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Bullpen Can't Hold Lead, Jays Fall to Sox Late 5-3

The Whole Sad Story

The Jays had a lead, but they were unable to hold it and saw it, and the series, slip away to the Boston Red Sox, 5-3.

Behind Roy Halladay, who battled impressively despite not having his best stuff, the Jays were leading 3-1 as the 8th inning started, on home runs by Alexis Rios and Frank Thomas and a double by Vernon Wells. Doc started the 8th but was pulled with one out, Coco Crisp having reached on a bunt single. Downs struck out David Ortiz, and Marcum came in to face Manny. Unfortunately, Marcum grooved a pitch (he said after the game that his "little sister could have hit it") and Manny destroyed it to tie the game at 3.

A gutsy outing by the Doctor spoiled by this guy

The Jays threatened to take the lead back in the bottom of the inning, when Vernon Wells doubled and took third on Frank Thomas' groundout. The Sox walked Overbay intentionally to face Hill, and he obliged with a double play back to the mound.

With the score tied 3-3, Marcum stayed in the game to start the 9th. He walked old friend Eric Hinske to lead off the inning. After Marcum got Pedroia, JG went to Frasor, who promptly gave up a triple to Alex Cora. Crisp followed with a sacrifice fly for insurance.

The Jays really had this one in the hand, and losing a Halladay-Julian Tavarez matchup really stings. The bullpen has been fantastic, but if they can't hold it together the Jays are in trouble.

On the plus side, the hitters looked better (although 3 runs of Tavarez and the likes of Jo-El Pineiro is not that great).

I, for one, could not be happier not to be playing Boston any longer. Also, as Mark proves in the comments for yesterday's game (as if any proof were needed), their fans are awful. They should be turned away at the border.

Waxing/Waning Gibbons
Can I say half-moon Gibbons? Although the loss was obviously not Gibbons' fault, I didn't understand his bullpen logic. When he went to Downs to get Ortiz, I figured he'd bring in Frasor with 2 outs in the 8th, Manny up, and Crisp on, just as he went to Frasor with 2 outs in the 8th on Tuesday when Ortiz was batting. Alternatively, since Crisp was on 2nd, why not put Manny on and let Downs go after Drew, the lefty? Instead, he went to Marcum, and the rest, well..... I do really like Gibbons' Glaus-less, Sparky-less lineup, with Lind second, Rios leading off, and Overbay in the 5 spot. I'm not worried about what some are calling the "inevitable death march" of Thomas walking and Overbay grounding into a double play, because Overbay usually does a good job getting on base. Having 2 patient hitters like that in a row gives pitchers fits, and Aaron Hill is still behind them to clean things up.

Clayton Watch Clayton did not feature in this matchup.

Jays of the Day
Doc Halladay put in a tough performance and gave the Jays every opportunity to win. Alex Rios did well in the leadoff spot, going 2-4 with a HR, a double, and a walk. Honorable mention to Frank Thomas for finally getting an RBI not affiliated with his grand slam against Tampa. We need you, big guy.