Jays Roundup - Don't Wanna Wait 'til Tomorrow
Friday, September 17 2004 @ 11:00 AM EDT
Contributed by: Pepper Moffatt
Why put it off another day?
One by one, little problems
Build up, and stand in our way.
Orioles 9 - Jays 5
- Spencer Fordin:
The dichotomy was evident early. Toronto's evening was defined by a powerful player and a powerless pitcher on Friday night, when the Orioles controlled the action and earned a 9-5 series-clinching win.
"The first night against these guys, we fell behind 5-0. Big hill to climb. Then tonight, we were down by six runs," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "You've got to figure, with their offense, you need to climb back and score some runs. They're dangerous."
All of the offense could be boiled down to two men. Vernon Wells drove in all four of the home team's runs and Miguel Batista allowed seven of Baltimore's nine runs. Wells homered twice, including his first career shot into SkyDome's fifth deck. Meanwhile, Batista walked four batters and failed to make it out of the third inning.
- Gary Washburn:
B.J. Ryan is looking more and more like a potential closer, despite manager Lee Mazzilli's insistence that he's merely a setup man.
Ryan has been prepping two years for a chance to be a closer, although 25-year-old Jorge Julio, who has had a shaky season at best, still holds the responsibility. On Thursday night at SkyDome, Ryan continued to show his importance to the Orioles' bullpen by getting the club out of a big jam in the seventh inning of a 9-5 win over the Blue Jays.
- Mike Rutsey:
Miguel Batista and Josh Towers appear to be ships sailing in opposite directions. Towers, who missed his past two starts with soreness in back of his right shoulder, is bubbling with enthusiasm over the prospect of being back in action as he gets the start tonight against the Devil Rays.
Batista, on the other hand, looks like a guy who can't wait for the season to end.
- Larry Millson:
Ryan Glynn replaced Batista in the third inning last night and pitched four runless innings.
Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez, 13-8, gave up four runs, three earned, in six innings plus two batters (118 pitches, 78 strikes). The Orioles' third pitcher of the game, left-hander B. J. Ryan, retired three batters in the seventh after the Blue Jays had scored once to make the score 7-4 and had the bases loaded with none out.
Rafael Palmeiro homered (No. 19) for the Orioles in the ninth inning against Kerry Ligtenberg. Blue Jays third baseman Eric Hinske dropped a routine pop-up by the next batter for his team's third error of the night, which said a lot about the game.
- Mark Zwolinski:
The Jays had a chance last night to renew their acquaintance with Toronto sports fans jolted by the NHL lockout. They came up with some costly errors, spotty starting pitching, and heroics by Vernon Wells.
Same old Jays.
Wells was at his best last night, smacking a pair of long homers and racking up four RBIs in a 9-5 loss to Baltimore before an announced crowd of 21,451 at the SkyDome that was actually well below half that.
- Fordin Notes on Miguel Batista:
They've seen enough.
Miguel Batista's erratic campaign as a starter is over, or at least put on hiatus. The Blue Jays are going to try the right-hander as a reliever, testing his arm in late-inning situations. That move comes after he lost six of his last seven decisions, sinking his record to 10-12 for the season.
"We're working on seeing what's going to happen for next year. We might try, in the 15 games that are left, making me a short reliever," said Batista after Thursday night's 9-5 setback. "I've relieved before. I've been in almost every relief situation -- short and long. ... If I can pitch every day, I've got to try."
In reverse chronological order, here are stats from Batista's last ten starts:
- 3.1 IP, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 K
- 7.0 IP, 0 HR, 6 BB, 1 K
- 7.0 IP, 1 HR, 2 BB, 0 K
- 5.1 IP, 1 HR, 4 BB, 2 K
- 4.0 IP, 0 HR, 2 BB, 2 K
- 6.1 IP, 0 HR, 5 BB, 0 K
- 5.0 IP, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3 K
- 7.0 IP, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 K
- 7.0 IP, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
- 6.0 IP, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K
Do you see a single decent start in there? I sure don't.
I'm not going to win any friends in the organization by saying this, but I have to: What took you guys so long? Miguel Batista has clearly not been Miguel Batista lately. There's something obviously wrong with him, and throwing a guy out there who is pitching hurt does not help the player nor the team. I can't count how many games the Jays have thrown away the last few years by throwing a pitcher out there who was clearly not himself. That's inexcusable when you keep 12 to 13 arms on your roster like the Jays often do.
Pitchers get hurt at an alarming rate to begin with, but it seems the Jays pitchers do so an above average rate. I'd love to see statistics on that; I'm just speculating that it's true. Perhaps the Jays need to look into their training staff or in installing a new mound in the Dome.
I'm just curious why the Jays are putting Batista in the pen rather than shutting him down entirely. There's a great deal I don't know about the situation, so on this one I'll give the Jays the benefit of the doubt.
- Rutsey Notes on Roy Halladay:
Roy Halladay yesterday threw a three-inning simulated game, his final tuneup before his scheduled return to the Blue Jays rotation next Tuesday in New York.
"He threw 15 pitches, sat down for five to six minutes, then threw another 15 pitches -- he did that three times," manager John Gibbons said. "Everything went well."
Hitting against Halladay was the trio of Dave Berg, Eric Crozier and Kevin Cash. Gibbons said that Cash hit one out against Halladay.
- Tonight's 7:05PM EST start at the Dome: RHP Doug Waechter (3-7, 5.77 ERA) vs. Josh Towers (RHP Josh Towers 9-5, 4.66 ERA). More details in Spencer Fordin's game preview.
- In other news, check out yesterday's fan of the game.