This was not 1978 when the Jays would run out Jesse Jefferson (7-16, 4.38), Jerry Garvin (4-12, 5.54) and Dave Lemanczyk (4-14, 6.26). The scores only gave that impression.
The teams were meeting for the first time since the Jays sweep Boston 7-6 and 9-3 last month as Carlos Villanueva and Jesse Litsch picked up the wins.
It was Drabek’s turn at the shed/mound on Sunday. Trailing 1-0, facing pesky Marco Scutaro leading off the third. Drabek threw everything but the bathroom sink at Scutaro, who kept fouling off pitches before earning an eight-pitch walk. Scutaro took his base and Drabek’s composure with him. Jacoby Ellsbury, the next hitter, walked on four pitches.
A wild pitch, a grounder and a Kevin Youkilis single gave the Sox two runs on one single.
With none out in the fourth Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer and David Ortiz a three-run shot, as eight of 14 Sox hitters reached against Drabek after the Scutaro flustered Drabek.
Drabek has walked three or more hitters in 13 of 14 of his starts.
“You can’t give up a four-pitch walk,” Drabek said. “That’s giving up the at-bat. I couldn’t tell you the last quality outing I’ve had.
“My mind is flying right now. I haven’t helped the club.”
Drabek says he makes progress during his side sessions with pitching coach, but then “isn’t able to take it to the mound.”
What we’re seeing is a maturation process which we saw with Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, David Wells, Kelvim Escobar and Todd Stottlemyre.
Drabek didn’t become a first-round talent in one day and he isn’t a flop either.
The Jays don’t plan on demoting Drabek to triple-A Las Vegas.
“I want to squelch that off right now, there’s been no discussion of that,” Farrell told reporters Sunday morning before Drabek took the mound. “He’s learning as he goes. We’ll accept the growing pains that he’s going to be better over time.
“We’re 9-4 in Kyle’s 13 starts, I wish we were 9-4 in everybody else’s.”
The Jays are now 9-5 as Drabek walked four to bump his league-leading total to 52 in 722/3 innings.
“That motivation, that competitiveness has got a line in which it works for you, then at times can work against you ... you can pitch blindly, like a middle linebacker and not be aware of the way a hitter reacts to a certain pitch,” Farrell said. “Through relaxation the game begins to slow, you see things more clearly. You make better decisions and have a better ability to execute.”
Rundown battery day
Besides Drabek, who looked 23 and looked like he was making his 17th major-league start, rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia, playing with a jammed thumb, had a rough day behind the shed too.
Drabek was charged with two wild pitches, reliever Luis Perez one and Arencebia was charged with his seventh passed ball of the season.
Jays pitchers lead the majors in wild pitches and the American League in passed balls.
They’ve thrown 37 wild ones to the screen, three more than the Colorado Rockies and eight more than the Detroit Tigers. Does all the blame go to the pitchers or is it part pitching, part catching?
Jays catchers has been charged with 11 passed balls, three more than the Red Sox, second to only the New York Mets (13).
With a man on second, Arencibia was crossed up at least twice.
“He was expecting a low, two seamer in the 90s and the ball cut,” Farrell said, “that’s where the ball went off his glove.”
Best team in the game
The Sox hitters enjoyed the weekend, despite checking in at 6:20 a.m. Friday morn hitting .368 (46-for-125) with 10 doubles, a triple and six homers.
“That’s a tremendous combination of patience, selectively, speed and power,” Farrell said. “We saw it for 18 innings.”
The Manager says
How was your weekend?
“One sided,” said Farrell, his Jays outscored 35-6 in the sweep.