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Jays Bullpen Blows Another One

The Whole Sad Story

The Blue Jays bullpen let another sure thing win slip away to the Baltimore Orioles, 5-4.

What seemed to be a real strength for the team through the first two weeks of the season, the bullpen, blew another late lead today.

Shaun Marcum was once again the culprit, spoiling an interesting outing from AJ Burnett.

Burnett did not have much control, walking 5 in his 7 innings, but only gave up 3 hits, and managed to limit the damage to a 2-run HR by Melvin Mora. Marcum relieved Burnett in the 8th and struck out Mora but then Markakis singled to right, and Tejada doubled to about the same spot. John Gibbons inexplicably went to Casey Janssen to face lefty Aubrey Huff, and Janssen gave up a sac fly to Huff and then a bloop single to Kevin Millar in front of Adam Lind, who was playing deep.

The Jays offense mostly came from the bottom of the order in the duo of Adam Lind and Royce Clayton. Overbay was robbed of a HR by Corey Patterson way back in the 1st inning, and Vernon Wells, pinch-hiting for Stairs, singled sharply through Mora and Tejada to score two to give the Jays a 4-3 lead going into the 7th.

The Jays really seem to be pressing at the plate. They are getting in front of a lot of pitches and popping them up. With two strikes, sometimes the best thing to do is just go the other way, as Overbay niftily did to start a Jays rally in the 9th before Vernon Wells popped up to end the rally on the first pitch with runners on 1st and 3rd. With the score tied in the bottom of the 9th, Gibbons opted for Victor Zambrano, who was pathetic. Zambrano couldn't find the plate and eventually walked Melvin Mora to load the bases, forcing the infield in, which allowed Nick Markakis' double play ball to sneak through the infield and hand the Jays their 3rd straight loss.

Waxing/Waning Gibbons
I had no idea what Gibbons was doing again today. I liked when he went right back to Marcum, who obviously deserved another chance after blowing the lead yesterday on the Manny HR. But when Marcum put runners on 2nd and 3rd and brought Aubrey Huff to the plate, representing the go-ahead run, why did JG go to Janssen instead of Downs, the lefty? Just because Huff was 0-7 against Janssen lifetime? I would've brought Downs in to face Huff and then, assuming he got the out, took my chances with Frasor against the righty Millar with 2 outs. And why was the infield in there at the end? Why not bring the outfield in but leave the infield back in case of a double play ball?

Clayton Watch Royce was actually one of the brighter spots for the Jays offense today, which shows you what kind of day it was. He was 2-4 with an RBI double, his 7th of the season. I will say he had 2 bad at-bats late in the game, but overall, he allright.

Jays of the Day
I hate to say no one, so I will give it to Burnett . He wasn't great, and was the beneficiary of some luck, but it's not as if anyone else was any good.