The Blue Jays are in the middle of another losing skid but interim manager John Schneider says the team is too talented not to break out of it.
- Hey, John. Looked really good off the top there, with George, then Vladdy right after that. What did you see from the lineup following?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah. Great start. And I think maybe just a little bit too aggressive on [INAUDIBLE] away, and not really how we're built to win, hitting that many ground balls.
- When you talk about urgency at this time of year, can that be an unnatural fit with hitting? Can that lead guys to force it at the plate, or be too aggressive? Is that tied together?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: I mean, maybe. Ideally, no, but I think that this lineup is so talented that when it does click, it'll be a good thing. But urgency is more so [? when ?] playing good baseball, pitching well, taking care of the ball, and having good at-bats. But no, I don't think it carries over to the lineup that much.
- You managed a lot of these guys, John, before they got here. [? Do you ?] maybe lean on some of those guys, now that things have gotten a little bit tight, to rally the troops a bit here?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah. I mean, this is a close group. And it's a really talented group. And we have no doubt that we're going to be playing better baseball very soon. And between the guys that are young, and the guys that are established veterans in the clubhouse, I have no doubt that they're going to pick it up.
- John, this group's obviously been through a lot [? of ?] different times over the past couple of years. It is still a relatively young group. Is there some learning about themselves that's happening right now? Or has there been enough experience in these types of games from last year and 2020 that it's not necessarily as needed?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: Maybe a little bit of both. But I think with what we've been through the last couple of years in terms of where we've been playing, and the type of games we've been playing in, those experiences-- they mean a lot going forward. And a lot of guys have been in a lot of those spots. So that's where the urgency comes in. And you've got to get it rolling pretty quick.
- And just what was your sense of Alek and how that outing played out for him?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: I thought he was great. I thought he was executing to the game plan very, very well. And ran into a little bit of trouble there, third time through. But he's a guy that, even with the pitch count getting up there a little bit, we like him against that spot in the lineup, or really any spot in the lineup. His competitiveness and his track record, especially with runners in the scoring position, we're going to trust that. And it didn't work out tonight.
- John, you guys have played the Orioles a bunch already in the last couple of weeks. What is your sense of what they've been doing right, and how have they been able to win these games?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: I think they're pitching well, and I think that baseball is a game of adjustments. And until we show that we're going to make one, they're going to continue to do the same thing on the mound. So they're playing good baseball. They're taking care of it on defense. They're running the bases well, and they're putting the ball in play. And I think when you do that, usually good things happen. And they're playing with a lot of confidence right now, as they should. So hopefully tomorrow, we can turn the tables a little bit.
- Hey, John. Just quickly on that Vlad home run in the first there. I don't know how often you see a ball flight like that. So what have--
JOHN SCHNEIDER: (CHUCKLING) Two iron.
- --you seen from him better this last month, this streak he's been on?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: I mean, I think he's swinging at good pitches, for one. And when he does that, he's as good as anyone in the league to put the ball in play with damage. That was impressive in the first inning, to hit it that hard and that low and get it out of here. So I think it just comes down to pitch selection. And when he's swinging at the right pitch, he's going to do what he does.
- John, in the seventh inning there, was that a hit and run with Tapia and Espinal? And was that sort of an example of when it rains, it pours in terms of how things kind of slip out of play?
JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, it was a hit and run. And we have probably our best contact guy in that spot in a 1-0 count, and it didn't work out. So I think watching the pace and the cadence of the game, and what was happening, trying to force the issue a little bit to get back to the top with George, and knowing Tate was coming in. And best case is first and third with one out, worst case first and second with one out. And we'll take our chances there. But yeah, it was a hit and run, and it didn't work out.