Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Halladay will pitch in series vs. Jays

The return of Roy Halladay to Toronto is only days away, and he will indeed be pitching against his former team.  Halladay is scheduled to pitch Saturday July 2nd against the Jays' Carlos Villanueva. If the Phillies and Red Sox have a rain-out this week, he may be bumped to Sunday, but for the time being, it's Saturday.

Tickets are reportedly going quick, so if you have one, awesome, if not, watching on T.V. is a great option. Better yet, maybe watching on T.V. is a better one, as Halladay works so quick the game might almost be over before the time you actually go to sit down at the Rogers Centre.

A fun weekend of baseball in Toronto is ahead, and if Cliff Lee pitches Sunday, the man with 32 innings of scoreless baseball presently, a tough weekend for the Jays is ahead as well.


Attendance at Rogers Centre for Roy Halladay's home starts in his final season in Toronto (2009)

Apr 6: 48,027
Apr 21: 20,996
May 1: 20,202
May 12: 43,737 (matchup with A.J. Burnett and the Yankees)
May 17: 37,147
June 2: 26,809
June 7: 21,071
June 12: 17,922
June 29: 15,665
July 19: 36,534
July 24: 24,161
Aug 4: 33,669
Aug 9: 27,464
Aug 19: 25,925
Aug 24: 17,184
Sept 4: 22,179 (1-hitter against the Yankees)
Sept 9: 11,159
Sept 25: 20,668 (his final home start when he defeated the Mariners 5-0 (9 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 9 K)

What's not known: will the Jays have a tribute planned for Roy. If not, here's one.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The First Pitch

A real interesting way to throw out the first pitch! 

And what about the arm of Dirk Nowitzki?

And a look back at some brutal tosses.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jays move Bautista to third

The Toronto Blue Jays knew they had to shake things up after being swept away by the Braves this week, but many figured that would mean a promotion for prospect Brett Lawrie and a return of Travis Snider from Triple-A Las Vegas.  Only problem with that, both are out with injuries.

So insert Eric Thames back to the majors and say good bye to Mike McCoy, sent down to Vegas again for what seems like the tenth time!

What does this all mean?  Well, Jose Bautista will move to third base for the time being while Lawrie's injured hand heals.  The third baseman is still having trouble gripping a bat, so it looks like he's out until mid-August.  The combination of John McDonald, Jayson Nix and Edwin Encarnacion at third is a thing of the past, as Bautista takes over a the hot corner, something the team had planned on doing in spring training, only to change the plan before opening night.

The outfield and DH positions will change daily depending on who's throwing for the other team.  Eric Thames, who probably will continue to see a heavy dose of breaking balls come his way at the plate, will be in the mix with Corey Patterson, Juan Rivera, Rajai Davis and Edwin Encanacion for playing time in the outfield and as the DH.  Defence in the outfield is now a potential problem.

Moving Bautista to third makes sense, but is Thames really a better offensive option then Nix or Encarnacion?  In theory yes, since Nix and Edwin have struggled to say the least, but Thames is still young, and opposing pitchers seemed to have a game-plan against him even with his 42 career at-bats in the big leagues.  The offence may get better, but what about the defence?  Jose Bautista is the best right fielder in the game, and that's something the team will miss.

Maybe trading for say, a guy like Michael Cuddyer of the Twins is a better option for the short term, as you still have a half a season to go, and you just never know how broken hands heal.  Cuddyer could play right field and help protect Adam Lind in the lineup.  Cuddyer, who started really slow this season, has had a great June hitting .360 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI.  Cuddyer is making just over $10 million and will become a free agent in 2012.  The Phillies have been linked to him over the last couple weeks as well, as they search for a right-handed bat.  The Twins are said to want pitching in return, and the Jays have plenty of that.

Here is a look at what the lineup would look like with Cuddyer added to the roster. (and a few other tweaks as well)

1. CF Rajai Davis
2. SS Yunel Escobar
3. 3B Jose Bautista
4. 1B Adam Lind
5. RF Michael Cuddyer
6. DH Eric Thames / Juan Rivera
7. C J.P Arencibia
8. 2B Aaron Hill
9. LF Corey Patterson

Without a move via a trade, Lawrie would be inserted to the lineup (when healthy) as will Travis Snider (concussion issues right now) in mid-August, and Bautista will move back to right, but the team needs to improve the offence now, and Cuddyer could help.  The Twins gained 10 games on the Indians in 21 days, but they are still 8 games back.  The Twins would make a deal!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cameron Diaz talks A-Rod

Cameron Diaz took time to talk about her new movie "Bad Teacher" and about the photo seen around the world of her feeding Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees some popcorn during the Super Bowl.

