Found June 26, 2013 on Baseball News Source:
Before the 7PM Eastern games even started Major League Baseball saw two complete game shutouts completed on Wednesday. R.A. Dickey, entering the game with an ERA north of 5.00 had an afternoon tilt with the division rival Tampa Bay Rays. On the other end of the country, A.J. Griffin faced off against the Cincinnati Reds in a battle of World Series contenders.Both pitchers carried their respective teams to statement victories. Both pitchers may have left the mound with dramatic personal and team implications to follow.R.A. Dickey and A.J. GriffinDickey was a major acquisition for the Blue Jays this offseason, when the Mets, selling as high as possible, traded the reigning NL Cy Young winner to Toronto for two major prospects.Dickey was to join Josh Johnson at the top of a totally revamped and allegedly World Series caliber rotation, joining forces with Ricky Romero and Mark Buehrle.Of course, Johnson struggled in April before injuring himself, Romero pitched his way out of the major leagues and Buehrle has not been treated well in his return to the AL.Dickey, never successful previously in the AL as a starter, still hadn’t demonstrated success before Wednesday. By the end of the game, the Jays had gained an important game on the Rays in a 3-0 shutout and Dickey was the 38-year-old ace Toronto had been looking for.His next test is against the Tigers as the Blue Jays gear up for an arms race to the American League East crown.Griffin did Dickey one better. While the knuckleballer retired his first 13 batters and gave up two hits on the east coast, Griffin carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before throwing his own tw0-hit shutout against one of baseball’s best offenses.For Toronto, Dickey could catapult the Blue Jays to a division victory if he can build off of this in an otherwise lost personal season. Even with the win on 93 pitches, Dickey is 7-8 with a 4.72 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He has a lot left to prove this year.Griffin, on the other hand, is a 25-year-old ace in the making for the A’s. A rotation reliant on dominant young starting pitching is seeing a breakout season from Griffin, who added an exclamation point in the form of his first career complete game or shutout on Wednesday.Griffin is just 5-6 even with the victory, but his 3.90 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are both trending even lower recently. Outside of Bartolo Colon, Griffin now has the lowest team ERA and is the most reliable starter, certainly the most valuable arm on the team going forward.Griffin’s victory puts the A’s  half a game ahead of the Texas Rangers (pending the Rangers game against the Yankees later on Wednesday) in the AL West and within a game of the league’s best record.  Dickey’s win has the Jays back over .500, one game behind the Rays for fourth place in the AL East but just 6.5 games behind the Red Sox for the division lead.Griffin will continue to try to prove he is the future of the franchise while the veteran Dickey tries to carry his team on his shoulders from last to first in the league’s most competitive division.

R.A. Dickey’s Encouraging Velocity Spike

R.A. Dickey‘s first half hasn’t gone that well, as both he and the team struggled early. Lately, though, the Blue Jays are baseball’s most interesting turnaround, with the other players on the roster carrying the team while the Blue Jays knuckleballer tries to get things straightened out. As Eno Sarris noted back in May, Dickey’s velocity has been noticeably down this year...

Dickey helps Blue Jays top Rays

R.A. Dickey pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game of the year, Jose Reyes went 0 for 4 in his return from a two-month layoff and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 Wednesday for their 12th win in 14 games. Dickey (7-8) retired his first 13 batters before James Loney grounded a single between shortstop and third base with one out in the fifth. Yunel Escobar...

The Toronto BlueJays Are Hot And Cold

The Toronto Blue Jays were heavy pre season  favorites to make a lot of noise in the AL east.  Jose Reyes, Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle with 2 no hitters under his belt and Melky Cabrera were all expected to take them deep into the post season. Injury and poor performances had the Blue Jays 12 games out on June 10th after losing to the 2005 World Series...

Blue Jays held team meeting to announce Munenori Kawasaki’s demotion

Munenori Kawasaki is so popular and beloved among his teammates that Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons actually held a team meeting on Tuesday to share the news of the infielder’s demotion. That’s something that rarely happens. “I’ve never seen that,” veteran Mark Buehrle told the Toronto Star. “Usually you come in the next day [...]

Blue Jays' Brett Lawrie to begin rehab assignment

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie recently resumed baseball-related activities. While that's always good news, manager John Gibbons told Gregor Chisholm of yesterday that Lawrie is still at least "a couples of weeks away" from beginning his minor league rehab assignment. Gibbons said that Lawrie is likely a couple of weeks away from rehab assignment...

Blue Jays place Melky Cabrera on the DL with left knee injury

Just when the Toronto Blue Jays seemed to be getting healthier, they take another major hit.  Melky Cabrera, the much-maligned outfielder formerly of the San Francisco Giants has been placed on the 15-day DL.  Cabrera had been battling some knee pain, and he has been diagnosed with left knee tendinitis. The @BlueJays place MELKY CABRERA on the 15-day DL with left knee tendonitis...

Casey Janssen: “I’m a Strike Thrower”

Sort relievers backwards by velocity, and only four closers are in the bottom 30. Sergio Romo and Huston Street live on their sliders, Koji Uehara has his splitter, and then there’s Casey Janssen, humming along with his cutter and a 90 mph fastball. I asked him how he does it, and he graciously answered without resorting to fisticuffs. Sort that same qualified reliever leaderboard...

The planets have lined up: Today, the Yankees pitch Phil Hughes - maybe for the last time - and Toronto sends the Yankee Yin-Yang - Chien-Ming Wang - against Boston

The Mayans only missed by six months.Today, the universe is poised for a Yankee juju kill-shot:  Phil Hughes and Chien-Ming Wang both start for their respective teams.Hughes has been an ultimate disappointment - so disappointing that the Yankees can't even get anything of equal disappointment value in a trade. So disappointing that if he throws a shutout, it will be disappointing...

Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell isn't surprised that his former team, the Toronto Blue Jays, are working their way back into contention in the AL East. Farrell will also be hoping that Jon Lester can return to the form he has displayed against Toronto this year in Thursday night's opener of a four-game set at Fenway Park. Although Toronto (39-38) is still in last place...

Recap: Sox hold off Blue Jays for 7-4 win

The Red Sox got out to a fast lead, scoring seven runs in the 2nd inning, and held on to win 7-4 despite a late Blue Jays rally. Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings. John Farrell sent him back out for the 8th and he immediately gave up two singles. Junichi Tazawa relieved Lester but allowed the two inherited runs, pushing the score into save territory, and forcing (because Farrell...

Blue Jays Quickly Changing Landscape of AL East, Have Golden Opportunity While Facing Red Sox

BOSTON — When the Blue Jays last visited Fenway Park in mid May, they were in shambles. Despite taking two of three from the Red Sox, the Jays left Boston with a 15-24 record and 9 1/2 games back in the American League East. That’s not the same team dropping by Fenway this weekend. The Blue Jays have climbed back into the thick of things, and they enter a four-game series against...

Game 81: Blue Jays at Red Sox - Whooa, we're halfway there!

Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer Are you ready for this? You’d better be, because it’s big…nay, huge…nay, GINORMOUS! Fenway Park plays host to the most crucial four-game set to end the month of June, likely ever. The American League East-leading Boston Red Sox (47-33) open a series against East Division rival Toronto Blue Jays (39-38) tonight. Yeah, it’s only June, but...

Reds swept in Oakland on 2-hitter

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) --A.J. Griffin pitched a two-hitter for his first win in more than a month, Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Wednesday for a sweep of their two-game series. Griffin (6-6) struck out seven and walked two in a 108-pitch gem for his first career complete game. The shaggy-haired right-hander had been 0...
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