BOSTON -- The second rain delay in the Blue Jays' 9-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday wasn't supposed to arrive that quickly.
The game was one out away from being official in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Toronto leading 5-2 at the time. Aaron Laffey could probably have pitched with more urgency, but the rain came fast and furious. When umpire Jeff Nelson waved everyone off a bit dramatically, it was because of the surprise the rain came about 20 minutes sooner than expected.
"We get [our weather information] from a groundskeeper," manager John Farrell said. "That's why if you saw the reaction of Jeff Nelson, he had no idea that was coming. And that's why you saw the reaction, because we felt like once we started back up we had about 30 minutes, and it ended up being about 12."
Farrell was pleased with how quickly his team got on the field when it was go time. The two delays totaled two hours and three minutes, and there was a point where the Blue Jays were waved back on the field prematurely.
It's all part of the guessing game with the weather maps.
"We came back on a 10-minute notice on a couple of occasions, and that's not normal, but our guys were ready to go," Farrell said. "They kept saying, 'We're on the edge of this one band, and if it hits us, and glances by us we'll have a gap. But if it stays on us we're probably into a longer one.' So we're just kind of at the whim of the most recent update."
Farrell defended his decision to bring Laffey back out after the first delay, which went 58 minutes. Part of the reasoning was he was under the impression there'd be that 30-minute window. Laffey was done after the second delay, with 4 2/3 innings pitched.
"We bought time because [Jacoby] Ellsbury was the last hitter Laffey was going to face, left on left," Farrell said. "So [Brad] Lincoln was there for [Dustin] Pedroia, for [Cody] Ross, for [Mauro] Gomez and [Ryan] Lavarnway. We wanted to be sure that he had enough to be time to be ready."
Blue Jays thinking about having two hitting coaches
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays are still thinking about the possibility of carrying two hitting coaches.
Chad Mottola, the Triple-A hitting coach who's around for September, and current big league hitting coach Dwayne Murphy may be able to complement each other if they were both on staff. The possibility came up during Spring Training, but there's a lot that goes into the decision. There's a limit on how many uniformed coaches can be in the dugout, although a petition to the league may be possible. And there's the matter of making sure everyone's on the same page when two voices are in play.
The latter issue helped doom the Red Sox's attempt to have two pitching coaches this season, but manager John Farrell thinks the team would be fine.
"We talk about it internally, we talked about how the structure would work, the fact -- if this were to play it out -- that the people involved have a rapport," Farrell said. "They have a relationship already from the Major League to the Triple-A staff, Spring Training involvement and the familiarity with one another. That's paramount, because the message can't be conflicting, and yet everybody has individual strengths."
Farrell made clear that the possibility of adding Motolla should not be misconstrued as criticism of Murphy. The goal is to have a second set of eyes for the workload. The Cardinals have a similar setup.
"You've got 13 position players normally for one guy, and granted there's a lot of cross conversation with other coaches, myself, things that were seeing with Murph about individual players," Farrell said. "And yet that job is never done, because while two or three guys may be going well, there's two or three others that are probably not going well. That's just how things flow as we've seen. By comparison on the pitching side, you've got the bullpen coach and the pitching coach you can work in tandem.
"Certain guys will hear the same message as described by two different people, and it may click because the way one person says it toward the other," Farrell said. "This isn't to be pointing the finger at anyone saying they're not doing well, it's how do you provide the best resources for players to be consistent?"
Pitching coach Bruce Walton said Henderson Alvarez's tricep isn't a concern going forward after the right-hander was bothered by it slightly Friday at Fenway Park. Alvarez is scheduled to pitch Thursday against Seattle.
Jeff Mathis snapped an 0-for-16 drought dating to Aug. 29 with an RBI single in the fourth inning of Sunday's 4-3 win over the Red Sox.
Farrell said outfielder Colby Rasmus is one of the team's core players "right now, for sure." Rasmus had an up and down weekend, with two hits on each of the first two nights, including a homer and triple Friday, before going 0-for-3 on Sunday. He also had some bad baserunning (forgetting how many outs there were Saturday) mixed in with the good (a first-to-third play Saturday).