I’m not sure I can write all of the reasons Cito threw this game away, but the Jays had a ton of opportunities to be much better and simply were not getting the coaching help they needed to pull this win out. Here’s what I saw:
- The lineup: Lyle Overbay continues to hit 5th despite a .070 average – I’ll tell you one thing, if Snider had a .070 average he wouldn’t even be in the lineup, so what makes Overbay so special? Oh yeah, $7,000,000, that’s what. He is giving opponents a break after facing the top 4 guys and I’ll get to that last AB later.
- Even if you insist on putting Overbay in the lineup, how about moving him down to the 8th or 9th hole until he finds his swing? Randy Ruiz would have been a nice fit in the 5th spot instead of Lyle.
- The first part of the actual game I thought didn’t make sense for Cito was when Jeremy Accardo was on the mound, obviously struggling to locate his pitches, and he leaves him in there despite having about as fresh a pen as a coach could ask for. There is no excuse for not having 1-2 arms ready to take over before Matsui came up to bat. As it was, Gaston decided to stand pat and 3 runs later, the Jays came up to bat.
- So the Jays make a dent, get some offensive things going, and Cito allows John McDonald to come up to bat in the 8th when he could have used anyone on the bench and put in McCoy defensively thereafter. How badly did he want the win anyway? I can somewhat understand keeping John in because his average is .165 higher than Overbay’s, but come on Cito, the newly acquired Fred Lewis had a much better shot at making an impact than John did.
- Lyle Overbay came up to bat with 1 runner on in the 8th, despite looking lost, helpless, and weak at the plate. Seriously, the swings he took made it look like he was asking the question “should I swing now?”. I’m not sure exactly what the issue is with Lyle, and I sympathize with him for his troubles because he is a good guy, but Cito is the coach and has to make hard decisions sometimes. Take Lyle out of that situation and let both players and fans know you want to win.
- My final point is with John Buck’s performance defensively speaking – or lack of it. I’ve seen a lot of passed balls on his account lately and it’s starting to get to me. He’s such a big guy that he has problems moving around back there. I also noticed that other teams do not respect his arm in the least and run on him whenever they get the chance, not a great combination of skills to have behind the plate if you ask me. He’s also hitting .200 on the year so far, although he has shown real power. My thought is this: with the Angels in town, could Alex Anthopolous land a trade for Mike Napoli who is very disgruntled right now about his playing time? Or are the Jays better off waiting for JP Arencibia to arrive? I’m not sure what the Angels would want for Napoli, but he would be a huge upgrade over John Buck both defensively and offensively speaking. Just a thought. I like Buck, but know those passed balls and free running against him can be a serious detriment to the Jays throughout the season.
Who knows, maybe I’m just disgruntled because I thought that the Jays could have won this game with some decent coaching and am taking it out too soon after the game. But, the Jays definitely need to win these sorts of games and have to get the right kind of support from the coach to put them in a situation to win, and Cito definitely did the opposite tonight. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised in the Angels wanted to thank him for the win.