Images courtesy of Google Images.

Bad Teacher Trailer (courtesy:

Big flies of the day

Big day Wednesday for some hitters from around MLB.

Jose Bautista hits number 22.

The Reds' Chris Heisey hit 3 home runs.

The Braves Dan Uggla shows he can still take the ball out of the yard.

The Padres' Will Venable starts the game off right!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Q&A with Kyle Farnsworth asked a few questions to Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth, and the Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had one for him as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Numbers Game - Friday

With major league baseball starting interleague play today, many hitters will face pitchers for the first time, but we managed to find a few trends that may continue Friday night.

The Yankees' Freddy Garcia is 4-0, 1.47 ERA in his career against the Cubs.

Orioles DH Luke Scott has 2 home runs in his career off the Nationals' Jason Marquis.

The Mets' Jose Reyes is (7-12) .583 AVG in his career against the Angels' Joel Pineiro with 1 home run. The Pick to Click tonight.

The Red Sox John Lackey has never faced the Brewers in his career.  Shaun Marcum has faced the Red Sox though with his days in Toronto and is 5-5 all-time against them.  J.D. Drew has 3 career home runs off Marcum in his career.

The Blue Jays' Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar have 3 at-bats a piece off Reds starter Mike Leake.  No other Jays players has faced him.

The Twins' Brian Duensing will face a Padres' team that has only 2 career at-bats against him. Jason Bartlett is 0-2 in his career against him.

The Giants' Tim Lincecum is 5-0, 1.17 ERA all-time vs. the Athletics.

The Dodgers' Matt Kemp is 4-10 with one home run in his career off the Astros' Brett Myers.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lightning players take BP

Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning take batting practice before the Rays take on the Red Sox.

Teddy Purcell, Steven Stamkos and Mike Smith take swings in the cage.  Did Stamkos forget if he was a right-hander or a lefty though?

and apparently Smith went deep

Adam Lind's on fire

Since returning from a back injury on June 4th in Baltimore, Adam Lind's been has hot a player of any one in the Major Leagues.

He has hit .429 (18-42) with 7 home runs and 15 RBI, including a walk-off home run in the 11th inning Tuesday over the Orioles.

He's in a zone right now that Blue Jays' fans are used to seeing Jose Bautista in, and the Jays have needed this hot streak as Bautista has suddenly been cold in June hitting .217 with only 1 home run and 6 RBI.

Last season, Lind struggled at the plate hitting .237 with 23 home runs.  He was expected to repeat on his 2009 numbers of .305 with 35 home runs and 115 RBI, but couldn't find his groove from the beginning of the season.

Having Lind and Bautista get hot at the same time will happen soon, it's only a matter of time.  Imagine adding a Prince Fielder to the mix next year?  Just saying!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Numbers Game - Wednesday

Congrats to Tuesday's Pick to Click, Ryan Howard of the Phillies,  for coming through and hitting his 7th career home run off the Marlins' Chris Volstad.

Here is a look at "inside the numbers" for Wednesday's action around MLB.

The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera is the Pick to Click tonight.  In his career against the Indians' Fausto Carmona he is 9-28, .321 AVG, 3 HR and 6 RBI.

The Rangers' Derek Holland is 0-3, 8.61 ERA all-time vs the Yankees, 0-2, 7.80 ERA in Yankee Stadium.

The Phillies' Roy Halladay returns to Florida to face a Marlins team he no hit last season.  In his career against the fish, he is 4-3, 2.13 ERA. Florida's Gaby Sanchez is the only current Marlin to take Halladay deep as well.

The Brewers' Prince Fielder is 15-43, .349 AVG in his career against the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano with 3 HR and 7 RBI.

