The Bullpen: Blue Jays need an attitude adjustment
Published on Mon Sep 23 2013
The Blue Jays have already started looking ahead to next year.
One of the suggestions for both GM Alex Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons is to tighten up the reins and crack the whip a little more at training camp. Quit deferring to veterans. Playing major-league baseball is a job, not a privilege.
The Blue Jays truly feel like they prepare as much as anyone else. Yet before the games started this February, even after the full squad had reported, the Jays were often done before noon (except for certain groups that were signed on for a little extra work).
Granted, all of the players come in and do early work, hitting and pitching in the bullpen and the batting tunnels, every day and that much of the conditioning is completed individually in the weight room in the home clubhouse. But several key newcomers — the veterans that were brought in to win this year — were surprised at the attitude of the staff towards preparation for the 162-game season.
After the atrocious display of fundamentals like they had in 2013, especially early, even the veterans would understand if each day next spring they are asked to participate in drills of fielding fundamentals and execution. Repetition is the mother of retention when it comes to solid defence.
When the games start in February, the organization would have every right to make veterans go on more bus trips instead of allowing players like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and Adam Lind to play just home games or no bus ride longer than 30 minutes.
The team would have every right in the world to make starting position players play more than those first five innings, until the final week, or to have starting pitchers actually get to 100 pitches with 2-3 starts to go so that they are ready for April instead of using April to get ready for May.
There is no 2014 World Baseball Classic, so there is no excuse for laissez-play. It did not work the way they tried to prepare in 2013. The Jays have done more work on fielding fundamentals on the field in September than they did the rest of the year. They must continue that into the spring of 2014.
RASMUS INJURY MICROCOSM OF SEASON
The season-ending injury suffered by Colby Rasmus on Friday was fitting as another piece in the disappointing mosaic that is the 2013 season. In the first inning at Fenway Park in Game 1, Rasmus was left standing in the on-deck circle against ace lefthander Jon Lester.
He tucked his bat back in the rack, removed his batting gloves, found his outfielder’s glove and his hat, jammed it down low and jogged out towards centre field.
Right fielder Anthony Gose waited and watched at his position. He had the ball in his hand that he waited impatiently to get to Rasmus, who would use it to stay loose prior to starter Esmil Rogers completing his warmups. As Rasmus reached the grass behind shortstop, the strong-armed Gose launched an accurate throw towards his teammate, a man that he recently said is among the centre field idols that he looks up to along with Curtis Granderson, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Coco Crisp.
Rasmus had not yet looked for the ball, but the ball found him, striking him squarely in the face and dropping him to his knees. The umpires quickly called for a trainer from the Jays dugout, as assistant Mike Frostad raced out to centre field. Only multiple viewings from different Sportsnet cameras revealed what had really happened under the cover of warmups.
With Moises Sierra already in the lineup as DH, it meant that Gose was called upon to replace the man he had taken out with his careless throw, while left fielder Rajai Davis moved to right and Kevin Pillar was inserted into left. Gose was shaken, not stirred
Rasmus was examined overnight and there was no structural damage to the eyesocket, but a bruised eye spelled the end of Rasmus’ season. It was almost comical if it wasn’t so sad. The Jays will pay the final nine days of the schedule without their three outfield starters, Rasmus, Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista, their starting first baseman, Edwin Encarnacion and second baseman Maicer Izturis.
The Jays have 1,350 Buffalo Bisons at-bats in the starting lineup most days from Gose, Sierra, Pillar and second baseman Ryan Goins. It’s been that kind of year (along with crappy pitching).
BUEHRLE REACHES 200 INNINGS
The amazing durability of Mark Buehrle has continued in 2013 as teammates have fallen all around him. On Saturday, the 34-year-old lefthander watched his teammates turn a sixth-inning double play to end the frame and give him 200 1/3 innings pitched for the season, the 13th consecutive year that he has reached 200-plus. Amazing.
Buehrle, who does not have the classic, chiselled athlete’s body, has worked 425 consecutive starts since opening day 2001, without a trip to the disabled list. He has made 31-plus starts each and every season, plus five more post-season starts in 2005 and 2008. He has walked between 40 and 61 batters over that stretch and according to Sportsnet research, joined Cy Young as the only pitchers in MLB history with 200-plus innings and 61 or fewer bases-on-balls over 13 straight years.
