Saturday Roundup - Her dog day's just begun

Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 11:39 AM EDT

Contributed by: Pistol

Now everybody is on the run
Tell me now it's untrue.
What did her daddy do?
He jacked a little bitty baby
The man has got to be insane
They say the spell that he was under the lightning and the
thunder knew that someone had to stop the rain

Jays lose 11 - 4


* Jays grounded at SkyDome - Fordin

That rustiness was in full exhibit for Towers (9-6) on Friday night. The right-hander had skipped his last two rotation turns because of soreness in his shoulder blade, and he didn't look comfortable in his return. He lasted four-plus innings, allowing six hits and six runs. Extra-base hits plagued him all night, scoring five of the six runs he surrendered.

* Towers brought down - Ganter

The loss dropped the Jays four games back of the Devil Rays for fourth spot in the East. The Jays have 15 games left, including five against Tampa. That would be the same Devil Rays who have finished last in the division for six consecutive years.

* Three-run shots take down Jays

Eric Crozier answered for the Jays with a two-run blast off Waechter in the bottom of the inning, the first homer of his career.

"It's something that I've kind of been pressing for,'' said Crozier, making his second start at first base while Delgado was the designated hitter. "The first one always feels big, but when you're supposed to be a power hitter, the first one always feels bigger.''


* Batista case not closed - Fordin

What will be different for Batista? For one thing, he'll need to learn a new approach. Gone is the long-term attitude of a starter, where you use pitches just to show the hitters you have them. Now, he'll need to streamline his arsenal and go with the most effective offerings.

"You don't need five pitches. Just three -- sinker, cutter and some form of offspeed," said Zaun. "You're not going to be picking corners in relief. You just set up in the middle of the plate and let the ball work."

That could play directly to the right-hander's strengths. Zaun said he typically overthought himself in an effort to stay ahead of the opponent. He said that none of his pitchers shook him off anywhere near as often as Batista, which is why he'd welcome a reduced menu of choices.

"One thing I appreciate is he's very focused and convicted when he throws a pitch. I'd like to see that in all our guys, but we seldom agree," said Zaun. "The hardest thing for me to do is decide which one of his offspeed pitches is working that night. And then the next hardest thing is convincing him it's the right thing to throw."

* Blue Jay Watch - Ganter

Batista has a lot of the qualities a team looks for in a closer. He throws a fastball in the mid-to-high 90's. He has good movement on his pitches and mentally he is not the type who is going to let a poor outing affect him.

He also has a resilient arm and can pitch on back-to-back-to-back days.

"It might be a chance for us to see if we have something here," Ricciardi said. "If we don't, we know we have a third starter in the big leagues next year."

* Jays try Batista in closer's role - Baker

Moving Batista also frees up a rotation spot for the Jays to promote red-hot Double-A pitcher Gustavo Chacin once his playoff season ends.

* Jays catching prospect arrested - AP

Toronto Blue Jays catching prospect Curtis Thigpen was arrested Friday on suspicion of drunken driving after he was stopped for going about 32 km/h under the speed limit and weaving between lanes on an interstate, police said.

* Today's Game Dave Bush vs. Todd Ritchie; 4:05 pm.

Bush is undefeated at SkyDome, sporting a 2-0 record with a 3.65 ERA. In his last start, he worked seven innings and wound up with a no-decision. Ritchie, meanwhile, is making just his second big league appearance of the season.