The Giants' Madison Bumgarner is 2-0, 2.18 ERA in his career against the D'Backs,

The Royals' Luke Hochevar has no luck against the Athletics going 0-5, 7.26 ERA all-time against Oakland. His career numbers at the Oakland Coliseum: 3 starts, 0-3, 12 IP, 22 H, 20 ER, 9 BB, 11 K, 15.00 ERA.

The Angels' Torii Hunter has 2 career home runs off Erik Bedard of the Mariners.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Numbers Game - Tuesday

Sometimes the numbers don't lie, as last night's Pick to Click, Stephen Drew, recorded a hit off Ricky Nolasco, with two runs scored.

Here is a look at "inside the numbers" around the league for Tuesday.

The Tigers' Justin Verlander is only 10-11, 5.11 ERA in his career against the Indians.  The 11 losses are the highest total against any team in his career.  Grady Sizemore has taken him deep twice in his career.

The Marlins' Chris Coghlan has hit Phillies starter well in his 13 career at-bats, he is hitting .462 with two home runs and four RBI.

Ryan Howard of the Phillies is clearly the Pick to Click tonight! In his career against Chris Volstad of the Marlins, Howard has hit .478 in 23 at-bats with six home runs and nine RBI.

The Cardinals' Jaime Garcia is 2-0, 0.87 ERA all-time vs. the Nationals.

The Blue Jays have only eight at-bats all-time against Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas, who is 1-0, 4.58 ERA on the season.

The Red Sox Tim Wakefield is 21-6 all-time against the Rays (the most against any team) and has 10 wins in his career at Tropicana Field, also the most wins in any road park.

No active Mets' player has ever homered off the Braves' Jair Jurrjens (only David Wright has taken him deep and he's on the DL) and he is 8-3 in his career against them.

The White Sox Paul Konerko is (11-29) .379 AVG with three home runs and six RBI in his career against the Twins' Carl Pavano.

The D'Backs Stephen Drew has hit Giants starter Matt Cain well.  In his career, he has three home runs, while no other D'Back in their history has more than one.

The Athletics Trevor Cahill is 0-2, 8.27 ERA over his last three starts, but his 3-1, 4.55 ERA in his career against the Royals.  Last season, Cahill dominated the Royals at home with a complete game shutout on August 2nd to improve his record to 11-4.

The Reds' Johnny Cueto is 0-3, 4.50 ERA in his career against the Dodgers, but his numbers pitching at Dodger Stadium: 2 starts: 8 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, and 4 HR's allowed.


The Mariners did not call up prospect Dustin Ackley from Triple-A as expected on Monday.  He was out of the lineup on Sunday, but I guess it was a scheduled day off after-all.

Thanks to for this:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Numbers Game - Monday

Another start to the work week, with another round of "inside the numbers" this Monday.

The Yankees go for the sweep in New York against the suddenly struggling Indians, but starter A.J. Burnett has not fared well against Cleveland in his career going 3-4, 4.97 ERA. Grady Sizemore has hit .417 off him with one home run.

Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke is 0-5, 6.49 ERA all-time against the Marlins while Ricky Nolasco is 5-1 all-time against the D'Backs.

D'Backs shortstop Stephen Drew is hitting .556 with three home runs in 18 career at-bats against Nolasco. The PICK to CLICK tonight.

The Braves' Chipper Jones is the only current Atlanta player to go deep against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez with two home runs.

The Brewers' Randy Wolf is 5-10 with a 4.40 ERA in his career against the Cubs.

The Cubs' Ryan Dempster is 15-3, 2.60 ERA in his career against the Brewers.  The 15 wins are the most against any team in his career (second on the list are the Mets with 10)

The Rockies' Aaron Cook is 14-4, 2.92 ERA in his career against the Padres. The 14 wins are the most against any club (second on the list are the Giants with 8)

No current Angels' player has a career home run off Jason Vargas of the Mariners.  Vernon Wells is 0-3 lifetime against him and his still under the Mendoza Line this season with a .188 AVG.  In his career at Safeco Park, Wells is a .288 hitter with six home runs.

Matt Kemp of the Dodgers looks to stay hot against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.  In his career, Kemp is 8-20, with two home runs and three RBI.  Arroyo is 1-3, 4.85 ERA in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Top 3:

1. Stephen Drew

2. Matt Kemp

3. Chipper Jones

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Halladay's return to Toronto

In just under a month, a familiar face will be returning to Toronto, and fans of the Blue Jays may be on track to actually see something they missed out on last year, the chance to see the Phillies' Roy Halladay pitch at Rogers Centre.