As bad as the perception of Blue Jays starting pitching has been, through Sunday’s action, Buehrle and R.A. Dickey are two of just 23 MLB pitchers with 200-plus innings pitched.
The Royals, with James Shields, Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie; the Tigers, with Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister; the Phillies, with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels and the Reds with Homer Bailey and Mat Latos are the four other teams with multiple 200-inning starters.
Of course, beyond Buehrle and Dickey, the only other pitcher with even 90 innings pitched will be Esmil Rogers, currently a 133 1/3 innings. The Jays boast 17 pitchers between 22 and 81 1/3 innings pitched. Sadly, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil and Esmil Rogers are tied for third in wins with five.
ARENCIBIA’S ROAD TO FUTILITY
The Blue Jays’ workhorse starting catcher J.P. Arencibia is struggling towards a season of epic futility on the road. One of the busiest catchers in the AL, in 66 road games the 27-year-old has batted .146, with a .186 on-base and a .247 slugging average.
Arencibia, who is far too concerned about what people think of his ability, has three singles and two walks in 51 Sept. plate appearances. Since his last two-hit game on August 28, Arencibia has a .057 average and a .148 OPS.
For the season, Arencibia has thrown out 26 per cent of the 82 runners attempting to steal. He has committed 10 errors, with 13 passed balls and 40 wild pitches. Only Matt Wieters of the O’s and Salvador Perez of the Royals have caught more games than Arencibia.
THE WEEK THAT WAS (2-1 vs. Yankees; 2-1 vs. Red Sox)
The Jays damaged the Yankees’ chances for a post-season berth and were forced to watch the Red Sox celebrate their division championship on the field in Boston. A week of true mixed emotions
Highlights of the Yankees series:
It was all about the farewell tour of the great Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera, with a subtext of the Yankees trying to fight back to earn a wild-card berth. One was a success, one not so much.
The opening game of the series featured R.A. Dickey showing that he could compete, both in the AL East and at the homer-happy Rogers Centre, tossing seven shutout innings in recording his 13th win of the season. Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis hit solo homers for the 2-0 win.
In an interesting coincidence, the first time Mariano Rivera ever visited the Rogers Centre, Sept. 29, 1995, the Yankees starting pitcher was also Andy Pettitte, who that day beat Tony Castillo 4-3.
In Game 2 of the series, the Jays led 3-0 into the eighth inning behind a strong effort by J.A. Happ who went to the mound to start the eighth inning for the first time all year and for the first time since August 23, 2012. He allowed a leadoff double and was replaced by Aaron Loup, then Steve Delabar, who was not able to hold onto the lead, resulting in a 4-3 loss.
Delabar lost for the third time in his last three appearances and was quite candid in his post-game comments, admitting that after hanging sinkers to Robinson Cano and having Alfonso Soriano go down and drive a good pitch, that he lost his focus against Vernon Wells and hung another sinker and continued by walking Mark Reynolds, before being replaced by Darren Oliver.
In the rubber game of the series on Thursday, the Yankees had no answer for the pleasantly surprising Todd Redmond, who went seven innings in besting Hiroki Kuroda. Sergio Santos continued his road to good health. He has not allowed a run in his last 16 appearances, including a game in the Red Sox series, tossing 12 shutout innings, with two hits, two walks and 12 strikeouts.
Adam Lind slammed a three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain in the seventh inning to break the game open leading to the 6-2 win. Anthony Gose had homered earlier. The Jays spoiled the party for Mariano who was honoured in a ceremony before the game, receiving a big cheque and an Eskimo carving of a fisherman and a big fish. It looks like the Yankees have been reeled in for the year.
Highlights of the Red Sox series:
On Friday night, the Red Sox had the champagne on ice, ready to go. The game was close at 2-1 into the bottom of the seventh, but Neil Wagner and Jeremy Jeffress gave up three runs on run-producing singles by David Ortiz and Mike Carp. The Red Sox won 6-2 and the celebration started.
On Saturday, Mark Buehrle handed Clay Buchholz his first loss of the season, after 11 wins. It was a makeshift lineup of Red Sox, less than 24 hourts after the division-clinching celebration, that included John McDonald at second base and David Ross behind the plate. Ross threw out all three runners attempting to stealm Anthony Gose, Jose Reyes and Rajai Davis. The key hit that broke the game open in the fourth inning was a double to deep left-centre by Lind scoring Brett Lawrie.
