Niemann or He-Man?

At 6’9” and 280 pounds, Jeff Niemann could almost be mistaken as an offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As he took up almost one third of my television screen, imagine what it was like for the Blue Jays to have to face a pitcher who towered close to seven feet. It was probably the equivalent of having He-Man standing at the top of Castle Greyskull and hurling fastballs.

The Blue Jays had no answer for Niemann who pitched seven strong innings and only gave up four hits in total. He didn’t even run into trouble until the seventh inning when Rod Barajas hit an RBI single to deep right field.

Although Roy Halladay was pegged with the loss, I would say that his return from the disabled list was a very valiant effort. You can’t be disappointed that Doc gave up two runs to a very aggressive Tampa Bay Rays team. There was just one mistake by Halladay; a costly two-run home run to Carl Crawford.


I think Tao put it best when he said that “lifeless” was the best way to summarize the performance by the Blue Jays. You could also really see the differing managerial styles between Joe Maddon and Cito Gaston; while Gaston plays a very laid back, “hope for something happen” kind of game, Maddon goes out there and encourages his players to be very aggressive and take bases at all costs. Aside from Gabe Gross being thrown out twice, for the most part that strategy worked for Joe Maddon and the Rays last night.

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.

5 thoughts on “Niemann or He-Man?

  • June 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    The steal is in. Someone should tell the Jays. I'd love to see a Brett Gardner type stolen base threat (that bats left-handed) added to the MLB roster. Shit, if I recall Russ Adams stole something like 40 bags once in college. Get him running!

  • June 30, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    You can't steal first. Well, maybe if you make your outs on the ground, but fly ball pitcher plus fly ball team = you can't steal first.

  • July 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Good point, Torgen. I just wish the Jays had a 30+ base stealer on the team that could make starting pitchers uneasy when they would get on base.

  • July 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I was at this game. I think the greatest thing about it was Scott Rolen stealing early on by almost literally walking from 2nd to 3rd. It was hilarious.

  • July 2, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Yeah, I remember that steal – he went completely uncontested. I was kind of surprised the Jays didn't try to steal more bases against Niemann (when they actually got on base, at least).

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