Jays 8, KC 1 - April 28th Recap

Pitching: The Jays proved once again that there are many reasons for their hot start to the season, this time doing it with the gloves as well as the bats. The defense continues to excel, with Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay completing a key double play to stop a KC rally. More impressive, however, was the continued strong pitching they received from Scott Richmond who is now 3-0 on the season. Richmond lasted 7 innings, allowing a rest for most of the bullpen, and threw 63 of 106 pitches for strikes. Carlson and League continued the unforgiving performance of the bullpen by shutting KC out for the 8th and 9th inning, only allowing 2 hits and striking out 3.

Offense: The Jays offense was effective as usual, with only Adam Lind not getting a hit out of the evening. Wells and Hill had the most successful nights with 3 hits a piece, and although the Jays did not get a homer, they did get 4 doubles and 14 hits overall, rolling over their lineup very nicely. I must say that Cito Gaston's consistent lineups have resulted in outstanding offensive performances from the majority of players, except one.

Alexis Rios continues to struggle and has not shown any power at all. It may be an illusion he creates to hide his frustration, but as a fan he seems to have no emotion at all whenever he strikes out or flies out. I don't want to overreact about his slumping start since this guy has the talent to break out and help the Jays win, but I do question the hustle and lack of emotion he has shown thus far. Rios hit over 30 HRs in AA before becoming a Jay, and last year he only hit 15 after hitting 24 in 2007. At 6'5" 215 lbs you would think the power would always be evident, but he seems to hit more line drives than anything else. The Jays biggest weakness in their minor league system is that they have absolutely nobody to push Rios to play better behind him. The nearest possibility of an outfielder with power, other than Jason Lane who had success this spring, is Chavez in LoA and he needs the time to develop. So, it would be stating the obvious that the Jays need Rios to perform, and will be that much better when he does.

If Rios begins to deliver on a consistent basis, this lineup will roll itself over so often that it will make opposing pitchers see their lineup like slot machine logos. It is unlikely that the entire offense can keep up the pace they're on for the entire season, so they will need Rios to carry the load at some point. Let's just hope he's ready for it when the time comes!

Next Up: The Jays season continues to roll, and tonight they attempt to win yet another series with another surprising pitcher in Brian Tallet going up against Mr. Zero ERA Zach Greinke. Let's see what our offense can do against this guy!!!

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