Covering the Bases: Game 4
Four walks. Three runs. One hit. One hit batter. One strikeout. Thirty-six pitches.
Coming out of the dugout for the second inning, Morrow even tripped…
“… almost caught my teeth on the front step. I figured nothing else could go wrong.”
Not much else did go wrong, actually.
Morrow looked pretty sharp the rest of the way, minus what he admittedly called a “stupid pitch” to Miguel Tejada in the fifth inning. Why did he describe the offering as such?
“It was a changeup and I don’t throw changeups to right-handed hitters,” he said. “That’s why I called it a stupid pitch.”
He threw one other “stupid pitch,” too. That changed struck Adam Jones in the back.
“I should have shook him off,” said Morrow, referring to the times catcher John Buck called for the changeups in those situations.
Morrow might not have wanted to offer up much of an explanation for his first official inning as a starter for the Jays, but Buck offered his theory: “He was just excited. He was a little erratic. He couldn’t find his fastball. Personally, I think you can just chalk it up to excitement. New team. Opening Day.”
SECOND: Prior to the 7-6 comeback win, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said Travis Snider had been working with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy on some swing tweaks. Murphy informed Snider that he was “going around the ball” with his swing, which was causing him to be late on pitches.
“If you go around the ball, it takes you a little longer to get to the ball,” Gaston said before the game. “I think if he can come up with a couple knocks, man, he’s going to be OK.”
What’d Snider do? How about 2-for-3 with a single in the second inning, a walk in the sixth and a game-tying double in the ninth that jump-started the game-deciding rally. Making things better for Snider was the fact that his last hit came against the left-handed Mike Gonzalez.
“We saw C.J. Wilson in Texas and he gave most of us lefties a good spin around in the box,” Snider said. “He kind of threw me off a little bit. I really worked hard with Dwayne today in the cage, trying to iron out the swing a little bit, and the results paid off in the game.”
THIRD: Might as well stick with the trend here for the third category. It’s been defense every day and today is no exception. Snider turned the wrong way on a would-be flyout in the fifth inning, gift-wrapping a double for Nick Markakis. The next batter, Tejada, sent that “stupid” changeup to left for the homer off Morrow. Lesson learned: “I can’t make any excuses on that — just make a better play.” In the eighth, the Jays sure missed the arm of second baseman Aaron Hill (out with a sore right hamstring). On a relay from center field, second baseman John McDonald made a weak throw to the plate, where Buck bobbled the ball. That gave the O’s a 6-5 lead. Fortunately, the lead was temporary.
HOME: Without Jason Frasor available — Gaston gave him the day off since he notched saves in each of the past two games — the Jays turned to Kevin Gregg for the save. Gotta say, he looked good. A 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts. The first 1-2-3 save for the Jays in four chances this season. On Frasor’s days off, Gaston said he will choose between Gregg and Scott Downs for saves based on matchups.