Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Oakland Athletics 8, Toronto Blue Jays 7

Michael Dwyer - The Associated Press

The Jays looked to be in fine form after the All-Star Break, as the offence was firing on all cylinders. Even so, they were not able to overcome another poor start from Stroman. The strong offensive performance was put to waste, as the starter was hit hard in a brief appearance.

Toronto

7

Oakland

8

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 R H E
Toronto 0 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 7 7 0
Oakland 2 0 1 1 3 0 1 8 12 1

The Starter

M. Stroman

7-4 | 4.2 IP | 7 (6) | 9 H | 1 BB | 5 K |
95 PC, B: 39, S: 56 | 5.15 ERA

Stroman had an awful night. His final line reads 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 5 K. This was similar to his starts in June, as he allowed plenty of hard hit balls, and three home runs. The 5th inning was particularly ugly, as he recorded two quick outs, before giving up back-to-back homers to Khris Davis and Stephen Vogt.

This will undoubtedly reignite the discussion around sending Stroman to Buffalo. At this point in the season, that would be a mistake. Stroman made noticeable mechanical changes two weeks ago, which resulted in three solid starts. He is currently making adjustments to get back on track. Beyond that, there is nobody to call up. Hutchison is on the roster until the Mariners series, which puts the AAA depth at nothing. Even if Hutchison was in Buffalo, Stroman is still a better pitcher than him. It seems like a case of “absence has made the heart grow fonder” with Hutchison. Stroman is still the fifth best starter in the organization, even with these poor starts. If, however, they can acquire another starter at the deadline, then it might be appropriate to send him to Buffalo until Sanchez is sent to the bullpen. Unless that happens, he should stay on the team, if only because there is not a better option available.

The Hitting

Player H-AB R RBI BB SO 2B-3B-HR SB AVG OBP Slug
E. Carrera 0-4 1 1 1 1 0-0-0 0 .275 .365 .398
J. Donaldson 1-4 1 1 1 1 0-0-0 0 .303 .418 .594
E. Encarnación 0-3 0 0 1 2 0-0-0 0 .265 .356 .536
M. Saunders 0-1 1 1 2 0 0-0-0 0 .297 .374 .549
R. Martin 1-4 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .228 .314 .340
T. Tulowitzki 1-4 1 1 0 0 0-0-0 0 .239 .314 .450
J. Smoak 1-2 1 0 2 1 0-0-0 0 .234 .333 .402
K. Pillar 1-4 1 1 0 0 0-0-0 0 .268 .298 .399
D. Travis 2-3 1 1 1 1 0-0-0 0 .272 .315 .444

There was plenty of scoring tonight. Good thing, too, given Storman’s performance. The runs came early, as Tulowitzki led things off with an RBI groundout in the 2nd. A couple more came during a Saunders at bat in the 3rd. First, Daniel Mengden threw a wild pitch to score Carrera from 3rd. Saunders then hit a sac fly to score Donaldson. Tonight’s big inning came in the 4th. Pillar came to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. He hit an RBI single. That was followed with another from Travis, an RBI groundout from Carrera, and an RBI single from Donaldson. That parade around the bases brought an end to Mengden’s night. The bats went quiet after that, though, as they only managed one hit off of the bullpen, and couldn’t score again. That said, seven runs should have been enough to win.

The Bullpen

Player IP R ER H BB SO PC (B-S) ERA
J. Chavez (0-2) 1.1 0 0 1 0 2 14 (2-12) 3.28
B. Cecil (0-5) 0.2 1 1 2 1 1 17 (7-10) 5.52
B. Schultz (0-0) 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 12 (6-6) 2.08

The bullpen had to cover their fair share tonight. Chavez was the first into the game, as he came in with two outs in the 5th. He got Marcus Semien to strikeout to end the frame. Chavez was back out for a quick 6th. After he allowed a leadoff single to Danny Valencia, he was able to strikeout Jake Smolinski and induce a double play from Ryon Healy. Chavez continues to look sharp when he has to record more than three outs. Cecil was out for the 7th. He got Coco Crisp to flyout on the first pitch and struck out Jed Lowrie. Future Blue Jay™ Josh Reddick then took a walk to get on base for the fourth time of the night. Davis followed that with a single. Cecil almost escaped the jam, thanks to a spectacular throw by Pillar, but Reddick scored on a single from Vogt. That brought an end to Cecil’s night. Schultz came in to replace Cecil. He didn’t have any trouble, as Semien flied out to end the inning. Schultz was back out for the 8th. It was a quick inning, as Valencia lined out to Pillar, Smolinski took a walk, Healy hit into a fielders’ choice, and Crisp grounded out. Schultz has been impressive since he returned from the DL.

This was certainly disappointing. But these games happen. The good news is that the Jays have won eight of their last 10, and had solid production from their offence and bullpen (which allowed only one run over 4.1 innings). Stroman is still struggling, but there just aren’t any other options available. This game reinforced the need to improve the rotation at the deadline.

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