t the Islanders 40-26. Kevin Darveau s

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t the Islanders 40-26. Kevin Darveau s

Messaggioda lw789 » 13/01/2018, 2:41

CLEVELAND – Ask a Blue Jays fan still hesitant to believe in the team whether a 5-4, nine-game run through Baltimore, Minnesota and Cleveland would be satisfactory early in the season, and the answer likely would be in the affirmative. Yet its those defeats, snatched from the jaws of victory, which sting the most and Toronto had two of them on the trip. The Jays led 4-2 in the sixth inning when Aaron Loup walked the bases loaded and gave up a bases-clearing, three-RBI double to the Indians David Murphy. Cleveland had a lead it wouldnt relinquish, ultimately winning the game 6-4. The meltdown was relatively minor compared to Thursday nights eighth inning debacle in Minnesota, which saw three relievers give up six runs on just one hit and an unseemly eight walks in a 9-5 loss to the Twins. Its jarring because the Blue Jays bullpen has been consistently reliable. It raises two concerns about the pitching staff. First: the walks. Six more on Sunday afternoon for a season total of 81, which pending the behaviour of Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers in their game against the Dodgers later Sunday, ranks second-most in baseball. "The walks have killed us so far," pitching coach Pete Walker told TSN.ca before Sundays game. "I think its cost us a couple of ballgames." Walks just cost them another one. Second: with the exception of Mark Buehrle, the starting staffs inability to pitch deep into games. "Bottom line, weve got to get some innings out of our starters or our bullpen will be dead come May," said manager John Gibbons after Sundays defeat. Such was the dichotomy of Brandon Morrows performance on Sunday. His six strikeouts over five-plus innings belied the fact Indians hitters battled him throughout. Michael Bourn led off the game with a nine-pitch at-bat. He struck out. In the second, Michael Brantley put the Indians ahead 1-0 with a solo home run on the ninth pitch. An inning later, in the third, Jason Kipnis worked a full-count, 10-pitch walk. Morrow was done at 95 pitches one hitter into the sixth. He threw almost 30 per cent of his pitches (28 of 95) in those three plate appearances alone, leaving Gibbons to wish for more efficiency. "I havent been able to do it as much as I would like to," said Morrow of pitching into the sixth and seventh innings. "Today it was one long inning in the middle; without that I would have been in a better position to finish that sixth." Walker is preaching contact early in counts. He doesnt want pitchers worried about strikeout totals. He wants aggression and laments that radar gun readings are posted on electronic scoreboards. "Its trusting your stuff and really believing that your fastball is good enough that day," said Walker. "I think a couple of our guys might be down in velocity and sometimes that affects your approach. You dont see that 97 on the board and its 92, 93 and all of a sudden you dont trust that fastball in as much as you did last year." Its easy to fall in love with the radar gun and easy to forget that the Blue Jays best pitcher to this point, Mark Buehrle, no longer tops 84 miles per hour with his fastball. "I think it comes down to realizing its not the velocity, its the location," said Walker. "Your fastball is your fastball that given day and it needs to be located regardless. I think, for the most part, thats what we need to get back to and thats something were focusing on is fastball command and pitching inside a little more aggressively." Through 19 games Blue Jays starters have pitched 103 2/3 innings, averaging less than 5 2/3 innings per start. A team with playoff aspirations needs more. R.A. Dickey is presented with the next opportunity to join Buehrle in bucking the troubling trend. He starts Tuesday nights series opener at home with Baltimore. NAVARROS STRANGE ALLERGY If youve been to a Blue Jays game and noticed that Dioner Navarro kicks away the catchers box chalk outline before kneeling for first inning warm up pitches, theres a good reason. Navarros allergic to chalk. The problem dates back years to Navarros minor league days. He would come home after games with skin cracks on his hands. His wife put two and two together since Navarro would always swipe at the dirt to improve his grip, and she suggested he be tested for allergies. Now its habit for Navarro to kick away the chalk before the game begins. Da Norris Searcy Jersey . On Sunday, head coach Patrick Roy said the teams leading scorer will skate at Mondays morning practice and the club will make a decision on his status for Game 6 at that point. Marcus Mariota Jersey . Sterling was banned for life and fined US$2.5 million by the NBA on Tuesday for racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. Nash, who plays for the rival L.A. Lakers, spoke as a representative of current NBA players at a press conference assembled by Sacramento mayor and National Basketball Players Association adviser Kevin Johnson. http://www.footballtitansfanatic.com/au ... ns-jersey/. Jacob Jacques, Andrew Ryan and Jonathan Drouin also scored for Halifax (37-18-3), who outshot the Islanders 40-26. Kevin Darveau stopped 25 shots. Bradley Kennedy had the lone goal for Charlottetown (18-33-5), which has nine losses in its last 10 games. Logan Ryan Jersey . - Kyle Wood and Barclay Goodrow scored second period power-play goals to provide all of the scoring for the North Bay Battalion in a 2-0 victory over the Erie Otters in Ontario Hockey League action on Thursday. Kevin Byard Jersey . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night.ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos and free agent centre Will Montgomery have agreed to terms on a 1-year deal. Montgomery is a ninth-year pro who played the last five seasons with the Washington Redskins. He was drafted by Carolina in 2006 out of Virginia Tech when Broncos coach John Fox was Panthers coach. He also played for the Jets from 2007-08. During his career, Montgomeryy has started 46 games at centre, 10 at right guard and seven at left guard.dddddddddddd The Broncos are shuffling their offensive line this off-season. They allowed left guard Zane Beadles to leave for Jacksonville in free agency and might move centre Manny Ramirez over to make room for Montgomery. They also could move right tackle Orlando Franklin inside. 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