Every so often, having a revolving door to the DL will come back to bite you. Tonight, the Jays’ rotation was bitten. The offence was still good. They just needed some help from their pitchers.
0-1 | 4.2 IP | 6 (5) | 8 H | 2 BB | 3 K |
95 PC, B: 38, S: 57 | 6.10 ERA
Mike Bolsinger was not good. His line reads 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 K, 2 BB. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it was like watching batting practice. Bolsinger is the Jays’ ninth starter. He isn’t supposed to be good. But it was tough to watch him hit three different batters, while the rest of the Braves’ lineup hit him around. He didn’t really give himself a chance. The defence let him down at times (an Ezequiel Carrera throwing mistake comes to mind). That said, Bolsinger has to wear this one. I would be surprised if the Jays don’t call up T.J. House the next time through the rotation, though I have said that before.
The offence continues to show some promising signs. Bartolo Colon wasn’t exactly dazzling for the Braves, yet the Jays couldn’t quite capitalize on him. They threatened at various points, but never came through with a big hit. Devon Travis got them on the board with an RBI double in the 2nd. Mike Ohlman picked up his first career hit with an RBI single in the 4th. The third run came courtesy of a Jose Bautista double.
The bats showed more life once the Braves’ bullpen came in. With two outs in the 7th, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak each walked, to put two on for Travis. As he has done more than any other player this month, Travis hit another double to score Kendrys Morales. It’s been nice to see him slowly start to pick it up over the past week. Of course, Ryan Goins grounded out to end the inning. But for a brief moment, it felt like the Jays would complete the comeback then and there. The Jays did make one last push in the 9th. Bautista took a walk, and then Smoak hit his eighth homer of the year, to make it 10-6.
If the pitching had been passable, then this would have been seen as another promising game for the offence. Travis had another multi-hit game, Bautista had three of his own, and Smoak picked up a pair of walks while showing some power. The Braves’ pitching staff isn’t good enough to keep them at bay for the next three games.
|J. Howell (1-1)||0.1||2||2||2||0||0||5 (1-4)||13.50|
|L. Campos (0-0)||2.1||2||2||3||1||4||40 (13-27)||3.60|
|A. Loup (1-0)||0.2||0||0||0||0||2||8 (2-6)||2.25|
|J. Grilli (1-3)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||9 (3-6)||7.30|
The bullpen had lots to cover tonight, as they started in the 5th. I won’t give a full breakdown of how everyone performed. J.P. Howell continued to struggle, as he allowed a double and a bunt single in the 6th. Leonel Campos then made a right mess of things. The Braves scored four runs off of him, in an inning which included a three-run homer from Freddie Freeman. The good news for Campos was that he came back out and pitched a perfect 7th inning. Campos was also stretched out to start the 8th. Freeman struck out to start the inning, before Campos walked Matt Kemp. That was the end of Campos’ night. At least he was able to shoulder a significant workload.
With a runner on, Aaron Loup came in to face the left-handed Nick Markakis. He hit him. The fifth batter to be hit by the Jays on the night, which is a new franchise record. Loup bounced back by striking out Tyler Flowers and Adonis Garcia (both right-handers, mind you) to end the frame.
Jason Grilli came in to wrap things up in the 9th. Grilli has been on mop-up duty lately, thanks to his slow start to the season. He made quick work of the Braves, though, as he retired the side in order. Grilli has not allowed a run over his past five outings (though that only covers 3.2 innings). Even though it’s a small sample, it’s good to see him moving in the right direction.
The Jays were due for a loss. Now they’ve won 8 of their last 11. That’s still very good. They probably would have won this one, too, had they had competent pitching for the first 7.0 innings. A reminder that tomorrow’s game starts at 4:07, rather than 7:07. Marco Estrada will be on the mound for the Jays, opposite Jaime Garcia.