Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Toronto Blue Jays 4, Kansas City Royals 5

A heart-breaking loss to the Royals in the series opener.

Toronto

4

Kansas City

5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Toronto 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 4 11 1
Kansas City 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 5 9 0

W: J. Soria 4-2
L: A. Loup 2-1

The Starter

A

J. Happ

2-4 | 6.2 IP | 1 (1) | 4 H | 0 BB | 5 K |
105 PC, B: 32, S: 73 | 3.83 ERA

The Blue Jays were in desperate need of a good performance from their starters. That is exactly what J.A. Happ was giving them through the first three innings. He struck out two batters and didn’t allow a hit, needing only 40 pitches to get through three full frames.

Jorge Bonifacio registered the first hit of the game for the Royals, a one-out double in the 4th. Happ was able to close the inning with ease. He looked very confident, was in a good rhythm and was hitting his spots. Martin barely had to move his glove from where he was setting up.

Happ allowed a single in the 5th, which was really a fluke fly ball that blooped and dropped in. Other than that, he was cruising. J.A. was zeroed in on the corners and edges of the zone. When he did miss, it wasn’t by much. A couple of strikeouts in the 6th inning were proof of him gaining momentum and strength late in the game. Through 6.0 frames, he had thrown 84 pitches, with 4 strikeouts, one walk and two hits.

Despite getting ahead of Cain in the count 0-2, Happ still surrendered a double to lead off the 7th. Everything seemed to be falling apart in the inning when Goins bobbled a ground ball to put runners on the corners. Hosmer hit a hot shot which was almost caught by Smith in left field, but ended up dropping for an RBI single. Happ recovered to induce an infield fly ball and pick up a strikeout, but he was done for the night after throwing 105 pitches. John Gibbons decided that was enough for Happ. He may have been able to finish the 7th, but the real story is how well he pitched for the previous six.

The Hitting

C-
Player H-AB R RBI BB SO 2B-3B-HR SB AVG OBP Slug
J. Bautista 3-5 1 0 0 1 0-0-0 0 .230 .343 .408
R. Martin 1-3 1 0 2 1 0-0-0 0 .227 .383 .400
J. Donaldson 1-5 0 1 0 3 0-0-0 0 .282 .382 .538
K. Morales 0-3 1 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .268 .316 .491
J. Smoak 1-1 0 1 0 0 0-0-0 0 .306 .368 .599
T. Tulowitzki 2-5 1 1 0 0 1-0-0 0 .234 .292 .333
D. Smith Jr. 3-5 0 0 0 1 1-0-0 0 .400 .444 .480
K. Pillar 0-3 0 0 1 1 0-0-0 0 .250 .304 .403
R. Goins 0-2 0 0 1 0 0-0-0 0 .213 .278 .348
D. Barney 0-1 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .223 .263 .300
I. Parmley 0-3 0 0 0 1 0-0-0 0 .000 .000 .000

A perfectly good single to start the game was wasted by the Blue Jays. Bautista found the outfield, but was thrown out stealing second. Martin and Donaldson both struck out to end the 1st inning. Later on in the 3rd inning, a couple of 2-out singles were also erased by a Josh Donaldson strikeout.

Toronto made Jake Junis pay for hitting Kendrys Morales with a pitch to lead off the 4th inning. Troy Tulowitzki doubled to right-centre, driving Morales in. Troy ended up scoring on a wild pitch. A little bit of small ball helped get the Jays on the board, leading 2-0.

Showing some more fundamentals in the 7th, a perfectly laid sacrifice bunt by Parmley advanced Goins to second after a leadoff walk. He was left stranded on the bases, but the Blue Jays were showing a different approach in this game. They were concentrating on getting on base and advancing instead of swinging for the fences.

In the 8th, Troy Tulowitzki hoofed out an infield single on a slow chopper to shortstop. Hot-hitting Dwight Smith went against the shift for a double into right field, putting two on. Both would be stranded on ground balls by Pillar and Barney. Recurring problems persisted for Toronto when they were unable to cash in base runners.

Toronto had two runners on again in the 9th after a single by Bautista and a walk by Martin. Back-to-back singles by Donaldson and Smoak gave the Jays some insurance. They increased their lead in the inning to 4-1. There was some great clutch hitting from Toronto in the 9th. The hitters missed a few opportunities earlier on, but put up enough runs to win the game.

No matter what they do, things are not going the team’s way at the moment.

The Bullpen

D
Player IP R ER H BB SO PC (B-S) ERA
D. Barnes (1-2) 1.0 0 0 1 0 1 22 (7-15) 2.23
R. Tepera (4-1) 1.0 3 3 2 1 1 32 (9-23) 3.26
A. Loup (L, 2-1) 0.0 1 1 1 0 0 1 (0-1) 3.38
J. Grilli (2-4) 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 5 (3-2) 6.97

Brought in to record one out in the 7th, Danny Barnes got it done, letting Happ off the hook. He stayed on the mound for the 8th inning. A line drive got away from Dwight Smith in left field which put Merrifield on second base. Barnes was removed by Gibby with two outs in the 8th. He has had better games. His command was not very sharp tonight but he didn’t allow any runs.

