Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Litsch dazzles in rotation bid

DUNEDIN — RHP Jesse Litsch made about as strong a case as he could for a spot in the Blue Jays rotation.

The former Dixie Hollins standout struck out seven in 51/3 scoreless innings in Toronto's 3-0 win over the Twins on Sunday.

"Everything was sharp today, everything felt good, my arm felt great, body felt great," Litsch said. "It's a game. You're going to have bad ones, you're going to have good ones. It's a matter of just staying focused and doing your job when you're out there."

In his last start, Litsch gave up nine hits and four runs in 3½ innings vs. the Phillies. Manager John Farrell was impressed with his bounce-back effort.

"Hopefully (Litsch) he has one or two more just like this," Farrell said. "It makes our decision extremely difficult. That means everyone's throwing the ball like they can."

Phils: Lidge upbeat

CLEARWATER — Phillies closer Brad Lidge threw about 35 pitches in a bullpen session and said he expects to pitch in a game Tuesday.

"I was very encouraged by this one," Lidge, who hadn't pitched since March 11 because of right biceps tendinitis, told

Lidge, whose velocity had been down, said he held back a bit in Friday's bullpen session but let loose a little more Sunday.

"It still felt really good," Lidge told the website. "This is the step we needed to get me back into games. Now, hopefully, I'll get four or five outings in."

POLANCO HEALING: 3B Placido Polanco, out since Tuesday with a hyperextended left elbow, said he hopes to play in a game this week.

Yanks: Who's first?

CLEARWATER — The Yankees keep tinkering with their leadoff hitter.

Brett Gardner hit first, with Derek Jeter No. 2, for the second time this spring in Sunday's 8-1 win over the Phillies. Gardner went 2-for-4 and Jeter 1-for-4.

Jeter was the leadoff hitter 137 times last season.

"The fans are into everything," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're talking about Derek Jeter. Anytime his name is mentioned it's going to be a big story."

In his first full season, Gardner batted .277 with a .383 on-base percentage and had 47 steals in 56 chances. In a down year, Jeter batted .270 with a .340 OBP and had 18 steals in 23 chances.

REGGIE RETURNS: Reggie Jackson, who had back surgery in January, finally felt good enough to join the Yankees for his annual stint as a spring training instructor.

.If you go

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429 or


Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457 or


Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244 or

Litsch dazzles in rotation bid 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan


    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP


    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said


    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.


    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]