Covering the Bases: Game 25


flewis.jpgFIRST:
Should he stay or should he go? That was the question Fred Lewis had running through his mind as he sprinted around the bags in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the A’s.

The Jays’ offense had struggled for most of the game and was finally putting together a rally. There were two outs, though, and Lewis drove on into the right-center gap for a sure double.

Lyle Overbay scored on the play to cut Oakland’s lead to one run. If Lewis holds up at second base, he’s likely a single away from scoring. If he legs out the triple, a wild pitch or passed ball ties the game. There was a catch, though…

“It’s like I was telling my third base coach,” Lewis said. “Out there in the gap, you can’t see the ball with the sign out there. So I told him, I said, ‘If we had that dark out, I probably would’ve pulled up.'”

There are video boards built into the walls in the right-center and left-center gaps at Rogers Center. For years, players, coaches and managers on both sides have complained about them. In short, the complaint is that baseballs disappear when they fly in front of the signs, making it hard for runners to properly track the ball.

This is what happened with Lewis. He said he could not tell where the ball was. As it turned out, right fielder Gabe Gross was picking it up and making a quick relay to second baseman Adam Rosales. Lewis nearly made it to third, but the throw came into third just ahead of Lewis.

Lewis was out. The rally was over. And the A’s went on to win.

“It was one of those tough plays,” Lewis said. “It was real bright out there in that gap, I couldn’t tell if he had the ball or not. [Third base coach Brian Butterfield] told me they’ve been trying to tell them about it for years.”

SECOND: Dana Eveland wasn’t sharp in the early going for the Jays, allowing four runs on six hits over the first four innings. The pitch that hurt the most came in the fourth, when Eveland allowed a two-run homer to rookie catcher Josh Donaldson with one out and a runner on third base.

Congrats to Donaldson, though. Nice way to get your first big league hit.

“I really wish i could have that pitch back,” Eveland said. “I was trying to get in. It was a runner on third, less than two out situation. A lot of times, hitters are looking for balls out over in that situation, trying to get a sac fly or drive a ball up the middle. So I tried to get in on him and I threw it inner half and up.

“He can pull the ball — that’s one thing I remember about him from when we played in Spring Training a year ago. He hits the ball pretty well to left. He’s got some pop. I just didn’t get it in enough.”

THIRD: Don’t look now, but manager Cito Gaston has used five pinch hitters in the past four games (yes, I realize John McDonald’s appearance was bases on the rout yesterday). On Saturday, Gaston called upon Lyle Overbay as a pinch hitter with two outs and a runner on first base in the seventh. Overbay doubled to right, helping to continue the rally that later ended with Lewis being thrown out at third base. And, what do you know? Overbay is 8-for-his-last-24. His average has climbed to .181 in the process.

HOME: The bullpen had been thrown under the bus quite a few times in recent days, so now it’s time to show some love. Scott Downs and Casey Janssen turned in 2.1 shutout innings in Saturday’s loss, giving the bullpen no runs allowed over its last 8.1 innings of work. That’s called progress. In their previous 18.1 innings, the relievers combined to give up 21 runs.

~JB

8 Comments

Out or not, Lewis forced Oakland to make a perfect play to get him. I love speed!

Did anybody else notice that Frasor dusted off his good 12-6 curve ball the other night? It’s been on the shelf since 2008, but he had great results with it on Friday.

This is what Gaston said about DOC

?He?s not here,? said manager Cito Gaston. ?There?s nothing you can do but move on. He?s never going to pitch here again.

Now i was realling hoping hed come back with us because he is not likely to forget us and in about 4 years time when his contract is up with the phillies we should be contending with flourishing young players and the philles deteriorating with old players

now i know doc will be old but wouldnŤt it be great to bring him back for a few season as perhaps a 4th or 5th starter and even then at that age i am sure doc will be shutout, since his stuff is about location and assortment of pitches predominantly

Yer-we must have been looking at a different play because what I saw was the ball was waiting at 3rd when Lewis was 15-20 feet from the bag. I like speed too, but it was a dumb base running error that killed momentum and likley cost the loss, with Hill,Lind and Wells, our 3 top rbi guys coming up.

In terms of Doc, if the Phillies keep sending Doc out there when the score is 10-0 to finish the game with 118 pitches this early in the season, I doubt if Doc will have much left by the time 2015 comes around and he’ll be 38. In fact if they keep using him in this fashion, I doubt he makes it to 2015.

goodluckdoc, I think Gaston is referring to the fact Doc will not be here for the next 5 years . When his contract is up with the Phillies and if he has won a ring , Doc may very well be open to coming back to the Jays .

As a true Jays’ fan , it was sad to see one of the best pitchers in baseball traded because this team couldn’t get him to the post season but as a true baseball fan ( and somebody who works in a business that builds from the ground up ) , I understood the rebuilding process and why he had to be traded . I think if Doc himself had not asked for a trade , he would still be with the Jays this year or atleast a good portion of it and the Jays young pitchers would have had the advantage of learning from one of the best . Who knows what the future holds .

I understand about DOC, its just that I grew up WITH DOC the first year I started to watch and follow baseball was 2003 ..ahem…so basically DOC is that baseball hero we all have and while I am glad he is contending now because he sorely deserves to I want to see him play for my favorite team, the team he grew up with too.

I just hope somehow, some way he comes back to the Jays
and it sucks how i am gonna be missing the return of DOC to rogers center because I will be out of town (the exact timing of that series =.=)

Perhaps he will come back as a pitching coach one day?

and if doc wins a ring or two with the philles does he go into the HOF as a bluejay or a philly?

and GS i agree, keeping him in for 118 when they are clearly going to win at such an early stage was slightly idiotic
lets hope it was only because he was gunning for a shutout

but i am sure Doc can handle it

HOF decides what hat Halladay wears if he makes it to the HOF. Doc gets more coverage now than he ever did as a Jay so it is easier to keep track of him . He reminds me a lot of Greg Maddux so the potential for him to pitch well into his late 30s is there barring any nasty health issues .

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