On Sunday, with a chance to put a little fear of the A’s and the Tigers in the Red Sox, the Jays came up flat in a 5-2 loss. Dickey went the distance working eight innings with 11 strikeouts, but the four-run second inning capped by a three-run Jackie Bradley, Jr. home run put a damper on the Jays’ weekend as John Farrell and his coaches puffed on victory cigars.
THE CONVERSATION – ALEX ANTHOPOULOS
We caught up with GM Alex Anthopoulos during the recent homestand and asked about the Jays’ 2014 rotation, the starting depth, Dustin McGowan’s rotation dreams, the eventual role of Marcus Stroman, restocking the minor leagues, Adam Lind and more.
GRIFFIN: I’m going to start at the bottom of the rotation. With Dustin McGowan wanting to be a starter, are you on board with that? Would you give him that opportunity?
ALEX ANTHOPOULOS: We’re open-minded. It’s his health. His health has obviously been our No. 1 concern. We finally have him healthy, feeling great, no complaints, back-to-back days, velocity, stuff, check all of the above. We know he’s been able to do two innings. He did it in the minor leagues without a problem. We don’t know beyond that. It’s a matter of do we take the risk of trying to stretch him out and God forbid something was to happen, so we’re open-minded and we’re tempted because of how talented he is and how good his stuff is. But at the same time we’re trying to be cautious and maybe not get greedy and know that, hey, he’s already pretty good and pretty valuable in his role, so...
RG: So going into the off-season he would need to know what to prepare for.
AA: Yeah and that’s something that we would...he’s not going to do something for a little bit, he’s going to be shut down for a little bit. It’s something we’ll talk a little bit more about. We talked about it...
RG: You have until some time in December (before he starts working out again).
AA: Yeah, maybe November. We have a month to really sit around and...There’s the scenario of maybe we would try to stretch him out slowly at spring training, get him to three innings. We know 2-3 and if three works, maybe four. The other component is do we know that he can hold up (for) the whole season?
RG: Well that was always going to be the question. It’s that if you have guys (in the minors) that are maybe two months away from being ready to help as starters in the major leagues, I hate to say this, that he could bridge that, but if he’s healthy and capable of producing quality starts, use him?
AA: Yeah, which is fair. The biggest thing is we’re never going to put someone’s health in jeopardy, under no circumstances. Now, the one thing that’s been great . . . I’ve never gotten reports. Dustin has not been on the injury report, other than the oblique, the entire year. Normally there’s something, we have to watch, we have to give him a day, this and that. But it’s shocking, almost, how good he’s felt. It’s very different than it’s been in the past, before —He’s got some soreness but he can get through it. Start him, he did start those games for us at the end of the year two years ago and he was starting in the minors, so he may have turned the corner. That’s why I don’t want to rule it out.
RG: With Marcus Stroman, it was obvious that you would want to start him this year just to get him the innings, but is that role still to be determined or do you see him as a reliever?
AA: No, I think this year was about finding out, out of the draft, at camp, some people thought he could be an elite reliever. His wipeout fastball, slider, quick delivery. Like I said, they saw a really good changeup from him. He obviously started in college, they thought he could be a mid-rotation starter. So, this year, starting him, having him work on sides, working on his changeup and so on, he did such a good job that I think it’s unanimous that he could absolutely start and be a good starter. The difference is what are your needs up here? Whereas we weren’t 100 per cent sure, now having gone through pro ball and moving up in the system and holding up and holding his stuff. I mean his last start of the year, we had some guys in there, he pitched eight innings, they said he was unbelievable.
RG: What about Kyle (Drabek) moving forward, in terms of what can he do in the off-season to get ready for spring training?
AA: I was just talking to him the other day. One, he looks so much better, just from his body. He’s in much better shape than he’s been. I told him, you know what, that’s a really encouraging sign to see because that’s him. . . . taking his career to another level. Maturity. Cecil did the same thing, just the conditioning. I asked him and said, ‘What did you do?’ He said he’s watching his diet a little bit more, eating proper things. Kyle’s going to come in and be stretched out as a starter, going to compete. (Hutchison) will be the same way. I told Drew the same thing. He’s going to come in and compete.
