The season has not been kind to Ricky Romero. After going 8-1 before the All-Star Break, Romero hasn’t been able to record a win in ten starts. His latest attempt against the Detroit Tigers was another forgettable trip to the mound for Romero.
Over his last ten games, Romero has shown moments of improvement over his control issues that have plagued him all season. In his last start against the White Sox, the Jays’ ace was able to limit his walks and strikeout five. Although he was charged for six earned runs, it seemed as though Romero might have turned a bit of a corner in his effort to get back to last season’s form.
That wasn’t the case on Tuesday night. Romero put in what could arguably be called one of his worst ever performances, although the box score for the game is not as bad as it could have been. Through five and a third innings, Romero gave up five runs on seven hits, eight walks and no strikeouts. Two walks came with the bases loaded, scoring a run for the Tigers in both the first and second. At one point, Romero walked six of the first 11 batters he faced in the game.
The night wasn’t much better for Toronto’s offense, although they knew going in it would be a low scoring affair with Detroit’s Max Scherzer on the mound. Edwin Encarnacion hit his 32nd homerun of the season in sixth, cutting the lead 3-1. The Jays wouldn’t score again until the eighth when David Cooper doubled home Encarnacion, who singled to centre, and Yunel Escobar brought Cooper home with his own single to right. With the score now 5-3 and with two out, it was one of Toronto’s best chances to at least tie the game as Moises Sierra singled after Scherzer was replaced by Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit. Omaz Vizquel popped out to end the threat and ended the rally Toronto had started.
One of the most common things said about this team is their resilience throughout the season when faced with the injuries to their starting rotation and lineup. The ninth inning was another good example of Toronto’s ability to somehow give themselves a chance to win, even when it seems highly unlikely. Jeff Mathis lead-off with a double, and Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch a batter later. Colby Rasmus flied out to mid-centre field for the second out of the inning, bringing up Encarnacion. Unfortunately, Encarnacion was no match for the Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde, as Valverde got the DH to strikeout on three pitches, the last being called on a checked-swing attempt.
It’s been a hard stretch for the Jays, but help is on the way as Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow are expected to make their respective returns in Baltimore over the weekend. Brett Lawrie has been shut-down after feeling discomfort on Monday, while Adam Lind could also be back sometime during the current road trip.
Aaron Laffey will pitch game two of the series for Toronto, facing Anibal Sanchez for the Tigers.
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.