Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The weekend that was

Canada Day and NHL Free Agent talk took over the weekend in the Ottawa area. Leaf fans are surprised their hapless GM was able to acquire a winger to help Sundin after picking up a goalie, Habs fans are pissed that their GM threw money around but none of it would stick to any free agents until Monday and Sens fans are anxiously awaiting something, anything.

In the end, two of those three teams didn't make the playoffs and didn't do much to improve their chances while the Senators will attempt to take a maturing group back to the Stanley Cup Finals without much fiddling. I'll actually write a report on NHL Free Agency later as I was doing some side work this weekend on the subject.

But, back to why we're here, what happened to the hot Jays? This team hit .500, was slowly going to get three players off of DL and things were looking optimistic...until this weekend. A loss on Thursday against the Twins that split the series was quickly followed by a three game sweep at the hands of Seattle. Vernon Wells helped the team recover last night and allow Towers to win his second straight start. But the bad news came as Burnett was placed back on the DL for what looks like three to four weeks with more arm problems. Halladay just doesn't look like Doc and wouldn't even get my vote for the All-Star game's last AL player at this point. The team needs the three day All-Star break to heal some bumps and bruises, and Roy would be well served not throwing for a couple days.

To get to the All Star game, there are two more games against the Athletics followed by 3 against the Cleveland Indians. The Jays will send Litsch agains Blanton tonight, followed by McGowan vs Kennedy. Halladay is slated to start Friday against the AL Central leading Indians (and Cliff Lee) and would therefore be ready for the series opener vs Boston on next Thursday. The Jays have a couple more weeks to prove they're contenders or some of these veterans could be traded...remember after the 4 game series against the Sox, there are only 6 games left between the current 1st and 2nd places in the AL East.

How good has Marcum been for this team? He now leads the team in VORP and has 7 win shares, good enough to be tied for 5th on the Jays with Doc, tied for first amongst pitchers. He faces Fausto Carmona on Saturday according to the probables at the Rogers Centre.

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