It’s been a tough season for Ricky Romero. He hasn’t managed a win since June, at times because he’s unable to pitch effectively and other times because he doesn’t get any run support. Friday night against the Yankees, it was a combination of poor defense, lack of offense and ineffective relief pitching that cost Romero a chance at a win.
Romero started off the game with a three-up-three-down inning, getting Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to ground out, and Mark Teixeira to fly out to end the inning. It was the second inning that cost him the most during the game. After a lead-off single followed by a walk, Yankees’ third baseman Jayson Nix laid down a sac bunt right in front of home plate. Catcher Jeff Mathis threw errantly to third to get the lead runner, but couldn’t hit the moving target of Omar Vizquel, as Vizquel tried to get back to the base after initially coming in to field the bunt. One run scored and after another walk, there were runners on first and second with none out. The Yankees scored a second run on Ichiro Suzuki’s fielder’s choice, before Jeter eventually ground out to end the second inning. Romero gave up another run in the third after Swisher singled to lead-off, advanced to second on a ground out by Teixeira and score on a single by Robinson Cano.
For a time, it looked as if Romero might be in for another short outing. The second, third and fourth innings were long and high in pitches, but he managed to pitch seven innings in large part to the seven-pitch sixth inning he threw.
Looking at his pitching line for the night, Romero put himself in as good as a position as he could for a win against the Yankees. Seven innings pitched, four hits, three runs (two earned), three walks and two strikeouts; It’s the kind of line score that the Jays’ have been waiting to see from Romero and could be a sign of him finally getting back on track.
The stumbling offense managed to keep the Jays’ in the game for the first seven innings. Kelly Johnson hit homerun number 13 in the bottom of the second. Johnson’s double in the fourth brought home Yunel Escobar to cut New York’s lead 3-2. After that, it was Toronto’s bullpen that was unable to keep the team in the game. Steve Delabar and David Carpenter gave up three and four runs, respectively, in the eighth and ninth, capping any real chance the Jays had to win the game. Toronto did scratch out a run in both the eighth and ninth, but it was too little too late.
With the Jays lineup lacking most of its power and the starting rotation still somewhat in flux, the Jays’ are going to heavily rely on their defense and bullpen again to be able to keep them in games.
Game two goes Saturday at 1:07pm. Aaron Laffey will go for Toronto and Ivan Nova will pitch for New York.
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.