Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bautista explodes for career night

Jose Bautista this year has been largely a disappointment. He was expected to fill the role as the teams lead off hitter, but could barely make contact and swung at way too many pitches to be effective. With the acquisition of Fred Lewis, Bautista was moved down in the order, to middling results. That is, until he went off last night against Kansas City, matching career highs in home runs and RBI's in one contest.

Bautista mashed 2 home runs, accounting for 5 of the 8 runs for the Jays on the evening. When I say mashed, I mean mashed, because both were total no doubters to left. It makes you wonder why Bautista doesn't swing the bat better on a consistent basis. Will he be able to build off this impressive performance, or was it a one off? He did crush 6 dingers in his final 8 games last year, so it's not as if he doesn't have the ability to do it more often.

It's only a matter of time before Bautista's home runs are on par in terms of significance as this one in Jays history. OK, maybe not.

Morrow provides glimpse of greatness

Brandon Morrow set aside his first two poor outings as a Blue Jay to provide a glimpse as to why the team was so high on him when they traded for his services in the off season, showcasing the reason he was the 5th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Morrow rendered the Royals bats hitless through the first 5 1/3 innings last night, mixing his pitches well to strike out 8 on the evening. After opening up the 6th inning with a walk and a ground out, Yuniesky Betancourt singled to break up the no hit bid, signalling the end of another Jays pitchers pursuit of history this year. David DeJesus followed with an RBI single which could have started a complete meltdown by Morrow, who has been susceptible to the big inning this year. However, the 25 year showed great resolve, calmly sitting down the next two hitters to end the threat.

Morrow had struggled considerably in his first two starts, giving up 3 runs in the opening frame in Baltimore before surrendering five in the contest, then getting lit up for 7 earned runs in 4 innings against Chicago. There were some people already calling for his head, suggesting he should be lifted from the rotation. That is absolutely the wrong course of action. Part of the reason he didn't work out in Seattle was because he was yo-yoed between being a starter and a reliever, which crushes a young pitchers confidence. The Jays should keep Morrow as a starter and be prepared to take the lumps that go along with it, because while he'll have his rough games, he'll fashion some good outings also which hopefully will become more commonplace as the year progresses.