It seems fitting that we finish the season with great pitching and a couple of home runs. Marc Rzepczynski went 7 strong innings, allowing just 4 hits, 2 walks, 1 unearned run with 6 k. Just a great start for a guy who has looked good this last month. The battle for 5th starter next spring will be an interesting one. Jesse Carlson pitched a perfect 8th and Shawn Camp did the same in the 9th to pick up his 2nd save of the year. Camp's scoreless inning also brought his ERA down to 2.99 for the season.
Nice to see another great pitching performance with J.P, Arencibia catching. I guess we can put to rest the idea that he can't call a game.
Offensively we didn't do much, not surprising since Cito gave most of our regulars the day off. We only had 4 hits, but 2 of them were solo homes. Edwin Encarnacion hit his 21st and Adam Lind hit his 23rd. The two home runs tied us for the 3rd most homers ever in a season. Lind's homer, since he was playing LF today, gave us 20 or more homers from every position, DH to RF. That's pretty amazing.
Jays of the Day are Scrabble (.357 WPA), Camp (.222), Carlson (.151), Lind (.163) and EE (.106). That was quite a 4 game series for Edwin getting JoD in each game and hitting 5 home runs. Not a bad way to end the season. John McDonald (-.106) and Lyle Overbay (-.109) each had Suckage numbers but they both made some nice plays in the field. Being the last game, I don't have the heart to give them the award. The Jay of the Day race ends in a tie, with Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista each ending up with 35 JoD. Congratulations to both of them.
Overbay had an error, Rzep had Orlando Hudson picked off first, Hudson went to second and Lyle's throw hit him in the back. The error cost us the Twin's only run.
Watching that series, it is hard to believe the Twins are going to the playoffs. They didn't impress me at all. Their starting pitching looked particularly bad and they didn't show much on offense either. But, like Pat keeps telling us, they play the game right. Which, as far as I can tell, means they had the foresight to play in an awful division.
The win gives us a 85-77 record to finish out the season. All those expects that expected 100+ losses should turn in their expert card. We finish 10 games better than last year. A nice improvement.
I am glad Cito got a win to finish off his career. He ends with 894 wins and 837 losses. Not many can say they have done better.
It has been a fun season. The games were very enjoyable to watch. And our Game Threads were fun this year. Thanks to Johnny for putting them up for us and thanks to everyone for participating in them.
The season might be over, but we'll still be around. The off-season looks to be an interesting one, with a search for a new manager leading things off. Then we have a handful of free agents that Alex will have to figure out what to do with. We have some arbitration eligible players. And, odds are, Alex will be making the odd trade.
Thanks Jays for giving us so much enjoyment this season.