RG: So, I mean, Dickey to me has really come on and he’s talked about having to adjust to the division and the stadium and all those things. His knuckleball he’s throwing back to the velocity when he won the Cy. So, you have so many candidates for maybe 4-5 in the rotation, that’s not something that you need to fill in the off-season, in your mind.
AA: I guess I would say this. When you prepare, last off-season with . . . we had that part of the season where we had Romero, Morrow, Drabek and Henderson Alvarez. And with those guys, with Tommy John and so on, you knew they weren’t going to be back until July or August. I maybe thought our depth, to be honest, beyond our starting five was a little concerning, but yes we had R.A. (Dickey) and Mark (Buehrle) and a proven arm in Josh (Johnson) and so on, but now I’d say we’ll definitely have . . . our depth is better. We still need to make that starting five strong. You’re always trying to get front-of-the-rotation starters, which very few of them exist and they’re very rarely available, whether it’s through free agency or in trades. You’re just trying to get as many quality starters as you can.
RG: The minor league organization, you always knew that there would be a time — and we talked about it before — where teams don’t want your lower level prospects, they want guys that you can put on the 40-man roster to please ownership, or whatever.
AA: Guys that are close.
RG: Is that . . . the early season problems that you had in 2013, did that (loss of pitching inventory) show up this year more than it would have? Are you going to have guys coming up next season in those early spots if necessary, because you’re filling in again at the upper levels?
AA: I think now we’re in a different position because guys have come back. At the end of last season we didn’t have a bunch of starters finishing in New Hampshire that were ready to take that next step. We had (Sean) Nolin just get there. He just got there. Everyone else, we had the kids in Lansing and Drew Hutchison had a few starts when he was up, then he was out. Then Kyle Drabek was out, then obviously the struggles of Romero. We started really drafting heavily on the starter side, the arm side, in 2010. We went heavy on the high school ranks, we took some college guys too. But even in 2010 and 2011, by the time those guys get going, they get built up, their innings, it’s going to take a little time. Then also, just like anything else, going up and down, how many guys never use an option? How many guys never . . . over 80 per cent of all players that get to three years of service, that get to arbitration, have used an option. So, just knowing the time it’s going to take when you’re drafting a 17-year-old kid. By the time they establish themselves up here, even Kyle when Kyle was finally in the rotation last year at what, 24, 23? Kyle’s got an option left and Drew Hutchison’s got two. We’ve got a ton in the pen. The pen’s got almost the whole crew that have got an option.
RG: You’ve always talked about how bullpen guys’ values are more in terms of complementary to trades and not big value by themselves.
AA: Yeah. . . . Rarely are they the central piece.
RG: So you’ve got a lot of depth and inventory there to cement deals.
AA: Yeah, I think you saw us deal bullpen guys to get . . . whether it was getting Yunel Escobar, whether it was getting Colby Rasmus. And that’s not to say we wanted to trade those guys, but to get the everyday position players. When you look at where out bullpen was a year ago, coming into the season. We had (Casey) Janssen, (Darren) Oliver, (Jason) Frasor. And there were free agents and we didn’t have depth. We were in that position and we really focussed. Because you’re trying to get yourself into a contending team and keeping the game close. Even if you’re down a run or two, you still have to keep the game close and that’s important. The difference with some of the teams that bullpens aren’t as strong, we’re up two or three runs, or it’s the sixth or seventh guy in the bullpen who’s not as strong and then all of a sudden, that game can get completely out of hand. That’s why that bullpen depth has been so important for us. It’s been a change of philosophy from my standpoint, from where I was in 2010-11. I think it’s very apparent in ’10 and ’11, organizationally what we were trying to do. You trade your opening day starter two years in a row for guys that aren’t even going to be here. When you come off of 2010, with 85 wins and you trade Shaun Marcum for Brett Lawrie, who’s not going to be on the team, the direction is clear.
RG: He could have been there if Farrell had his way.
AA: What? He could have been, but he was just transitioning to third base. I mean he got a lot better at third and he was coming off one season at Double-A at that point. In 2012, I think it’s the first year, and obviously 2013. The last two years are the first time we tried to move things forward.
RG: Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra. The original question was about Adam Lind and does the up-in-the-air status of Melky’s ability to play the outfield, does that change anything about picking up Lind’s option?