Ryan Tepera entered the game to clean up for Barnes. He struck out Lorenzo Cain, ending hopes for Kansas City in the 8th. In a save situation and without Osuna (for some reason), Gibbons opted to keep Tepera in the game for the 9th. Salvador Perez hit a double. A wild-pitch walk by Tepera put runners on the corners with two outs. An RBI single by Escobar would end the night for Tepera. The Royals hitters were not giving up and were hitting well-thrown pitches from the reliever.

For the final out of the game, Aaron Loup was tasked to pitch to lefty Alex Gordon. On the first pitch, Gordon singled up the middle to drive in a run, bringing Kansas City within a run, 4-3. John Gibbons went back to the pen after Loup threw only a single pitch.

Next up was Jason Grilli, who gave up a game-ending double to Whit Merrifield.

The bullpen could not get the job done against the tenacious Kansas City hitters. Roberto Osuna was not available tonight, but they really could have used him in the 9th inning.

The Manager

John Gibbons

This season Gibby has shown a bit of Dr. Jekyll and a bit of Mr. Hyde when it comes to his pitchers. Sometimes he’s an absentee manager, letting guys dig themselves a deep hole; Other times he is an impatient micro-manager, pulling guys in and out of the game at a feverish rate.
Tonight he was the latter.

Notable Hitters

J. Bautista

3-5 | 0 BB | 1 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .230, OBP: .343, Slug: .408

Jose went 3-5, picking up three singles in the game. We saw a different approach from Bautista, who was not looking to pull the ball but work with what he was given.

R. Martin

1-3 | 2 BB | 1 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .227, OBP: .383, Slug: .400

Martin was robbed of extra bases in the 3rd by Mike Moustakas, who bobbled the ball allowing Russell to reach first base. He also took a couple of walks and scored a run.

J. Donaldson

1-5 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 3 K | 0 SB | AVG: .282, OBP: .382, Slug: .538

Donaldson salvaged a terrible offensive night by hitting a clutch RBI single in the 9th inning. Prior to that he struck out three times, leaving five runners on base.

K. Morales

0-3 | 0 BB | 1 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .268, OBP: .316, Slug: .491

Morales ended his hitting streak tonight when he couldn’t get anything going. He was hit by a pitch in the 4th inning and came around to score.

J. Smoak

1-1 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .306, OBP: .368, Slug: .599

Smoak got in the game as a defensive substitution for Morales. He picked up right where he left off before this game by getting an RBI single in the 9th inning.

T. Tulowitzki

2-5 | 0 BB | 1 R | 1 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .234, OBP: .292, Slug: .333

There are signs he’s breaking out of his funk at the plate. He had an RBI double in the 4th, and he legged out an infield single in the 7th inning.

D. Smith Jr.

3-5 | 0 BB | 0 R | 1 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .400, OBP: .444, Slug: .480

A great offensive game for Smith, who had two singles and a double. He is showing off his hitting talent and is earning himself a lot more playing time. He can be a real threat when he’s on base because of his speed. The future is looking up for the Blue Jays outfield.
However, Smith needs some help on defense. He dropped, misjudged and bobbled a few balls in left.

K. Pillar

0-3 | 1 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .250, OBP: .304, Slug: .403

Kevin continues his struggles at the plate. He managed to draw a walk in the 4th, but that was about it.

R. Goins

0-2 | 1 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .213, OBP: .278, Slug: .348

He didn’t record a hit in the game, but was on base once after being walked.
Ryan committed a costly error in the 7th inning on a ground ball, contributing to Happ’s downfall.

D. Barney

0-1 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 0 K | 0 SB | AVG: .223, OBP: .263, Slug: .300

Late in the game, Barney entered the game as a substitution for Ryan Goins. In his only at-bat, he grounded out with two runners on base in the 8th.

I. Parmley

0-3 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .000, OBP: .000, Slug: .000

In his Major League debut, it might have been a case of the jitters for Parmley. One positive was when he layed down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Goins in the 6th inning.

Notable Pitchers

D. Barnes

1-2 | 1.0 IP | 0 (0) | 1 H | 0 BB | 1 K |
22 PC, B: 7, S: 15 | 2.23 ERA

Barnes did not look as sharp as we have seen him in previous games. He didn’t allow any runs, but he wasn’t throwing strikes like he usually does.

R. Tepera

4-1 | 1.0 IP | 3 (3) | 2 H | 1 BB | 1 K |
32 PC, B: 9, S: 23 | 3.26 ERA

It was a rough night for Tepera, who was charged with three earned runs in the 9th inning. He did a good job ending the 8th by striking out Lorenzo Cain. In the 9th, the tenacious Royals offense were hitting everything, even when he made good pitches.

A. Loup

L, 2-1 | 0.0 IP | 1 (1) | 1 H | 0 BB | 0 K |
1 PC, B: 0, S: 1 | 3.38 ERA

Aaron threw one pitch on the night which Alex Gordon hit up the middle for an RBI single.

J. Grilli

2-4 | 0.0 IP | 0 (0) | 1 H | 0 BB | 0 K |
5 PC, B: 3, S: 2 | 6.97 ERA

Grilli gave up a two-run double to Whit Merrifield to end the game.
You can’t blame everything on him, but he definitely didn’t help the team tonight.

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