That game had a little bit of everything. With pitchers dropping left and right, the Jays had to fight until the final inning before they were able to secure the victory. This series will be seen as a disappointment, and rightfully so. At least they were able to get one win, despite a generally poor three days.
W: J. Grilli 3-1
L: J. Axford 3-3
S: R. Osuna 2-1
12-3 | 5.2 IP | 3 (3) | 5 H | 1 BB | 5 K |
84 PC, B: 34, S: 50 | 3.43 ERA
Happ looked as good as he has in a few weeks, though the outing was shortened by injury. His final line reads 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 5 K. He got off to a quick start, as he retired the first nine batters that he faced. The game took a turn in the 5th, as he was hit by a comebacker off of his left forearm. Despite the welt that quickly took shape, he stayed in the game. That speaks volumes to Happ’s fortitude. This guy has had more than his fair share of bad luck with line drives. It was impressive to see him remain in the game. He was eventually pulled in the 6th, after allowing a homer and a couple of baserunners. Happ also took another shot off the backside in the inning – it was like target practice. Had it not been for the injury, he would have been on track for an excellent afternoon.
The bats should have made a meal of the Athletics today. The A’s sent out their best starter in Rich Hill, but he was pulled after just five pitches due to a blister. That opened the door for an opportunity to beat up their bullpen. The Jays did score one in the 1st, as Encarnacion hit a line drive and Donaldson scored on an error. By the time the 2nd inning rolled around, the Athletics were already on their third pitcher of the game, as Andrew Triggs was also injured. Unfortunately, the third pitcher was Sean Manaea. The rookie had an impressive afternoon, as he pitched 5.0 innings. The Jays only got to him once, when Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer in the 4th. They really should have done more. With Manaea out of the game, the Jays had an opportunity in the 7th. Pillar led off the with a bunt single, and Smoak followed with a single of his own. Nothing else came of it, as Liam Hendriks closed the inning against Donaldson.
The Jays had another chance in the 9th. Smoak hit an infield single(!), and Lake followed with a single of his own. Donaldson came to the plate with two outs, and made up for his at bat in the 7th. He shot a double down the left field line to score a pair, and give the Jays a two-run lead. It’s always handy to have an MVP on the roster. The Athletics must hate that. A couple batters later, and the bases were loaded for Saunders. After getting ahead 3-0, Saunders struck out. The offence should have done more, but still did just enough.
The Jays were able to salvage this series in dramatic fashion. They should have done more against the A’s, but were limited in their run production. With the Orioles loss, they were able to make up some ground today. Now for a rest before playing the Diamondbacks.
|J. Chavez (0-2)||0.1||0||0||2||0||0||14 (4-10)||3.25|
|B. Cecil (0-6)||1.0||0||0||1||0||1||12 (5-7)||5.17|
|J. Grilli (W, 3-1)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||14 (4-10)||2.45|
|R. Osuna (S, 2-1)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||13 (4-9)||2.16|
Gibbons called on the bullpen in the 6th to finish off Happ’s inning. He appeared to make the wrong call, though. Chavez has struggled with inherited runners this season, as more than 40% have scored. That trend continued today, when Yonder Alonso hit an RBI double to tie the game. Chavez then hit Jake Smolinski with a pitch, and allowed an infield hit to Ryon Healy. That loaded the bases. Chavez got out of it when Matt McBride popped out. There was no reason for Chavez to be used in that situation. Either Grilli or Biagini would have been better choices. The pitchers have to perform, but the manager didn’t put the team in a great position to succeed.
Cecil was out for the 7th. The inning started with a single from Jed Lowrie. Cecil then struck out Marcus Semien, before Future Blue Jay Josh Reddick hit into an inning-ending double play. Cecil’s release didn’t look especially sharp today, so it was good that he got out of there in a hurry. Grilli came in for the 8th. He started with a pair of strikeouts against Danny Valencia and Khris Davis, before Alonso flied out. Based on his performance this year, it would have been nice to use the veteran in the 6th inning. Grilli should also serve as an important reminder ahead of the trade deadline. Just like Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins last season, he shows that the Jays can acquire a quality late-inning reliever without trading away much at all. The Grilli trade has been one of the better moves made by the front office. Osuna was in for the save in the 9th. Smolinski popped out, Healy struck out, and McBride popped out to end it.