Jays Watch: Jo-Jo No. 6 off the bench
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
ST. LOUIS - The answer to the question was Jo-Jo Reyes.
The question was: Who would have gone up to bat after the bench was empty?
John Farrell used his five bench players in the eighth and ninth innings Friday, the first time this season the Blue Jays manager has cleared his bench in a single game.
And the Jays might have needed an extra hitter had Jose Bautista not homered with one out in the ninth to break a tie.
Jose Molina led off the eighth with a walk. Farrell did not pinch run then.
“I was hoping Edwin Encarnacion could get a base hit and we’d either have Rajai Davis or Corey Patterson bunt,” Farrell said. But Molina was not going to advance to third on a single or a short passed ball.
Encarnacion struck out and Jayson Nix pinch ran for Molina. Nix then raced to third on pinch hitter Patterson’s single. Pinch hitter Juan Rivera then struck out.
J.P. Arencibia took over Molina's spot behind the plate in bottom of the eighth and John McDonald replaced Encarnacion at third.
Most NL managers who use a pinch runner late would have kept him in the game.
It was Cardinals alumni night at Busch Stadium Saturday, which meant former Cards third base coach Rich Hacker was making the rounds in the Jays dugout and met with Aaron Hill and John McDonald. Hacker was the third-base coach when the Jays won the 1992 World Series.
At the 1993 all-star break, he was involved in a head-on car accident on the Martin Luther King bridge in St. Louis.
Two cars were racing and one hit Hacker’s car leaving him with head and neck injuries plus a badly fractured right ankle. He’s undergone a number of surgeries and faces more.
The Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America gave Hacker, an avid hunter, a get-well gift of a gun and a scope. The present came with two conditions: He could only walk through the woods with pitcher Danny Cox on a hunting trip when doctors gave him clearance and he could not use the gun on any writers.
RHP Kyle McClellan
0-0, 6.75 vs. Jays
Best pitch: Fastball
Not a strikeout guy, has solid over-hand curve, throws all four pitches