Pop quiz for any Blue Jay manager applicants: 8th innings, 2-2 game, your starter has thrown 98 pitches, he hasn't been great but he has battled his way through. Now, do you send him out for the 8th inning, knowing that unless it is a very quick 1,2,3 inning you are going to have to pull him in the middle of the inning or do you put in the reliever now, figuring it is easier on the reliever to come in at the start of the inning with the bases empty?
If your answer is the same as Cito's, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Anyway, Cito left Romero in. Romero walks the guy leading off the inning. In comes Camp. I like Camp. You gotta like pitchers that throw ground balls. The trouble, though, with being a pitcher like that, is that come of the time those ground balls will miss fielders. Camp gave up three straight hit and a sac fly. The Tigers scored 3 and for all intents and purposes the game was over. Romero battled all game long and deserved better than the loss.
We had our chances, we loaded the bases in the first, with two outs, against Justin Verlander but didn't score. We got a couple of runs in the 2nd off a John Buck home run, but we didn't score Dwayne Wise, who hit a one out triple. After that Verlander righted himself and was tough to hit until he came out of the game after 8 innings.
Offensively, we got 9 hits, one each for everyone in the lineup, except for Lind, whose hitting streak ends at 14 and Wise, who had 2 hits, including the triple.
We got some good defense. EE made a couple of nice plays and Lyle Overbay made a great throw getting the runner going to third base on a ground ball. I don't think there is any other second baseman in the majors that would have made that play. And Romero made a great/lucky catch on a line drive right back at him in the first inning.
Jay of the Day is Ricky Romero (.135 WPA). Honorable mention to John Buck. Jays getting suckage numbers are Camp (-.291), Hill (-.166, pop out with the bases loaded in the first really hurt) and Escobar (-.102). He made a very poor choice to try to stretch a double into a triple in a tie game. Just a bad move.
I have no idea why this was an afternoon game. Seems strange to have an afternoon game on a weekday when it is the first game of a series and Jay had an afternoon game the day before. Tomorrow is a night game. Shawn Marcum goes up against Rick Porcello (4-7,5.63), making his second start since being recalled from the minors.