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Jason Vernon - 5 April 2006
by Jason Vernon
Ryan's Easy Three
Blue Jay fans are no doubt excited that new closer B.J.
Ryan shutdown the Twins in the ninth last night. He recorded two strikeouts over
an 18-pitch performance that included 13 strikes. Yet this outing did not begin
to answer whether or not Ryan is suited for the closer role. When he came into
the game he had a three run lead and no one on base. That's what you call an
easy save and is one of the reasons that the save statistic is cheap. I'm one of
those that thinks Ryan will be able to live up to his contract and stand the
heat. He's just got to get tested in a real save opportunity.
The man who
replaced Ryan in Baltimore is Chris Ray. He's the 24 year old right-hander who
impressed last summer when he was called up from Triple-A. Last year he pitched
mainly seventh and eighth innings to the tune of a 2.66 ERA and 43 strikeouts in
40 2/3 innings. He's a cocky guy who doesn't seem like he'd crack under the
pressure of the closer role he's inherited but he's even more of a question mark
Sabathia to the DL
Too bad C.C. Sabathia is going to the DL
for the next couple of weeks with a strained abdominal muscle. I was looking
forward to him going to Baltimore to face that strong right-handed Oriole lineup
and getting crushed. Just to remind you from my recent article my money pick
this April is to bet on the O's anytime they face a left-handed pitcher at
Camden Yards - especially if they're an underdog.
Bobby Crosby had to leave Monday's game against the Yankees due to a
bruised left hand. It's looking like Crosby is an injury prone type who's going
to have trouble staying in the lineup. Luckily for Oakland they have a very
balanced offense. They have no one offensive player who can carry them, the
possible exception being Eric Chavez from time to time. But at the same time
they never seem to have a position or two where a player can't pull his weight
at the plate. This consistency up and down the lineup allows Oakland to survive
an injury to an important hitter like Crosby.
and Jim Thome both find themselves on new teams this year and hope to resume
their march up the all-time home run list. Thomas' opening day homer moved him
into a tie for 28th place all-time with Jeff Bagwell and Gary Sheffield with
449. Thome's two homers in his first two games of the season pushed his total to
432, good enough for 35th on the all-time list. Along with Ken Griffey Jr. it's
going to fun rooting for three guys for whom the betting money would probably
say did NOT use steroids in their careers. It's refreshing to say the
Check out all of the Jason Vernon Daily Game Notes.
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