Monday, July 5, 2010
Independence Day Walk-Off
By Ian Hunter
For the second straight year, the Bronx Bombers scored a walk-off victory over the Blue Jays on Independence Day.There were several turning points in the game, almost too many to count.
Dewayne Wise was responsible for several of them. Firstly, hitting the go-ahead three run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Then, in the bottom of the frame he had a big hand in throwing Nick Swisher out at the plate.
But after helping contribute and save a few runs for the Blue Jays, DeWayne Wise cost them a few runs by letting a fly ball drop just a few feet to his left.
It seemed like a simple play, but if it happened to both John McDonald and DeWayne Wise, it must have been extremely difficult to track those fly balls when it's a clear day like that. Of course, it always helps when you have your sunglasses flipped down.
Wise then drove in the game-tying run in the top of the ninth off Mariano Rivera, and I cannot think of stranger case of redemption than his. Unfortunately, it came up just a tad short ... but that wasn't entirely his fault.
Cito's Small Ball Tactics
I think The Man With The Golden Arm from 1 Blue Jays Way said it best about Cito trying to use small ball tactics: "if you never use something, it tends to get rusty".
Here's the scenario that really puzzled me. Not typically known for the bunt, hit and run, or steal, Cito orders Encarnacion to lay down the bunt in the top of the 10th with runners on first and second with nobody out.
Now it was Encarnacion's own damn fault for not running that one out, and give Alex Rodriguez credit for making a heads up play. While Encarnacion completely botched the play and cost the Blue Jays an out, knowing Cito Gaston's managing style, I'm actually shocked he called for a bunt in the first place.
For a manager who is so determined on letting his players hit through at bats and create runs their own way, it was very surprising to see Cito order Encarnacion to bunt ... especially with nobody out.
At this point on the season, I think the manager should stick to one strategy or the other. Either let your hitters swing for the fences or play the small ball tactics the entire time. Don't try to dance in between the two because obviously, that strategy does not work very well for the Blue Jays.
Hey, we have some All-Stars!
A big congratulations goes out to the three players that will be representing the Blue Jays at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles: Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells, and John Buck.
Did the Ballots for Bautista campaign have something to do with it? Well, that's hard to say considering it was actually his fellow players that voted Bautista into the All-Star Game.
Either way, thanks to everyone for showing their support for Jose Bautista and hopefully we'll get a chance to see him hit some dingers next week in the Home Run Derby and increase that trade value.