Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Play Ball!

We’re officially one week into the new MLB season and already some interesting trends are developing around the league, specifically in the American League East.

For one, the Toronto Blue Jays are looking like a pretty solid ball club early on!

The Jays kicked off the regular season with a 13-3 rout of the Minnesota Twins last Friday and followed that up with a 6-1 win the next night, before losing a close 4-3 ballgame on Sunday. Earlier this week, the Jays opened up a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics by scoring a pair of come-from-behind wins at the Rogers Centre to sit at 4-1 with…three percent of the season in their rear view mirror.

Still, it’s a good start!

Toronto’s pitching has been great so far with Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Brett Cecil and Jesse Litsch all allowing no more than three earned runs each in their first starts. Jo-Jo Reyes is the only Jays pitcher to get into some trouble so far, giving up five runs on nine hits in just over three innings of work early in an extra-innings win over the A’s on Tuesday.

Travis Snider was the man for the Jays on Wednesday, crushing a three-run shot over the wall in the fourth inning to put his club on top for good. Nothing in the world of sports is sweeter than Snider’s moustache though. It’s so impressive that I’m pretty sure the MLB should test it for steroids. Just saying.

Now that we’ve got the Jays out of the way, it’s been a pretty interesting start for the rest of the AL-East as well:

The Baltimore Orioles suffered their first defeat of the season on Wednesday night after opening up with four straight wins. Why is that impressive? It took them until April 27th last year to reach the four-win mark!

The Tampa Bay Rays are playing so bad right now that they’ve got people talking contraction! The Rays are winless through five games, they’ve been held to one run in four of those outings and they’re dead last in the Major Leagues when it comes to runs (7), hits (21) and overall batting average (.136). The worst part about the 0-5 start though is probably the fact that each of those losses has come at home!

Don’t worry though Rays fan, you’re not alone (except at Tropicana Field). The Boston Red Sox are also looking for their first win of the season through five games and, believe it or not, they’ve actually got Tampa beat in at least one statistical category. The BoSox have given up 37 runs so far, the second most out of anyone in the MLB. Boston is so bad that crazy stuff like this is happening to them!

So, after one week things are looking a bit different than we’re used to in the AL-East, but it’s a long, long (too long?) season my friends. I’m sure Tampa and Boston will right the ship sooner rather than later, but the most interesting stories to me are Toronto and Baltimore.

Are the Jays ready to challenge for the division crown or maybe that extra wildcard spot? Are the Orioles really a different team under Buck Showalter? Both are questions I can’t wait to learn the answers to…

Play Ball!

Other stuff…

San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson stars in the latest “This is Sportscenter” commercial for ESPN:

No Guts, No Glory brings us these funny courtroom sketches from the Barry Bonds perjury trial…

MLB commissioner Bud Selig says he wants to ban chewing tobacco…which seems like it would be a tough sell with the players association!

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