Covering the Bases: Game 33
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.