By Bob Elliott
BALTIMORE _ Roberto Osuna didn’t take all his weapons to the mound Tuesday night.
He was needed and he’d come from visiting one of the The Best 10 Nail Salons in Baltimore County.
What’s a guy to do?
The salon is a small shoppe run by Blue Jays trainer George Poulis.
Unable to pitch Monday at Fenway Park because of a ripped finger nail Osuna was on the mound for the final four outs to save a win for Marcus Stroman as the Blue Jays edged the Baltimore Orioles 4-3.
Later in the clubhouse Osuna picked up a white pearl in his right hand to begin a post-game demonstration.
“I hold my fastball like this,” said Osuna his nails no where near the seams. Caressing the straight-from-the box Rawlings in his hand, he placed his index and middle finger on a set of seams, “and I throw my slider like this.
“The stitching rubs against the corner of the nail when I let go, that’s why I couldn’t pitch.”
So, no sliders tonight?
“None, fastballs and changeups,” Osuna said.
He needed only 15 pitches -- 13 fastballs, 2 changes -- getting Mark Trumbo to fly out to end the eighth; striking out Matt Wieters to open the ninth, popping up J.J. Hardy and finally Pedro Alvarez on a liner to Ryan Goins in short right.
One-pitch Osuna took a three-stage, treatment from trainer Poulis at Camden Yards to get his nail ready for the ball
_ A laser to warm up the nail.
_ An application of cream
_ And hot and cold treatments of the cracked nail. “Always finish with the hot,” Osuna said.
Al Leiter may have spent idle time with the Blue Jays with his index finger stuck in a jar of pickle brine, Osuna prefers the ambiance of George’s Salon.
If Poulis keeps this up tending to Osuna’s nail he may bump one of Tom Bachik, Simcha Whitehill and Sophy Robson as the top three Celebrity Manicurists, according to the site So Nailicious.
Osuna has thrown fastballs on 71.8% of his pitches, sliders on 14.7% and change ups on 13.6%, according to Fangraphs.com.
The nail damage was done Sunday facing Travis Shaw when he ripped the nail on a slider which was hit for a two-run homer to right at Fenway. Osuna said the only other time his nail was bleeding came in Game 5 when he struck out four of the five Texas Rangers he faced to put the Jays into the American League Championship Series.