W: J. Biagini 3-8
L: S. Casilla 2-5
4-7 | 5.0 IP | 2 (2) | 3 H | 4 BB | 4 K |
100 PC, B: 46, S: 54 | 5.43 ERA
This might have been the end of Marco Estrada’s time in Toronto. If that turns out to be the case, then at least he looked a little better tonight than he had over the past two months. Estrada’s final line reads 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 3 H, 4 BB. Although he limited the A’s to only two runs, it still wasn’t an easy outing. Oakland had the bases loaded in the 1st, before Estrada escaped the jam. He breezed through the next few innings, allowing naught but a ground rule double in the 4th. Things stated to unravel in the 5th, though. Estrada allowed a couple of walks around a two-run homer to Marcus Semien. After his last start, Estrada noted that he was fatigued in the middle innings. That seemed to be the case again tonight, as his command really started to slip away on him. Even so, he was still able to keep the Jays in the game. It was an improvement.
So that might be it for Estrada. While the past two months have been a mess, his entire Blue Jays career has been very good. Acquired in a trade for Adam Lind (because I need to emphasize what a steal he was), he worked his way into the rotation in 2015, and was a dependable member throughout that season and 2016. Above all, Estrada’s tenure will likely be remembered for his terrific playoff outings. He was a key piece in both playoff runs. He was a good one.
Now, what will the Jays get if they do trade him? Not very much. A contending team won’t want to take on a reclamation project in exchange for any serious return. At most, the Jays should expect to get a couple of lottery tickets. By all accounts, Estrada loves Toronto. If the Jays could ink him to another two-year extension, then that might ultimately provide more valuable than any prospects that they receive. To that end, the best outcome would probably be to trade him at the deadline, and then sign him in the off-season. Whether that’s a real possibility remains to be seen. Trading him away could sour his taste for the front office, though it’s also possible that he would interpret it as being part of the business of baseball. At any rate, an extension would probably be easier if they hung on to him or the rest of the season.
Until the last couple of batters, it was an ugly night at the plate. Jose Bautista led off the game with a double. The next hit was a Josh Donaldson double in the 6th. Miguel Montero picked up his second hit as a Blue Jay in the 8th, with a leadoff single. Nothing came of it.
There was one last effort in the 9th. Donaldson led the inning off with a walk. That brought Justin Smoak to the plate as the tying run. And you know what? Justin Smoak put the team on the back. After getting ahead 2-0 in the count, Smoak drove one deep to right field for a two-run shot. What a wacky year he’s had. On the next pitch, Kendrys Morales launched another one over the right field wall. Ball game. Walkoff wins are exciting.
|M. Dermody (0-0)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||4 (1-3)||67.50|
|D. Leone (2-0)||2.0||0||0||0||0||1||26 (8-18)||2.56|
|A. Loup (2-2)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||17 (6-11)||4.95|
|J. Biagini (W, 3-8)||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||12 (4-8)||4.89|
The bullpen didn’t get a rest tonight. Matt Dermody entered the game to start off the 6th. He struck out Yonder Alonso. That was it for Dermody. Dominic Leone was in next. He got Ryon Healy to line out before Matt Chapman struck out to end the frame. Leone was back for the 7th. It was an easy inning, as Bruce Maxwell, Rajai Davis, and Matt Joyce each grounded out. Leone faced one more batter in the 8th, as Semien lined out. Leone can pitch for me any day.
Aaron Loup was brought in to end the 8th. He made quick work of it, as Jed Lowrie lined out and Khris Davis struck out to end it. Loup was back on the mound to start the 9th. He struck out Alonso to bring an end to his night. Joe Biagini was the next reliever into the game. Healy grounded out, before Chapman walked and Maxwell struck out. The bullpen had another impressive showing tonight. It’s good that someone did.
That was a wild finish. The Jays will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.