For the first time in a while, the bullpen couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Neither could the offence, but we’re used to that. At least the starter looked decent.
3-7 | 6.0 IP | 3 (3) | 5 H | 4 BB | 5 K |
97 PC, B: 38, S: 59 | 4.15 ERA
JA Happ had a rocky start to his night, before he eventually settled in and gave the Jays a chance to win. His final line reads 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 4 BB. Happ allowed a ground rule double to Yunel Escobar to start the game. He followed that by striking out the side, which included Mike Trout on three pitches. Things didn’t go as smoothly in the 2nd. With two outs, Happ gave up two singles and three walks, and the Angels scored two runs. That brought Happ’s pitch count up to 55 after only two innings. Happ allowed one more run in the 4th, as he interfered with what would have been an inning-ending double play ball, before Trout hit an RBI single. Happ retired the last seven batters that he faced. He did well to turn around what initially seemed destined to be a short outing.
The offence was not good tonight. They didn’t pick up a hit until the 4th, and they only had only three off of the Angels’ starter. Parker Bridwell pitched well, but he didn’t deserve that. The only real highlight through the first 7.0 innings was an injury. Troy Tulowitzki was running out a groundout in the 3rd, when he stepped on/around C.J. Cron’s foot on the bag, and rolled his ankle. That brought an end to Tulo’s night. It didn’t look good. Hazel Mae later reported that Tulo suffered a sprained ankle, which will be further evaluated. It appears as though the newly-acquired Rob Refsnyder will be called up to the Jays to take Tulo’s place.
The Jays finally got on the board in the 8th. Darwin Barney hit a leadoff double. A couple of batters later, Jose Bautista drove him in with an RBI ground rule double. Russell Martin followed that with a sharp single to right field. That brought Josh Donaldson to the plate, representing the tying run. And he grounded into a fielder’s choice. At least it was exciting.
To be fair, Justin Smoak came through with a solo shot in the 9th, his 29th of the season. It just came half an inning too late.
|D. Leone (2-0)||1.1||1||1||1||0||1||22 (9-13)||2.68|
|M. Dermody (0-0)||0.0||0||0||1||0||0||4 (1-3)||67.50|
|C. Smith (0-0)||1.2||3||3||4||0||0||26 (8-18)||5.40|
Thanks to a strong rebound from Happ, the bullpen only had to shoulder a regular workload tonight. Dominic Leone got the ball in the 7th. It was an easy inning, as Escobar and Trout each grounded out, before Albert Pujols flied out. Leone came back in the for 8th. He struck out Cron to start the frame. Andrelton Simmons then dropped a little looper in shallow right field for a double. That brought an end to Leone’s night. It was another solid performance for him. Matt Dermody came in to face Kole Calhoun. Simmons stole 3rd during the at bat. Calhoun eventually came through with an RBI single. Dermody was pulled after that. In came Chris Smith. Martin Maldonado and Shane Robinson each grounded out to end the inning.
Smith was back on the mound for the 9th. Kaleb Cowart hit a double for his third hit of the night, and Escobar followed with another to score a run. Trout then hit a deep flyout, Pujols hit a grounded that led to Cowart being thrown out at home. Smith only needed one more out. But then Cron hit a two-run shot, and Simmons followed with a triple. The inning came to a merciful end when Calhoun popped out. That was ugly.
It was always unlikely that the Jays could sweep the Angels, en route to winning seven in a row. Now that they’ve lost the first, I expect them to win the next two, to make it six wins from seven. Surely Francisco Liriano will pitch like the good version of himself tomorrow.