Bautista's slump continues with 4 strikeouts vs. Sale

Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb 6d ago
Butch Dill / USA TODAY Sports

Life is not pretty for Jose Bautista right now.

The Toronto Blue Jays star has fallen hard and fast early on in 2017, and may have hit rock bottom in Thursday's awful performance as the Blue Jays dropped a 4-1 decision to the visiting Boston Red Sox in 10 innings.

Granted, Chris Sale was virtually unhittable on this day, striking out 13 Blue Jays in eight innings of shutout work, but he made Bautista look particularly silly. The veteran finished the game 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, the seventh "golden sombrero" of his career and his second of this young season. His fourth strikeout ended a small Blue Jays rally off Sale in the eighth inning and stranded a man on base, leaving the game scoreless and drawing boos from the frustrated home crowd.

Bautista is now hitting just .109/.242/.145 on the season with a single RBI and 22 strikeouts in just 66 plate appearances. He came into Thursday's game sporting a meager .039 isolated power.

Bautista went 0-for-11 with two walks and seven strikeouts over Toronto's three-game series against Boston, and the 36-year-old - the driver of his team's dominant offensive attack for nearly a decade - is as frustrated about his performance, or lack thereof, as anyone else.

"Anytime you're looked at as a contributor, and you're not, it kinda weighs on you," Bautista told Hazel Mae of Sportsnet on Thursday. "I'm not proud of the last two days."

An inning after strikeout No. 4, the 36-year-old added to his rough afternoon by whiffing completely on a Mitch Moreland fly ball, turning a routine out into a double with a diving catch attempt that ended up a belly flop/barrel roll.

Bautista made up for that mistake one batter later, though, when he nailed Xander Bogaerts at second base after Bogaerts tried to stretch his RBI single into a double. That throw ended the top of the ninth inning, and set up Kendrys Morales' game-tying home run off Craig Kimbrel to lead off the home half.

The Blue Jays' loss dropped them to an MLB-worst 3-12 on the season.