Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Blow Jay Ryan" nickname lifted (at least temporarily)

After B.J. Ryan blew a save against Detroit in the 2nd game of the season, followed by an outing in which he nearly coughed up a 3 run against Cleveland, I affectionately dubbed him "Blow Jay Ryan" Was it deserved? Perhaps not. I did, however, still post my belief that the ball club needed to continue rolling him out for the 9th inning in close games. After three consecutive solid outings, 2 of which resulted in saves, I have dissolved the Blow Jay Ryan moniker, at least for now.

The main reason B.J. has been effective is because he is getting ahead in counts. In the first two poor outings, he was facing too many 3-1 counts which left him in danger of serving up a meatball. He solidified his first save of the season against Minnesota on April 13th, then continued his strong play in back to back games against Oakland this weekend. He worked a scoreless 10th frame on Saturday, and preserved the series win against Oakland for his 2nd save in as many chances.

For now, he is back to being B.J. Ryan. Let's hope it stays that way.

Blue Jays bullpen carving up opponents

The American League's best bullpen in 2008 seems to be hitting their stride after a shaky start to the 2009 campaign.

In the last two contests, the 'pen has combined for a scintillating performance, both Toronto victories. In 8.2 innings of work, the Athletics managed a meagre 2 hits against Blue Jay relievers. With the exception of Brandon League, who was teed off of for the tune of 3 runs in 2 innings in game 1, three other relievers in Blue Birds bullpen stymied Oakland, giving up zero hits in 3.1 innings of action.

Manager Cito Gaston has three hurlers at his disposal that have been perfect 14 games into the year; Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, who have combined to give up zero runs in 19.1 innings. Of the three, Frasor has already secured 2 victories, and notched his first save in over a year.

Look out Major League Baseball. The best bullpen in 2008 is picking up right where they left off.

Ricky Romero shines again; Jays win 4th straight series

The Blue Jays concluded their three game set against Oakland with yet another series victory, their fourth of the campaign. With the 1-0 nail biting win, Toronto pushed their overall record to an American League best 10-4...

The Jays received another stellar outing by rookie Ricky Romero. In just his 3rd career start, the rookie went 7 innings, without surrendering a run, while striking out five. Romero (2-0) has lowered his E.R.A. on the season to a minuscule 1.71. Toronto figures to be leaning heavily on the young hurler if they are looking to stay atop a stacked American League East...

On Lyle Overbay bobble head day at the Rogers Centre, the Jays 1st baseman provided all the offense Romero & Company needed with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. Scott Downs and B.J. Ryan worked the final two frames to put the finishing touches on the Athletics (5-7). Instead of relying on their red hot offense, Toronto leaned heavily on their deep pitching staff which allowed just 2 runs in the final two games...