*updated June 18th (projection)
If the rest of the month of June ends being played rain-out free by Philadelphia, Roy Halladay would probably end up being the scheduled pitcher for *Saturday, July 2nd in Toronto against Zach Stewart of the Blue Jays. (depending on how the Jays set up their rotation with off-days coming, and if Stewart is still on the major league roster in two weeks)  Originally Halladay was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, July 3rd, but the Phillies decided to have him pitch Wednesday June 15th in a double-header against the Marlins, which changed the plans.  We need good weather to follow the Phillies the next couple weeks! 

*June 27th update* Halladay could start the series on July 1st against the Blue Jays' Ricky Romero: no official announcement has been made regarding his start.  The only thing we do know, is that he will pitch in the series in Toronto.

June 29th update: The Phillies have decided on their rotation (finally!): Halladay vs. Villanueva Saturday July 2nd.

Since being dealt by the Blue Jays to the Phillies in December of 2009, Halladay has been everything the Philadelphia fans could asked for.  Last season, Halladay baffled National League hitters all season, on his way to a 21-10 record and 2.44 ERA.  He recorded a career-high 219 strikeouts, second to the Giants' Tim Lincecum for the NL lead, led the league in innings pitched with 250 2/3, and was tied with the Yankees' CC Sabathia for the Major league lead in wins with 21.

His return last season was put on hold, as was the series between the Blue Jays and Phillies, due to the G-20 meetings that took place in Toronto.  The series was played in Philadelphia, with Toronto playing as the home team, but this time no meetings are planned and the show will go on, with an outstanding pitching matchup on tap.

Halladay pitched against the Jays during the three-game set between the two teams after the series was moved, and made the Toronto hitters look foolish.  The Blue Jays managed only six hits off Halladay in seven strong innings on route to a 9-0 Phillies win, bringing his record to 9-6 at the time.  Jesse Litsch was the opposing pitcher that day, he couldn't match Halladay on the mound, and usually no one can.

Halladay's first career start against the Blue Jays was a success, but at least some Blue Jays hitters got the chance to get their first career at-bats against him.  Here is a look at the career numbers for the current Jays against the "Doc"

Jose Bautista: 1-3, double
Rajai Davis: 0-1
Yunel Escobar: 0-9
Aaron Hill: 1-3, double
Adam Lind: 0-3
Jose Molina: 1-14, double
Corey Patterson: 7-19, RBI
Juan Rivera: 0-14, 4 K

Fans of the Blue Jays will definitely be treated to a gem that day, if the schedule stays the same, but what type of ovation he ends up receiving will be one to analyze.  Halladay, known for his game-face routine even on days he doesn't pitch, will most likely not acknowledge the fans that day.  The fans will cheer when he takes the mound, but it's more likely that when he's taken out of the game, or maybe after his complete game, he will possibly tip is cap to the Toronto faithful.

Either way, the return is near, and the fans can only hope for good weather to follow the Phillies over the next month.  That way, they can finally see him on the mound again, even if it's for the visiting team.

Score on closing

The 2nd episode of closer(s) from

Monday, June 6, 2011

Numbers Game - Monday

The latest breakdown of inside the numbers for Monday's action in MLB.

Rays pitcher David Price is 1-2, 5.14 ERA in his career against the Angels, but no current Angels player has hit a home run off him.

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is the only Washington player to take Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum deep.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .583 off Padres starter Clayton Richard with 3 home runs and 9 RBI.  The pick to click tonight!

Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow is 2-3, 5.51 ERA in his career against the Royals.  He has only 17 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.  He has started only 2 games vs. Kansas City though, the other outings came as closer for the Mariners.

Royals starter Felipe Paulino has only faced Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Corey Patterson and Yunel Escobar with Patterson recording the only hit against him.  Paulino has pitched for the Rockies and Astros in the past.

Tigers starter Max Scherzer is 2-0 in his career against the Rangers.

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez is the only Florida player to have faced Zack Greinke, and with his injury, the starting lineup tonight for the Marlins will have no career at-bats against the right-hander.

