Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bench clearing brawl shows Jays still care

Incredibly it has taken this long for the Toronto Blue Jays to take out some frustration after their miserable and despicable showing the past four months. All the aggression and pent up anger following their free fall from the top of the A.L. East boiled after in a heated brawl against the Yankees Tuesday, confirming that the Jays do indeed have a pulse.

When Aaron Hill was plunked squarely in the back by Mark Melancon in the 8th inning, it was obvious the thumping Toronto was administering on the scoreboard might not be the only tangle the team would have this night. Jesse Carlson decided to exact some revenge by whaling a pitch behind Jorge Posada, heightening the situation immensely. The benches cleared, but not much came from it initially as cooler heads prevailed.

However, when Posada got on board, later celebrating his run at home plate by elbowing Carlson, all hell broke loose. Rod Barajas stuck up for his pitcher, attacking his fellow back stopper, serving notice that it wasn't alright to bully around the diminutive lefty. The situation escalated, with everybody getting involved, with the good natured Cito Gaston having to be restrained and the rest of the Jays picking a different Yankee to have words with. I'm not exactly one to advocate bench clearing brawls, but the Jays responded accordingly, displaying that the team aren't pushovers.

Good on them. It's a welcomed sight to see the Jays have a fire lit under them and react so strongly after months of apathy and lethargy.

Encarnacion finding his groove at the dish

It took Edwin Encarnacion a while to find his groove in the Jays batting order upon his arrival at the trade deadline. The 26 year old third basemen appears to be finding his groove late in the season after a stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Encarnacion hit a solo home run Tuesday against the Yankees, his second long fly in as many games, picking up two RBI's in the series opener. In his last 10 games, including the tilt against the Yankees, the five year veteran has those two homers to go along with 11 hits and eight runs driven in.

Perhaps it's the fact he is fully recovered from his injury. Maybe it is because he has figured out American League pitching after coming over from the National League. Or, as a cynic might suggest, it could very well be related to having no pressure placed upon him for meaningless ball games in September. Whatever the case, it's a situation that the Blue Jays hope continues well into next year.

Snider smacks two huge bombs in New York

First of all, it has been far too long since my last post about the Blue Jays. It partly has to do with the fact that the club is unwatchable. But it also had something to do with the fact I was on vacation. However, I digress.

Travis Snider came up huge Tuesday in the Bronx, cranking not one, but two huge home runs against the Yankees, showcasing just how good this guy will be once he has more major league experience. The two dingers weren't just clearing the wall either. He obliterated both baseballs. The kid is still very young however, so the Jays will take the good with the bad. He whiffed in his other three at bats.

Sure, the 21 year old's batting average has been hovering around .220 for the better part of the year, and he is striking out at an alarming rate, (38 times in 29 games since being recalled), but it's the big hits that he produces that provide insight of the great things in store for the young slugger's future. His situation is very comparable to that of Adam Lind's career arc with the Blue Birds, where he took a while to hit for good average yet always had a knack for clutch hits while displaying a power stroke (and all Lind has done this year is hit .300 with 30 home runs, surpassing 100 RBI's)

The future is bright for this young stud. In Snider, we have a baller. He proved just that with his phenomenal performance Tuesday against the Yankees.