Lawrie's return, Dickey's interrupted gem, and Kawasaki's surprise spark Blue Jays

The Jays started a four game series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday and it turned out to be a great game for the Jays. Mark Buehrle took the mound against his former team, the team where he pitched a perfect game and won a World Series.  He was an Ace for years in the black and white uniform.

Buehrle walked into some trouble in the first getting tagged for 2 runs, but would settle down and pitch for 6 and a third innings with three strikeouts. Luckily for the Jays Bonafacio scored on a sac fly and J.P. Arencibia hit a solo shot to tie the game. The former Expo Maicer Izturis hit a solo shot in the second inning and Kawasaki would score off a sac fly after he hit a triple! The Jays got to Gavin Floyd early and played solid D and only allowed 3 runs the whole game, which is not bad considering the fact that the Sox had 10 hits. The final score was 4-3 in favor of the Jays and Mark Buehrle would get his first win of the season against his former club.

The Jays going into the second game of the four game series against the Sox were hoping that Josh Johnson could continue the trend of the strong pitching from the teams starts, and guess what, Johnson was solid through 7 innings! That is the longest any Jays starter has gone so far this season.  He struck out 8 batters and only had 4 hits and 2 runs against for a ‘no decision’. Johnson had all the strength and speed back in his pitches which was not the case in Detroit, but the past is the past. Unfortunately the Jays still lost 4-3, and Delabar gets the loss after allowing 2 runs and 3 walks in just one and a third inning. The underrated White Sox player Paul Konerko had a homerun and scored three runs against the Jays.  Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia each hit solo shots in the game and Brett Lawrie made his return to the lineup going 0-3 with an RBI. He may not have gotten a hit, but he sure showed that the injury was a non factor on the field, he made some amazing plays and showed that we really missed that guys range. We are glad to have you back, Brett! Rasmus had gone 2-2 in the game but Rajai Davis pinch hit for him and replaced him for the rest of the game. Now I do realize that Gibbons was playing the percentages and everything, but I think John Gibbons should have left Rasmus in the game.

For the 3rd straight game Jose Bautista sat out the Jays game with back problems.  Could the Jays handle the lack of Jose? I know my fantasy team cannot, but unfortunately in this game he was missed. The Jays looked to JA Happ to continue the hot pitching of late, but unfortunately that was not in the cards for the Blue Jays. White Sox pitcher Carlos Quintana dominated the team with 7 strikeouts and only 5 hits against with no runs. Happ however only went and five and two thirds and struck out three but had five runs scored against. The Jays would lose this game 7-0, but have a chance to tie the series tonight at two games a piece. Bright side is Encarnacion seems to have found the ball again and is hitting it and Kawasaki who is becoming one of my favorite Blue Jays went 2-2, when Reyes comes back they have to keep Kawasaki on this roster because he is becoming a fan favorite.

For the fourth and final game of the series the Jays sent RA Dickey to the mound and he did not disappoint. Dickey pitched 6 innings with only two hits and no runs scored against him, he also struck out 7. Unfortunately he had to leave the game after the sixth inning because of back and neck pains, it is just precautionary and he should be fine by the next time he is due up to pitch. Kawasaki, Davis and Encarnacion each had an RBI, this game had some stolen bases mixed with a few erros and one of the erroes proved costly when Sale tried to pick off Bonifacio, the 6’6″ first baseman, Adam Dunn, lost the ball and Bonifacio ended up at third and scored later in the inning. The Jays would go on to win 3-1 and Dickey registered his second win of the season, while Chris Sale of the White Sox gets the loss. Sales had a decent game and only had the three runs scored against him and had six strikeouts. The Jays split the series 2-2 and now face the Yankees in a 3 game series in Toronto. Casey Jansen got his fifth save of the season in this game that is 5 out of 7 wins, not bad for Casey and the Jays. Jansen proved once again he is a solid and a reliable reliever. The Jays record as it stands is 7-9 and there is still room for improvement, but today showed that this team can come back after a bad loss, which will help this team in the long run.


Nick’s Notes:

As mentioned, RA Dickey left the game with back and neck problems, which is too bad because Dickey was on the verge of pitching a complete game and possible shut out. You will be happy to know that in his last two games he has had only one run scored against him. Let’s hope he is not badly injured.

Joey Bats missed the whole series due to back problems and there is no exact timeline when he will be returning – hopefully he will soon.

Brett Lawrie returned to the Jays this series but failed to get a single hit. I am not worried about Lawrie because even if his bat and timing is a bit off his fielding has been top notch.

John Gibbons has said this team cannot use the “it is early reason anymore” and that it is time to play good baseball. I agree and I bet that the majority of the Jays fans do too. My problem is that he seems to pinch-hit the wrong players. I know he is playing the percentages but when someone like Colby Rasmus who has been great in center field is having a good day at bat and contributing to the runs scored, you do not switch him no matter what the stats… Well that is what I believe anyway.

Lastly, Munenori Kawasaki who has been a fantastic surprise has become one of my favorite players on the team. He has a bit of skill offensively and great defensive skills, he could easily be a more offensive version of John MacDonald. As I mentioned before he is becoming very popular with Jays fans and when Reyes comes back the Jays need to find room for him on the roster, because it would be a terrible idea to lose this guy.

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