Jays simply awful in loss

A pitch from Tigers’ Max Scherzer comes in a little tight toward Jays batter Jose Bautista as he...

A pitch from Tigers’ Max Scherzer comes in a little tight toward Jays batter Jose Bautista as he bails out of the way. (JACK BOLAND/QMI Agency)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:40 PM ET

TORONTO - We don’t know if Blue Jays manager John Farrell sheds a tear or two every time he fills out his lineup card, but it wouldn’t come as a big surprise if he did.

Not these days with what he has to pick from.

Monday’s 10-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers was a dreary, dreadful event that combined all the worst aspects of a team that looks as if it is about to go on a long skid.

Due to injuries and some shuffling of players to the minor leagues, Farrell has been forced to jot out a lineup on a daily basis from a shrinking list of not-ready-for-prime-time players.

With Adam Lind’s back woes worsening from Sunday, he was, once again, not available in Monday’s finale against Detroit and that put a big crimp in the Jays attack.

The only other player with menacing capabilities at the present is Jose Bautista and he was back in right field and playing his second game since missing five games due to a stiff neck.

Bautista, who celebrated his return with a two-run homer in Sunday’s loss, doubled in a run in the first inning of Monday’s debacle and added a single in the third. But Bautista can’t carry alone a team that looked so inept on so many levels.

The crushing inning for the Jays was the fourth, one that combined bad luck, fielding blunders and an inability of Brandon Morrow to put the clamps on an inning that was slipping out of his grip. All that plus Farrell’s loss of faith in Morrow.

The inning started with Brennan Boesch striking out on a pitch that bounced in front of the plate and away from Jose Molina, allowing Boesch to reach first.

After a walk, Victor Martinez hit a deep fly to centre that should have been caught for the second out. But Corey Patterson butchered the play as he turned his back to the ball, came to a stop on the warning track and almost had the ball hit him as it fell to the ground just to his left.

It’s not the first time Patterson has given up on a catchable ball this season.

A run scored on the play and instead of two out and one on, a big inning was brewing.

An RBI single, an out and a walk later, Farrell came out for Morrow even though he had only allowed one hit over the opening three innings and appeared to be in control. But Farrell didn’t allow him the opportunity to work out of the mess and the right-hander was far from pleased as he slammed his glove into the wall as he entered the dugout.

Shawn Camp replaced Morrow and one out later allowed a three-run double, all the runs being charged to Morrow. Another double brought in the sixth Tiger run and after that the game was simply dreary.

The loss left the Jays at 15-20. They have not been five games under .500 since the end of the 2009 season.

Afterwards, Morrow said he would have appreciated the opportunity to clean up his own mess.

“I didn’t want to come out. I would have liked the chance to stay in and work my way out of it,” Morrow said. “The game was tied at that point (2-2) and they got nine and one hitter coming up, both right-handers, so I think that’s a pretty strong position for me.”

Was he upset?

“Yeah, that was basically the ball game right there,” he said. “I was upset with myself and the whole situation.”

What did he say to Farrell on the mound?

“I looked back to look at my pitch count,” he said. “I didn’t say anything.”

Farrell said he decided to take Morrow out due to the right-hander lowering his arm slot which brought a drop in velocity (from 96-97 m.p.h. to 92-93).

“I saw his velocity beginning to drop and, from late in the second inning on, I thought he had a hard time getting the ball down in the strike zone,” Farrell said. “I also saw his arm slot drop and at that time the decision was made to remove him. Unfortunately, things started to get away from us.”

Mess of trouble

In the absence of Bautista, Aaron Hill and now Lind, Farrell has been forced to pad the lineup with utility players such as John McDonald and Patterson.

They have been in and out of the lineup along with rookie David Cooper, who has gone 3-for-27 and shouldn’t be playing in the big leagues just yet.

“We don’t look upon that as an excuse,” Farrell said when it was pointed out he has been forced to rely on players who aren’t everyday players. “We still have to go out and execute and put together a complete game to win. I think anybody that’s in this dugout wouldn’t look upon that as an excuse either.”

Put those players alongside Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar, both of whom came into the game struggling at the plate, and the inconsistent performers Edwin Encarnacion and Juan Rivera and you can see in no short order why the Jays have been having trouble scoring runs.

“I can’t say that it causes frustration, you work through it the best you can and with the options that are available,” Farrell said of his options.


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