Covering the Bases: Game 20
Jeremy Accardo has been struggling. Merkin Valdez has been rarely used, and struggled when he has found work. Jason Frasor has been off. Casey Janssen hasn’t looked sharp recently. Scott Downs and Shawn Camp have taken their lumps, too.
Well, the Jays did something about it after Monday’s 13-12 mess at Rogers Centre.
Accardo (8.10 ERA to go along with all six of his inherited runners scoring) has been optioned to Triple-A Vegas and Valdez (20.25 ERA in two outings) has been designated for assignment. Josh Roenicke (0.00 ERA in 8 2/3 innings) has been recalled from Vegas and Rommie Lewis (2.35 ERA in seven games) had his contract purchased from Triple-A as well.
Over the past three games — all losses — the Jays’ bullpen has yielded 17 runs on 20 hits over nine innings. It has not been pretty and a three-inning performance from starter Dana Eveland only made matters worse on Monday.
Jays sure could use a complete game right about now. Paging, Mr. Marcum.
SECOND: The offense at least looked good (or was Boston’s pitching that bad?).
Eight Jays had hits. Five had more than one hit. Three had three hits. Seven Jays scored at least one run. Five drove in at least one. Toronto churned out a season-high 12 runs on 16 hits and went 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position. An RBI single from Aaron Hill in the third actually snapped an 0-for-22 for the team with RISP.
And that third?
Try 10 hitters, six runs, six hits, one walk, two singles, two double, one triple and one home run — a monster of a three-run blast from Jose Bautista. That gave the Jays a 6-5 lead after Eveland dug a 5-0 hole. That one-run advantage proved to be short-lived in light of the bullpen’s woes, though.
THIRD: Leading the way for the Jays was none other than first baseman Lyle Overbay. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. How bad has his month been going? Overbay had five RBIs in the first 19 games and his big night upped his average to .183. He’s showing signs of life, though.
Overbay had an RBI double on Friday. He had a homer and two hits on Saturday. And then, after a day off on Sunday, Overbay collected three hits in Toronto’s loss to Boston. Baby steps. The Jays are hoping this is a sign that Overbay is pulling himself out of his month-long slump.
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said it would be nice to have another solid lefty in the lineup beyond just Adam Lind.
HOME: That brings us to Travis Snider. He’s the third lefty in the lineup, but his performance on Monday has him hitting .133 right now. Gaston insists that Snider looks improved at the plate right now than he was at this point a year ago. That said, the young outfielder went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Monday’s loss. Every other Blue Jay had a hit.
Play GM for a minute and discuss…
Is it better to keep running Snider — still just 22 years old and a big part of the team’s future — out there every day with the hope that he turns this around? Or would he be better served going back to Triple-A like he did in May of last year during a similar slump?