I've been delaying writing a post for too long now, and I shan't put it off any longer. I was over-thinking, trying to come up with a non-baseball related topic. Yet it is uppermost in my mind. There are many obvious reason for this, of course: the Blue Jays are my favourite sports franchise, and therefore my first choice in entertainment. With the drama of a 9-game losing streak in the recent past, followed by a stretch in which they have currently won 5 of 6 games in which young pitchers have stepped up following injuries to 3/5 of the starting rotation, they have piqued my interest. The fact that I have been playing fantasy baseball for many years now, and my money league team has started to make move gives me a chance to combine my knowledge of the sport with a small financial incentive. And perhaps most of all, the love of my life is out at an Arcade Fire show, so I am compensating for the absence of my adult love with a dose of my childhood love.
So on to the team!
They Jays called up 22 year old Jesse Litsch to make a spot start vs. Baltimore Tuesday night. All the kid did in his first appearance above AA was go 1 out short of a complete game, limiting the Orioles to a scant 4 hits and 1 run in his 8 2/3 innings. As an added touch, his father was in attendance celebrating his 57th go-round on Spaceship Earth. Wednesday night, de facto ace A.J. Burnett, he of the $55M contract signed after the 2005 season that shocked the baseball world until Gil Meche received a comparable offer this past winter, struck out 10 Orioles and, in fireballer style, got the 27th out that eluded Litsch. On top of an impressive effort by Shaun Marcum over the weekend, and Dustin McGowan's recent good-enough-to-win performance, the Jays are getting an early opportunity to find out if their young arms are better than the low-budget veterans signed in the hopes that one of them could catch lightning in a bottle. The upside of the veterans doesn't impress, so the performance of the younger guys will be watched with interest.
(A quick glance at my fantasy team's stats this evening quickly drives all thoughts of the home side out of my mind. Brad Hawpe, outfielder for the Colorado Rockies, has hit 2 home runs and knocked in 4 so far. Unfortunately for this with a rooting interest in the Shoeless Schmoes, Mr. Hawpe is planted on the bench this evening. Granted, he normally is on our bench, but with one outfield regular facing one of the toughest pitchers in either league tonight, tonight would be an opportunity for Hawpe to play for us. However, Hawpe's team was facing last year's National League Cy Young Award winner, so the Schmoes elected to go with a player whose game got rained out. Oy vey.)