Playing catch-up is a no-no
The French Fableist Jean De La Fontaine wrote a fable entitled « The Hare and the Tortoise » to illustrate that if you start late, most of the time you will not be able to make up for the time lost.
And the 2014 Blue Jays’ season reflects that too many times, the Jays had to play catch-up baseball and fell short at the end of those games.
In their first game against the Red Sox, the were fortunate enough to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, since they had been handcuffed on two hits by Clay Buchholz. J.A. Happ started strong over the first five innings, but in the sixth, he gave up three runs on two homeruns.
In the 10th inning, the Jays called upon young Aaron Sanchez instead of Casey Janssen who is going thru a rough spot and the tall righthander suffered his first career loss when he gave up a Yoenis Cespedes’ single which drove Brock Hol home with the winning run.
Same story in the second game of the series, as R.A. Dickey gave up three runs, two on a Dustin Pedroia’ homerun in the first inning.
The Jays wasted chances to get back in the game in the first two innings. But, in the fifth, they tied the game 3-3 and again 4-4 in the seventh inning on Jose Bautista’s 25th homer of the year.
In the 11th inning, Janssen was in his second inning of relief when he gave up four runs and Sergio Santos could not do any better as he was touched for three more runs ans the Red Sox ran away with the win. The Jays tried a comeback in the bottom of the 11th inning, but three runs were not enough as they bowed 11-7.
The Jays were able to avert the sweep when young Marcus Stroman got back in the grove, giving up only two runs over seven and two thirds innings, while making 112 pitches.
Danny Valencia came up with a big three-run pinch-hit homerun in the seventh inning and Bautista added his 26th while Brett Cecil notched his fifth save.
Then, the Yankees came to town.
Mark Buehrle shut down the Yankees over the first six innings, but he ran out of gas in the seventh. He could not retire any of the first four hitters he faced. The Yankees scored five runs to overcome the 0-1 deficit (Bautista hit his 27th homer in the bottom of the fourth). Aaron Loup came in to put out the threat, but instead he gave up a two-run blast to Jacoby Ellsbury. It was the first career homerun issued by Loup to a lefthanded hitter.
The Yankees were 6-3 winners as Buehrle is now 1-13 vs the Yankees!
On Saturday, the Jays found a winning combo with Drew Hutchison and Bautista.
Hutchison gave up only one hit over the first seven innings and Bautista provided him with a 2-0 cushion in the first inning as he connected for his 28th homerun.
Young Sanchez came in relief and pitched two perfect innings to register his first career save, 2-0.
In the series finale, the Jays found their long lost offensive weapon: the homerun!
Three homers by Cabrera (16th), Bautista (29th – he has hit a homerun in five consecutive games, one shy of the Jays team record) and Encarnacion (28th) helped the Jays tie the game 3-3 and Munenori Kawasaki’ single, off Dellin Betances, drove Steve Tolleson home with the winning run, 4-3.
Janssen came on to notch his 20th save of the year, helping J.A. Happ to win for the ninth time. Happ gave up three runs on nine hits, but did not issue a single walk and struck out six Yankees.
So, the month of August ended on a positive not, but overall it was a disaster as they scored only 84 runs over their last 25 games for an 8-17 record.