Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow wipes his face with his glove as he walks back to the dugout while playing against the Detroit Tigers during first inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Monday, May 9, 2011. (Nathan Denette)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow wipes his face with his glove as he walks back to the dugout while playing against the Detroit Tigers during first inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Monday, May 9, 2011. (Nathan Denette)

John Farrell defends pulling Brandon Morrow from game Add to ...

After John Farrell came to take his struggling pitcher out of the ballgame in the fourth inning, an unhappy Brandon Morrow glanced back toward the mound as he was walking off the field.

Farrell said he didn't see that and Morrow insists he didn't say anything.

"I looked back to look at my pitch count," Morrow said after the game in which the Detroit Tigers cruised to a 10-5 victory Monday night at Rogers Centre.

The pitch count is tallied on a display above the wall in right field and it spelled out a miserable 71-pitch night for Morrow -- 31 of them in the fourth inning alone where the Tigers tagged the right-hander for five runs to put the game away.

"We saw his velocity begin to dip," Farrell said of his decision to remove Morrow at the early juncture when the score was still 2-2. "And from late in the second inning on I thought he had a hard time trying to get the ball down in the strike zone.

"So as his velocity dropped I also say his arm slot dropping."

Not want to risk an injury, Farrell said he made the call to take Morrow from the game and it was a decision that the right hander clearly didn't appreciate.

"I didn't want to come out," Morrow said afterwards. "I would have like the chance to try to work my way out of it."

Two runs had already come in and after Morrow walked Alex Avila to load the bases with one out, Farrell had seen enough and he decided to call on reliever Shaun Camp, also a right-hander.

"The game's tied at that point and they've got the nine and one hitters coming up, both right-handers," said Morrow, who said he felt fine physically. "I think that's a pretty strong position for me."

Camp struck out Ryan Raburn but he then surrendered a double to Austin Jackson that cleared the bases and moved Detroit out in front 5-2.

The Tigers would bat around in the inning and they would score a sixth run to take command of the game at 6-2 and the Blue Jays were never able to fight their way back in and lost for the third straight outing.

Farrell said he knew Morrow, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained right elbow and was making just his fourth start of the year, would be upset getting yanked so early.

"I'm sure he wasn't pleased to come out of the game in the fourth inning," he said. "He's a competitor."

With the win Detroit won three games in the four-game set.

The Blue Jays, who will begin a mini two-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, are now a season-high five games under .500.

 

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular