Covering the Bases: Game 33


LewisFives.jpgFIRST:
Thanks in part to one big swing from Fred Lewis, the Blue Jays mnaged to do what they couldn’t one day earlier.

They overcame some shaky pitching with a pile of offense.

Ricky Romero didn’t have his best stuff (five walks, 5 1/3 innings) and the bullpen struggled behind him. Shawn Camp gave up a homer to Alex Rios, Scott Downs hit Juan Pierre with the bases loaded and Jason Frasor allowed a run.

Have no fear, though, @fdotlew is here. With two on and the Jays down 7-5 in the ninth inning, Lewis drilled a pitch from Bobby Jenks to right for a three-run shot that regained the lead for the Jays.

“A burst of energy came out of nowhere when I saw those guys out there on base,” Lewis said. “I was like, ‘Man, I’ve just got to hit this ball somewhere.'”

Boy, did he ever.

Lewis is looking more and more like a great addition, making for a bit of a mess in terms of what to do when Edwin Encarnacion is ready to return from the disabled list. My guess is the Blue Jays continue to take their time with EE while Travis Snider is heating up, Lewis is producing and Jose Bautista is holding steady at third base.

Lewis’ heroics aside, one of the better developments on Sunday was some life out of the bats of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind. The bullpen struggled on Saturday, but Hill and Lind combined for an 0-for-8, making a comeback that much harder. On Sunday, Hill snapped an 0-for-18 with a double in the third and then scored when Lind snapped an 0-for-12 with a two-run single.

The Jays can only hope that’s a start of a turnaround for their dynamic duo.

SECOND: When Downs hit Pierre with a pitch in the seventh, forcing in a run with the bases loaded, it got me thinking. It sure seems like the Jays have allowed a good chunk of runs to score on walks or hit batters with the bases loaded this year. I mean, Casey Janssen walked in two runs just a day ago.

I hate when I’m right…

The Blue Jays have allowed eight runs to score with the bases loaded on either walks (six) or hit batsmen (two) — the most in baseball. Ouch. On Sunday, Toronto had six bases-loaded plate appearances, and the pitchers allowed five runs on two hits (another two came in on grounders.

Overall, the Blue Jays have allowed 29 runs to score on 11 hits with the six walks and two hit batters with the bases loaded. That’s in 34 plate appearances for opposing batters. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s not that good.

THIRD: This just in: Rios loves facing the Blue Jays. Who knew? In eight games against Toronto this year, Rios has hit .394 (13-for-33) with three doubles, three homers and five RBIs. On Sunday, he went 4-for-4. Rios wasn’t even being booed for extra motivation this time around.

HOME: I’d love to end on a high note, like the fact that the Jays have four wins when trailing after eight innings or that they have 11 comeback victories already. But, I’m going to head back into Debbie Downer territory for a moment…

Ricky Romero leads baseball with 12 wild pitches — more than double the No. 2 man, Tim Wakefield. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is not all Romero’s doing. In fact, I applaud him from still pounding the lower half of the zone, even though his catchers — two signed for their defensive abilities — have struggled so mightily to block pitches this season.

Catch you from Fenway.

~JB

3 Comments

I think the total of wild pitches is much more than 12, nether Buck nor Molina seem to be prepared to get in front of and block those pitches and they’re key to the success of almost every pitcher we have.
In addition, I’m not too crazy on how Buck calls a game, I’m sure some of the difficulty Romero and Cecil had their last starts is because of no change in the game plan pitch calling. The pitchers won’t wave them off because of the age and respect issue so they throw what they’re asked to throw and it’s almost identical to each hitter and each game. Molina is much better in this regard, but doesn’t block the pitches and his bat is non-existent.
With Buck hitting so well, I think it’s time to trade him, we should be able to get something in return, and call up Arencibia.
Arencibia will need time to settle in on offense, but he’s now apparently very good at blocking pitches, throwing out base runners and calling a game. One thing is for sure-it sure can’t be as bad as what we’re seeing from these two.

I have a great idea! Since no one on our team will ever have a higher trading value (Except for Overbay because we all no he sucks) Why don’t we just trade our entire team and call up all of triple A? And with the HIGHLY talented prospects we get from our team, we can throw them into the farm system for the future!

Toronto Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch will begin his comeback from Tommy John Surgery with his first professional appearance since April of 2009 when he starts for Dunedin on Tuesday, May 11.

The start against the Florida State League South Division leading Palm Beach Cardinals is the first step in a slow process that will see Litsch ease his way up the ranks of the Blue Jays organization before returning to the team’s starting rotation.

Litsch struggled after two starts in 2009 and was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain on April 14. After weeks of attempted rehabilitation, he succumbed to the surgery on June 12, ending his 2009 season.

Litsch has been stationed at the Mattick Training Complex in Dunedin during the majority of his rehab and had pitched a couple of games with Extended Spring Training teams in preparation for his return.

He is scheduled to make two starts for Dunedin, with the second one coming on Sunday, May 16 when the Blue Jays start a four game series with the Bradenton Marauders at 1 p.m.

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