Everything seemed fine to Andrew Bailey when he took the mound in the seventh inning of the Red Sox 7-5 win over the Blue Jays.
"I feel like my [velocity] was getting better, that life was there," he said. "I felt like it was coming out of my hand better. Just been working on some different things, but when I get out there it's just all about being aggressive in the zone and challenging guys."
But seeing Edwin Encarnacion launch his 94 mile-per-hour fastball to the centerfield bleachers let him know it wasn't. It was the seventh homer he's allowed this season and the fifth he's allowed in his past five appearances. He's allowed runs in each of his past five games, the longest streak in his career, and in his past six outings, his ERA (16.62) is a bulging from the seams.
The cruel twist is that the homer to Encarnacion was a result of the same aggressiveness that helped him strike out Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista to start the inning.
"We got the first two guys and just tried to challenge the third guy," he said. "I'm not going to get away from my success over my career. I'm not going change anything. Still got to be aggressive, man. You've still got to throw strikes to get people out and now it's just when they're hitting me, they're hitting me hard."
It was only his second time taking the mound since being demoted June 21.
"This is a very frustrating time, but I know that I still have confidence but I'm not going to change things out there," Bailey said. "Obviously, I have to execute pitches a little bit better, but that's really ally I have to change and I'll get out of this for sure."