Covering the Bases: Game 23

BuckPie.jpgFIRST: So, maybe a few of the Blue Jays hitters should take part in some extra-early batting practice from now on.

Early this afternoon, when the lights were low and the stadium was empty, John Buck took to the field with manager Cito Gaston, hitting coach Dwayne Murphy and pitching coach Bruce Walton.

Walton threw. Murphy advised. Gaston observed and offered his two cents as well. The goal? To get Buck’s timing back on track.

Um, it worked a little.

Buck slammed three home runs in a 6-3 win over the A’s that felt like a rout even though the difference was just three runs. Buck victimized Justin Duchscherer, Jerry Blevins and Craig Breslow to become the 15th Blue Jay to belt at least three homers in a game in franchise history.

There weren’t many fans here tonight — announced attendance of 10,721 — but those in the stands began chanting, “Buck! Buck!” during his final at-bat. Alas, Carlos Delgado remains the lone Jay to launch a quartet of moonshots in a single contest.

Buck might have a few more early sessions in his future.

“I might as well. I’ll do it every day if I’ll get those results,” he joked.

SECOND: Had Buck not dominated the storyline tonight, we might have been writing more about the solid effort from Ricky Romero. He did not look sharp early, allowing three runs on four hits in the first three innings. Then he settled in and managed to log six innings, giving Buck time to do his damage

Buck was impressed with how Romero battled his way through six frames.

“I think that’s a really good thing on Ricky’s part,” Buck said. “Normally he’s able to go out there and just be nasty. Tonight his changeup didn’t have that bit — they got a coupld early hits on that. I told Ricky, ‘You’ve just got to pitch.’ It was like he felt too good.

He made the adjustment right away and did a real good job. I was really, really proud of him, the way he was just able to go out there and pitch.”

THIRD: Another player lost in the wake of Buck’s wallops was Travis Snider. Like Buck, Snider has been fighting through a month-long slump. Like Buck, Snider homered on Thursday. Snider just didn’t go yard two more times.

Following Buck’s solo shot in the third inning, Snider crushed a pitch from Duchscherer to right field for a rocket of a home run. Or, as Cito put it…

“That missile got out of here in a hurry,” Gaston said. “Then Buck came back and put one off the restaurant.”

Yeah, that one was crushed. Off the windows of the restaurant in center field.

Oh, wait. I was talking about Snider. Right. Anyways…

Snider finished 2-for-4 with that homer and a double. The Jays can only hope that gets him jump-started.

HOME: OK, I’ve always got to play Debbie Downer at least once, right? Well, the A’s led 3-0 after three, but had it not been for a “wild pitch” from Romero it would’ve likely been just a two-run advantage. Buck did not properly block a pitch and it skipped away. There have been a few of those this year.

But, Buck made up for it. Three times. So, all’s forgiven.




    One point you missed: The bullpen pitched 3 spotless innings. Hard to believe after the last week.

  2. gsjays

    Finally, Ricky gets some run support and Buck can have passed balls each game if this is how he makes up for it. lol

    Snider did hit a missile, also got one of his line drives to drop in, finally. Considering how low his babip is, we might be seeing a lot more of those in the near future than the shots directly at someone as they’ve been all spring.

    Looks like the bullpen refreshment has brought new life to the pen, nice outings by all last night.

  3. tj_mcknuckles

    attendance of 10 000? pathetic. i don’t know what’s wrong with the “fans” in T.O. i don’t buy the excuse , “oh the team’s not winning” looks at the maple laughs the last time they won a cup , the picture was in black and white. i personally think all the fans that were around in 92 and 93 have simply left toronto and what remains are people that are more concerned with mocha’s and latte’s and spending all their money at hair salons. it’s all about appearances there. the city is full of metrosexuals. i know the rest of canada actually does give a damn about the jays, and if they were in my back yard , i’d go see them , even if it was the nosebleed section. TORONTO “FANS” GET OF YOUR BUTTS AND MAKE THE REST OF CANADA PROUD TO HAVE AN MLB TEAM. they just might play better with people in the building, look at fenway and yankee stadium

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