W: J. Biagini 1-1
L: C. Bergman 0-1
How about that bullpen? Joe Biagini continues to look strong as a starter, and the rest of the bullpen has put in some big innings over the past week. Throw in a mini-power surge for Jose Bautista, and this was a good night.
W, 1-1 | 5.0 IP | 0 (0) | 4 H | 0 BB | 3 K |
68 PC, B: 21, S: 47 | 2.28 ERA
I don’t want to get too excited, but the Jays might only need to add one starting pitcher next off-season. Biagini has looked excellent through his first two starts. Tonight, his line read 5.0+ IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 0 BB. Biagini looked like he was in control from the beginning, as he struck out Nelson Cruz on three pitches to cap off the 1st. He eventually reached 68 pitches before John Gibbons took him out of the game. With the exception of a couple of doubles from Jarrod Dyson and Danny Valencia, Biagini had a pretty easy time of it tonight. He was helped at times by some strong defence, particularly Steve Pearce’s catch in the 3rd. Biagini has filled in admirably for the rotation over the past week. He’s likely to get a few more starts before both Aaron Sanchez and JA Happ. The front office will get a nice long look at Biagini, who will hopefully be a reliable starter for years to come.
The offence had a fairly easy time of it tonight. The Mariners started Christian Bergman, and he was throwing slop. The Jays had two runners aboard in each of the first three innings. During that span, Devon Travis hit an RBI groundout, and Bautista hit a two-run shot. It was nice to score, but I did have a problem with the outcome in the 2nd. The Jays started that inning with a pair of singles from Pearce and Ryan Goins. They then decided to have Darwin Barney lay down a sac bunt. Personally, I don’t see why giving up a free out with two runners on, no outs, and a .300+ hitter at the plate, in a tie game, makes much sense in the 2nd inning. If it was the 8th inning and the Jays needed just one run, then fine. But the situation didn’t seem to call for it. There’s a time to bunt, and I’m not sure that that was it. At least they were able to bring one of the runners home.
Of course, that decision is something of a nitpick in retrospect. The Bautista home run made it less meaningful. The Jays tacked on a fourth run in the 6th, when Travis hit a sac fly. Lots of good hitting from Kevin Pillar, Goins, and Barney tonight, which is what we have come to expect this season. The Jays might not have scored eight runs off of Bergman, but they did enough. It should also be noted that Bautista has continued to barrel the ball over the last few games. It seems like he might break out soon enough.
|A. Loup (1-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||4 (1-3)||2.40|
|D. Barnes (0-0)||1.1||0||0||3||0||3||27 (10-17)||1.35|
|R. Tepera (2-1)||1.1||0||0||0||0||0||17 (7-10)||3.92|
|R. Osuna (2-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||14 (4-10)||3.21|
With Biagini at his limit, the bullpen got to work in the 6th. Loup came into the game with one on and nobody out. Ben Gamel grounded into a fielders’ choice that was hit just a little too softly to turn a double play. That was it for Loup. Danny Barnes came in to end the inning. Kyle Seager hit a single, before Cruz and Danny Valencia were retired to end the inning.
Barnes came back out to start the 7th. He got into trouble in a hurry, as Guillermo Heredia and Taylor Motter led off with back-to-back singles. Barnes bounced back from that by striking out Carlos Ruiz and Dyson. That brought an end to Barnes’ night. Ryan Tepera was brought in to face Jean Segura. The move paid off, as Segura flied out to end the inning.
Tepera stayed in for the 8th. Gamel popped out to start the inning, Cruz grounded out, and Seager flied out to end it. Tepera hasn’t allowed a run in his last six outings (10.1 innings), and has struck out 13 over that same stretch. It’s been a run since his poor outing against the Cardinals on April 27th.
Despite having a four-run lead, the Jays turned things over to Roberto Osuna in the 9th. You be the judge of that decision. Valencia grounded out on the first pitch he saw. Heredia and Motter each struck out to end the game. Osuna looked excellent, as he has over the past two weeks.
Make it three in a row, and five of the last six. Marcus Stroman starts against TBD tomorrow. Maybe we’ll get to see Casey Lawrence. We can only hope.