They did their best impersonation of Forrest Gump on Sunday, running without care and for no particularly reason it seemed. With none out in the seventh, Travis Snider was picked off when he was caught leaving first base early on a Juan Rivera line drive that was caught by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. An inning later, Corey Patterson — who’s done some terrific things since coming off the DL — was caught stealing third with two on and one out.
Never mind that the Jays scored their only run on a double-steal in the second. Mistakes are mistakes and these ones were costly.
Of course, you could also say it wouldn’t have mattered if the Jays ran up and down New England in game three of the series. Jon Lester (1-1) wasn’t going to give them much. He went six innings before leaving with a 6-1 lead at Fenway Park.
J.P. Arencibia had a decent day at the plate, bouncing back from an 0-for-4 perfomance on Friday — his last start. The rookie catcher went 2-for-4 and got his average (.308) back over .300, but defensively he was charged with two passed balls as the miscues mounted for the Jays (7-8).
For the second straight day they managed just one run and have to be concerned that they’re the ones who’ve given Boston a pulse. The Red Sox (4-10) have won two games in a row for the first time.
Even worse for Toronto, the starting pitching has been dreadful. A lot of Jesse Litsch (1-1) apologists are saying he only gave up two bad pitches on Sunday, but both came at horrible times and ended up plating big runs. Jacoby Ellsbury’s three-run blast in the second gave the Sox a 4-1 lead and a double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the sixth upped it to 6-1.
The loss followed Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Josh Beckett, who fanned nine Jays and totally outmatched Jo-Jo Reyes. The Jays’ starter doesn’t look like he’ll be starting next time around; Brandon Morrow is scheduled to make his first appearance of the season later this week as he returns from the DL — and just in time. Toronto needs a boost and hopes its most consistent starting pitcher from last year can provide it.
More immediately, they need their ace of the moment to come up big Monday morning.
Monday, 11 a.m. ET (Sportsnet): Ricky Romero (1-1, 1.66 ERA) at Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 12.86 ERA)
Note: The Red Sox always start early on the day of the Boston Marathon, which falls on the third Monday of each April.
Days 13-14: AL Beast Mode
Days 11-12: Swinging and missing
Days 7-10: Not going to Disney World
Day 6: Running and gunning
Day 5: OK, Blue Jays
Day 4: No post (off-day)
Day 3: Rope burn
Day 2: Call him Johnny Bench
Day 1: Opening Day hero
J.P. Arencibia 2011 Season Stats:
*The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch predicts the Miami-born Blue Jay will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2033, after a 17-plus-year career spent entirely in Toronto, except for a brief stint with his hometown Florida Marlins that goes awry when he realizes the benefit of the American League’s DH rule for guys like him and the value of the Canadian dollar that will be worth twice as much as the greenback by the quarter-century mark. He belts 440 home runs, evoking Toronto’s latitude (44 degrees north) and tops the homer record for a catcher by roughly 50. He also becomes the first Toronto celebrity to have an entire sorority house at U of T named after him for reasons we will leave to your imagination and captures three MVP awards, two World Series rings and the hearts of more than a few aging Justin Bieber fans, and inspires a good number of fantasy baseball geeks that it’s okay to have a crush on a guy.