Jays' starters are hot, hot, hot

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitchers Dustin McGowan (L), Brett Cecil (C) and Ricky Romero (R) have...

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitchers Dustin McGowan (L), Brett Cecil (C) and Ricky Romero (R) have been super hot this spring. (REUTERS)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 PM ET

The line on Ricky Romero looked pretty good.

Four innings, zero runs, zero hits, two walks, four strikeouts and no “mad balls.”

Mad balls?

Romero admitted being frustrated with his control at times. He threw only 29 strikes in his 51-pitch outing. 

“At least I didn’t throw any mad balls,” said Romero who laughed when asked what his worst mad ball ever was.

Did he hit the mascot? 

An on-deck hitter?

We remember lefty Al Leiter getting angry and throwing a mad ball 10 feet up the backstop a few times before he figured out he was better off pitching at 91-92 mph rather than trying to throw 96-97 mph.

Don’t look now but Jays starters have not allowed an earned run in 31 innings.

Romero’s scoreless streak is at nine, Brandon Morrow has worked five innings, Brett Cecil has put up six zeros, Henderson Alvarez another six and Dustin McGowan five.

“They’ve created the mind set of attacking the strike zone with first-pitch strikes and on 1-1 counts,” manager John Farrell told reporters. “And it’s worked. I don’t think we’ve had a guy go out and not finish under his pitch limit.”

The first five pitches of the game from Romero were balls as he walked lead-off man Desmond Jennings.

“I thought ‘my control isn’t that good today — but they don’t know it,’” Romero told reporters. After a strikeout, he was out of the inning by getting Evan Longoria to hit into a double play.

“I didn’t have good control today, same in the bullpen,” said Romero sounding like a pitch man for the Nevada Gaming Commission. 

“Whatever happens in the bullpen, stays in the bullpen. The score is still 0-0. I‘m not happy about walks and throwing a lot of balls, but it happens. You can’t be perfect every time.”

Yet Jays starters have not allowed an earned run and have won 11 straight.  

“Now, you’ve ruined everything,” said Romero jokingly. “It’s good that Cecil has done so well, Henderson too and everyone knows what a long road back it’s been for McGowan.”

LAWRIE PULLS GROIN MUSCLE

The sun will come up tomorrow.

So, the Blue Jays hope.

Their all-Canadian, all-world, third baseman Brett Lawrie left Friday’s game after three innings for precautionary measures with a pulled right groin.

Lawrie beat out an infield hit in the second, slid back into first to beat a pick-off attempt from Jose Molina, slid into second stealing and scored on J.P. Arencibia’s single to right.

“There was a lot of action going on, it happened coming around third, about halfway home, something triggered it, that I went, ‘hey, heads up on it,’” Lawrie told reporters. He played one more inning before Jon Diaz took over.

“It’s the right thing, we’re almost to the start of the season, we’re not in the World Series, it’s time to work on getting it better. I’ve had it before, I used to hurt my legs all the time. If you don’t rest those things can come back on you again and again.”

Lawrie is hitting .609 (14-for-23) with six doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. Lawrie also has five stolen bases.  

“At this time of the year we’re not going to press him,” said Jays manager John Farrell. 

PEYTON PLACE

 “C’mon let’s go, let’s get him signed,” Adam Lind yelled across the Blue Jays clubhouse to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

And who might Lind want the Jays to add?

“Peyton Manning,” said Indiana born, Indianapolis Colts fan Lind with a straight face.

“He can’t take hits any more, so why not sign him,” Lind said. “He’s got an outstanding arm, has pinpoint control to hit a receiver 40 yards down field on the run. He ought to be able to hit a stationary target from 60 feet, six inches.”

The No. 1 Colts fan in the Jays clubhouse said his team made the right decision not pick up Manning’s $28 million guaranteed option, which will allow them to draft Stanford Cardinal signal caller Andrew Luck.

“I don’t know where he’ll sign, where was he last? Nashville?” asked Lind Friday afternoon.

John Elway signed with the New York Yankees and was unsuccessful before turning to football, Lind is uncertain of Manning’s baseball background.

Lind’s most memorable Manning game? Thanksgiving Day, 2004.

Manning threw six touchdowns; three apiece to wide receivers Brandon Stokely and Marvin Harrison, tying a Thanksgiving record set by Bob Griese of the Miami Dolphins in 1977. He finished the game 23-for-28 and 236 yards, with more touchdown passes than incompletions while he didn’t play most of the fourth quarter.

Lind has never met the former Colts quarterback, but once met his father Archie Manning at a sports performance facility. 

 

 


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