April 15, 2012
Lawrie's gutsy play OK: Bautista
By Mike Rutsey, Toronto Sun
A day after Brett Lawrie's infamous charge toward the plate, there was no way that Jose Bautista wanted to throw his teammate under the bus.
By getting tagged out at the plate for the third out in the second inning of Saturday's game. Lawrie left Bautista standing at the plate instead of having the bases full with the count 0-2.
On Saturday, Blue Jays manager John Farrell had no trouble jumping over Lawrie's decision but Bautista would not climb on that bus.
"I wasn't extra surprised, it was just a surprise," Bautista said of Lawrie's daring. "He's an aggressive player and that's what led him here so whenever he feels like he needs to take a chance on a play like that, he has to in order to stay true to his nature.
"If he slides with his feet a little more forward, he would have been safe. So I don't necessarily think that it was a bad idea because he would have been successful if he just slides the correct way.
"I think it was a gutsy play and I think he got it correct. It was just that he didn't slide the proper way. It's all graded on if you're safe or out. He might have been called a genius if he would have made it safe. But that's not what cost us the game."
After two losses, a lefty on the mound in Brian Matusz and it being the day following a night game, Farrell went with a different look Sunday.
Sitting the left-handed hitting Adam Lind and Eric Thames, Farrell added Rajai Davis in left and had Ben Francisco as the DH with Edwin Encarnacion moving to first base.
Behind the plate was Jeff Mathis, as J.P. Arencibia was given the day off.
TIME TO SHINE
Rookie left-hander Evan Crawford made his major-league debut when he was called on to close out the game by pitching the ninth inning. He allowed one hit and loggged his first strikeout, freezing Wilson Betemit on a called third strike.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Lefty Brett Cecil has been hammered in both of his double-A starts (18 hits in 11 2/3 innings) resulting in his 6.94 ERA. Farrell was asked what the reports have been like.
"Last night a little bit more power to his stuff," Farrell said.
"He did get hurt a couple of times when he was trying to generate a little more velocity, missed some balls up in the strike zone.
"He's been a little bit quick out of the set position with men on base and his arm hasn't fully caught up in the timing of his delivery. Out of the windup he's been more consistent."
In other words, nothing has changed since spring training.