Skip to main content

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delebar reacts as he stands on the mound during seventh inning American League baseball action against Los Angeles Angels in Toronto on Wednesday May 20, 2015.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

You can sense it in the weary tone that manager John Gibbons presents at the post-game news conference and feel it when you enter the tomb-like clubhouse.

It is the spectre of failure, something the Toronto Blue Jays are starting to get pretty good at.

It happened again at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night in ugly fashion with the bullpen coughing up another late lead that resulted in a 4-3 win by the Los Angeles Angels.

With the loss, the Blue Jays are 18-24 overall and have dropped seven of their last eight. Their record in one-run games this season is now 2-8.

"It's extremely frustrating," said Toronto starter Drew Hutchison, eyes flaring, his blood close to the boiling point after the team suffered another gut-wrenching setback. "We want to win. Nobody enjoys losing. If they enjoy losing they shouldn't be here."

Hutchison turned over the game to the bullpen in the seventh inning with his club leading 3-2 with two out and runners at first and second.

Righthander Steve Delabar came on to face Marc Krauss and Delabar unleashed a wild pitch that advanced both runners into scoring position.

Delabar than delivered a split-fingered fastball that Krauss jumped on, taking the ball into left-centre for a double that cashed both runs and provided the Angels with their winning margin.

The Blue Jays could not even agree if the pitch to Krauss was a good one or not.

"I think he [Delabar] hung a split, he [Krauss] got the big hit to put them up," Gibbons said. "It's still a one-run game, we just couldn't mount anything late. You just deal with it."

"I went back and looked [on video] and it was a pretty good pitch, but wasn't the right pitch," was Delabar's take. "We could have set it up differently. Like I said, it was a good one but he was just kind of leaning out and got a barrel on it."

For the Blue Jays bullpen, it was their seventh blown save of the season for a group that entered the game with a collective 3.92 earned run average, fourth highest in the American League.

Apart from Roberto Osuna, who had pitched the previous two games and was unavailable Wednesday, the group is fragile.

"These are our guys," Gibbons said. "I have confidence in all of them. We're just in a little rough patch right now. But these are our guys and we'll ride it out with them. We've seen every one of them good at one time or another in their career here. Just keep attacking, that's all you can do.

"Things turn, it's a game you get on those rolls, good and bad. And maybe something like a little walk-off win every now and then might help, get everybody feeling good about themselves again."

Gibbons said he had no qualms about the right-on-lefty matchup pitting Delabar against Krauss in the decisive moment, noting that Delabar has excelled in those situations in the past.

Left-handed batters were 0-for-8 with three walks against Delebar this season before Krauss enjoyed his big moment.

"I thought at that point that Del [Delabar] could come in and overpower him," Gibbons said. "And I think his split just sat there."