At the outset of Monday night’s game against the Washington Nationals, most Jays fans and media were excited about seeing Bryce Harper and seeing him share the field with home grown Brett Lawrie. Pre-game both players had complimentary things to say about each other and remarked on the similarities of their playing styles, as pointed out by the media.
Although their respective positions don’t really allow for a traditional showdown, we did see the two interact as Harper was thrown out at third in the top of the 5th. On the play, Lawrie handled a bullet from right fielder Jose Bautista, and landed a high tag on Harper’s chest for the out, as the 19 year-old rookie took a wide arc to slide into the bag. Harper’s hard slide coupled with Lawrie’s commitment to the tag, that saw him get a shoulder to the jaw for his troubles, exemplified the intensity both players bring to their game.
Yan Gomes’ two out, pinch-hit homerun in the bottom of the ninth might have made the 6-3 loss seem a little less lopsided, but by the end of the game those watching were more concerned with the possible loss of starting pitcher Brandon Morrow.
Only making it nine pitches into the game, Morrow called the manager and trainer to the mound and left the game after pointing to his left side. After Morrow won a complete game, two-hit shutout in Chicago last week after being hit by a line drive in the leg in his previous start, all interested parties were waiting with baited breath to see if he could escape serious injury once again.
By the end of the game, the official word was a left oblique strain, classified as day-to-day. In his post-game press conference, manager John Farrell said Morrow continued to tighten up after being removed from the game, which might mean a change in status when he’s reassessed tomorrow.
In his third season with the Jays, Morrow is finally starting to come into his own as a dominant starter who can both outthink and overmatch opponents. His three complete game shutouts lead the Majors, and losing him to the disabled list could be devastating to the Jays’ rotation. With ace Ricky Romero’s fastball control still occasionally M.I.A., and starters three through five still learning their craft at the major league level, everyone with the Jays is probably hoping that any news is good news once Morrow is re-evaluated.
Henderson Alvarez squares off against the Nat’s Chien-Ming Wong tomorrow night. Game time is set for 7:07pm.
About the Author
Written by Amanda Tallon
Self-professed baseball nerd, blogger, writer, tweeter, learning addict and once colour commentator. Celebrating over twenty years of love with the Toronto Blue Jays and the beautiful game of baseball. I also contribute to thegalsgotgame.com, a sports website for business women by women.