quarters en route to a 116-94 victor from miaowang123's blog

TORONTO – There may come a time in the next few years when the Houston Astros are a good baseball team. https://www.losangelesfootballshop.com/86-Jersey . That time, however, is not now and with apologies to the "Its Early" crowd, with whom we typically should all agree hardly removed from opening day, this three-game home set with the Houston Astros is important to the Blue Jays. Nobody is suggesting that, say, if Toronto gets swept its season is over. But a check of the math tells you it doesnt help. The Blue Jays, by virtue of their perch in the American League East, have the unenviable task of playing 76 of their 162 games against their four divisional opponents. They get the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles 19 times each, a veritable meat grinder that can chew up and spit out the hope for a successful season all by itself. Lets say, for the sake of argument, the Blue Jays go 38-38 against their own division. That leaves 86 games against non-divisional opponents. To get to 90 wins, which likely wont be enough to win the division and may or may not be enough to capture one of the two wild card spots, Toronto would have to go 52-34. So far, after splitting a four-game series in Tampa Bay and disappointingly dropping two of three at home to the Yankees, the Jays are 3-4 within the AL East. Houston marks the first non-divisional opponent and due to the make up of the schedule, this is the only time the Astros will visit Toronto all year. It doesnt matter whether its April, June, or the intensity filled months of August and September, Houstons only here once and when they visit the Jays need to make hay. More than anything, manager John Gibbons wants his club to better protect home soil. "Ive always said you cant bury yourself early," said Gibbons. "Especially in this division, its an uphill battle and its real tough to come back. Were trying to get off to a good start and with more games at home itd be nice to finish up good at home. Youve got to play good at home, its no secret. Hold your own on the road and play good baseball at home." JEKYLL AND HYDE ROTATION The biggest question facing the Blue Jays (3-4) heading into the season centred on the starting rotation. Could it hold up in the toughest division in baseball? In the wins, Dr. Jekyll rules the day. When Torontos lost, Mr. Hyde rears his ugly face. Heres a look at the numbers through the first seven games: In the three wins, no runs allowed in 20 2/3 innings pitched. April 1: Drew Hutchison, 5.1 innings pitched.April 2: Mark Buehrle, 8.2 IP.April 5: R.A. Dickey, 6.2 IP. In the four losses, the starts have allowed a staggering 20 earned runs in just 16 innings pitched (11.25 ERA, averaging four innings pitched per start): March 31: R.A. Dickey, 6 earned runs in 5 innings pitched.April 3: Brandon Morrow, 4 ER in 5 IP.April 4: Dustin McGowan, 4 ER in 2.2 IP.April 6: Drew Hutchison, 6 ER in 3.1 IP. ROTATION JUGGLING Mondays off day has afforded manager John Gibbons the opportunity to flip R.A. Dickey and Dustin McGowan, meaning Dickey will start Thursdays series finale against the Astros and McGowan will open a three-game set in Baltimore on Friday night. "Thatll split up Morrow and McGowan," said Gibbons. "The two guys were watching a little bit. Put Dickey in the middle and he can eat some innings, anyway." Dickey has repeatedly said he prefers pitching under a roof, although Gibbons denied the forecasted cool conditions outdoors in Baltimore factored in to the decision. REYES UPDATE Jose Reyes, eligible to come off the disabled list from a strained left hamstring on April 16, ran the treadmill and took ground balls during batting practice on Tuesday afternoon. "Ill know better when I start running and see how Im feeling," said Reyes. "For now, Ill just take it day by day and see what happens." Reyes has been hitting to maintain his batting stroke but still has yet to run at full speed. When Reyes is ready to play, he expects to appear in at least a couple of minor league rehab games before returning to the Blue Jays. JANSSEN UPDATE Casey Janssen, out with an abdominal/back strain, doesnt think hell be ready to come off the disabled list when hes eligible on Sunday. "Probably not," said Janssen. "I dont know the exact date but Ive got to get on a rehab somewhere; hopefully shortly thereafter." Janssen expects only to need one or two minor league rehab games before hes back with the Blue Jays. If he continues to progress, its not unreasonable to expect Janssen to return mid-to-late next week. https://www.losangelesfootballshop.com/28-Jersey . The Brazilian driver had the second-best time in last months tests at Jerez and said the "good start" could play to his advantage when the season gets underway in Australia in March. https://www.losangelesfootballshop.com/82-Jersey . Rudy Gay made the tying basket in regulation and a 3-pointer in overtime that gave Sacramento the lead for good, and Fredette scored a career-high 24 points to help the Kings beat the Knicks 106-101 on Wednesday night.NEW ORLEANS -- Tyreke Evans scored a career-high 41 points to go with nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped an eight-game skid by shocking the playoff-bound Thunder 101-89 on Monday night. Evans made 14 of 26 shots while scoring mostly on quick, powerful bursts to the hoop. He also scored 12 points at the foul line and made a 3 that put the Pelicans ahead 90-82 with 4:21 left. Kevin Durant scored 25 for the Thunder, who have lost two straight and wont lock up the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs without at least one more win or a Los Angeles Clippers loss. With Oklahoma City having played in Indiana on Sunday, coach Scott Brooks chose to rest point guard Russell Westbrook, starting Reggie Jackson in his place. Jackson, however, was not a factor on offence for much of the game, finishing with four points and three assists. Oklahoma could hardly complain about being short-handed, though. With all five early season starters and its best scorer off the bench out for the season, New Orleans one regular point guard was among 10 players in uniform. That was Austin Rivers, who was ejected, along with the Thunders Nick Collison, after the pair got into a scuffle with 7:56 left in the second quarter. Evans, normally a shooting guard, took over at point guard after that and went on to score 37 of his points. Luke Babbit scored 12 points, hitting a late 3 to help seal New Orleans first victory over the Thunder in 11 meetings, dating to Jan. 24, 2011. Darius Miller andd Alexis Ajinca each had 10 points Serge Ibaka had 22 points and 16 rebounds for Oklahoma City. https://www.losangelesfootballshop.com/34-Jersey. Caron Butler added 19 points on 6 of 9 shooting, but after making six of his first seven shots, he did not score in the fourth quarter and his turnover led to Evans driving layup, which put New Orleans ahead by 10 with 2:16 to go. Durant was somewhat below his usual standard, missing 14 of his 23 shots and not reaching double figures in scoring until his driving floater with 4:35 left in the third quarter. Three nights earlier in Oklahoma City, the Thunder opened up a double-digit lead on reeling New Orleans in the first half and was up 25 after three quarters en route to a 116-94 victory. Back in the Big Easy, where the Pelicans are 21-19, the matchup was far more competitive. New Orleans held a slim lead most of the first quarter and the game got testy in the second, Rivers was angered by a prolonged screen Collison set on him. Rivers pushed his way out of the screen and soon after the two were shouting at each other as they followed the action to the Pelicans offensive end, where Rivers lunged at Collison. Minutes later, Oklahoma City led by as many as six on Butlers 3, but New Orleans closed the half with Morrows short jumper and Evans layup after hed intercepted Thabo Sefoloshas pass, cutting Oklahomas lead to 46-45 at halftime. Notes: The loss prevented Oklahoma City from becoming the only NBA team with 60 wins in each of the past two seasons. ... The Thunder had won both previous meetings this season. ' ' '

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