Jose Bautista said at the all-star break that the Jays needed help for the rotation.
Now that we have established that, adding two relievers, the 6-foot Lincoln and the 6-foot-5 Delabar, wasn’t a bolt of energy, we wonder if the opposite is true.
Did the fact that the Jays did not add an experienced starter at the July 31, non-waiver trade deadline drain enthusiasm from the clubhouse?
One could argue that the Jays are playing that way this trip.
Or is simply a case that the Jays have finally hit the wall with their injuries.
How much can one team stand?
Besides losing starters Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison in a four-game span — 25 missed starts and counting — plus lefty reliever Luis Perez, now position players are falling: Two-time defending major-league home run champ Bautista injured his left wrist fouling a ball off in New York, Adam Lind is injured with a bad back and catcher J.P. Arencibia broke his right hand.
David Cooper hitting clean-up behind Edwin Encarnacion Tuesday for the first time in his major-league career?
Kelly Johnson in the No. 4 spot Wednesday for the second time in the majors?
It brings to mind the protection George Bell had after Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt were injured. Juan Benequiz and Rick Leach hit behind Bell during the Mo-Town Meltdown of 1987.
The Jays have had horrible trips to the coast before but this was a horrendous start even after yesterday 3-1 win agaisnt the A’s:
n Ricky Romero dropped his seventh straight in a 4-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, who went into Monday’s game 10 games under .500. The Jays didn’t score the final three innings after Snider left, going hitless in eight attempts with men in scoring position.
Aaron Laffey had his first bad start of seven as he allowed seven runs on nine hits and two walks in a 7-2 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday.
n Up 3-1, the Jays saw Thames hit a two-run homer off Carlos Villanueva in the fifth tying the score on Wednesday. Then, Michael Saunders went to third on a grounder to Yunel Escobar — Escobar threw to first — in the sixth and John Jaso singled in the lead run as the M’s swept the series with a 5-3 win. The Jays managed six runs, hit .111 (2-for-18) with men in scoring position. No worries, right? The Jays were swept at Yankee Stadium and then swept the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
Facing the Oakland A’s, the worst hitting team in the AL, Henderson Alvarez, Steve Delebar and J.A. Happ walked eight in eight innings — one intentional — one of whom scored, in a 4-1 loss to on Thursday.
Yet the toughest loss came Friday when the Jays lost in 5-4 in 15 innings with both Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus leaving to injury. Omar Vizquel was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the 12th and Encarnacion at third to end the 15th on a fine play by shortstop Eric Sogard.
Lefty Brett Cecil, who had three straight quality starts, allowing a three-run homer to New York’s Andruw Jones, a two-run homer to Oakland’s Derek Norris and a three-run homer to Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta, all in the second inning, kept the ball in the park in the second Friday during the second, but allowed a run. He later gave up solo homers to Jonny Gomes and Chris Carter in the third and fourth was demoted after the game to triple-A Las Vegas.
n And the Jays broke the six-game losing streak on a wild throw in the 13th for a 3-1 win going 3-for-8 with men in scoring position Saturday and are now hitting .171 (7-for-41) with men in scoring position on the trip.
Of the 62 innings the Jays have batted they have scored in 10 innings ... a total of 16 runs.
Oh, yeah, those opening words.
They were said by the late Montreal Expos reliever Woodie Fryman at the deadline in 1979.
Canada Cup flows over with young talent
The best high-school talent from across Canada gathers in London this week for the annual Canada Cup, the first of a series of Baseball Canada’s national championships.
Defending champ Ontario meets Quebec in the opener Wednesday at Labatt Park at 9 a.m. British Columbia and Alberta round out Pool A, while Saskatchewan, silver medallists a year ago, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Manitoba are in Pool B.
At the opening ceremonies, Ray Carter, president of Baseball Canada, the only coach from B.C. who didn’t coach Larry Walker, will present a banner declaring Labatt Park as “Canada’s Favourite Ballpark” after the stadium won a national poll last year.
The Canada Cup is always well attended by scouts from across Canada looking to the 2013 draft and college recruiters. Walt Burrows, who watched the Ontario bantam eliminations at Greg Cranker Field on 9th Line in Mississauga on the weekend, will be there.
Burrows of Brentwood Bay, B.C., is the Canadian director of scouting for the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau.
After staging an open camp last week in Montreal — where Ottawa’s Demi Orimoloye impressed with his speed — Burrows’ next stop is Tuesday morning in Sarnia.
Always searching for athletic speedsters disenchanted with those ‘other’ games — football or basketball, Burrows will stage open camps Aug. 14 at the Welland Sports Complex and Aug. 15, at Etobicoke’s Connorvale Park.
She must be from Canada
On hand to see Tim McCarver presented with the Ford C. Frick award in Cooperstown was the elegant Paula Luxenberg Root.
Paula grew up in Forest Hill area in Toronto and attended McGill University in Montreal before moving to New York in 1961, marrying Dr. Leon Root, an orthopedic surgeon.
Once in the early 1970s, a New York Yankees official, phoned the Root house one day asking Paula if her husband would be interested in being the team physician.
Dr. Root called the Yanks back and declined in order to spend time with his family.
“After I declined the man asked where my wife was from, I said, ‘Canada ... why?’ He said, ‘Well, we knew that she wasn’t a New Yorker because when I phoned earlier your wife said, ‘My husband loves football.’ ”
McCarver’s daughter Kathy married Paula and Ted’s son, Matthew Root.
We always wonder where great ideas come from — like the website Retrosheet.
SABR member Jeff Polman has the answer.
David Smith attended his first major-league game as a 10-year-old July 18, 1958 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Smith wanted to be able to look at details of his first game and created the Retrosheet site in 1989. More than 120,000 big-league games going back to 1871 have been catalogued.
In the first game, Smith saw a young Sandy Koufax, looking for his 17th career win, walking four Philadelphia Phillies — Richie Ashburn, Ed Bouchee, Bob Bowman and Wally Post — in the first and was hooked by manager Walter Alston.
Koufax started the next night, pitching 7 1/3 innings.
The first game I ever saw was at Briggs Stadium Friday Sept. 15, 1961 as the New York Yankees split a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. There were 42,263 other fans there beside my uncle Sam, cousin Geoff, father and I, as the Tigers won 4-2 thanks to homers by Norman Cash and Steve Boros. Whitey Ford won his 24th in an 11-1 win as Yogi Berra and Moose Skowron homered.
The next day New York Yankees legend Roger Maris hit his 57th homer.
20YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
Day-by-day on the way
to the 1992 World Series
July 29: John Olerud and Devon White each had two hits but the Jays fell 5-2 to the Kansas City Royals.
July 30: David Wells (seven innings) and Duane Ward and Tom Henke (an inning apiece), combined on a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Royals as Candy Maldonado had three hits.
July 31: Pat Borders and Dave Winfield each homered as the Jays thumped the New York Yankees 12-3. Borders had three hits, driving in five, while Jeff Kent had three hits.
Aug. 1: Jack Morris worked eight innings with Henke closing in a 3-1 win over the Yanks with Joe Carter knocking in two as Kent homered.
Aug. 2: Carter hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the seventh as the Jays edged the Yanks 7-6. Robbie Alomar had two hits, as Winfield tripled and doubled.
Aug. 3: Juan Guzman saw his record fall to 12-3 allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 7-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox and their ace Roger Clemens.
Aug. 4: Maldonado, Winfield and Kent all homered but the Jays and David Wells fell 9-4 to Boston.