East leaders host last years National League

#1
Before tonights Toronto Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, when the American League East leaders host last years National League pennant winners, the St. Louis Cardinals, the team will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of the SkyDome. Jays legends Jimmy Key and Ernie Whitt, members of playoff and World Series-winning teams of the past, will be on hand for the festivities to look back at what was the beginning of the Jays halcyon years. The return of these former stars comes at an apt time. For fans of the Blue Jays, its starting to feel a lot like those glory days again. Heading into Fridays game, the Jays sit at 37-24 with a five-and-a-half-game lead on the second-place Baltimore Orioles. The last team the Blue Jays held such a lead atop the division was in 1985, the year of their first-ever AL East triumph. Its easy to see why theres excitement surrounding this Jays team, but before everybody goes and books their flights to San Francisco for the World Series in October, lets step back and take a good look at these Toronto Blue Jays. Is it time to stop saying "Well, its early" and officially deem them contenders? Is the 2014 version of the Jays just the 2013 one that was expected all along, but a year late on arrival? Or will reality catch up with a team that is currently playing above its station? Friday night marks Game 62, and an even 100 games remain in the regular season. While its not exactly the halfway mark, its as good a time as any to reflect on the interesting dichotomy of the Jays season, thus far. Obviously, there have been plenty of key performances from the top of the roster on down. Mark Buehrle leads the league in wins with 10 and has a paltry 2.10 ERA. Edwin Encarnacion launched 16 jacks in May and made every at-bat a must-see event. Jose Bautista is in the midst of an MVP-calibre season. Melky Cabrera has bounced back from offseason surgery and looks headed to another All-Star Game. Jose Reyes once again looks like the catalyst he was for the New York Mets. Picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers scrap heap, Juan Francisco is one of the five Jays with double-digit home run totals. There is a lot to like right now. But before the Jays were sweeping the likes of the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics and tearing the cover off the baseball with reckless abandon and going 17-4 over its last 21 games, this team was once a very average 20-20. Its bullpen is still second-last in the bigs with a 4.62 ERA, having surrendered a league-worst 97 earned runs. Now second in the AL with 19 home runs, Encarnacion couldnt buy a hit in April and had just two homers. Reyes, Adam Lind and Casey Janssen missed significant time. Brandon Morrow and Colby Rasmus are down again. There were red flags all over this team not that long ago, but those have been seemingly swept aside in a tidal wave of power-hitting and timely pitching. Has this changed your expectations for the rest of the year? With April and early May indicating that the team was headed for another year of mediocrity, the fact that the Jays are division-leaders with the third-best record in baseball in June is quite frankly shocking. But wasnt this the Toronto Blue Jays team that was promised last season after a winter of major trades and free agent acquisitions? Maybe this run that the Jays are on isnt the aberration. Perhaps, last season and the beginning of this year was the outlier. Regardless of why its happening and how long it will last, the Blue Jays are currently playing meaningful baseball and its a welcome change for fans starving for a winner. So with 100 games left in 2014, just who are these Toronto Blue Jays and what happens from here on out? As always, its Your Call! Black Mens Air Max 97 . -- A.J. Burnett was happy to escape from New York. Cheap Air Max 97 Grey .Y. -- Phil Jackson lost out on his preferred coach, but hes working hard on keeping his star player. http://www.cheapairmax97.com/. Both moves were announced Tuesday. The Titans had waived Matthews on Saturday when they promoted wide receiver Michael Preston from the practice squad. All Black Air Max 97 .J. Hardy finally got in on the fun Saturday, against a likely opponent. All Blue Air Max 97 . Ozuna hit Reeds 2-2 pitch off the batters eye far above the 407-foot sign in straightaway centre. It was the fifth blown save in 25 tries for Reed (1-5) and the ninth home run the closer has allowed in 38 appearances. Nuno, acquired in the deal that sent Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees, gave up three hits, struck out a career-high seven and walked one in seven innings.TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the return of Paul Georges play, the defensive abilities of Chris Paul, the emergence of Mirza Teletovic, the struggles of Wesley Matthews and the successful formula of the Miami Heat. 1. Paul George (Pacers): Really looked like the All-Star hes been the past few years. Big time 39 point-12 rebound performance in Game #4 vs. the Wizards. Makes seven 3s and is clutch in so many instances for his team. Im not sure if the Pacers are truly back or if the Wizards dont know how to win as the stakes get higher but I will say that George looks back to normal and then some of late and thats a good sign for his club. 2. Chris Paul (Clippers): Yes, hes the best point guard in the game in my book and in spite of the fact that he gets 23 points and 10 assists in Game #4 vs. OKC, youve got to admire his grit and compete level taking on the defensive challenge of guarding Kevin Durant late. Hes an outstanding offensive player yet the thing that stands out to me is his ability to put the clamps on his opponent when need be, regardless of size. Tough competitor and special player. 3. Mirza Teletovic (Nets): Has made 10 3s in the past two games vs the Heat and has them shaking their heads on how to cover him. His stretch 4 game is quite a sight to behold when hes dropping long range shots. He opens the whole floor up for his teammates and has been a steady shooter (37 per cent) this season.dddddddddddd Looks like hes gaining confidence with each passing game. What a steal for GM Billy King. A skilled and tough second unit guy that teams would love to have. 4. Wesley Matthews (Blazers): Normally close to 40 per cent 3-point shooter during the regular season. Rockets and Spurs have made it a point of making him work for every open look he can get on the perimeter while only shooting 31 per cent in the playoffs. His ability to open things up in the two-man game between LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard has been critical to their success. Spacing is such a huge component of getting the matchups you want to be effective. Hes a marked man and the Spurs are making sure he takes tough shots. 5. Miami Heat Formula: Theyve got the best player on the planet in LeBron James yet its what they put around him that counts. Of course, Dwyane Wade is a Hall of Famer and when hes healthy, hes still very good. The stretch ability of this team is remarkable. In the playoffs, theyre shooting 41 per cent from behind the arc. Thats really hard to do. Their spacing and ball movement is impeccable and when you have Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, James Jones and Shane Battier camping out behind the line, you have to pick your poison; double LeBron and give up 3s or play him single coverage, defend the 3s and hope that LeBron doesnt destroy you. The system works and is well thought out. Fits their personnel to a T. Tough to stop. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron