What, me worried?
So says Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays slugger who has been uncharacteristically off with the bat so far through five games this season.
And when you consider that the Jays will be going up against Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox Wednesday afternoon, one of the toughest left-handers around, Bautista will be doing well if he enjoys a break-out game.
“Good,” the right-fielder said Wednesday morning when asked how he has been feeling at the plate so far this season. “It's only been five games. I'm not going to look into anything too deep right now. Really early, doesn't mean anything.
“Obviously I've got to make more contact than I did yesterday.”
Bautista was referring to his showing Tuesday night against the Red Sox, when he went 0-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts.
That effort lowered his batting average to .200 on the year. Bautista has one home run on the year -- in the regular-season opener against Cleveland.
Bautista was picked up by his teammates offensively as the Blue Jays rolled to a 7-3 victory that levelled the three-game set a 1-1.
Interestingly enough for Bautista, there were only three occasions all of last season when he had as many as three strikeouts in a game.
They all occurred in a five-game bunch in late August during the second half of the season when Bautista's production at the plate dropped significantly when compared to the numbers he put up before the all-star break.
“I'm sure it wasn't my first and it won't be my last,” Bautista said about whiffing three times in one game. “Not too worried about it, the offence.”
The Blue Jays will attempt to win their second consecutive series to start the season on Wednesday in a compelling pitching matchup that will see the Blue Jays try to counter Lester with their own tough lefty, Ricky Romero.
Lester has owned the Blue Jays of late, last year enjoying a 3-0 record with a 2.08 ERA over five starts. Lester is 10-4 against Toronto over his career.
The key to finding success against Lester, according to Toronto manager John Farrell, is patience.
That, plus a good batting eye.
“Laying off his cutter in to right handers,” Farrell said of the pitch that looks good for a few milliseconds before falling out of the strike zone.
In an effort to try to offset Lester's effectiveness, Farrell has inserted a couple of extra right-handed bats into the lineup in Ben Francisco, who is the designated hitter and will bat fifth; and Rajai Davis, who will get the start in centrefield, batting ninth.