Thoughts on last night's 8-5 win over the stumbly Rangers:
You know it's a trend when Gregg Zaun steals home: It wasn't your Mondesi-Hill variety straight steal of home for Zaun, but kudos to the veteran for taking advantage of the poor judgement and worse throw by his Texas counterpart, Gerald Laird. Incredibly, with the four bags swiped last night, the Blue Jays lead the Major Leagues in stolen bases with 13, while they have been caught four times. Credit goes to the Jays' coaching staff for forcing the issue with other teams on the basepaths while still being smart about when and how they send runners this year.
Please give it up for your AL RsBI Leader, Vernon Wells: So where are all of those voices questioning Wells' lucrative extension now? With two more driven in last night in his hometown, Vernon shares the league lead with Rays Carlos Pena (who's huge performance last year may not be as much of a mirage as we thought.)
News from the Pink/Round/Efficient File: It is easy to forget that Jesse Litsch just turned 23 last month. Nothing about him seems overwhelming, but you can't argue with his performance. He won his second game of the season last night, striking out five (versus two walks), and made a great play on a Josh Hamilton screamer back through the box in the first.
Good luck, Buck: Our favorite new Blue Jay Buck Coats got the start in left field last night, only to be given the bum's rush down to Syracuse following the game. Not that this is a reason for his demotion, by Coats goofed up defensively last night by allowing David Eckstein to call him off a play that the diminutive scrappy gamer grittily dropped. The Jays recalled Joe Inglett, who is off to a torrid start to the season (1.121 OPS, 17 total bases in 8 games), but who will be hard-pressed to find playing with amongst Little X, Scutaro, and McDonald. We liked how the Jays used Coats as a late inning defensive replacement for Matt Stairs and Shannon Stewart, and we're not sure that we like the idea of either of them patrolling the outfield in a close game.
Finding new favorites: It's hard for us not to like Jesse Carlson. Any relief pitcher with a goofy delivery hits us in our soft spot. Our first favorite baseball player was Kent Tekulve, and all these years later, we can't have a catch with our buddies without tossing at least one with our Mark Eichorn delivery. (Which usually bounces up to their feet, but we weren't making any claims to our athletic prowess.) Carlson pitched on back-to-back nights, and has held down the fort nicely (no runs, no hits, 2 Ks in 2 innings), unlike...
John Gibbons' mancrush, Brian Wolfe: Wolfe made his fifth appearance of the season, and gave up a home run to Josh Hamilton that may still be traveling through Oklahoma at this point.