CLEVELAND – Ask a Blue Jays fan still hesitant to believe in the team whether a 5-4, nine-game run through Baltimore, Minnesota and Cleveland would be satisfactory early in the season, and the answer likely would be in the affirmative. Don Mattingly Jersey . Yet its those defeats, snatched from the jaws of victory, which sting the most and Toronto had two of them on the trip. The Jays led 4-2 in the sixth inning when Aaron Loup walked the bases loaded and gave up a bases-clearing, three-RBI double to the Indians David Murphy. Cleveland had a lead it wouldnt relinquish, ultimately winning the game 6-4. The meltdown was relatively minor compared to Thursday nights eighth inning debacle in Minnesota, which saw three relievers give up six runs on just one hit and an unseemly eight walks in a 9-5 loss to the Twins. Its jarring because the Blue Jays bullpen has been consistently reliable. It raises two concerns about the pitching staff. First: the walks. Six more on Sunday afternoon for a season total of 81, which pending the behaviour of Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers in their game against the Dodgers later Sunday, ranks second-most in baseball. "The walks have killed us so far," pitching coach Pete Walker told TSN.ca before Sundays game. "I think its cost us a couple of ballgames." Walks just cost them another one. Second: with the exception of Mark Buehrle, the starting staffs inability to pitch deep into games. "Bottom line, weve got to get some innings out of our starters or our bullpen will be dead come May," said manager John Gibbons after Sundays defeat. Such was the dichotomy of Brandon Morrows performance on Sunday. His six strikeouts over five-plus innings belied the fact Indians hitters battled him throughout. Michael Bourn led off the game with a nine-pitch at-bat. He struck out. In the second, Michael Brantley put the Indians ahead 1-0 with a solo home run on the ninth pitch. An inning later, in the third, Jason Kipnis worked a full-count, 10-pitch walk. Morrow was done at 95 pitches one hitter into the sixth. He threw almost 30 per cent of his pitches (28 of 95) in those three plate appearances alone, leaving Gibbons to wish for more efficiency. "I havent been able to do it as much as I would like to," said Morrow of pitching into the sixth and seventh innings. "Today it was one long inning in the middle; without that I would have been in a better position to finish that sixth." Walker is preaching contact early in counts. He doesnt want pitchers worried about strikeout totals. He wants aggression and laments that radar gun readings are posted on electronic scoreboards. "Its trusting your stuff and really believing that your fastball is good enough that day," said Walker. "I think a couple of our guys might be down in velocity and sometimes that affects your approach. You dont see that 97 on the board and its 92, 93 and all of a sudden you dont trust that fastball in as much as you did last year." Its easy to fall in love with the radar gun and easy to forget that the Blue Jays best pitcher to this point, Mark Buehrle, no longer tops 84 miles per hour with his fastball. "I think it comes down to realizing its not the velocity, its the location," said Walker. "Your fastball is your fastball that given day and it needs to be located regardless. I think, for the most part, thats what we need to get back to and thats something were focusing on is fastball command and pitching inside a little more aggressively." Through 19 games Blue Jays starters have pitched 103 2/3 innings, averaging less than 5 2/3 innings per start. A team with playoff aspirations needs more. R.A. Dickey is presented with the next opportunity to join Buehrle in bucking the troubling trend. He starts Tuesday nights series opener at home with Baltimore. NAVARROS STRANGE ALLERGY If youve been to a Blue Jays game and noticed that Dioner Navarro kicks away the catchers box chalk outline before kneeling for first inning warm up pitches, theres a good reason. Navarros allergic to chalk. The problem dates back years to Navarros minor league days. He would come home after games with skin cracks on his hands. His wife put two and two together since Navarro would always swipe at the dirt to improve his grip, and she suggested he be tested for allergies. Now its habit for Navarro to kick away the chalk before the game begins. Jorge Posada Jersey . -- The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a minor league contract with reliever Brandon Lyon that includes an invitation to their big league camp for spring training. Brian Roberts Jersey . And fellow Leaf, Jake Gardiner, hiking in Whistler. http://www.yankeesrookiestore.com/Yankees-Austin-Romine-Kids-Jersey/ . SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.When