The Jays could have used the Seattle atmosphere to spur them on tonight.
4-4 | 3.1 IP | 6 (6) | 12 H | 0 BB | 2 K |
81 PC, B: 27, S: 54 | 4.54 ERA
Marco Estrada was not good tonight. While he was one of the anchors of the Jays’ rotation only a few weeks ago, he has stumbled through his recent starts. The Rays were able to knock Estrada around tonight, as they picked up six runs and 12 hits off of him in only 3.1 innings. It’s worth noting that their BABIP was .625, but even so, Estrada’s approach didn’t do him any favours. It looked as though the Rays were sitting on his changeup all night. That resulted in a three-run blast from Logan Morrison in the 3rd, to cap off their consistent contact.
This was Estrada’s third rough outing in a row. He allowed four runs to the Athletics last week, and seven runs to the Yankees on June 1st. Those are very un-Estrada-like performances. Given his history, this will lead to questions about whether he is dealing with any back issues. Hopefully that is not the case. It would be much better if this was just a small bump along the road. However, it is still worth keeping an eye on. The Jays’ rotation can’t really afford another setback.
The offence was dead tonight. There was nothing happening. Kevin Pillar continues to look lost at the plate. He went hitless, with a pair of strikeouts. It’s time to find another leadoff hitter. Jose Bautista also had a couple of strikeouts (though at least he walked). The rest of the lineup sprinkled in some singles, but they couldn’t string anything together. The only run came in the 7th. Russell Martin hit a double, before Ezequiel Carrera drove him home.
There was one last glimmer of hope in the 8th. Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak each picked up singles (which marked Smoak’s second of the night), and Troy Tulowitzki walked to load the bases. That brought Martin to the plate, with a chance to make it a two-run deficit. Martin grounded out to end the inning. It was that kind of night.
|D. Leone (1-0)||1.2||0||0||1||0||4||19 (4-15)||3.58|
|J. Beliveau (0-0)||2.0||1||1||1||1||2||38 (17-21)||3.00|
|J. Grilli (2-4)||1.0||0||0||1||0||0||18 (8-10)||7.71|
|A. Loup (2-0)||1.0||1||1||1||1||1||19 (9-10)||2.74|
Estrada’s short outing resulted in an extended night for the bullpen. Dominic Leone was the first into the game. In short, he was excellent. Leone gave up one hit – which happened to be a two-run double on his first pitch of the game – and struck out four over 1.2 innings. The Jays couldn’t ask for much more from him. It was a very positive showing for Leone, who continues to fight for more time in the bullpen.
Jeff Beliveau entered in the 6th to face his former team. He went 2.0 innings. During that stretch, he gave up a hit, a run, and a walk, while also striking out two. This was only Beliveau’s third appearance of the year. It was good to see him have a fair amount of success against both right-handers and left-handers. If he can put a few outings together, then he should have a shot to hang around as a second left-handed option after Aaron Loup. It’s not as if J.P. Howell has shown much reason to get excited.
Down 7-1, the Jays gave Jason Grilli the ball in the 8th. It was his first appearance since giving up four homers to the Yankees on June 3rd. Grilli started the inning by allowing a leadoff single, before he recovered with a double play, and a deep flyout. I admit that I didn’t think it unrealistic to believe that Grilli would never pitch for the Jays again. So begins another effort to regain his form.
Loup gave up a first-pitch home run to Corey Dickerson in the 9th. As Buck Martinez said, that wasn’t exactly what John Gibbons had on his mind with the left-on-left matchup. Loup has struggled against left-handers this year, and that didn’t do anything to help his numbers. Loup allowed a couple of baserunners after that, but eventually worked his way out of the inning. Nevertheless, he was the least convincing reliever tonight.
So that’s that. Good thing the Jays only need to face the Rays once more until mid-August.