When the game began, you could tell that Brandon Morrow was back to his “throwing” the ball tendencies, instead of “pitching” as he knows he can. He got through it, had Jose Molina talk his ear off after walking in a run in the 1st inning, and although he didn’t earn the win, he settled in for a very nice start. You could tell he was trying to throw because pitches were elevated and actually seemed to be rising as they hit Jose’s mitt.
Cit Gaston learned his lesson about how to use Brandon Morrow at the end of the game. He pulled him after exactly 100 pitches instead of leaving him in there to blow the game – as he had done during Brandon’s 2 latest starts when he allowed him to come out for the 7th and 8th respectively, and then lost the game as a result. With this start, Morrow finally has his ERA below 5.00 at 4.97 and he is definitely showing signs of maturity. His stuff is still very hard to hit and the fact that he can slot in this rotation as a #4 pitcher makes the Jays a contender for the foreseeable future.
The win wasn’t Morrows, as it belonged to the pen who held the fort over the last 3 innings. Jason Frasor struck out all 3 hitters he faced in the 7th, and the pen did not allow a hit or a walk over those innings. Talk about getting the job done! Scott Downs got the win, and Kevin Gregg earned his 17th save of the season.
Of note, major note actually, is the fact that Marc Rzepczynski had a solid start in AAA when he lasted 6 innings yesterday, giving up 8 hits, 2 walks, striking out 6 and allowing 3 ERs. Hopefully that’s the beginning of a turning the corner for Marc, as the Jays could really use him as an excellent 5th starter at this point. Brett Wallace, Jonathan Diaz, Brad Emaus, and JP Arencibia all had 2 hits in this game to help give Marc the win.
David Cooper had 2 HRs in yesterday’s game for AA New Hampshire, giving him 10 on the season and 3 over his last 4 games. Darin Mastroianni did his part as well with 2 stolen bases to give him 25 SB on the year. A key note in this one is the fact that Daniel Farquhar got the hold by pitching 2 shutout innings, while Tim Collins got the save (his 4th of the year), his 3rd in 5 games pitched. Does that mean Tim is getting more chances at the role in AA than Daniel is? Interesting.
Micheal McDade, not to be outdone by Cooper, hit his 13th HR of the season in HiA, while Adeiny Hechavarria continues to struggle with an 0 for 4 day and a near .200 average on the year. Travis d’Arnaud has joined Adeiny’s slump with a .162 average over his last 10 games.
Ryan Tepera did his job and kept Lake County to 2 ERs over 5.2 innings, but Lansing just couldn’t muster much in the way of runs (2) or hits (5 in the game). Kevin Ahrens, hitting cleanup for Lansing….gulp, went 0 for 4 and is now hitting .185 since his demotion to LoA with only 1 extra base hit, a double. I think the Jays may end up leaving him in LoA for quite a while even if he does heat up some at the plate.