Blue Jays hope Morrow can get past struggles

Blue Jays hope Morrow can get past struggles

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays continue to search for solutions to right-hander Brandon Morrow's recent string of bad outings.

Toronto's No. 2 starter allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday night against Boston. He is now 1-5 with a 6.59 ERA in his past seven starts, and hasn't won since Aug. 17 in Seattle.

Morrow talked after the Red Sox start about most of his problems originating from an inability to locate his fastball on the first-base side of home plate. His pitches have occasionally turned back into the middle, which has ended in the negative outcomes.

"When the ball leaks back, when you're going to the glove side, typically your body is ahead of your arm just enough for your arm to drag," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Whether that's because of the time of the year, whether that's with fatigue as being part of a factor -- that you don't have the ability to muscle through and catch up to that spot in your delivery to execute that location -- [is uncertain]."

Morrow has currently pitched 153 innings on the season, which is 6 2/3 more than his previous career high. The native of California said he feels fine physically, but even if fatigue is becoming an issue, one of Toronto's goals is to have Morrow work through it.

The Blue Jays would like to get him over the 170-180-inning limit to use as a stepping stone for the 2012 season. That means Morrow will have to find ways to become successful even if he doesn't have his best stuff on the mound.

"If on a day when you've got maybe not your best velocity, then you have to incorporate other pitches to make that velocity you have on a given day equally effective," Farrell said.

"That's not to say you're going to shy away from the use of your fastball. But reading swings, having a feel for what your body has on a given day, and in certain situations, if you've got to minimize the damage then you go to the area you can attack most readily."