AA: I think...yeah, I understand what you’re saying because what if Melky has to DH? I think we’re, we just talked about it the other day. The doctors feel that the issue Melky had with his back, the tumour in his spine and what it does to your legs. . . . the doctors feel confident that we will see a major change. I guess (with regard to Lind), I would say in a perfect world if a player performs there’s value to that player. Again, like anything, you don’t know how the off-season’s going to go, but if the contract for the player makes sense and it’s at the right value, it’s normally not a problem, it’s a good thing.
TOURNAMENT-12 ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
The Tournament 12 will be a success because 20 years from now, there will be at least 200 adult men that will remember with fondness their 2013 experience playing game at the Rogers Centre as part of the 10 teams of elite 15-18 year-olds that unfolded this past weekend.
How important has major-league baseball been to Canadian youngsters through the years? Consider these numbers. There have been 241 Canadian-born major-leaguers in history.
Between 1900 and 1968 — the 69 years before the Expos started play in the National League, there were 80 Canadian major-leaguers. Since 1968, there have been 96 more. That’s 96 in the 45 years since the Expos and 80 in the 69 years prior. And the quality of those major leaguers has exploded since the succession started by Ferguson Jenkins, Terry Puhl, John Hiller, Reggie Cleveland, Claude Raymond and Larry Walker.
Just alone in the NL Central, you have catcher Russell Martin and first baseman Justin Morneau with the Pirates; first-baseman Joey Votto with the Reds and reliever John Axford with the Cardinals. The Red Sox have pitcher Ryan Dempster. The Rangers have outfielder Jim Adducci. The Rays have reliever Jesse Crain and the Royals have catcher George Kotaras.
How many future major-leaguers might be playing at Tournament 12, presided over by commissioner Robbie Alomar? There were many major-league scouts invited out on Friday where all roster players went through tryouts, displays of baseball skills that could lead to being drafted, or at least to opportunities to play major-college ball. Standouts include outfielder Gareth Morgan, from Toronto, and lefthander Curtis Horne, from B.C.
All of these talented young Canadians can’t play for their country in international play, but with the expected-to-be-annual Tournament 12, they can represent their provinces and play on the same field as their sporting role models. Good concept, good execution.
Following is the listing of the Top 14 baseball associations in the World according to the International Baseball Federation, following the World Baseball Classic on April 1. The rankings are based on tournament results at all levels, from Junior to the WBC.
4. Chinese Taipei
7. Dominican Republic
8. Puerto Rico
9. South Korea
DOWN ON THE FARM
The Jays’ minor-league system finished a combined three games above .500 with A-Vancouver in the Northwest League the only league champion.
Triple-A: Buffalo (74-70)
Double-A: New Hampshire (68-72)
Single-A: Dunedin (63-68; 0-2)
Single-A: Lansing (61-78)
Single-A: Vancouver (39-36; 6-1)
Rookie: Bluefield (40-27; 0-2)
Rookie: Gulf Coast Jays (28-32)
Rookie: Dominican Summer League Jays (41-29).
THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY:
Sept. 23:1998 – Future Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio stole his 50th base of the season, joining Tris Speaker of the Cardinals as the only two players in the 20th century with 50 steals and 50 doubles in a season ... 1984 – The Tigers beat the Yankees 4-1 to make Sparky Anderson the first manager to win 100 games in each league. He had won 100 with the Big Red Machine in the mid-‘70s ... 1978 – Lyman Bostock is killed by a shotgun blast in Gary, Indiana The Angels outfielder was riding in a car in his hometown on an off-day and was not the intended victim.
Sept. 24: 1992 – The Blue Jays’ 40-year-old DH Dave Winfield becomes the oldest player with 100 RBIs in a season ... 1985 – Expos OF Andre Dawson slams three homers in a 17-15 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, including a pair of three-run blasts in a 12-run fifth ... 1969 – The Mets clinch their first ever division title as Gary Gentry beats Steve Carlton and the Cardinals 6-0.
Sept. 25: 1997 – Expos RHP Pedro Martinez fans nine Marlins to become the first pitcher since 1972 to record 300 Ks and post an ERA under 2.00. Steve Carlton of the Phillies did it in ’72 ... 1965 – Satchel Paige starts for the Kansas City A’s and at age 59 is the oldest player in major-league history.
