Inside Pitch: Don't Count Them Out Just Yet

Inside Pitch: Don't Count Them Out Just Yet

In the first edition of the Blue Jays Inside Pitch report, we give you a free preview of what is to come every week. In today's edition we note why you should not count out the Blue Jays just yet and focus in a little more on the Jays pitching staff.

INSIDE PITCH

Toronto's loss to Detroit on Sunday to finish a series sweep dropped the Jays to 4-5 on their 13-game odessy with four games against the Yankees still to come.

This season has been so goofy and the Jays so unpredictable and resilient they could bounce back and take three of four in the Bronx.

At least that's what Gibbons is counting on. "We go to New York, get rejuvenated," Gibbons said of the four-game series that opens Monday. "That place usually brings out the best in you. We'll bounce back, we always seem to."

First they'll have to put Sunday's fiasco -- a 17-6 loss -- behind them and quick.

"We survived it, we move one," Gibbons said. "There's more tough ones ahead of us." New York will simply be the latest hurdle for the Jays in their roller-coaster season. "It's definitely a test," Gibbons said. "We've been playing good ball at the start of the road trip and we came here and ran into a team (Detroit) that's just pounding the ball.

"We didn't pitch extremely well here, the one game we pitched well went 13. They just slugged us and we didn't slug with them. But we always seem to bounce back."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Blue Jays pitching staff had done a fine job of keeping the ball in the park as they had gone seven games without giving up a home run. But that streak ended in the second inning (56 innings) Friday as Dimitri Young hammered a 1-0 pitch from Dave Bush over the fence in center field. It would be the first of five Detroit homers.

It was the third time this season and the first since July 9 vs. Texas that the Jays have allowed a season high five home runs.

Bush lasted 2 2/3 innings allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits. He had thrown just 44 pitches.

"At that point we're still in that game," manager John Gibbons said of his decision to lift Bush. "I figured we'd get Leaguer (Brandon League) in there and shut it down and they hit him around pretty good tonight too. Then it got out of hand."

--RHP Josh Towers reached 10 wins for the first time in his major league career Wednesday night in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Towers has now won five of his past seven decisions and has six consecutive quality starts.

There was no doubt in Josh Towers' mind what the difference was in Wednesday night's game. "The whole game was because of our defense," Towers said. "It's just amazing what these guys do."

Towers got highlight-reel plays from Vernon Wells, Corey Koskie, Aaron Hill, and Orlando Hudson, all within the first three innings.

--OF Vernon Wells connected with a three-run shot in the fifth Friday. It was his 22nd homer of the season but his first this month, his last one coming on July 31.

--1B Eric Hinske added a pinch-hit solo homer in the eighth Friday. It was the second pinch-hit homer of his career (Sept. 11, 2004 vs. Texas) and first homer since July 24. It was also the third pinch-hit homer for the Jays this season.

--2B Orlando Hudson left the game in the seventh inning Friday with right hamstring tightness and didn't play Saturday or Sunday.

--In the six-game season series, the Angels scored just 12 runs off Jays pitching and had only one homer.

BY THE NUMBERS: 500-- Eric Hinske was 3-for-4 in Sunday's game with his single in the fifth inning being the 500th hit of his career.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a Motor City Mauling." -- Jays manager John Gibbons after the 17-6 pounding by Detroit on Sunday.

MEDICAL WATCH:
LHP Ted Lilly, left biceps tendinitis, 15-day DL.
RHP Roy Halladay, leg fracture, 15-day DL.

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