11:35 PM Eastern
Coming off a magical weekend and an off-day of golfing, and taking on the injury-riddled Boston Red Sox with a short bench their own selves, the Jays just didn’t have it in them to come all the way back tonight.
Ricky Romero was shaky, as he usually is against Boston – though I believe it’s far too early in his career to label him as a guy whose number the Red Sox have. We’re talking about just 30 2/3 career innings, after all.
Regardless, the Sox pounded on Romero for three loud doubles in the second inning, helping them to a 3-0 lead, and they added another in the 3rd but Travis Snider’s mammoth three-run shot tied the game in the bottom of that inning. J.D. Drew gave the Bostons the lead back with a solo shot leading off the 5th, and Jose Bautista tied it with one of his own leading off the 7th.
The Bautista homer, his 35th of the season, was towering in his majesticity, and it set a Blue Jays’ record. Bautista has now homered in 11 straight series. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a stretch, record-book wise, but no Blue Jay has ever done that before.
The lead didn’t last long, as Shawn Camp, making just his fourth appearance since July 25th, coughed up a tie-breaking two-out solo shot to Mike Lowell. The Sox added another, and that was that.
It was a good game, exciting, tense and fun, as most Jay games have been this season, and it may well have been asking too much to have them pull it out after the weekend they’d just had against the Rays. The loss drops them to 2-8 on the season against the Red Sox, though of those eight losses, four have been by one run and two have been by two. The Sox are the only AL East team that has a winning record against the Blue Jays this season, though – the Jays are 6-6 against T-Bay, 5-4 against the Yankees and, of course, 12-0 against the Orioles.
The standout thing to me in this game was Travis Snider’s work with the stick. His home run in the third was simply a monster shot; a hard line drive that was still rising when it hit the facing of the 200 level in left-centre. And the swing he put on it was just gorgeous – smooth, effortless and extraordinarily powerful. His double in the bottom of the ninth was wholly different. Fooled and caught out in front, Snider made contact with just one hand on the bat, but sent a line drive over the head of Jacoby Ellsbury and off the wall in dead centre on the fly. He’s 22 years old, people.
J.P. Arencibia couldn’t follow his tour de force, and as part of his 0-for-4 night was actually retired on a ball that he put in play in fair territory twice. He’s still never gotten out to his pull side, though. He showed a heck of a throwing arm too, nailing the fleet Ellsbury trying to steal in the fourth with a throw from his knees. Very, very impressive.
As far as the short bench goes, Vernon Wells (dislocated right big toe) and Yunel Escobar (sore right knee) sat this one out – no word on whether they’ll be able to play tomorrow.
Before the game, Cito Gaston announced some changes to the rotation. Brandon Morrow needs some extra rest after throwing 137 pitches on Sunday, and Brett Cecil fell and cut his right knee for three stitches the other day running the stairs (no word on whether he was headed to make chicken salad). Therefore, Cecil isn’t going to pitch until Saturday night in Anaheim and Morrow will be off until Tuesday night in Oakland. Brad Mills, who was scheduled to pitch Friday, will be pushed up to Thursday’s series finale with the Red Sox, and then will be optioned to Las Vegas. Marc Rzepczynski will be recalled to make the start Friday night in the series opener with the Angels. Cecil will pitch Saturday, leaving Romero and Marcum on their regular days Sunday and Monday.
Oh, and final regular-season softball update: I went 2-for-4 in an 11-1 win. The team has three more games, but I can’t play in any of them because of work commitments, so here’s hoping I’ll be able to contribute in the post-season!
Here’s this evening’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:
And here’s the transcript from this evening’s “Miked Up LIVE!”: