Now that was more like our Jays. They went up there hacking. And we got another great start from Brett Cecil. Cecil went 6.2, gave up just 3 hits, including a Carlos Pena solo homer, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Great job. The middle part of the bullpen did well, Casey Janssen, Scott Downs and Shawn Camp got us through an inning and a third without giving up a run. Camp got us a double play against the one batter he faced.
Kevin Gregg? Well he got the save and that is what counts today. And, of course, he made sure to test our hearts. The lead off homer wasn't good, it didn't look to be a bad pitch but it went out. After a ground out, Willy Aybar singled the opposite way. I thought Lewis was playing too far back. I know the idea is to guard against doubles, but Aybar isn't going to hit on to the wall the opposite way. Course I don't know if he would have caught it if he was playing more shallow. Ben Zobrist popped out. Carl Crawford running for Aybar, stole second, which allowed Gregg to pitch around Carlos Pena. Crawford might have been able to continue around to third, since we had the shift on and no one was covering third. The steal might not have been the best idea for the Rays. I was much happier with Gregg facing Hank Blalock than Pena. Blalock struck out on 3 pitches.
Offensively? Well, unlike the last couple of games, we swung the bloody bats. We got more hits this game than the last two combined. 9 hits tonight and our first homer of the series by Alex Gonzalez. John Buck had 3 hits, Aaron Hill had two. The only ones without hits were Bautista, Overbay and Encarnacion.
In the credit where credit is due department. Cito put Dewayne Wise in to pinch run for Adam Lind and Wise barely scored on a medium fly out by Alex Gonzalez.. Lind wouldn't have even tried to score. Good move Cito. Next inning he didn't pinch run for John Buck when he lead off with a single. Like they say in comedy, timing is everything.
Cito also left Cecil in to start the 7th inning when Cecil was already at about 100 pitches. Cito's been doing this lately, letting starter start an extra inning when he's already thrown a lot of pitches then pulling him when he's given up a hit or two to make life tougher on the relievers. He doesn't trust the pen, so he makes it harder for the pen. But it worked this time, Cecil got two outs and then handed it over to Casey Janssen got the last out of the inning. So all is good.
Jays of the Day are Cecil (.391 WPA) getting his 7th win against 2 losses, Camp (.105), Gregg (.101) and Gonzalez (.095, and he drove in 2 of our 3 runs after missing the first two games of the series. I know Gregg's not a popular choice for JoD but, right now, any save is a good one. Edwin Encarnacion had Suckage Jay numbers (-.115) though he did make some good plays in the field.
Tomorrow we start a three game set against the Rockies in Colorado. Ricky Romero (5-2, 3.06) is the lucky guy that gets to go up against Ubaldo Jimenez (11-1, 0,93). The way we are swinging the bats, I wish they weren't using the humidor in Denver and balls were flying like they did in the old days. I'm really just happy we are getting out of Tampa Bay with a win. I hate that park.