August 22, 2012
Jays drop another to Tigers
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
DETROIT - Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell gambled on his last out - and lost.
Banking on closer Jose Valverde’s slow delivery to the plate, the Blue Jays flashed the steal sign with two out, Omar Vizquel on first and a 1-0 count to Rajai Davis.
Vizquel, 45, was out when Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila threw a strike to second.
Thus ended a 3-2 Tigers win over the Jays before 37,225 fans on Wednesday. The Jays have dropped 12 of their past 15 games.
"We were trying to manufacture a run," Farrell said. "Even our medium speed runners will steal a base. We forced them to make a perfect throw."
And it was perfect. And the game was over.
The reward of stealing with two out is not worth the risk. What if Davis hits a gapper? Instead he did not get to swing the bat.
Would Vizquel do the same managing?
"Yes, it’s the right play," said Vizquel. "Are the percentages higher of me stealing a base and us getting a hit? Or me staying at first and waiting for two hits, or a gapper?"
We’ll never know what Davis would have done. The lights are off at Comerica Park.
"Way back with Seattle I was thrown out to end a game, down a run," Vizquel said. "Lou Piniella wanted me in scoring position. That was a bad decision, our No. 3 hitter was up." -
More wounded: David Cooper hit a drive off the right field fence in the fourth, made a big turn at second, stumbled and had to dive head first into the bag avoiding the tag from Prince Fielder. Cooper left with a jammed neck. Jeff Mathis pinch hit in the sixth. Mathis took over behind the plate with Yorvit Torrealba making his first ever appearance at first ... The Jays finished with a lineup of Davis, Colby Ramus, Edwin Encarnacion, Mathis, Anthony Gose, Torrealba, Kelly Johnson, Mike McCoy and Vizquel, which would have had spring fans in Lakeland complaining about the Jays not bringing enough regulars. -
Defending RR: Farrell said he’s not planning on having Ricky Romero sit down to miss a start or be sent to triple-A Las Vegas. “The last thing I want him to feel is that we’re giving up on him,” said Farrell. “We’ve all lived through what Ricky is living. We’re not going to say ‘sit on the bench.’ He walked eight, but he also had a stretch of first-pitch strikes to 14 of 15 hitters and had a seven-pitch inning.” -
Fallout: After Romero’s eight walk, zero strikeout outing in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday Jays broadcaster Dirk Hayhurst knocked Romero saying the lefty had embarrassed himself. Said Romero on Wednesday: “I guess that the game gets a lot easier when you get to the 300 level” referring to the location of the press box at the Rogers Centre. “I’m not getting involved in any fight with someone in the media.” ... Hayhurst told Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell Tuesday: “Eight walks is far too many to stay in the big leagues. I’m a big Ricky fan, I played with him, I like the guy, but at some point you have to look at this failure and realize this is beyond the confines of normal failure, this is now stretching into the area of embarrassment. He’s out there and he’s embarrassed himself. He knows it, the fans know it, the team knows it.” -
In Game: Aaron Laffey kept the big boppers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the park, holding the Tigers 1-2 punch to a bloop single in four at-bats. Fielder’s single drove in a run which was the difference. Laffey pitched six plus innings allowing two earned runs. He threw 90 pitches, only one which touched 90 MPH, but he allowed only five hits ... Hechavarria showed a quick release turning a double play on a come backer to Laffey in the second and again when second baseman Kelly Johnson made a fine back-handed play to end the fourth. He also made a solid play in the field for the second out of sixth, the same inning he booted an Austin Jackson grounder for an error ... Rasmus was hitless with three strikeouts and is 0-for-his-last-26 ... Jackson was called out at the plate on Davis’ throw on a Fielder’s bloop but then the ball popped loose ... Sierra had a shot at throwing out Delmon Young in the fifth but his throw was up the line ... The Tigers went up 1-0 on Omar Infante’s triple when Laffey threw a 54-footer which skipped to the screen.