May 14, 2007

Blunders at the Rogers Centre

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

The building formerly known as the SkyDome featured an unexpected pitching clinic and some bush league errors that cost the Blue Jays a win. Shawn Marcum and Jae Seo duelled in a fashion you’d expect to see from the likes of a Pedro Martinez or a Greg Maddux. Seo only gave up two hits in 7 innings while walking two, but, even more incredibly, Shawn Marcum didn’t give up a hit while on the mound. Marcum, in his first start of the season went 6 innings before being pulled, perhaps prematurely by manager John Gibbons. Marcum had a pitch total of 78, which was said to have been over his predetermined amount. My question is, with a bullpen as shaky as Toronto’s is right now, why yank a starter who’s pitching a no-hitter? Marcum should’ve at least been allowed to stay in until giving up a hit or shown more signs of struggle.

In the end, Gibbons’ move backfired as the man who came in, Jason Frasor, retired two batters then gave up a solo home run to Carlos Pena.

In the ninth inning the real bush league play happened. Brian Tallet had put runners on first and third with two outs when he got Pena to ground sharply to a backed up Lyle Overbay. Tallet didn’t get a good break towards first (which he’s supposed to cover) and couldn’t get there in time to receive the ball from Overbay allowing the runner to slide in safely while Carl Crawford scored. Had Tallet gotten his ass over to first, the run wouldn’t have counted and then Matt Stairs’ first home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth would’ve been for the tie instead of just a meaningless number on the scoreboard. No wonder this overpaid team is tied for last in their division.

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