The Cubs' Tyler Colvin has 3 career home runs off Reds starter Mike Leake.

The Twins' Scott Baker is not the man Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was hoping to face tonight.  With Choo in a season-long slump, he has to face Baker, who has his number (3-20, .150 AVG) in his career.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday stats

Today's look inside the numbers:

The Blue Jays will start Edwin Encarnacion today due to his success against Orioles' starter Jeremy Guthrie: .353 AVG and 2 home runs in 17 career at-bats.  Guthrie is 2-6 all-time vs. the Jays

Roy Halladay will face a Pirates team today that only has 16 combined at-bats against him.  Lyle Overbay is 3-for-5 in his career off his former teammate.

The White Sox Jake Peavy is  2-1, 1.29 ERA in his career vs the Tigers.

The Tigers Miguel Cabrera is hitting .091 (2-22) all-time vs Peavy and no current Tiger has hit a homer off him over the last 5 years.

Adam Dunn has had some success against Tigers starter Brad Penny .333 AVG and 1 home run in the last 5 years.

The Twins Brian Duensing looks to break out of his season-long slump against the Royals (4-1, 3.15 ERA in career)

Carlos Zambrano has had success against the Lance Berkman over the last 5 years (.143 AVG in 35 at-bats, but Albert Pujols has taken him deep 3 times over that time.

The Angels Bobby Abreu has 2 career home runs off Bartolo Colon.

The Mariners Erik Bedard is 11-3, 3.03 ERA all-time against the Rays.  B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach are the only current Rays' players to take him deep.

No current Astros' player has a career home run or RBI against Padres' starter Mat Latos.

Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran has 4 career home runs off Braves start Tim Hudson and 16 RBI.  The pick to click tonight for sure!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Numbers game

EBH takes a look inside the numbers of tonight's matchups in MLB.

The Pirates' Charlie Morton is 0-2, 9.75 ERA in his career against the Phillies.

The Phillies' Kyle Kendrick is 4-0, 2.61 ERA against the Pirates in his career.

The Indians' Fausto Carmona is 2-6 in his career against the Rangers.

The Rangers' Nelson Cruz is hitting .400 (4-10) with 2 home runs in his career off Fausto Carmona.

The Indians current roster only has 10 career at bats against the Rangers' Derek Holland (Buck 1, O. Cabrera 4, Hannahan 5)

The Blue Jays' Ricky Romero is 3-2, 3.60 ERA in his career against the Orioles.

The Braves' Jair Jurrjens is 8-2, 2.54 ERA in his career vs the Mets and no current New York player has hit a home run off him in their careers.

The White Sox A.J. Pierzynski has 3 career home runs off Justin Verlander of the Tigers.

Brewers Yovani Gallardo is 2-0, 1.74 in career vs. Marlins.

Yankees Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Andruw Jones all have hit 2 career home runs off Ervin Santana.  Expect a high scoring game tonight.

Injury updates: Pitchers

It's that time of year, two months into the season, when players start to experience pain they didn't feel at the start of spring.  Position players tend to get days off every now and then to help with general soreness, but pitchers who start to have pain in their elbow, shoulder or back may be forced into missing a start, or even take a trip on the disabled list.

Here is the latest news on some pitchers with injuries.

Angels' Dan Haren: (back) Injury will force him to miss his Saturday start.  Expected to be back in rotation for Tuesday.

Red Sox Clay Buchholz: (back) Originally scheduled to have his next start pushed back a few days, but the plan has changed and is expected to make his start next week against the Yankees.

Marlins' Josh Johnson: (forearm) Scheduled to come off the DL on June 7th, but Florida's baseball operations president, Larry Beinfest has said that "I don't know exactly when that's going to be" Any time the ace of the staff has a arm issue, teams are very careful on the road back to the mound.

Astros' Wandy Rodriguez: (elbow) Starting a throwing program, but was tentative in throwing the breaking ball.  Will still need to go on a rehab assignment, but for some reason, things don;t sound very good.

Cubs' Matt Garza: (elbow) had no set backs after throwing a side session and is expected to pitch against the Reds on Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q&A with Chris Perez caught up with Indians' Chris Perez while in Toronto and asked a few questions about the role of closer, falling asleep in the bullpen, and favourite CD's if on a desert island.