Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 21: Jays 3, Tigers 5

Romero fails in valiant Toronto effort

Romero "fails" is a weak term. He stank. He is no longer an ace because he can't pitch consistently and leads the AL in walks. Walks have always been an issue for Romero and despite his low ERA from last year, he was close to the top in walks allowed. Much of this is due to pitches that fall outside of the strike zone and his inability to place a fastball well. He also seems to have a lot of frustration when a pitch doesn't get called his way.

Farrell has commented that Romero's problems are as mental as they are physical. Let's face it, if you are a major league starter, or any aspiring sports player, your head needs to be focused on the task at hand. In the case of a pitcher, it's getting the batter to do what you want him to do, which is not get on base (unless the siutation calls for it). It's a consistent battle that an ace should win more than 70% of the time. That's what Verlander, Price, Sale, Weaver, Hernandez, Peavy, Vargas, and Sabathia do -- they all have OBPs of under .300 batting against. Romero: .366.

To start the game, Romero, with two out, walked Prince Fielder on four pitches, then walked Peralta on 8 pitches, then walked Delmon Young to score Jackson's leadoff single. Ridiculous. Two more walks opened the 2nd inning, and then a third walk with the bases loaded scored the Andy Dirks walk. Six walks in two innings. The third, fourth, and fifth innings were clean, with one hit each inning, but Romero walked two again to start the bottom of the 6th and two more scored. All five runs were due to the walk. You are not going to win games when you walk 8.

In the past 11 starts, Romero has had four decent starts, but last night's start was just poor. It demonstrates exactly what is wrong with him -- when his head is not screwed on right, he loses his command and control. He still has great stuff and is able to get batters out, but when he is fuming about a call, a bad pitch, a bad play, he can't get it back together. I hope that Romero is seeing the best of spanish speaking sports psychiatrists -- he needs the mental help. I think the fans want to see him success as he did in 2011.

So fandom, it's not the time to take Romero out back and shoot him. I also don't believe that a stint in A ball will not help either. The Jays season is shot, and he needs to try and resolve the problems he is having on the field, if he can. There are plenty of other aces who have had less than successful seasons, and this is another example of that.

The Jays offence was inconsistent as always: a couple of singles, a couple of walks, an Edwin home run in the the top of the 6th. Then, in the 7th a spurt of life as four hits in a row (thank you, ex-Jay Dotel) scores two with two out, but Visquel ended the streak. And that was the Jays offense: Too little, too late, as usual.

I think that if you want to put together an offensive line up at this point in the season, you've got to go with a crazy line up such as Davis 7 - Sierra 9 - Cooper 3- Encarnacion DH - Mathis / Torrealba 2 - Johnson 4 - Escobar 6 - Hechavarria / Visquel 5 - Gose 8. Keep Rasmus out of the line up as he is still clearly hurt or needs rehab. Lind might not make it back. Baustista and Rasmus can replace Gose and Sierra or Davis when they return and Rasmus can hit a ball.

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