Jays can count on Loup
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
|Reliever Aaron Loup has been a pleasant surprise coming out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays this season.
Aaron Loup was in a spot.
Between a rock and a hard place?
Or would some one like Loup from a place called Luling, La., have a better, down-home Louisiana expression to describe the jackpot he found himself in?
“No that fits,” Loup said. “Those guys from Duck Dynasty might have a better description. They’re from Monroe.”
The rookie lefty had Detroit Tigers runners at first and second in a tie game in the bottom of the 10th yesterday.
Almost 40,000 fans were screaming — minus the western Ontario Jays backers at Comerica Park — for a hit or ball four.
A year today Loop was pitching at class-A Dunedin, which averaged 845 fans.
“That number probably includes season’s tickets, some nights we played in front of 50 or 100,” Loup said. “I like pitching in a game like this, a lot better than being up by five or down by five.”
Loup ran the count to 3-2 on Brennan Boesch, after being ahead 0-2, and struck him out looking. Loup then retired Prince Fielder on a grounder.
“I try to stay cool and calm,” said Loup, spotted pounding his fist in his glove after the third out as he left the mound headed for the dugout.
“Well, yeah, the inning was over. I was kind of pumped.”
Loup is 0-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 17 games, walking one — not a misprint — and striking out 14 in 201/3 innings.
“He has an ‘this is what I’ve got, see if you can hit it’ approach,” said closer Casey Janssen. “That was a heck of a pitch he made for strike three. He’s deceptive. He goes with his strength.
“Me? I more of a guy who tries to study a hitter’s weakness.”
Loup also retired Alex Avila to end the 10th working 1 1/3 scoreless.