Sunday, April 1, 2018

Whew! Blue Jays

7-4, to split the 4-game series with the Yankees, 2-2. Young Jamie Campbell, host of the "panel" that comments on games, said the Jays were never at .500 at any time in 2017 (except I guess for before Game 1). Cliff Floyd, the new panel member (Gregg Zaun got fired over a a MeToo issue), said: I've done my job.

Two home runs by Justin Smoak, a 2-run shot and a grand slam. 6 of the 7 Jays runs. A super-fantastic at-bat leading to the slam, staying at 3-2 over several pitches. Count me as one who thought Smoak would be at least a bit worse than last year--which was a career year for him, and he's not that young (32). It would be great if he had another fantastic year. He made $1 million in 2015, and just under $4 million in 2016. He was up for renewal at the end of 2016, like the much more famous Bautista and Encarnacion. Unlike them, he agreed to negotiate during the 2016 season, and he settled in July for 2 years at about $4 million a year, and an option for a third year at $6 million. That seems to mean he is making less than $4 million this year; if his numbers are close to last year, a fantastic bargain. Ever since the wiseacres on the call-in shows found out about the three-year contract, they have been calling to get rid of Smoak, play someone younger etc. This weekend he had his bobblehead day; his wife is very pregnant, but his daughter and mom were at the park, and his mom threw out the first pitch. What a weekend for him.

Before the slam, Josh Donaldson was deliberately walked to load the bases. I can not only understand the reasoning of rookie Yankees manager Aaron Boone, I think I might have made the same decision. When healthy, Donaldson is the Jays' best player, and Smoak as a late bloomer remains a question mark. On the other hand, Donaldson is not healthy, and ... Smoak.

Jays' bullpen was as good as the Yankees' bullpen on the series. The slam was given up by the legendary David Robertson, who now has an ERA of 18.

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