Friday, May 21, 2010

Desert Dogs

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The Toronto Blue Jays will finally get their first taste of Interleague play against none other than ... the Arizona Diamondbacks!

The Jays and D-Backs have only ever squared off for six total games in their history, and they've both won three games and lost three games. Talk about a barn burner of a series.

As far as connections to the Toronto Blue Jays are concerned, the only one I could find is that Diamondbacks pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is brothers with former Jays pitcher turned stock trader Todd Stottlemyre.

Digging a little further though, Jordan Bastian goes beyond scratching the surface to find out that Brian Butterfield used to the be Diamondbacks third base coach, and of course Lyle Overbay has ties in the desert as he played 98 games for the D'Backs over the course of his first three seasons in the big leagues.

The Blue Jays woes against National League teams have been well documented over the years. Since the inception of Interleague play back in 1997, the Blue Jays have compiled a 108-121 record against the senior circuit which translates to a .471 winning percentage.

Plenty of people write off Interleague games as a waste, but those 18 games go a long way to determining who makes the playoffs and who's left on the outside looking in come late September.

Maybe it's a little unbalanced to be playing so many games against the National League because it seems like these "novelty" games actually carry a lot more weight than some of the series against division rivals.

Tonight it's a battle on the mound between Brandon Morrow and Diamondbacks ace Dan Haren. Looking at Haren's stats, it's interesting to note that his American League stats are almost identical to his National League stats.

Three seasons in the AL, Haren had a 43-24 record with a 3.64 ERA. After five years in the NL, Haren has an eerily similar record: 40-31 with a 3.69 ERA. Freaky.

Don't forget - I'll be liveblogging tonight's Jays/D'Backs game over at The Score starting around 9:40pm EST.

2 comments:

  1. This will be another test to see if these Jays are for real. They have to win these series as their AL East brethren are likely to do. I'm ignoring the rest of Jays fandom and the 'Jays will fall back to earth' mantra. I'm choosing to hope that they can sustain their winning ways and tonight is another hurdle.

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  2. Matt, I guess the silver lining too all this is the Red Sox are playing the Phillies this weekend - and against Roy Halladay on Sunday, I believe.

    But you're right - the Blue Jays can't take their foot off the pedal, otherwise the Red Sox will easily make up ground and the Jays will slip back into fourth place.

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