With one wild pitch by David Purcey last night, the Blue Jays blew
their four-run lead – and also watched as their backup catcher blew out
This wasn’t a good night for the first-place
Toronto team, which lost 8-5 to the Oakland A’s and also lost backup
catcher Michael Barrett with a shoulder injury.
after Purcey’s wild pitch in the fourth inning, made a diving throw to
Purcey in an attempt to cut the run off at the plate, then rolled in
ugly fashion onto his right shoulder.
The throw was too late to
prevent the run, the fourth in the inning for the A’s, and one that
came one batter after No.9 hitter Bobby Crosby had stung Purcey with a
It got much worse for the Jays as Barrett
remained on the turf in obvious pain for several moments. To make
matters worse, Barrett landed on the batting donut used by hitters to
warm up in the on-deck circle.
“He hit the donut, that’s what he said,” Jays manager Cito Gaston reported.
the Jays did not immediately release any further details on Barrett,
they will certainly summon a catcher from the minors if a Barrett’s
injury proves to be long-term.
Veteran Raul Chavez, who has
caught two games with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s, is the immediate
call-up candidate. But Toronto could summon rookie Brian Jeroloman from
Double-A New Hampshire if Chavez has difficulty obtaining a flight to
Toronto in time for today’s 1 p.m. game against Oakland.
a popular veteran who earned the backup job out of spring training, was
taken for X-rays on a possibly separated shoulder. He needed assistance
to leave the field and was apparently wracked with pain – all
indications of a separated shoulder.
As much as the Jays were
worried about Barrett, there is also concern about Purcey, technically
their No.2 starter who has pitched himself into constant trouble over
his past two starts.
The tall, hard-throwing lefty, the club’s
first-round – 16th overall – pick in 2001, has now walked 10 batters in
has last two outings. Six of those free passes – including three last
night – came around to score.
Equally troubling is the fact
Purcey has not made it beyond the fifth inning in each of those two
starts. He exited last night’s contest with two out in the fourth and
the abbreviated, troubled stint is likely to have a ripple effect on
the pitching-challenged Jays.
The club will have lefty reliever
Brian Tallet start today’s game in place of the injured Jesse Litsch..
Tallet will be limited to 75 pitches, which will put pressure on a Jays
bullpen that is already busier than normal and one that could have used
seven innings from Purcey last night instead of an early exit on the
heels of a four-run, give-back inning.
“This is something he has
to get over; you can’t walk that many guys up here (major leagues) and
get away with it,” Gaston said of Purcey.
The night, already in
tatters after the Jays built a 5-1 lead through the first three
innings, saw Oakland jump into a 6-5 lead in the seventh on Matt
Holiday’s double to cash in yet another walk issued by Jays pitching.
league-leading offence went completely south after the A’s caught up.
From the fourth inning on, Oakland relievers limited Toronto to one
hit, faced only three batters over the minimum (all because of three
walks), and retired 10 of the 20 Jays they face on strikes.
was somewhat unexpected after the home side had jumped into a lead on
the strength of homers from Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill and a two-run
double from Kevin Millar.