Covering the Bases: Game 32
FIRST: First, the bright side. The Blue Jays are 8-2 over their last 10 games.
That is an especially silver lining considering Toronto has been picking up wins without much assistance from their two big dogs: Aaron Hill and Adam Lind.
Over that 10-game span, the Hilldebeast and Mighty Lind have combined to hit .150 (12-for-80). Hill is 8-for-40 and Lind 4-for-40 across that stretch of contests.
In the two losses, Hill and Lind have combined to go 0-for-15 in the batter’s box. During Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the White Sox at The Cell, Hill and Lind went 0-for-8. In a game where the Jays struggled to get much of anything going on offense againse Jake Peavy, production from that duo is sorely missed.
“It’d certainly be a little bit easier if they were hitting the ball,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “They’ve done their share here and there.”
Gaston said it reminds him of last season, when Vernon Wells and Alex Rios were slumping and Hill and Lind actually helped pick up the slack (on their way to a combined 71 homers and 222 RBIs). This year, it’s been guys like Wells, Alex Gonzalez and John Buck carrying most of the load (26 homers, 67 RBIs combined through 32 games).
SECOND: Casey Janssen suddenly appears to be the low man on the totem pole in the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Before Saturday’s forgettable appearance, it had been one week since Janssen worked in a game. “That might have been some of his problem,” Gaston admitted. Tough to get everybody work when the rotation is lasting deep into games, though.
Janssen walked in a pair of runs with the bases loaded in a four-run seventh for the White Sox. That makes it six inherited runners across home plate for Janssen over his past five appearances. Over that span, he’s allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings. This after and great spring and a 1.17 ERA across his first seven games.
THIRD: One outing after flirting with a perfecto, lefty Brett Cecil issued a one-out walk and a two-out homer in the first inning against the White Sox. Cecil then walked in a run with the bases loaded in the second. Sox appeared to have done plenty of homework against Cecil and his changeup. Here’s what the lefty said: “It just seemed like every changeup I threw they would check swing or they were just spitting on it. I just don’t think it was in the zone long enough for them to even offer at it.”
HOME: Ah, the hometown call. It’s the difference between reliever Josh Roenicke’s ERA staying at 0.00 and ballooning to 8.31. In the decisive seventh inning, Roenicke made a throwing error on a one-out bunt “single” off the bat of Juan Pierre. Watching the replay, a clean throw clearly would have beat Pierre to first base. That should have meant Pierre reached on an E-1, not on a single.
Instead, Pierre got credit for a hit and then advanced to second on the E-1. Roenicke then caught a flyout, which would’ve ended the inning under normal circumstances. What followed was two extra-base hits, four walks and four runs. Now, the inning was ugly when it was all said and done. But, it says here that Roenicke should’ve been charged with four unearned runs.
Catch you tomorrow.