Covering the Bases: Game 11
… well, it’s hard not to do right now.
Overbay has been mired in an ugly stretch at the plate and Friday’s 7-5 loss was no exception. For Overbay, things reached a nasty peak in the eighth inning.
Two outs. One on. Toronto trailing by two runs. Overbay works into a 3-2 count. Then… a weak swing for a strikeout. He looked completely fooled.
I have to give Overbay credit, though. I hung around to talk with him after the game and Overbay did not offer up any sort of excuse for his recent performance.
“Nothing’s going right. “I feel good in the cage. I feel good in [batting practice]. Then I get in the game and I’m swinging at bad pitches. I’m not seeing them. I’m taking the ones I’m supposed to be hitting. I’m just not getting the job done.
“I’m just not getting the job done,” he repeated. “That’s all there is. And that’s 100 percent my fault.”
As things currently stand, Overbay is in an 0-for-15 skid in the batter’s box and he is 3-for-42 on the season. Six strikeouts in his last nine at-bats. With a lefty (Joe Saunders) on the hill tomorrow, it might be deemed an opportune time for Overbay to take a seat and “clear his head,” as some managers like to phrase it.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston does not buy into that.
“People say that,” Gaston said. “But I don’t find that does anybody any good. I’ve never believed in that. Some guys use that as an excuse to take a guy out of the lineup, but I don’t believe in that. I just think that you’ve got to keep battling.
“You go in a slump quick, you come out of one quick.”
SECOND: Also from the No Excuses Dept., Travis Snider was not about to make one for the line drive that sailed over his head in the eighth inning. Snider, playing right for the first time this season, took a few quick steps in, costing him a chance to catch the hard liner off the bat of Maicer Izturis.
Two runs scored. Jays lost by two runs. Live and learn.
“I misread it,” Snider said. “I broke in and the ball went over my head and I wasn’t able to make up for the couple steps that I took in and unfortunately it ends up being the one that cost us the game. It’s not something that shouldn’t have been caught.
“I just have to work harder.”
THIRD: One could also point to a turn of events in the seventh inning as a big contributor to the Jays’ latest loss. Adam Lind and Vernon Wells each singled, putting runners on first and second base with no outs. At this turn in the game, the Blue Jays were trailing the Angels, 4-1. It looked like a rally was in the making.
Then, a ball skipped away from Halos catcher Jeff Mathis and Lind broke for third base. Unfortunately for the Jays, the ball didn’t get far enough away from the catcher. Mathis retrieved it, fired to third and easily threw out Lind. Not sure I can fault Lind for making a break for it, though. It was a tough call.
As it turned out, though, Overbay flew out and John Buck grounded out to end the inning.
HOME: The Blue Jays struck out nine times on Friday night, giving them a Major League-leading 99 strikeouts on offense through 11 games. Asked about that early trend prior to the contest, Gaston said that is simply a product of the type of offense that Toronto has assembled this season — a power-based lineup.
“This is a team that probably has seven guys or so that can really hit home runs,” said Gaston, hammering home the message he’s given since early spring. “These are the kind of results you’re going to have. I’d rather see a guy take a good swing than take a half swing and pop it up or a check-swing strikeout.”
Also, I will be away from the ballpark on Saturday and Sunday, so you’re just going to have to survive without Blue Jays blogging or tweeting until Monday. Somehow, I think the world will keep turning. Catch you from the ‘yard on Monday…