The Blue Jays’ four-game win streak came to an end with a sloppy all-around effort that featured poor defense and a starting pitcher who emerged with an ugly line for the game – two very unusual things for the Blue Jays one-sixth of the way through their season.
They didn’t get a third straight shutout, which would have matched the team record set in 1983 by Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy and Luis Leal (with an inning of relief work from Randy Moffitt), but they pretty much would have needed it to win, given that they only managed two runs off Angels’ starter C.J. Wilson.
Kyle Drabek winds up looking at five innings of five-run, eight-hit ball, with five walks, but he wasn’t quite that bad. Drabek struggled with his control all night – he walked Vernon Wells twice! – but came off the mound at the end of the 5th inning trailing only 2-1.
His night probably should have been done there, given how he’d been coming out of his mechanics and pitching in trouble almost the whole game and that the Blue Jays’ bullpen had thrown all of one inning over the course of the last three games, but John Farrell sent him back out for the 6th and he gave up a leadoff home run to Mark Trumbo. Then there was a walk, an infield single and a bunt single and all of a sudden the bases were loaded with nobody out and Drabek’s day was done. Jason Frasor came in and all three runners wound up scoring.
Some fans will (and did) blame Farrell for the loss, but it’s not on him. Sure you could make the argument that Drabek shouldn’t have come back out for the 6th, but I’m thinking Farrell did it both because Drabek was only down a run and in order to help the 24 year-old’s development along. If one is to be a key cog in a starting rotation in the bigs, which is what the Blue Jays hope Drabek will eventually be, one is going to have to go out and suck up some innings without having your best stuff every once in a while. This wasn’t one of those nights, but it was a reasonable opportunity to see if Drabek could do it – and he’d only thrown 87 pitches over the first five innings, so he shouldn’t have been overtaxed.
Don’t get me started on the defense – whether it was overcommitting or undercommitting on bunts, both Frasor and Luis Perez being unable to make an accurate throw to second base to start double plays, or a routine bouncing ball going right through Adam Lind’s legs, this was an ugly one – all the way down to Jose Bautista striking out on a pitch that hit him in the foot.
They’re not all going to be Picassos, and this game should just be tossed out in the dustbin as soon as possible.
The good news? The Blue Jays’ runs were driven in by Bautista (RBI single) and Lind (solo shot off the lefty).
Here’s this morning’s edition of The Late Night BlueJaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:
The series in Disneyland ends on Sunday afternoon with 21 year-old Drew Hutchison on the mound facing an Angels line-up that will likely feature a resurgent Albert Pujols. The slugger had his first game off Saturday night and watched his new teammates score six runs and win after not having scored any with him in the line-ups the two nights previous. Righty Jerome Williams gets the start for the Halos. We’ll rev up the engine at 3:00PM Eastern with the pre-game show for a 3:30 first pitch – join us, won’t you?
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