Get Ready for the Second Half

    After an extended lay-off, Blue Jays Way is back in full force for the second half. Due to personal reasons I had to take some time off from writing this blog, but I am back now and I am committed to making this the best Blue Jays blog on MLB.com. Get ready for more Highlights, more Interviews and more opinion pieces. To all the Jay’s fans out there, say it with me "LETS GO JAYS!!!!"

Jay’s hold on for the win

JAYS 6 – ORIOLES 3

    It took 6 pitchers to get the job done, but at the end of the day – a win is a win. Toronto never had a pitcher last more than 3 innings in last nights win over Baltimore, but thanks to the bats of Rios, Catalanotto and Wells, the Jays got their second straight win and move just 2 games out of the top spot in the AL East. Alex Rios continued his power hitting streak, when he belted a solo homerun to lead-off the game. Rios has now hit 4 homeruns in his last 4 games to bring his season total to 15. Well’s also continues to dominate at the plate this year, going 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Toronto will look to win yet another series today as they play the rubber match in the 4-game set at 12:37pm EST

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_150484_2

3 for 4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Rios’ HR
Cat’s HR
Wells’ HR
Wells’ 2 for 3 night

NEXT GAME
06/15/06 vs. Baltimore

Halladay shows why he’s the best in the AL

JAYS 7 – BALTIMORE 1

    Toronto ace Roy Halladay(8-1, 2.75) showed why he is among the best pitchers in MLB on Tuesday night when he pitched a 6-hit complete game gem, on way to his 8th victory of the season. Vernon Wells hit his 16th homerun of the season in the 1st inning and the Jay’s never looked back. Russ Adams fresh off of being called up from triple-A Syracuse came up with a clutch 2-out single to drive in 2 runs. Adams’ offense is something the Jay’s will cherish in the 9 hole after watching Edgardo Alfonzo hit .162 in 37 AB in his short time with the club. The Jay’s will look to Scott Downs(1-0, 5.40), who is filling in for injured starter Gustavo Chacin(6-2, 5.61) on Wednesday night, as they take on the Baltimore Orioles in the 3rd game of a 4 game series.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_150484_1

1 for 3, 3 RBI, HR

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Halladay goes the distance
Adams’ 2-run single
Wells’ 2-run HR
Johnson’s RBI double

NEXT GAME
06/14/06 vs. Baltimore

Jays fail to sweep BoSox

JAYS 6 – RED SOX 8

    For the third straight series, the Blue Jays are unable to win the final game and sweep the series. Ted Lilly(5-5, 4.50) struggled with his command and was pulled from the game after 5 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings of work. The Jays managed 13 hits against Boston on Wednesday night, and although I am not sure of the exact stat, I’m pretty sure that when the Jays out-hit their opponents and get 10+ hits they are pretty much undefeated this season, so my hat goes off to the Boston Red Sox for holding the Jays to just 6 runs.

    Once again Toronto’s bullpen proved to be a little shaky and didn’t help the Jays when they needed it. If Toronto is to get to the next level(read: playoffs), their bullpen is going to HAVE to step up for them. To make matters worse, Gold Glove center fielder Vernon Wells injured his should prior to hitting his third homerun in Tuesday’s game and had to sit out last nights affair. Wells had an MRI done and it appears to just be inflammation on the shoulder, so he should be back in the lineup on Friday or Saturday. Toronto will now need to do something they have had problems doing in the past if they are to succeed, and that is to beat up on teams that aren’t very good as their next 7 games are against Tampa Bay and Baltimore, 2 below-500 teams.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_425567_3

3 for 4, 2R, 2B

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Hills 2-run triple

NEXT GAME
6/2/06 vs. Tampa Bay

Blue Jays put on an air show

JAYS 8 – RED SOX 5

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    Wow!, thats all I have to say about the human highlight wheel known as Vernon Wells. The Toronto Blue Jays put on a show on Tuesday night, in which they hit 5 balls out of the park and all 5 came off the bats of Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus.

    Gustavo Chacin(6-1, 5.11) made his return from the 15-day DL and pitched well enough to earn his 6th victory of the season. For the second straight game the Blue Jays bullpen was a little rocky and had the Toronto faithful(read: Me) on the edge of their seats, but ‘ol faithful B.J. Ryan came in to put those fears to rest and pick up his 12th save.

    In hitting 3 homeruns, Vernon Wells not only became the 10th player in franchise history to complete the feat and the first since a guy by the name of Delgado did it in 2003, but Wells also recieved his first curtain call, something I think we will be seeing alot more of in the years to come.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_150484

3 for 4, 4 RBI, 3R, 3HR

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Wells’ 3 HR game
Glaus’ 2 HR’s
Wells, Glaus go back-to-back
Glaus flashing some leather
Wells’ third inning HR
Glaus second HR

NEXT GAME
05/31/06 vs. Red Sox

Player of the Week; May 22-28

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    This weeks PoTW goes to first baseman Lyle Overbay. During the week of May 22nd, Overbay hit .450 with 4 RBI, 5 runs, 2 HR and 5 doubles. Overbay has also been playing Gold Glove calliber defense over at first base, helping his team win each time he takes the field.

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Overbay’s 2 HR performance
Overbay’s Leaping Grab
Overbay dives for a liner
Overbay Homerun
Overbay’s Grand Slam
Overbay scambles for an out
Overbay’s 3 run HR
Overbay’s Diving Grab
Overbays drives in Glaus for game winner
Overbay Glaus go back-to-back

Jays make it exciting

JAYS 7 – RED SOX 6

    The Blue Jays continue to power their way up the standings in the AL East with a win against Boston last night. Toronto, led by their ace Roy Halladay(6-1, 2.88), jumped out to an early lead on Monday night off homeruns by Wells and Overbay. After leaving the game with a 6-3 lead and in line for the victory, Halladay watched as Justin Speier gave up a 3-run HR in the top of the 8th to Jason Varitek to tie the game.   

    My hat goes off to Bengie Molina, who in the 8th after having a sure double called foul on a very questionable call, battled back from an 0-2 count to hit a double to the gap. Molina was replaced at 2nd base by pinch runner Eric Hinske, who was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Hill and then driven in by a pinch-hit base hit by Shea Hillenbrand for the winning run.

    Toronto will look to make it 2 in-a-row Tuesday when they send Gustavo Chacin(5-1, 5.31) to the mound fresh off the injured list.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_134260

3 for 4, RBI, 2B

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Wells’ HR
Overbay’s HR
Hillenbrand’s clutch hit

NEXT GAME
05/30/06 vs. Red Sox

Jays – Close but no cigar

JAYS 5 – WHITE SOX 7

    The Blue Jays waited a little too long to get their high powered offense rolling on Sunday and it cost them a victory. Ty Taubenheim(0-2, 7.56) struggled to find the strike zone early and the result was 4 runs and 4 walks in 2.1 innings of work. After pulling Taubenheim the Jays had a 5-1 deficit to crawl back from.

    Toronto went to work on White Sox pitcher Jon Garland(4-2, 6.25) in the bottom of the sixth when Troy Glaus hit a 2-run HR to cut the lead to 6-3. Lyle Overbay followed Glaus with a solo HR, his second of the game and all of sudden it was a 6-4 game in the top of the 7th. The Jays added a run in seventh when Luis Figueroa hit a double down the first base line for his first Major Leauge basehit. Figueroa moved up to third on a wild pitch and was driven home on a fielders choice by Frank Catalanotto. In the end, it was too little, too late for the Blue Jays as a late homerun by Rob Mackowiak sealed the deal for the Chicago White Sox.

    The Blue Jays will now take on the AL East leading Boston Red Sox in a 3-game series at the Rogers Center. The Jays will be looking to close the gap on the Red Sox lead in the division. Toronto will be sending Roy Halladay(6-1, 2.77) to the mound to face Boston’s Matt Clement(4-4, 6.31) in the first game of the series on Monday night.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_407489

2 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 HR

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Overbay’s 2 HR
Figueroa’s first MLB hit
Glaus and Overbay go back-to-back

NEXT GAME
05/29/06 vs. Red Sox

Get out the brooms!

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@ 457458_2

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    For the second straight series, Toronto has the opportunity to do something they have not done since July of last year – sweep a series. The Blue Jays will send rookie Ty Taubenheim(0-1, 4.50) to the mound against White Sox pitcher Jon Garland(3-2, 6.12) to try and close out this series. A win by the Blue Jays today will set up a 1st place deciding series with the Boston Red Sox.

    Alex Rios looks to extend his career best hitting streak to 14 games and continue his great month of May where he has hit .351 with 4 HRs and 17 RBI’s. Shea Hillenbrand has also been hitting the ball extremely well this month, posting a .351 AVG with 4 HR’s and 11 RBI’s.

    No word as to whether John McDonald will start at short today after pulling a groin muscle in yesterday’s 11-inning win over the White Sox. If McDonald is unable to go, then the Jays will start minor league veteran Luis Figueroa. In other injury news, while doing an interview with Rogers Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell, J.P. Ricciardi said that A.J. Burnett is still atleast 3 weeks away from returning.

Hillenbrand wins it with a walk-off HR

JAYS 3 – WHITE SOX 2

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    Cassey Janssen(3-3, 3.25) and Jose Contreras(5-0, 1.83) locked horns today in a pitching duel that lasted until the 6th inning when Janssen was pulled from the game. Janssen pitched 5.1 innings giving up 7 hits, 1 ER and striking out 3, while his counterpart Contreras, pitched 7 innings giving up 5 hits, 1 ER and struck out 3.

    The White Sox and Jays were locked in a 1-1 tie until the bottom of the 8th inning when Frank Catalanotto came up with a huge double to the left field corner to drive in Aaron Hill, which gave the Jays a 2-1 lead. On came B.J. Ryan in the bottom of the 9th to close out the game and get his 12th straight save, but it was not to be, as Joe Crede hit a double to lead off the inning and was driven in by Juan Uribe. This was Ryans first blown save of the season and pushed the game to extra-innings.

    On to the bottom of the 11th inning now and up steps Shea Hillendbrand who apparently had a hot date tonight, as he took a Jeff Nelson slider that was left over the plate into deep left field to win the game with a walk-off HR. As a side note, shortstop John McDonald left the game in the 8th inning after a sacrifice bunt, no word as to what the injury was.

JAYS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ph_150167

   2 for 5, HR

GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Hillenbrands Walkoff HR
McDonalds Great Defense

NEXT GAME
05/28/06 vs. White Sox