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AL East Race

Postby sportsguy138 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:06 am

as you all know.. were in the second series after the all star break.. and these are the standings..

boston --
new york 0.5 GB
toronto 3.5 GB

id like to hear some oponions on this topic from the jays fans..

IMO.. i think that if burnett lilly and chacin (when he comes back) all consistently keep pitching well..

and our offence keeps producing (not our concern right now) we have a chance of making it.. but we also have to hope that injuries dont start happening to main parts of our team.. anwyays.. do you think the jays can finish first in this division? or possibly even win the wild card?
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Postby mweir145 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:21 am

The next 6 games for the Jays (2 agaisnt the Rangers, and then the biggest series of the year thus far, 4 agaisnt the Yankees), will decide whether the Jays will be buyers or sellers at the deadline in JP's eyes. They are only 3.5 games behind the Red Sox right now, but if they lose 3 out of 4 to the Yankees, they'll probably be atleast 5-6 back. Could be too far for JP to consider actually trading some of the prospects for hitters or pitchers that will help this year. Unfortunately for the Jays they won't have their most productive hitter this year in Rios playing agaisnt the Yankees, but hopefully he'll be back sometime next week. This is definitely the best team they've had since 1993 (also the best record this late in the season since then, if I'm not mistaken), and I think they certainly have a shot at winning the AL East if they can play their best baseball the rest of the way with no pieces being traded away. This team certainly has the offense (best in the AL so far this season as a matter of fact), but it's going to come down to whether AJ Burnett and Ted Lilly can pitch consistently as well as they are capable of doing (surprisingly Ted has been doing a good job of this), and whether somebody can actually break out as a good #4-5 starter until Chacin returns.

After looking at the wildcard standings, the Jays certainly aren't out of that yet either (5.5). I guess we'll just have to wait and see. There's still a lot of baseball left to be played.

I certainly think the playoffs are possible, but would I predict it at this point?...probably not. I have a feeling that the Red Sox and Yankees might try to greatly improve their team at the deadline, and I'm not sure the Jays have that ability.
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Postby Mookie4ever » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:06 am

We only have 3 healthy starters, Eric Hinske is our starting 3B, John McDonald is our starting ss and Chad Mottola started last night as our DH. Very sad.

We should give a good run once our team gets healthy but I think what these injuries have shown is that we are not very deep and our minor league teams are quite depleted these days. In any division other than the AL East or the AL Central we would have a very good chance of winning but as it is I don't hold much hope.
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Postby sportsguy80 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:54 pm

Weir is right the next 6 games have to be the most important of the season. If the Jays have any hope of making the post season there gonna have to be solid in the next couple of days. We also have one thing going for us in the series against the yankees we have are top 3 starters going for us: Roy Halladay vs Mike Mussina, AJ Burnett vs Jared Wright, and Ted Lilly vs Chien-Ming Wang. If our pitchers can pitch at their full potential than i think we have a good chance at taking 3 out of 4. I think that winning the AL East is more of a reality then winning the wildcard, although you never know the whitesox just got swept by the yankees. The Jays do have the best record vs AL East teams (24-17) while the yankees are 18-11 vs the AL East. If the jays go on to win 5 out of 6 or 4 out of 6 the i believe there is a good chance they will contend for the division and maybe even the wildcard, anything less than that will not do.
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Postby mweir145 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:28 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:We only have 3 healthy starters, Eric Hinske is our starting 3B, John McDonald is our starting ss and Chad Mottola started last night as our DH. Very sad.

I'm not exactly sure what point you are trying to make with that statement there. The only real starter there is McDonald...Troy Glaus and Shea Hillenbrand will be back by the Yankees series. I feel it's a testament to our depth that we actually have an Eric Hinske that can fill in like that (a very good major league hitter, especially agaisnt righties, despite popular opinion), as well as Mottola who's always hit lefties fairly well throughout his career. I mean we still won the game 10-1...it obviously wasn't that bad.

If you are going to bash the team's depth, atleast go after the pitching, not the major league leading offense. Though the Red Sox and Yankees really aren't in any better shape (Snyder, Johnson, Ponson etc...)
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Postby flying27 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:08 pm

I am happy to see Hinske play full time for awhile. It is sad he doesnt get to play more. I like McDonald and I think he will surprise alot of people.
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Postby go_jays_go » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:01 pm

Even though it seems hard, I think we can still push for the playoffs. Burnett is healthy and I think if we can get our staff solidified for the remainder of the season we have a good shot. With Halladay starting the first game of the series against the Yanks, we have a legitimate chance to win that one. Like Weir said, there is a lot of baseball to be played so anything can happen.

Regarding Hinske, even though many people (including myself) have something against the guy, he hasn't been that bad. He's still getting on-base and he hasn't been terrible in the field. Do I want him starting games for a team that has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs? No. But he's good enough to be an alright bench option.
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Postby bdrotoronto » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:32 pm

Call me simplistic, but I don't see how any team can compete for the playoffs when they're basically just throwing away a full 20% of their games. That's what the Jays have been doing all year with the #5 spot, it has literally been a black hole for them. Their 1-15 record out of that slot is just ridiculous. And the #4 spot has been really shaky for about a month now too.

They're trying hard, but the way things are going you're basically asking Halladay, Burnett, and Lilly to be virtually perfect each time they start and have like an .800 winning percentage between them, which is impossible for anyone. The bullpen isn't very strong either (outside of Ryan). I like the offence, but there are just too many holes throughout the pitching staff to see this team realistically advancing to the playoffs this year.

With a couple of smart additions to the pitching, I think they could be a realistic start-to-finish contender next year, but I think this year they'll kinda be like the '98 team, a fun group that stays competitive for a while, but ultimately come up short with maybe about two or three weeks to go.
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Postby sportsguy80 » Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:52 pm

We are now 4.5 games back of the Redsox in the AL East and 4.5 games back of the Whitesox for the wildcard. This series win against the Yankees was huge for us. We now head into Seattle with some favourable pitching matchups. Also I believe the month of August is huge for us we begin it with a critical 3 game series against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, then we have a big series against the Whitesox at home, and then a series against the Twins in Minnesota. These series will be huge for us, so hopefully we can continue to win games and turn the post season into a reality. With this series win against the Yankees we not only gained ground on the Redsox but we also gained ground on the whitesox, opening up another door to get to the post season.

GO JAYS GO ;-D
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Postby mweir145 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:15 am

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