The Jays’ offence is starting to stretch. It might wake up. The bats weren’t quite there tonight, but things might be trending in the right direction in the near future.
W: T. Skaggs 1-1
L: C. Lawrence 0-2
S: B. Norris 0-0
L, 0-2 | 6.1 IP | 5 (4) | 8 H | 3 BB | 4 K |
97 PC, B: 34, S: 63 | 7.56 ERA
Casey Lawrence did his job tonight. He hit a bump along the way, but he wasn’t a disaster. Lawrence’s final line reads 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 4 K, 3 BB. He started off well enough, but a Darwin Barney error led to an RBI single in the 1st. The real trouble came in the 3rd. Lawrence walked Kole Calhoun, and then gave up a ground rule double to Mike Trout. After C.J. Cron walked to load the bases, Andrelton Simmons hit a grand slam. I would have bet on Simmons to ground into a double play. Sometimes you get beat. Simmons beat Lawrence pretty bad.
Credit to Lawrence, though, as he rebounded after that big inning. He retired 10 straight batters between the 4th and the 7th. John Gibbons pulled him after he gave up a single to Calhoun and a deep double to Trout. It’s tough to be disappointed with Lawrence tonight. Remember that this was his first career Major League start, and he had to face Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. He had one bad inning, but otherwise kept the Jays in it.
The bats didn’t do much while Lawrence was in the game. Kevin Pillar popped out on an attempted bunt on the very first pitch of the night. That should have been a sign. I guess things improved after that opening frame, as Justin Smoak (who else?) gave the Jays a 1-0 lead. I don’t want to see Smoak bat left-handed ever again. So it was a decent start to the night. Tyler Skaggs looked Tyler Skaggs-y. That should have given the Jays a chance.
Unfortunately, the Jays let Skaggs off the hook. There were a few moments of note. Jarrod Saltatlamacchia struck out in the 2nd, for what was his 10th consecutive strikeout, a franchise record. I wonder if Luke Maile would rather not play in Buffalo. The Jays did have two on and one out in the 4th, but Devon Travis – who Tabby assures us is still a happy guy – grounded into an inning-ending double play. The only other moment of interest was in the 6th, when Kendrys Morales hit a two-out single, and barked something at the Jays’ dugout to get them fired up. I’m sure this season hasn’t been what he signed up for.
Skaggs finally came out of the game in the 8th. Ryan Goins hit a nice little leadoff double to get things going. That brought an end to Skaggs’ night. In came Kirby Yates to face Pillar. Superman made up for his attempted bunt from earlier in the night, as he launched a two-run homer. Just like that, the Jays were within striking distance, against a weak bullpen. Jose Bautista should have had a double later in the inning, but Calhoun robbed him of extra bases with a great diving grab. I wish Calhoun was a Blue Jay. At least Bautista has started to look more like himself as of late.
Then the game got really interesting. Smoak led off the 9th inning. He hit a homer. Because of course he did. This time from the left side. Maybe he can remain a switch-hitter. He’s honestly the Jays’ best hitter who is still healthy – honestly, his wRC+ is 143. The Angels could only survive Kirby Yates for so long. Ezequiel Carrera followed that with a single off of Bud Norris. But then Travis grounded into a double play. For reasons that I’ll never understand, the Jays sent Saltalamacchia to the plate with two outs, while Russell Martin looked on from the dugout with a bat on his shoulder. I get that Martin’s days off are meant to be full days off, but this would have been one plate appearance in a one-run game. Anyway. Saltalamacchia struck out, which you expected. They might as well DFA him at this point. He stinks.
|L. Campos (0-0)||1.2||0||0||1||0||0||12 (4-8)||0.00|
Leonel Campos made his Blue Jays’ debut in the 7th. There were two runners on, with Albert Pujols at the plate. The Jays issued Pujols an intentional walk, and I believe it happened while Campos was still throwing his warmup pitches. Thanks, Rob Manfred. Campos then had to face Cron with the bases loaded. A [slick throw from Goins at shortstop](http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2017/04/23/1314010983/1492917619053/asset_1800K.mp4) led to an inning-ending double play. Just like Campos drew it up. Campos came back for the 8th. Simmons led things off with a single. That was erased by Cameron Maybin, who grounded into a double play. Campos closed out the inning with a flyout from Danny Espinosa. The Jays got some valuable innings from Lawrence and Campos tonight, especially coming after last night’s marathon.
Another one of those games that the Jays probably should have won but didn’t. It feels like we’ve already seen a dozen of those. Reminder that tomorrow’s game is in the afternoon, rather than the evening.