Notebook leftovers

Brandon Morrow continued his recent dominance with an impressive performance against his former team. The 26-year-old allowed just three runs — one of which came when the game was already well in hand — over seven strong innings. It appears as though he is on a similar type of roll to the one he had in the second half of 2010.

Morrow is a perfect 5-0 over his past seven starts. The native of California has posted a 2.85 ERA over that span while the Blue Jays have won all seven of those games. Those are the type of numbers we have been waiting to see from Morrow all year because he has as much potential as any pitcher in the Major Leagues.

You can find plenty of coverage from tonight’s game over on the main site. There is also a notebook with updates on minor injuries to Yunel Escobar and Jose Bautista, an update on the roof being closed for tomorrow afternoon’s game due to the expected extreme heat conditions and also an item on Brett Lawrie trying to find his timing in Triple-A.

If that’s not enough to keep you occupied then check out some of these leftover items that didn’t make it into the site.

Rajai Davis:

What do you look  for once you reach base…

“I just kind of look, see what the pitcher’s actually giving me. Is he giving me an opportunity? We took it from there and it looked like he was giving me an opportunity to steal and I was able to get a decent lead and a good jump. Knowing that they have a really good catcher (Miguel Olivo) back there, who earlier in the game made some great plays, threw out a couple of fast runners. But we were able to get a good jump and steal the base.”

Once you reach second base…

“Kind of just reading the pitcher if I haven’t seen him that many times. Trying to find out if he has got a good move to second — or what kind of move he has over there — and trying to see if I can pick off some signs that the catcher’s giving the pitcher. Kind of just weigh the options and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Cat and mouse game between the pitcher and runner…

“I enjoy it actually, they’re paying a lot of attention to me. It’s tough to pay a lot of attention to me and throw strikes. When you focus on one thing it’s hard to divide that focus and do really well at two different things at one time. That’s my goal when I’m over there, to try and distract the pitcher and get into scoring position, get closer to home plate and make it easier for us to score.”

John Farrell:

On the expected high temperatures for Thursday’s game…

“Tomorrow is going to be extreme, whether we play with this (roof) closed, if it’s like this right now I think we would be better served having this closed. But even talking with people with the Rangers, how they deal wiht the heat down there. Their starting pitchers take an IV before they go out in the game. So they’ll replenish their fluids or even preventively pump their systems with fluid just to have to a reserve or a reservoir almost as they’re going through the extreme heat.

“Most importantly, it’s the days leading up to your start day, anticipating the conditions. You’ve got to hydrate before going out there obviously. But what we do in between whether it’s the ammonia towels or getting out of the conditions out here and getting inside where there is some cooler air. Those are some normal methods that every pitcher uses.”

On the running game…

“It’s a disruptive element. It’s more to contend with. Any time you can create a situation to try to split the attention, or divide the focus, of the guy on the mound you’re  opening up the possibility for mistakes to be made. If there’s any indecision with some attention being paid to the guy on first base, or anywhere on the basepaths, that may have an effect as the ball crosses home plate. 

On being a former pitcher and how he became interested in base running…

“It really came more into light having been in a role to prepare against teams that were more aggressive in that area versus those that were not and it gives you a whole lot to think about.”

“The thing that we always identify with young players, pitchers, hitters, can they slow the game down? Can they mentally take a step back, regroup, execute pitches? If we can find ways to speed the game up, to force them to do that more often, then that’s how we’re trying to control the tempo of that. Having lived the side of it, to try and slow it down in game and then prepare against it, that’s where some of these things can really create a number of things to contend with.”

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