At this point, who really cares about the result- but didn’t Tuesday’s game against Baltimore feel like a real baseball game? You know, the kind that other teams play on Elysian fields that feature comebacks, multiple lead changes, home runs, a little sweat under the collar in the 9th, etc…Even if B.J. had succeeding in coughing it up in the ninth, last night was so much more palatable than the normal fare of watching the Jays go down by one run in the 3rd inning and then total 4 hits (and 3 double plays) over the rest of the game.
A tip of the hat to Ari, who cast some doubt on the ump’s strike zone today. Here’s are the calls that Baltimore pitchers were getting from the home plate ump Jim Joyce over the game (to learn how to decode these charts, click here):
News flash: when a team loads up the lineup with righties above all else (Eckstein DH?!? HELPPPPPP MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!), and a lefty pitcher can’t get a call against them on the outside of the plate to save his life, it’s going to be a looooooong night. Like 9 hits and 6 runs before 5 innings are up long. Olson didn’t stand a chance, no matter how hard the Jays tried to help him out the first few innings.
Marcum wasn’t as affected by the weird, shifted zone as much (partly due to being a RHP). His problem was that he didn’t throw any freaking breaking pitches. Seriously. He threw 4 curves, a bunch of cutters, and from what I can tell (comparing his classic gold standard of every kind of pitch movement to last night) not a single slider all night. On the one hand, I feel comforted because that wasn’t really Marcum getting bombed repeatedly by the Orioles last night. On the other, was he not entirely ready to come back from the DL or what the hell?! Marcum with half of his palette is nothing, with tonight a case in point.
Anyway, here are the calls that the Jays’ pitchers got. Still incredibly generous inside to righties/outside to lefties, but without the missed strikes on the right side of the plate:
One final charty tidbit is a look at Adam Lind’s heroic 4-5 night. A glass half-empty type might try to cut his performance down by pointing out that he just laid off some ridiculously unhittable pitches out of the strike zone and was gifted some hanging meatballs (that HR of Castillo was probably the juciest pitch of this millenium). Or you could say that he didn’t do anything dumb, and hammered almost every pitch he was given to hit – which is what good hitters do, and what the Jays haven’t, this season.
Despite batting 8th last night and 7th tonight (gotta get more at-bats for Scoot!), Lind has hit .346 with 5 home runs (the most of any Jay is 9) since being called up a month ago. Those fans who (according to J.P.) “want him on the team because they haven’t seen him and therefore he’s the next big thing and fans always want the next big thing” (J.P.) are strutting around and acting pretty @#!!@ smug these days…