Covering the Bases: Game 52
There is the “9” that appears in the second inning of my scorebook and then the “7” in the eighth inning. Two fly outs to the outfield. That’s it. Basically, Vernon Wells got the day off from running around too much in center.
Kind of a boring day for the outfielders.
“Any boring day where they only score one run is a good day,” right fielder Jose Bautista said with a smile.
Romero allowed one run in the first inning, but then settled in and cruised, finishing the second complete game of his career. Nine innings, one run allowed on six hits with two walks, seven strikeouts and 17 outs on grounders (4 on double plays).
This outing came one start after Romero’s worst showing of the season and one day after Roy Halladay — ever hear of him? — threw a perfect game for the Phillies. Why do I drag Halladay’s name into this? One, Romero’s performance was much like many Doc has turned in for the Jays. Two, here’s what Romero said when asked about his complete game…
“It’s a good feeling. That’s what you aim for every time you’re out there. There was a guy here that did it really, really well and you try to learn from that.”
SECOND: The Blue Jays went five innings without launching a home run in Sunday’s win. Quite the drought. Fortunately, Toronto didn’t let the power outage persist, slugging out three homers before the game was through.
Was manager Cito Gaston expecting the long balls to come at some point?
“I wish I could say that,” Gaston said with a laugh. “Home runs are hard to come by, but it seems to be easy this month for us.”
Sure does seem that way…
The Blue Jays now have 53 homers in May, setting a new club record for any one month. The last team to belt 50+ in one month was the Indians with 51 in September 2005. Toronto would need five homers on Monday to match the single-month record by any club. The Mariners launched 58 in May 1999 and the Orioles did the same in May 1987.
Your latest Home Run Heroes included Lyle Overbay (three in the past two games), Jose Bautista (leads the Majors with 16 this year) and Alex Gonzalez (his 11 are the most he’s had in one year since belting 16 in 2007). Bautista also has 12 in May, matching the club record for one month (Jose Cruz Jr., August 2001; Carlos Delgado, August 1999).
THIRD: Some in the pressbox were joking that this three-game sweep of the Orioles deserved an asterisk since Baltimore has been playing so poorly. A sweep is a sweep, though, and a common trait of any good team is the ability to defeat the teams they are supposed to defeat. Here’s a look at the sweep by the numbers: Jays hit .274 with nine home runs, 16 runs scored on offense; went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA, 25 strikeouts, four walks and a .207 opponents’ batting average as a pitching staff.
HOME: Now comes a big test for the Blue Jays. Up to this point, the Blue Jays have played 34 games against the Central and West, going 21-13 in those contests. Against the East, Toronto is 8-7, but six of those wins are against last-place Baltimore. The Jays have gone 2-7 combined against the Rays and Red Sox so far. Now comes a stretch of 24 games in a row against teams with records above .500. The next nine are versus the Rays and Yankees — both above the Jays in the East standings. Then comes Interleague Play, which has not been Toronto’s favorite time of year for the last few seasons.
This is when we find out if this Blue Jays team is for real…