Caught in the middle

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It was a game that could have easily gone either way, but it was a game that should have gone the Blue Jays’ way. Brian Tallet had the game in the palm of his hands, but he let it slip away as the Jays lost the rubber match of their series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

It looked like Brian Tallet had trouble with his location most of the game, as was evident by the six walks he gave up. Even though Tallet had great success with his changeup in his last start against the Reds, he struggled to locate it and laid off his changeup as the game progressed.

While Tallet had problems with the Phillies, Brandon League had no trouble shutting them down in order in the seventh inning. League was spot-on with his location and fanned two hitters in a successful inning of relief. For the time being, Brandon League is back to his dominant self once again.


One member of the Jays that has quietly put together a great season is Raul Chavez. I didn’t notice this until today, but he has thrown out 40 percent of base stealers this season. Chavez has actually always been a great defensive catcher; last year alone he gunned down twelve runners. Often underrated, Chavez has been a very important piece to the puzzle this season for the Blue Jays and should be commended for that.

All of the runs that were put on the board by the Blue Jays came by way of the longball. Aaron Hill knocked in his 18th and 19th home runs of the year and Jose Bautista added a two run shot for good measure in the second inning. Unfortunately, those runs would not be enough to hold off the Philadelphia Phillies.

The sequence of events in the bottom of the ninth really had Blue Jays fans on the edge of their seats. Raul Chavez amazed everyone with a bunt to start things off and Scutaro walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. After Aaron Hill flied out, John McDonald was caught in a very strange rundown between second and third.

Even before Brad Lidge had a chance to wind up, Johnny Mac jumped the gun and sped off for third base, but Lidge must have been tipped off as he turned around at the precise time McDonald got a jump. You can’t really blame J-Mac for trying to be aggressive and tie up the game, but the lead runner needs to be aware of what’s going on at all times. Maybe Johnny Mac was taking some baserunning tips from Alex Rios or something.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

3 thoughts on “Caught in the middle

  • June 29, 2009 at 1:35 am

    That pickoff just killed the rally, the crowd and settled Lidge down, pretty much sealing things.

    Tallet was struggling all game long, after a bit of early success with his change-up the Phils adjusted to it and started to lay off of it because they knew it was coming as soon as there were 2 strikes. Lack of control + no luck with the out pitch = trouble.

  • June 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    One bright side – yes the pickoff sucks, but don't you still feel like this is a team that can come back, whereas last year you just didn't?

  • June 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Yeah, that pickoff was quite the downer. The Jays put themselves in a good postion with runners on first and second with nobody out.

    Great insight about Tallet, Matty. In his last start, he challenged lefties with his changeup, but the Phillies figured him out pretty quickly.

    QJays, I honor Johnny Mac for trying to make something happen at least. It wasn't a double play to end the game or a strike out, so that's good … I guess!

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