Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays' Gibbons Said Fresh Arms Not Coming for Bullpen to Start Astros Series

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Jays' Gibbons Said Fresh Arms Not Coming for Bullpen to Start Astros Series

Article excerpt

Fresh arms not coming for Blue Jays' bullpen

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TORONTO - Amid the Toronto Blue Jays' nightmare season, the bullpen has been one of very few sources of satisfaction.

"Defensively, offensively we can be better," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Wednesday. "I really can't say anything about the bullpen overall. They've thrown the most innings in the league, and for the most part they've been outstanding."

Even after two losses that featured bullpen implosions, don't expect big changes before a four-game series against the Houston Astros that begins Thursday. Toronto's bullpen has thrown a major-league-leading 356 1/3 innings, including 13 1/3 in the past three games, but reinforcements won't be coming right away, according to manager John Gibbons.

Instead, the onus is on starter Mark Buehrle to give a taxed group some rest.

"We'll be fine (Thursday)," Gibbons said. "We'll be in good shape there. We need a good (outing) -- Buehrle's going. He normally gives you a lot of innings anyway. Hopefully with a good one out of him and we'll catch up."

Four Blue Jays relievers combined to blow a five-run lead Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Anthopoulos said prior to Wednesday night's game that "knock on wood" the Blue Jays would get a good start out of Esmil Rogers.

They did. Rogers teetered on the edge but pulled what Gibbons called some "Houdini" magic in getting out of jams and lasting seven innings.

"They were all tough innings, and he hung in there and pitched late in the game," Gibbons said.

Two innings -- one from all-star Steve Delabar and another from closer Casey Janssen -- would have made for a light night. Centre fielder Colby Rasmus' error with two outs in the ninth helped the Dodgers tie the score and also forced Juan Perez to pitch for the second straight night.

Perez had a 0.00 ERA through his first 14 appearances this season, leading to praise from Anthopoulos Wednesday afternoon when asked about the veteran lefty potentially getting bumped from the roster as other pitchers get healthy. …

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