Two days ago when Ricky Romero was first scheduled to start I wrote mostly about the control problems that have haunted him. Tonight he finally got to make his start and those same control issues hit an all-time low. The game ended 4-1 with Romero picking up his second loss, but things could have been much worse. The former Jays ace set a 22 year old Bisons modern era record with nine walks in just 2.2 innings of work.
Romero started the game off with a four pitch walk and he clearly just had no control of the ball. It is unclear if the issue was mental or physical, perhaps the 40 degree temperatures were to blame, regardless it was painful to watch. He managed to throw first pitch strikes to only six of the seventeen batters he faced, and he was constantly chasing catcher Mike Nickeas with balls in the dirt or above the batters head.
On a positive note he did not allow a hit during his short time on the mound and thanks to a clutch relief appearance by Austin Bibens-Dirkx he only allowed two earned runs. Romero left the bases loaded for Bibens-Dirkx in the third, but a foul pop-out kept the score at 2-0 Braves. Despite his issues early Romero had a real shot at working through a few innings, but five straight walks in the second inning and two more in the third left skipper Gary Allenson no choice. Romero finished with 74 pitches only 25 for strikes, and the short outing really hurt the Bisons bullpen in the first game of a double header.
Fortunately after two days off the pen was fresh, unfortunately the time off did not serve the lineup so well as Braves started Gus Schlosser breezed through the herd. Schlosser had a no hitter through 3.2 innings which was finally broken up by a single from Jared Goedert. He threw only five innings giving up just the one hit striking out five and picking up the win. The Bisons managed just two hits as a seventh inning rally was shut down when Pedro Beato came in to pick up the save on just one pitch.
If there is any positive that can be taken from this game it has to be the performance from Bibens-Dirkx. He pitched 2.1 perfect innings striking out two. He gave the Bisons a chance to make a comeback but the bats never came to life. Kyle Drabek will take the mound in the night cap staring around 8 tonight against Yunesky Maya.
I will look to get a comment from Allenson on Romero’s start after the second game tonight. The way he pitched tonight really might leave the Jays no choice but to take Romero out of the rotation. His release point was all over the place and the lack of consistency just will not cut it at any level.