's bat is gone, he was pretty good in his heyday. He doesn't look to good right now tho.