Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gaston's faith in Halladay pays off

Roy Halladay pitched himself into an 8th inning jam Friday against the Orioles, coming close to blowing a late four run lead. Manager Cito Gaston decided to keep his workhorse in the game to shut the door on Baltimore, and the trust displayed in the Blue Jays ace paid dividends.

After tossing well over 100 pitches, and having already coughed up a pair of runs to cut the lead in half, the 2003 CY Young award winner faced a difficult situation. With runners on the corners and two out, Gaston came out to have a talk with the former 22 game winner to see if he wanted to continue. Cito elected to stick with his starter, and it paid off as Halladay induced an inning ending fielder's choice off the bat of Ty Wigginton.

Gaston, the Manager of Toronto's 1992 and 1993 World Champion ball clubs, has a knack for showing confidence with his players in critical situations. With the game hanging in the balance Friday against the Orioles, the decision to stick with Halladay produced the desirable outcome.

With the victory, Halladay is off to the fastest start in his 12 year major league career, posting five wins in his first six trips to the hill.

Lind rediscovers power stroke

After a scorching start to the season, in which he hit three home runs and added 11 RBI in his first five games, the power stroke for Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind ceased, though he maintained a consistently strong batting average.

Before Thursday's contest against the Royals, the 25 year old Lind had gone 17 outings without a long ball, and had just six extra base hits in that span. He now has had round trippers in back to back contests.

Being a full time DH at such a young age, the affable Lind has had to adjust to a new routine coming to the ball park, knowing he will not be slotted in left field, a position he manned for 71 games in 2008, but just once this campaign.

Through 24 games, Lind has 5 home runs, 22 RBI (tied for 5th in the American League), 8 doubles and a solid .320 batting average.