Sometimes this game is all about missed opportunities. That was certainly the case last night for the Blue Jays at Fenway in Game one of their three-game series against the Red Sox.

Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, Jays catcher Rod Barajas drew a leadoff walk to get things started against Tim Wakefield, whose knuckleball baffled the Jays for most of the night. Marco Scutaro was unable to move pinch-runner John McDonald to second, but the Jays lucked out when Boston catcher George Kottaras giftwrapped a passed ball that advanced McDonald into scoring position.

Following an Aaron Hill infield single, the stage was set for Toronto’s marquee RBI men to produce. First and second, one out. A base hit could have tied the score. A ball in the gap could have given Toronto the lead, sending a clear message to Red Sox nation that the Blue Jays are indeed going to be a real contender in the AL East this year.

Instead, the three-four combo of Alex Rios and Vernon Wells came up empty. Two weakly hit fly balls. And that was that.

With the loss, the Jays wasted another solid pitching performance from Brian Tallet, who chalked up his fourth straight quality start after allowing two runs on four hits over 6.0 innings.

But the real story here was about big-time players not coming up in big-time situations. Games like last night’s are ones in which winning teams – playoff teams – find a way to come out on top. The game was just asking to be won by either Rios or Wells.

In his defence, Rios did come through in a similar situation just two days ago, notching a go-ahead RBI triple in the eighth inning against the White Sox to help the Jays to a four-game series sweep. Still, the 28-year-old is batting just .264 in 42 games this year.

As for Wells, he’s been struggling most of the year. Heading into action Wednesday night, the 30-year-old center fielder is batting just .253/.311/.408 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. He’s gone hitless in five out of the last six games, and hasn’t driven in a run in two weeks.

If the Jays are to remain in contention in the AL East this year, they’re surely going to need more production from their big-name – not to mention big-money – outfielders, Rios and Wells. It’s time to start seizing those opportunities.

One Response to “Rios/Wells”

  1. Masterclark Says:


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