Ray 0 Blue Jays 1
A sweep against the Rays? A team that we have had more than our share of troubles against. And not just a sweep. Three spectacular games. First game we score 2 unearned runs and win 2-1. Yesterday J.P. Arencibia hits a home run on the first major league pitch he sees, then adds 3 more hits, including another homer. And then today.
I had decided to do other things today and miss the game. I'm out and then find out Brandon Morrow is pitching a no-hitter so watched the rest of the game at a bar. Too early in the day, out here, for beer but enjoyed a nice lunch while watching one of the best pitching performances I've ever seen. This has to rank right up there with Dennis Martinez throwing a perfect game with the Expos.
It is hard to believe. 17 strikeouts! Just two walks. One error and it wasn't a 'no-hitter' error, it was clearly an error. How many times were we told this spring that Morrow would never be a major league starter? I do think fans are funny, they say 'we need players with high upsides' but they aren't willing to give the high upside guys time to harness their talent. Some guys need a little longer and a little more help to get everything working. You think a team is going to trade a high upside player if he is a finished product?
I'll admit I likely would have taken Brandon after the hit. He did look like he was tiring. 137 pitches is a lot for any pitcher but it was good that Cito let him finish. And with an off day tomorrow, he gets some extra rest.
Aaron Hill made a great effort on that hit. He did his best, came so close. I feel bad for him, I'm sure he would have like that called an error, but even though he got the glove to it, there was no way you could call it a error.
As well as Morrow's performance, we had another once in a lifetime happening: Jose Molina stole a base. Jose Molina. Great to watch his teammates laughing and him with a big smile on his face.
That catch at the wall by Vernon Wells was as good as it gets too. If it wasn't a no hitter, I'm sure Vernon would have played that one off the wall. He earned a dislocated toe. He is to have it x-rayed again tomorrow, hopefully it won't cost him any missed time.
Offensively, we didn't do all that much, just 5 hits and 5 walks on the day. We had chances to score but only needed the one run Vernon brought home with a bloop single.
Jay of the Day? There is a tough one. Morrow has a .762 WPA, so let's give it to him. I'm also giving one to Vernon (.065) and that catch at the wall. Morrow didn't need a lot of great plays behind him, since he struck out 17, there wasn't much for the fielders to do, but Vernon made the play when he needed it.
It is too bad he didn't get the no-hitter but really it was far better than just a no-hitter. He was just 1 k shy of the team record of Roger Clemens (which should come with an asterisk anyway). He tied for the fourth best game score since the lively ball era started in 1920. The guys with better game scores? Kerry Wood (105), Nolan Ryan (101, against our Jays) and Sandy Koufax (101). Pretty good company.
For Morrow, it was his first complete game and his first shutout. And he is just 26, he'll have more days like this. I'm bet the Mariners are loving that trade right now. Over on Twitter, 'delta-vee' suggested we need a better adjective than Doctasic. Morrowific works better for today.
Great job Brandon. That was amazing.
Quote from Aaron Hill:
I did everything I could and couldn't come up with it. I wish I could get an error or something for it.
Tomorrow is an off day then we host the Red Sox for 3, bring it on.
Is there anything better than being a Blue Jay fan?