Blue Jays pitching still an issue following another loss

Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Laffey made an emergency start after original starter Josh Johnson could...

Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Laffey made an emergency start after original starter Josh Johnson could not pitch against Yankees in New York, April 26, 2013. (ADAM HUNGER/Reuters)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:03 PM ET

NEW YORK - These are dangerous times for the Blue Jay pitching staff.

So far in this miserable start to the 2013 season, the inability of the team's starters to take them deep into games has not seriously hurt them but Friday night's 6-4 New York Yankees victory may have started the toboggan on its downhill run.

Even though the starters haven't eaten up the innings expected of them, the Toronto bullpen has been handling the demands of extra work without fail. But when emergency starter Aaron Laffey could not get out of the third inning against the Yankees the Toronto relievers had to chew up 5 1/3 innings and that does not bode well for the rest of the weekend in the Bronx.

After the game, Laffey was designated for assignment to make room for an additional pitcher in case things get out of hand either Saturday or Sunday.

"We've got keep swinging it, come back tomorrow and keep grinding," said third baseman Brett Lawrie, who was on base three times Friday. "This isn't a time to hit the panic button. It's right there and it's coming. We're playing the game hard.

"We've got to try to get these next two, get back home and get on a roll. I know we're close. I feel like it's going to happen sooner than later."

The Blue Jays have won just one of seven series so far this year and now that they've lost the first two here, they will be extraordinarily lucky to escape New York with a split, especially with Yankees ace and Blue Jay killer CC Sabathia facing them Saturday. With ailing R.A. Dickey an uncertain commodity for his Sunday start, it's imperative that J.A. Happ take them deep into Saturday's game or the Toronto bullpen may be out of gas by Sunday evening.


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