Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What's Up with the Blue Jays?

Another great performance by the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night against the previously unbeaten in eight Orioles, winning 6-2 in a 12-inning thriller.

Baseball would likely be ranked way down the sports watching ladder for me personally. I'd much rather watch a hockey or football game, although I must confess that the lockout on the ice hasn't had that much of an effect on me (bad news for the NHL if one of its biggest fans doesn't even miss it).

However, this Blue Jay club is pretty fun to watch. Their lineup is well balanced and can hit a baseball like nobody's business. Shea Hillenbrand has been tremendous, leading the A.L. in hitting through April, while Greg Zaun has accepted his new responsibilities as the starting catcher for the ballclub by coming up with countless clutch hits and calling great games behind the plate.

The starting pitching has been pretty damn good, especially Doc Halladay, who looks to have regained his Cy Young form from 2003 and rookie Gustavo Chacin, who has shown incredible poise right from day one.

I'm still not sold on the bullpen, especially closer Miguel Batista, who doesn't have the stuff to dominate hitters. However, Batista and the rest of the bullpen have been very sharp in the last six games so maybe they'll prove me wrong.

This has been a fun team to watch in the early going. They never stop fighting and there seems to be a lot of character here, something that all of a sudden seems missing from teams like the Yankees. I seriously doubt that this will continue but I can say that the Jays are much better than originally advertised and I expect them to win around 85 games this season.

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