Let's get the rant out of the off the top then can talk about what a great game it was. AJ pitched 6 great innings but had thrown a lot of pitches. To start the seventh AJ walked Nick Punto, then Tolbert flied out deep. Now it really looked like AJ had lost it. Being at about 100 pitches I would think most managers would have someone up. And sure enough the camera panned to.....Scott Richmond?????....warming up. Now you and I know Richmond isn't coming into a two run game, he was just getting some work in.
Delmon Young pinch hit and hits a ground rule double that Rios maybe should have caught....went off Rios and over the low wall down the right field line. It was hit hard. Tying run on second and a starter that's being hit hard. Everyone could see that AJ had lost it. Everyone but Cito who was doing his statue act. AJ sucked it up and struck out Span (span span span, sorry saw spam-a-lot a couple of weeks ago). Then AJ walked Alexi Castilla on four pitches. Bases loaded.
Now Cito moves, bringing in Scott Downs. Downs happen been up warming long and it showed, he gave up a double that cleared the bases and we were suddenly down 3-2. Downs walked the next batter then got out of the inning. Now Cito should have got Downs up earlier, should have gotten AJ out sooner. Should have been able to see what we all could see: that AJ was tiring.
Anyway....back to our regularly scheduled game recap. The fangraph, again a work of art:
I'm not going to go over everything that happened in the game but a few things just have to be said. After falling behind in top of the 7th the Jays tied the game in the bottom of the inning with the help of consecutive error by Twins SS Nick Punto and 3B Matt Tolbert....maybe the pressure of a pennant race is getting to the young Twin players.
BJ pitched the 9th and wasn't near as sharp as he was last night, he gave up the go ahead run. Maybe pitching consecutive days should be a rare thing for him just yet. But in the bottom of the 9th we tied the game off the Twins All-Star reliever Joe Nathan. Zaun lead off the inning with a walk. Then after two outs, Moonraker (Travis Snider's new name, for the explanation ask jessef. He did explain but I couldn't do it justice) hit a single that right fielder Jason Pride booted so that pinch runner Curtis Thigpen could score from first.
Cy and League (boy are they great) each pitch a scoreless inning in the 10th and 11th. And if you haven't seen it, be sure to watch the highlight of Rolen's play at third, throwing from his knees across to first in plenty of time to get a speedy Alexi Casilla. It was terrific.
In the bottom of the 11th Rolen lead off with a double, then Moonraker lined a hard single at the left fielder Jason Kubel. Rolen had to hold up at second and couldn't score so we had runners on second and third with no one out. And Mr. Clutch up, Johnny Mac is up. And Mac came thru with a fly over a drawn in outfield. A walk off win from John McDonald. Again.....if we were in the race still this would be a very sweet win. As it is, it was fun to watch.
Jays of the Day, there is a bunch of them: Moonraker (.696 WPA), AJ (.299), Rolen (.231), Rios (.203), Cy (.143), League (.143), Inglett (.129), Zaun (.135). Honorable mention to Mac for that walk off hit. Suckage Jays Cito, BJ (-.291), Downs (-.287), Lyle (.360), Scoot (-.218). Thigpen had a -.174 but no way do I give him a Suckage award. He scored the tying run in the ninth and had a good at bat with against Nathan in the 10th, even if it ended in a strikeout.
Tomorrow night we go for the sweep behind Jesse Litsch (9-8, 4.01) against Kevin Slowey (11-7, 3.70). I am hoping the Twins finish ahead of the White Sox but for a sweep I don't mind us hurting their chances. Go Jays. Why could you do this when it mattered.