Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Homers and Pride

For whatever reason, the Jays seem to play the Rangers, widely considered the best team in baseball, extremely well. I used to dread seeing them a few years ago, but last year I figured out why. Roy Halladay used to get dominated by the Rangers, and since the Jays jettisoned that bum, things have been sweet. Remember that time those bastards broke Roy's leg right before the All Star Game? I joked on Twitter that despite the talk, the Jays were going to play a game after the Yu Darvish start and maybe a few more after that.


Yu Darvish was more or less as advertised. Which is tall, Japanese and NASTY. I liked the hat tip to Encarnacion when the latter was plunked, because I like international touches like that. I liked the homer EE tattooed off Darvish better. A very international touch. Darvish's offspeed stuff was particularly unneighbourly.

Lost in the noise was Kyle Drabek.  Drabek's a different pitcher this year and he put in a performance on Monday night that demonstrated the work he has put in. Or as the esteemed Drew Fairservice put it, he improved the fuck out of the Texas Rangers potent lineup.

Tuesday night's game was great because while Drew Hutchison gave up a five spot in the second inning, he hung in there long enough to let the bats come alive.

Jose Bautista has been hearing a lot of grumbling about his slow start, as well as perceived "bitchiness" when he shows frustration. And this is what he had to say about it, “When things are not going well, you’re going to notice sometimes, and I don’t have any shame in that. That’s the way I play and playing with emotion is what drives me and I’m going to have to play like that the rest of my career."

I find it odd sometimes that people love the swag when he is hitting, but hate on it when he struggles. Both stem from Bautista's pride, and it's clear he is a very proud man. It's that pride that fuels his work ethic. For the show he has given us the past two seasons, we owe him a little patience.

Bautista hit a bomb on Tuesday night, and a sacrifice fly today, so maybe the timing is coming back and everyone can go back to finding the emotional nature of his game awesome. The look Bautista gave Alexi Ogando after Ogando threw above his head was muy macho, as was the chirping from Encarnacion and Lawrie. Encarnacion looked ready to throw down, trash talking in Spanish. And Lawrie was contributing some bro-talk.

See, feelings are fun.

And Lawrie did what he does, which is hit a walk-off homer and try to maim his team mates. He made Colby Rasmus smile. Earlier, Lawrie hung out with a Swedish supermodel near some underwear. Someone you may recognize spoke about that underwear. 

The blossoming of Encarnacion as a power hitter is a great thing. It used to drive me insane that people booed him and called him E5 last season, mostly because it was clear that Encarnacion was taking his struggle hard and that he was putting in tremendous effort. He came to camp slimmed down in 2011, so it was clear Encarnacion wanted to work. The E5 nickname was lame, mostly because people stole it from the Cincinnati press and acted like it was really clever.

The game was on in the background this afternoon, and I thought for a second Encarnacion's homer was a replay of another game. See, John Farrell, was it so difficult to put EE in the 4 hole behind Bautista?

On the subject of Encarnacion, Ricky mentioned the haters, "Just to think of what happened to him last year and the boos he was receiving in this stadium, to see him succeed and the way he overcame all that stuff, it’s been tremendous. He has a lot of passion and [he is] definitely a heck of a hitter.”

And obviously, my early support makes me look like a genius. A GENIUS.

Hat tip to John Lott, whose quotes I steal on the regular. He has a press pass, I don't.

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