BLUE JAYS WIN! BLUE JAYS WIN! BLUE JAYS WIN!
W: R. Osuna 1-0
L: T. Wilson 1-1
0-1 | 7.0 IP | 0 (0) | 4 H | 3 BB | 8 K |
109 PC, B: 40, S: 69 | 3.50 ERA
This felt like an important game, especially by mid-April standards. The Jays were able to turn to arguably their best big game pitcher, and Marco Estrada didn’t let them down. His final line reads 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H 8 K, 3 BB. The game started with some concern, as Seth Smith led things off with a double. Fortunately, Estrada was able to work his way out of the 1st. He cruised through the next five innings, and left the Orioles’ best hitters looking lost. The only other trouble came in the 7th, when Jonathan Schoop hit a double, and advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch. In the end, it didn’t matter, as Estrada worked his way out of that as well. Estrada’s changeup was lethal today. The Orioles made very little hard contact, and struck out more than they would have liked. Estrada did his part to give the Jays a chance.
The offence came out looking alive today, if only for an inning. Kevin Pillar led these off with a single in the 1st. Ezequiel Carrera then dropped a sac bunt (which is an awful idea in the 1st inning, but anyway), to advance him to 2nd. A wild pitch moved Pillar to 3rd. Of course, they couldn’t finish it off by brining him home. The Jays proceeded to make Alec Asher look like Chris Sale for a few innings. It was the same ugliness that we’ve grown accustomed to.
They finally got on the board in the 7th. Jose Bautista’s jersey was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Kendrys Morales then hit a sharp lineout. Fortunately, Troy Tulowitzki was able to sneak a groundball through the infield to put two runners on. Then there was some peculiar decision-making. Buck Showalter removed Asher from the game, and replaced him with the left-handed Donnie Hart. John Gibbons decided to stick with Justin Smoak. I would’ve gone to Steve Pearce at that point, as a natural 1-for-1 substitution. Fair play to Smoak, tough, as he hit a deep drive to centre field. Chris Coghlan was due up next. He has awful splits against lefties, so once again, it looked like a good opportunity to go to the lefty-mashing Pearce. Instead, Gibbons went with Darwin Barney. Of course he did. But the move paid off! Barney hit an RBI single to score Bautista and give the Jays their first lead in about six months. They could have built upon that, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out for the third time on the afternoon.
|J. Biagini (0-0)||1.0||0||0||1||0||0||7 (0-7)||1.04|
|R. Osuna (W, 1-0)||1.0||1||1||1||0||1||15 (3-12)||4.50|
The bullpen had a unique task today – protect a lead. Joe Biagini started the effort in the 8th. Manny Machado was able to reach 1st on a Barney error. That didn’t have much of an impact, as Chris Davis hit into one of the prettiest double plays you’ll see. Mark Trumbo followed with another groundout to end the inning. Mission accomplished for Biagini.
Roberto Osuna came in for the save in the 9th. Wellington Castillo started the inning with a single, on a ground ball that hit off of Osuna. Craig Gentry took over as a pinch runner, and stole 2nd on Saltalamacchia. Gentry then advanced to 3rd on a Hyun-soo Kim flyout to left field. Yes, the ball went to left field, and he still made it to 3rd. Ezequiel Carrera, man. Jonathan Schoop followed with the inevitable sac fly. The game was tied, and the save was blown. Osuna ended the inning by striking out Ryan Flaherty. Carrera let him down in that inning. Good thing Morales picked him up.
Don’t look now, but here come the Blue Jays.