The Mockingbird

The J-Train’s First Stop

with 14 comments

One hour from now it will happen. Those letters you thought would never again come into contact or even acknowledge they used to be friends will be shown together on box scores and even a few giant scoreboards around the league: “SP: JOSH TOWERS“.

Josh says he’s itching to go, which at the very least means he’s not having those recurring nightmares where he’s on the mound naked again. But what should we really hope for? This spring he was striking guys out at an uncharacteristic rate, but there were a lot of minor leaguers still in the mix and he hasn’t thrown to batters in 10 days. I think a good goal would be to improve on what every other Blue Jays starter has done so far in one important way- then he could claim to be at least average on this team, right? Here’s what I think could be considered a resounding success against the offensive juggernaut that is the Kansas City Royals:

  1. Allow fewer home runs than Gustavo Chacin: Ok, they were all solo shots, but 3 home runs is a little embarrassing. Keep the ball in the park, Josh.
  2. Have a better ERA than Tomo Ohka: When you’re staked to a 7-1 lead in the 4th and don’t last long enough to get the win, it is time to go to the showers and feel shame. A sub-10.38 first game is definitely attainable for the J-Train.
  3. Fewer walks+hbp than A.J. Burnett: If you give the Royals a free baserunner every inning, they will make you pay. Ok, they might just write off the debt that their woeful bullpen owes you, but still that’s credit down the drain.
  4. Halladay….ummm….Halladay….ermmm….maybe he can run off the field faster than him or something…

h9h9wgnx.jpg

…and the result? SUCCESS ON ALL COUNTS!!!!!!

Written by halejon

April 10, 2007 at 10:03 pm

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14 Responses

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  1. He ran off faster then Haliday? Lets get a stopwatch on that for confirmation of the final result.

    But 6Ks and 0BBs in 5.2IP is freaking amazing. Vintage J-train from the spring. That one HR seemed more in frustration then anything. And nobody wins when Matt Stairs turns a routine fly (for Sparky) into a triple.

    I’m not on the train yet, but I may be queing up for tickets. I’m on the verge of predicting that he lasts longer in the rotation then Chacin.

    On a side note: WHY HAVEN’T POSTED THAT AMAZING PICTURE OF A-ROD and JEETER YET? Its pure gold [chains]!

    Dan

    April 11, 2007 at 3:14 pm

  2. I’m on the fence….on the one hand, I thought he had really good command and was getting unlucky with bloops and pitching out of it. 4 K’s through two was ridiculous. And with a little help from the D, he would have been cruising even better until the 6th.

    On the other hand, this is the problem with someone with his stuff- when he makes a mistake or loses his composure, it is instantly out of the yard. That outing was vintage J-train from the spring as well- sorta getting unlucky, giving up a lot of hits, and then he gets screwed once on an error and BOOOOOOM the inning and the game go to hell.

    halejon

    April 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm

  3. Well, at least this finally means he’s a now available as a pick-up in Fantasy Ball, though that WHIP might be deadly.

    My only comment about that fantastic post above this: How did Jeeter get on this (albeit a terrible Rawlings promotion) list?

    http://www.rawlingsgoldglove.com/

    A small part of Tony Fernandez dies every time someone votes for Jeeter. (I wanted to compare Tony’s career fielding percentage at SS to the other leaders – but the MLB Historical stats thing is crap).

    Dan

    April 11, 2007 at 7:26 pm

  4. Umm….where have you been the last three years- he’s won three consecutive Gold Gloves, and he plays for the Spankees, so of course he’s on the list! Never mind that Bill James says:

    “Derek Jeter could be the worst defensive shortstop of all time,” and that he was:

    “probably the least effective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position.”

    Who cares? He’s got that little superfluous jump throw (instead of planting like a normal human being), and HOLY COW!!! he backed up a throw in the playoffs 3 years ago!!!

    halejon

    April 11, 2007 at 7:44 pm

  5. Oh yeah, I forgot- he’s also “Mr. Clutch” and “Mr. November.” Although he actually has hit like crap close and late in the playoffs and his line in the postseason is identical to his career stats.

    I NEED this man’s PR department. I could sit on my ass for the rest of my life and just watch the Nobels pour in…

    halejon

    April 11, 2007 at 7:53 pm

  6. Isn’t that what you’re already doing? Any Nobels or giant novelty cheques in the mail today?

    Dan

    April 11, 2007 at 8:54 pm

  7. If by that you mean bills and rejection letters, just call me Dr. Hale…

    halejon

    April 11, 2007 at 9:11 pm

  8. Heck, I didn’t even start watching the game last night until Chacin was long-gone and then lost in the background behind several big-screens with hockey playoffs on. But I guessed 5IP and 3ER, which is just about right for ol’ Robocop.

    If we don’t tire out our bullpen in the first two months of the season, I figure it will be one of the best in the league, especially when League returns. That catch by Frasor on the ball that nearly took off his head was fantastic. I think everyone forgets he can throw 96-97.

    Dan

    April 12, 2007 at 2:18 pm

  9. Gus got out with 85 pitches. I really like that move, on instinct by Gibby. Last year Gus had a bunch of games where he was fine and then absolutely exploded in the 6th.

    Our bullpen is a sleeper. Downs is huge, Frasor is back (remember when he was a decent closer??), League could be ridiculous. Marcum/Janssen could be good starters and they’re just getting better fast. The only thing we need is another lefty. Oh yeah and that Ryan guy was O.K. last year.

    halejon

    April 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

  10. He wasn’t bad, ERA of 1.37, only allowing 11 ER in the entire season. I think Brad Lidge gave up more runs then that in his last two outings. We were talking about Zack Greinke breaking his brain the other day, but I think the 2005 NLCS may have ruined Lidge for ever.

    Dan

    April 12, 2007 at 8:26 pm

  11. Some how I doubt he’s still introduced at home games as Brad “Lights Out” Lidge, complete with his own entrance video.

    Dan

    April 12, 2007 at 8:28 pm

  12. I just don’t understand how someone could ever be that bad with his ridiculous slider(s). And it’s not like he’s lost velocity or the break on that pitch. He swears he feels fine, he’s just…broken.

    (Which is of course why the Yahoo brain took him in the 9th round for me.)

    halejon

    April 13, 2007 at 4:42 am

  13. Want to trade for the new Huston closer?

    Dan

    April 13, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  14. I’ll give you Brad Lidge. Just look at these stats. Ok, now stop looking.

    halejon

    April 13, 2007 at 5:17 pm


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