Sept. 26: 1998 – Phil Niekro of the Braves beats his brother Joe Niekro of the Astros for his 20th victory of the season. He joined Jose as the only two NL 20-game winners. The only time that had happened in the same season for brothers was Jim and Gaylord Perry in 1970 ... 1971 – Jim Palmer becomes the fourth O’s starter with 20 wins, joining Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson. It is the only time it has happened in MLB since 1920.
Sept. 27: 1998 – Mark McGwire slams two homers off Carl Pavano of the Expos to reach 70 for the first time in history ... 1983 – Tim Raines of the Expos becomes the first player since Ty Cobb to steal 70 bases and drive in 70 runs in the same season.
Sept. 28: 1995 – Greg Harris of the Expos becomes the first player to pitch with both hands in the same game, facing two Reds righthanded and two lefthanded in a 9-7 loss ... 1988 – In his final start before the playoffs, RH Orel Hershiser of the Dodgers tosses 10 shutout innings to extend his streak to 59 innings. RH Andy Hawkins matched him with 10 shutout innings in a 2-1, 16-inning Pads win.
Sept. 29: 1971 – The Expos’ 2B Ron Hunt is drilled by Milt Pappas of the Cubs. Hunt is hit 50 times for a MLB record and does not suggest suspending Pappas, or any of the other 49 pitchers that have hit him ... 1968 – Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox follows up his ‘67 Triple Crown by winning the batting title with a .301 average, the lowest batting champ in history. A’s 1B Danny Cater finishes second with a .290 average ... 1954 – Willie Mays makes his famous Game 1 catch at the Polo Grounds of Vic Wertz running straight back towards CF, spinning and firing back to the infield.
MLB POWER RANKINGS (as of Sept. 22)
(This week, team, last week, start of spring)
1. Boston Red Sox 1-16
2. Oakland A’s 2-8
3. St. Louis Cardinals 4-13
4. Atlanta Braves 3-2
5. Detroit Tigers 5-7
6. Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5
7. Tampa Bay Rays 11-10
8. Cleveland Indians 9-20
9. Cincinnati Reds 6-9
10. Washington Nationals 13-4
11. Pittsburgh Pirates 7-28
12. Baltimore Orioles 12-11
13. Texas Rangers 10-6
14. Kansas City Royals 14-18
15. New York Yankees 15-14
16. Arizona Diamondbacks 16-17
17. Los Angeles Angels 17-12
18. Toronto Blue Jays 20-3
19. Philadelphia Phillies 19-15
20. New York Mets 18-27
21. San Francisco Giants 21-1
22. San Diego Padres 22-23
23. Colorado Rockies 23-25
24. Seattle Mariners 24-21
25. Milwaukee Brewers 25-22
26. Minnesota Twins 26-26
27. Chicago Cubs 27-24
28. Miami Marlins 28-29
29. Chicago White Sox 29-19
30. Houston Astros 30-30
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
This past weekend’s marquee event, Tournament 12 at the Rogers Centre was not the only amateur baseball showcase of young prospects to occur this September.
Earlier in the month the annual Cannon Cup unfolded. It was named after the Blue Jays’ first traveling secretary, the late Mike Cannon, an enthusiastic supporter of Ontario amateur baseball. It took place the weekend of Sept. 13-15, featuring 12 teams from across the province.
The tournament, featuring some top 15-18 year-olds on 12 all-star teams, was captured by the Central Ontario Baseball Association (COBA-1) managed by veteran Ontario coach Paul Mattie. The COBA-1 team went 6-0, beating the Toronto Baseball Association 8-2 in the championship game.
In the final, Damion Clark (Waterdown) threw a complete game, scattering seven hits with four strikeouts. Brandon Tiensovan (Miss. North) went 3-4 with three RBIs and two doubles, Alex Fulton (Oakville) went 3-4 and scored twice. Jordan Smith (Miss. North) and Chirs Best (Waterdown) chipped in with a pair of singles each. COBA-1 scored 58 runs and allowed 12 in going undefeated.
Other members of the COBA Team included: Aditya Joshi (Miss. North); Blake Donaldson (Oakville); Jordan Smith (Miss. North); Keegan Murphy (Brampton); Logan Gauer (Oakville); Mitch Over (Oakville); Sean Noble (Brampton); Troy Lacoste (Oakville); Tyler Clark (Miss. North) and
Zach Carr (Waterdown).