Last night’s game was a quick one, hastened by the sheer dominance Rich Harden had over the Jays all night long. Through the 6th inning, he had only allowed 2 hits, both singles, to J. P. Arencibia and Jose Bautista. Sure, he allowed a few walks in the first inning and also allowed Bautista to walk 3 times (who reached in all 4 of his ABs) in this game, but when you strike out 11 batters over 7 innings you can definitely afford to walk a few. Brett Lawrie eventually managed the 3rd and final hit of the game for the Jays, yet another single, as it was obvious that the Jays bats had been “Hardened” from the beginning of this one.
Brett Cecil actually threw a good game in this one, so it’s disappointing to see him get the loss. He allowed only 4 hits in 7 IP, but also allowed 5 walks which got him into some trouble. When you only strike out 4 over 7 innings, you know some of those extra base runners are going to score. In the end, however, Cecil was able to manage fairly well and allowed only 2 ER. It’s a quality start that gave the Jays plenty to work with and a great shot at earning the win.
When you add his solid performance to those of Brendan Morrow and Ricky Romero, you get a pretty strong top 3 in the rotation at this point. If Dustin McGowan can come in and support this group well, the Jays could finish the season well above .500.
After managing 11 hits and 7 runs for Ricky Romero’s win on Thursday, this outing was a little disappointing for Jays bats. They really do seem to struggle against Rich Harden and he seems to be as healthy as ever right now. Hopefully the Jays bats will awaken for their next game and get the Jays back on the winning track.
I also wanted to quickly mention the attendance over the last 2 games in Oakland. Last night’s game had just over 13,100 coming out to the game, and Thursday night’s game had 12,200 in attendance. I know that Oakland isn’t in the running, but a total of just over 25,300 for 2 games? The Jays and Mariners drew over 26,000 for the last game between the two teams, and Seattle sits lower in the rankings than Oakland. I know the Jays draw well there due to fans heading there from Vancouver, but certainly not 12-14,000 worth! It’s a sad state of affairs for the A’s who quite possible play in one of the 2 worst stadiums in all of baseball.
With the loss and the wins of NY, BOS, and TB, the Jays are now 13 games back of the NYY, 12.5 game behind Boston, and 4 games behind TB. I’m still hoping they can surpass the Rays at this point, just to proclaim once and for all that the Jays are next in line and on the rise!
Henderson Alvarez goes up against Gio Gonzalez next and will be followed in the rotation by the newest addition, Luis Perez.
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