The Jays are looking to build on their newfound success and win game 2 in their series against the Atlanta Braves. Inconsistent Brandon Morrow faces very consistent Paul Maholm in the early afternoon game. The Jays have won 3 of 5, 5 of 8, and 12 of their last 20.
Melky’s May Meter
Melky’s been an on-base machine lately, having fewer hits but more walks. Today wasn’t a great day for Melky offensively as he left a couple of runner in scoring position. He worked the Atlanta staff for a single. He continues to inch closer to the 35-hit mark for the month.
Brandon Morrow was his usual inconsistent self early in the game today. Perhaps the inconsistency is due to the fact that he’s also his usual injured self. He gave up 4 runs (2 ER) on 4 hits in 2 innings before he left, complaining of forearm tightness.
The ‘pen performed admirably on short, injury-related notice. Ramon Ortiz was solid until left in two batters too long. He gave up a couple of solo homers and with them, the lead.
The normally consistent Maholm didn’t fare very well either. The Jays put runners on base in the first and turned a 3-0 first-inning deficit into a 4-3 lead on the strength of a Mark DeRosa 2-run double.
The balance of the game was a see-saw affair as well, with the teams exchanging leads throughout. Justin Schafer drew the Braves even in the second with a home run, and Jose Bautista put the Jays back in the lead. Jose is approaching his 2011 form very rapidly, hitting well over .400 for the last dozen games or so; almost half the balls he hits lately are falling in fair. Back-to-back home runs by Evan Gattis and Brian McCann put the Braves back in front 6-5. Again Jose Bautista was front-and-center for another Jays’ rally, as he doubled to center field and then scored on a double by JP Arencibia. This made the score 6-6.
A tense and nervous top of th ninth set the Jays up for a win in the bottom of the inning but the Jays’ #2, 3, and 4 hitters went quickly and quietly to send it into extra innings.
The ‘pen pitched pretty well throughout and Brett Cecil deserves special mention. He followed Aaron Loup—who also pitched well—and pitched 2 complete innings. As has become his custom with his newfound fastball, curve ball, and velocity—and the confidence that has attended those improvement—Brett struck out 4 hitters in recording 6 outs. Yet again, he demonstrates that he’s a different pitcher this season.
In extra innings new recruit Thad Weber was brought in to relieve Steve Delabar. Thad Weber was picked up from th San Diego Padres, who recently tried to sneak him through the waiver wire. The 28-year old doesn’t have a lot of major league experience. He pitched pretty well in SD, but it was only 9 IP, and his previous experience was a couple of innings for the AL champion Tigers last season. He made a hittable mistake to Brian McCann, who deposited his second homer of the game over the wall in right-center.
The Blue Jays continue to have problems with nagging injuries in the starting rotation, with Morrow going down with forearm troubles. The Jays were still deciding who would pitch tomorrow, but now have to consider the gaps in the rotation for several starts more than they anticipated.
What I originally—and mistakenly—thought was a four-game series, is actually a pair of two-gamers in a home-and-home tilt. They split the first two at The Rog, and now look forward to the next two in Atlanta.