the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars stars last met, the attention shifted from hockey to a decidedly more serious subject in a matter of seconds. On Wednesday, the two teams will get together in Dallas to play the game that was postponed due to a scary incident involving Stars forward Rich Peverley. The initial matchup on March 10 was stopped with 6:23 played in the opening period after Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench and suffered what was later called a cardiac episode. Peverley spent a few days in the hospital and eventually underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, but he wont play again this season. Columbus was ahead 1-0 at the time of Peverleys collapse, and although tonights game will be a full 60-minute contest, the Blue Jackets will keep that lead. Although the Blue Jackets and Stars play in different conferences, Wednesdays game is big for both teams. In fact, Columbus can clinch a playoff spot for only the second time in franchise history with a win tonight. The Blue Jackets currently hold the last of two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. With 89 points, Columbus is four ahead of Washington and five in front on New Jersey with three games left for all three teams. The Capitals and Devils are idle on Wednesday. Columbus also is one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the Easts first wild card berth. The Red Wings also have three games remaining and play in Pittsburgh tonight. The Blue Jackets only trip to the postseason came in 2009 when they were swept out of the first round by Detroit. The Stars cant clinch on Wednesday, but they can move four points ahead of Phoenix for the last wild card spot in the West. Dallas has 89 points to give the club two more than the Coyotes, who are idle tonight. Both clubs have three games left and will face each other on the final day of the regular season, as they are set to meet Sunday in Phoenix. The Blue Jackets have won two straight and three of their last four games and are coming off Tuesdays overtime win against the visiting Coyotes. Ryan Johansens goal 3:33 into ovvertime lifted Columbus to the 4-3 win over Phoenix. Roger Maris Jersey. Johansen handled a loose puck near center ice, skated in along the left side and fired a wrist shot that beat Thomas Greiss top-shelf on his glove side. "(Johansens) been a monster for us all year, scoring some big goals," said Columbus Blake Comeau."He thrives in those moments. He wants to be a No. 1 center like he has been for us all year. Youve got to step up and be that guy in key moments, and hes done that this year." Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for the win and is expected to start again tonight. Tuesdays tilt was the final home game of the regular season for Columbus, which will visit Dallas, Tampa Bay and Florida to wrap up its schedule. The Blue Jackets are 19-16-3 as the road team this season. The Stars picked up their second victory in three games and also won for the fifth time in seven outings with Tuesdays shootout win over visiting Nashville. Tyler Seguin scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout as the Stars inched closer to a playoff spot with the 3-2 win at American Airlines Center. "We just focused on what we could do," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "The schedule is demanding and it gets a little bit worse tomorrow. Im a little concerned that our energy was good early and the energy began just slipping away." Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski scored in regulation for the Stars, while Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots. Dallas is 22-10-7 as the host this season and is playing the second part of a three-game homestand on Wednesday. The Stars will welcome St. Louis on Friday before Sundays meeting with the Coyotes. Columbus has won two straight and three of the last four meetings in this series overall and has taken two straight in Big D. Lehtonen could get the call again in net for Dallas. He is 5-5-1 with a 1.91 goals against average and .936 save percentage in his career against Columbus. Bobrovsky is 5-0-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .937 save percentage in six lifetime meetings with the Stars. Cheap Baseball Braves Jerseys Cheap Baseball Marlins Jerseys Cheap Baseball Mets Jerseys Cheap Baseball Phillies Jerseys Cheap Baseball Nationals Jerseys Cheap Baseball Cubs Jerseys Cheap Baseball Reds Jerseys Cheap Baseball Brewers Jerseys Cheap Baseball Pirates Jerseys Cheap Baseball Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Baseball Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Baseball Rockies Jerseys Cheap Baseball Dodgers Jerseys Cheap Baseball Padres Jerseys Cheap Baseball Giants Jerseys ' ' '