Practice preaches patience
Blue Jays manager John Farrell couldn’t have been more pleased on Thursday afternoon about his club’s performance from the night before. Toronto entered the eighth inning trailing by two but used a five-run inning to win for the second time in three games against Boston.
The come-from-behind victory came in a somewhat unconventional way. Toronto recorded just two hits in the frame but drew three walks and also a hit batter. That type of patience is exactly what Farrell has spent a lot of time talking about in recent days as he looks for his team to have better at-bats.
It’s the type of approach that has worked well for New York and Boston in recent years and one Farrell hopes to incorporate with the Blue Jays. There were too many other things going on in today’s notebook to touch on the issue there but here are his quotes from Thursday afternoon about plate discipline.
Also, don’t forget you can find me on twitter @gregorMLB
“I don’t think anything has changed. A walk is a weapon, but you have to earn them. You have to earn putting doubt or fear in a pitcher’s mind. It’s one thing to go in and think about working a pitch count but there has to be talent and ability to do that.”
“I’m not saying we all have to be Jose Bautista but his approach that he demonstrates is exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and that can be a learned skill. That’s part of a culture that you have to talk about, that you have to preach and you have to bring to life day in and day out with the talk in the dugout, the talk from early work on through what the benefits are shown in a given game.”
“Ideally you’re getting into a count that you’re going to get a pitch on the plate. And to trust that if you don’t swing at the first pitch that’s on the plate, you’re going to get another one and you’re probably going to get 60-plus percent fastball.”
“Pitchers are going to make mistakes. They’re going to make mistakes. You might not get any in the first at-bat but at some point in the game, a pitcher can’t command his fastball for every pitch he throws 100% of the time. That just doesn’t happen.”
On Brett Lawrie…
“His pitch recognition, his hand-eye coordination, is outstanding. As much as maybe some of the chasing of breaking balls was taking place early on in Las Vegas, he has been outstanding here from Day 1.
“These are experiences that he’s going through for the first time — given that he’s at 170-plus innings or whatever that might get him to at the end of the season. He’s learning right now either through frustration or through success. Those are going to continue to form him and the pitcher he becomes.”
Post-game chatter on Romero beating Boston for just the third time in his career:
“It feels good to beat these guys, especially to take the series three out of four. They’re a tough team, they’re really. really good.
“I just came out and I was aggressive. I was down in the zone with strikes and made them chase pitches out of the zone. I think that’s what you have to do with these guys. You can’t fall behind, because once you fall behind you get in trouble. I think at times when they hurt me I was behind in the count. I felt at times I was trying to trick them, trying to show them pitches and try to kind of nibble. Today, I kind of just went with my instincts.”
“I think we’re all aware of the success that the Red Sox had against him. But the adjustment he made with his game plan by using his curveball a little bit more. He threw a high number of strikes and did a very good job of pitching in advantage counts for most of the night.”
Looked like he was really battling…
“I think any time you go against a team like this, or NewYork, they make you work. The one thing Ricky does, he doesn’t leave anything on the field. He gives it his all every single time on the mound and when you go up against opponents like tonight you have to be at your best. They bring that out on the individual guy on the mound.”
On what this means to both Ricky and the club…
“I think the one thing it prove to Ricky is that he learned from his past experiences, he made some adjustments, went out and executed and it proved to be a successful formula. Any time we’re up against our divisional rivals, we’re looking to not only compete but win do and do the best we can. We’ve had some scuffles this year when you look at the overall record against our division but the season’s not over yet.”