Covering the Bases: Game 30
Shaun Marcum flirted with a no-hitter on Opening Day. Ricky Romero took one into the eighth inning early in the year. Brandon Morrow toyed with a no-no one night. Brett Cecil upped the anty, carrying a perfecto into the seventh on Monday.
“These guys have been motivating me to throw the ball well,” Eveland said. “It’s almost a little competition between all of us. Obviously, we want all of us to succeed, but at the same time I want to pitch just as well as the other guys are.”
Well, Eveland pitched on Thursday and the Blue Jays picked up a 2-0 win over the White Sox. Does that tell you anything?
No, Eveland didn’t flirt with history or anything like that. What he did was keep the Sox hitters off-balance with a strong changeup — something that had abandoned him over his past three starts — and a well-located four-seamer. Eveland said he relied less on his cutter and slider, mainly due to the effectiveness of his change.
The result was seven innings of two-hit shutout ball on just 90 pitches. And, let’s be honest, Eveland needs to keep it up to convince the Jays to keep him in the rotation. Think about it, there’s a wave of Minor Leaguers on the cusp, and a handful of injured arms on the mend. It’s hard to see Marcum, Romero, Morrow or Cecil going anywhere.
SECOND: The Jays went pretty quiet offensively against John Danks (again) on Thursday. In the fifth inning, though, Toronto finally broke through. The man behind the runs was Fred Lewis, who doubled home the only two runs managed by the Jays. Lewis said he felt really good about coming through since he admittedly made a poor decision to try to steal third base in the first inning. Over his past six games, Lewis has hit .440 (11-for-25). He’s been a nice little addition up to this point.
THIRD: As Eveland noted after his outing: “To have a good outing, there always seems to be one or two special plays” on defense. Eveland got his in the form of a spectacular running catch by Vernon Wells to end the second inning. Chicago’s Mark Kotsay sent a pitch deep to right center field — looked like a homer off the bat. Wells snared it right before crashing into the wall. No one else really hit the ball hard against Eveland.
HOME: How about this? The Blue Jays are now 10-3 on the road this season. It marks the first time in franchise history that Toronto has won 10 of its first 13 games away from home. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said before the game that there’s no way to pinpoint why the Jays are playing so well on the road right now. I don’t know… ever since the Jays’ manager of team travel, Mike Shaw, switched a few of the team’s hotels, the wins have been pouring in. Hmm…