August 4, 2012
Lincoln's ahead of the curve
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
OAKLAND - The Jays bullpen stood out in Friday’s loss as they posted nine scoreless innings before the Athletics scored the winning run off Aaron Loup in the 15th.
The top performance was turned in by newly acquired Brad Lincoln who pitched out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the 10th by freezing Josh Reddick on a called third strike and then getting a ground ball out off the bat of Michael Taylor. He then retired the next seven batters in order to post a scoreless 3 1/3 innings.
“It’s not the situation that you’d draw up but to be able to make pitches in those situations is something that you’ve got to be able to do, especially against big hitters like that,” Lincoln said.
Farrell was asked how he’d characterize Lincoln’s performance?
“Outstanding,” he said. “From confidence to execution of two very good pitches (fastball and curve).
"I mean that’s a power (12-to-six) curveball. His move to the bullpen (from the rotation), I think the aggressiveness and mentality of the shorter stints really plays in his favour," Farrell added. "He made some key pitches.”
SEND HIM HOME
One of the controversial plays in Friday’s marathon occurred in the 12th when third base coach Brian Butterfield waved 45-year-old Omar Vizquel home in an attempt to score from first on a double hit into left-field by Colby Rasmus. Vizquel slowed to a crawl after rounding third and was thrown out by 10 feet by relay man Brandon Inge for the second out of the inning.
“I call it Satan’s Corner because you can never trust a ball going down the line,” Butterfield said. “You think you’ve got one and I think there are more outs made in that corner than anywhere else in the field. As it happened the ball kicked out behind (Brandon) Moss. When I saw the mishandle and with my peripheral vision I saw where Omar was.
"I thought I had one and it was the wrong decision. You can’t pull out your eraser and erase it.”
The Jays lineup Saturday featured five players who opened the season at triple-A Las Vegas and contained three rookies. Due to the injuries to 3B Brett Lawrie (rib cage tightness) and CF Colby Rasmus (right groin), Adeiny Hechavarria was called up from Las Vegas and made the start at third. Anthony Gose took over in centre for Rasmus.
“Brett is down today and tomorrow for sure,” Farrell said. “We’ve got the off day on Monday and we’ll re-evaluate for hopefully his return on Tuesday (against Tampa Bay).
Rasmus is day-to-day with his injury, Farrell added.
"Tomorrow his return might be optimistic. We will re-evaluate him in the morning," he said.
An immediate return for Rasmus is more than just a stretch.
“When I broke in to catch that fly ball (in the 11th) I felt a little tug,” Rasmus said. “It was a little tug and little bit of pain. When I hit that double (12th) I was just taking it easy. I decided to come out just to be safe, I didn’t want it to be something that could linger for a while.”
Farrell said that Lawrie has felt some discomfort in his rib cage since he crashed into the photographer’s box at Yankees Stadium July 16. In his at-bat in the first inning Friday, Farrell said he felt something when he fouled back a pitch.