A 2-run homer for Jose Bautista and a 3-run home run for Kevin Pillar, of all people, won the game for the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night. Kevin Pillar is on that much fire that he punished the LA Dodgers for pitching around Justin Smoak to get to him.
The big show is Saturday’s game with the best pitcher in the Major Leagues, Clayton Kershaw playing in Toronto for the first time. You may have caught a glimpse of him for a quarter at the Raptors game on Thursday night.
The best pitcher in the league (of his generation) vs. R. A. Dickey? We just have to hope that the Jays get lucky and that the Dodgers have never seen a knuckleball.
Starting the season in AAA must be a hard pill for Drew Hutchison to swallow. But he gave a good effort in his spot start on Sunday and the Jays won 6-3 leading to a series win! Everyone got a hit except Troy Tulowitzki who did get a walk. Jose Bautista had a homerun and none other than Ezequiel Carrera who’s had the weekend of his career.
Sadly for Drew, he’ll be back with the Bisons Tuesday. Not only is he not in the big leagues, he’s in BUFFALO! That kinda sucks.
Ohhh…so many good things about Saturday’s 9-3 win over the Oakland A’s at the Rogers Centre. The dome was closed. The game was sold out. Not surprisingly, the Jays are ranked 4th in attendance for their home games this year. Oakland’s 5-game win streak is over. The Jays 3-game losing streak is done. All is good.
J. A. Happ pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs. He did this despite only 1 strikeout, the first batter in the 1st inning. He also had only 1 walk and the 2nd batter hit a homerun. But otherwise, the Blue Jay defense neutralized the offense.
Gavin Floyd pitched the remaining 2 innings and did not allow any runs.
There was a bit of drama in the 6th when recently traded Liam Hendricks hit Donaldson with a pitch. In the 7th, Happ retaliated by hitting Khris Davis with a pitch (that he caught with his armpit). Gibby didn’t believe these were intentional. Gregg Zaun though for sure Happ’s was intentional. He may not have meant to hit the batter but threw inside as if to say, ‘Hey, if you keep pitching our guys inside, we’re going to have to do the same.’ The way Happ hit his glove afterward, suggests to me that at least he didn’t intend to hit the pitcher. This drama led to warnings issued to both sides.
Blue Jay defense cleaned up. No passed balls. Three double plays. Even Ezequiel Carrera looked great and made 2 Pillar style layout catches in left field. (I disagree with Gregg Zaun about them being TV dives.) I hadn’t realized that Carrera didn’t speak English until Hazel Mae interviewed him after the game. I mean, he’s rarely interviewed!
And the Offense…
Ahh…the offense that we know and love. Bautista and Martin RBIs to start. Then Josh Donaldson and that classic J. D. swing landed a 3-run homer off Oakland’s Bassitt. That broke the Jays 2-1 lead wide open to 5-1.
What did the Jays do different? Well, they started the game playing small ball. Hit by hit. No one tried to be the hero. Even Bautista seemed so happy to get 2 RBIs despite no hits. When the big bats aren’t working, that’s the way to win a la KC Royals right?
Did you notice…
What a good mood Bautista was in? He was smiling and chatty when he got back to the dugout after the RBIs. That must have lifted everyone’s spirits. Overall, a sign of awesomeness to come.
So R. A. Dickey had his typical bad 1st inning on Wednesday and allowed 3 Baltimore runs. The Toronto Blue Jays then slowly clawed their way back to a 3-3 tie scoring a run in the 3rd, 5th and 7th innings.
Michael Saunders scored on a single by Edwin Encarnacion in the 3rd. Josh Donaldson got his 6th homer of the season on a line drive to right centre field. He’s on pace to hit 59 homers this season! Possible? Heck yeah! (Well, on the other hand, he’s also on pace to have 187 strikeouts.) And Edwin got another RBI on a line drive double to score Saunders in the 7th to tie the game.
Things were looking promising for Josh Thole when he threw Nolan Reimold out trying to steal 2nd base in the bottom of the 9th, a la Russell Martin. But the elation wouldn’t last…
Ubaldo Jimenez’ pitching windup. Looks like his arm gets dislocated behind before he sling shots it over his head. This is after a praying mantis set-up.
#1 Pillar’s 1st at bat was pretty ugly. He pretty much gave up that he was looking for one away, (as he always does), so of course they jammed him up on the inside.
#2 Ryan Goins stole 2nd base in the 4th inning although didn’t make it home. But in the 6th, he was thrown out at home on a line drive single by Josh Thole.
#3 I’m liking Michael Saunders in the number 1 slot for hitting, but not so much his baserunning. Twice on Wednesday he made a mistake baserunning from 3rd base. In the 1st inning he succumbed to the double play after the pitcher caught the line drive by Encarnacion and threw Saunders out at 3rd.
Then in the 7th, he again didn’t stay on the bag until the pop fly was caught and by the time he went back to tag, he was too late to run home. Luckily, he was then sent home by Edwin with his double. So is there a stat for baserunning? Turns out there is.
BsR (Base running runs above average, includes Stolen Bases or Caught Stealing)
Saunders -0.7 compared to Pillar 0.5 and Donaldson 0.6.
So yeah, Saunders needs some baserunning practice.
What’s worse than a catcher that can’t catch? The bottom of the 10th. Extra innings. I’m not sure why Gavin Floyd wasn’t left in to pitch the 9th. He’s certainly doing better than Storen, and if the Jays successfully made it through the 9th, they knew they would need another arm. But after switching to Storen for the 9th, which he barely got out of, they had to bring Biagini in for the 10th. He loaded the bases but that wasn’t the worst of it. Josh Thole had a passed ball with Adam Jones batting, and the ball got far away from him so the winning run scored. Is that not the worst way to lose or what?
Due to a poor lineup construction, the Blue Jays are easy to matchup against late in games, and the team is simply wasting runs as a result.
Read article via It’s Time To Switch-Up The Blue Jays Lineup – Bluebird Banter
I HATE LOSING
The Toronto Blue Jays went 42-18 after the trade deadline in 2015, so bandwagon fans were only used to watching the Jays lose less than 1 in 3 games. So far this season, the Jays are losing more than 1 in 2 and it sucks. As a bandwagoner, I haven’t yet learned to derive enjoyment out of watching them play poorly. If they play well and still lose in a close game, yeah I can enjoy that. But games where the whole team looks lacklustre or when after 11 games in the season, there are still 3 positions batting less than 0.200, well, I don’t like it.
Of course the highlights of Friday night’s game were Encarnacion’s 2 homeruns. Josh Donaldson however ended his 10-game hit streak and in fact, threw his first error of the season. He had 18 last year.
The other highlight? Seeing John Gibbons signal the bullpen with a 2-handed air quote gesture to call for the amidextrous (not ambidextr-i-ous Buck) pitcher, Pat Venditte.
I also love rundowns. The Jays got Shaw in this not so elegant rundown.