That was a fun game to watch. Jose Bautista hits a solo home run in the first and that was all the scoring all game. We had predictions for all the players at the start of the season, I wonder who had 50 homers for Jose? Looking back, only a couple of people made predictions, and the highest guess was 18 home runs. Most of us thought that he shouldn't bat against RHP. He sure fooled us. Congratulations Jose.
Jose's homer was half of our hits for the day. Travis Snider had the other one. We did take 4 walks, 2 for Lyle Overbay and 1 each for Bautista and Vernon Wells. Felix Hernandez was great today. When isn't he? You have to feel sorry for Felix, he throws a complete game 2 and loses.
Fortunately our pitchers did just a slightly better job. Shawn Hill was great. He went 5, 4 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. He struck out the side in the second and had 5 in the first two innings. If we are looking for a 5th starter next year, if they decide that Kyle Drabek should start the season in the minors, Shawn should get a shot at the job. If not, he could be great as a long man in the pen or be a swing man, filling in when we need a starter.
Our bullpen did a great job for 4 innings as well. Brad Mills, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg each pitched a shutout inning. Downs allowed 2 base runners to keep us interested and Gregg gave up a leadoff single in the 9th, line single landing just a bit too far in front of Vernon, who was playing pretty deep to cut off chances at doubles. Gregg got Ichiro to pop out for the 3rd out to get his 35th save. I'll admit I was surprised that the M's didn't bunt after the leadoff single. I guess they figured Ichiro would have been walked if the base was open.
Jays of the Day are Hill (.293 WPA), Gregg (.167), Downs (.123), Bautista (.105) and Frasor (.097). The only pitcher not to get JoD numbers was Mills, who we'll give an honorary mention. The only Jay with Suckage numbers was Aaron Hill (-.111) but considering Hernandez was pretty tough to hit and that Hill made a couple of nice plays in the field, I don't have the heart to give him the award.
Speaking of honorary mentions, I'm giving one to J.P. Arencibia. It is truly great that JP was the catcher for today's shutout. Maybe now we don't have to hear the crap about him 'not being able to call a good game'. He worked very well with 5 different pitchers today. Even Buck Martinez, grudgingly, had to say he did a good a job. JP now has a big 10 at bats this month. He has started against David Price, Jon Lester and now Felix Hernandez. Tell me again how Cito puts players into spot where they can succeed. You know those are the games he plays because Cito knows it won't help Buck's numbers to play against those pitchers. This way he Cito can point to JP's batting average and say 'he can't hit in the majors'. Guess what? Lots of guys can't hit Hernandez.
Anyway, terrific job JP, I hope we see a lot more of you behind the plate next year.
Ichiro Suzuki had his 200th hit of the season today as well. But we 'limited' him to two hits on the day.
I like quick games, and 1-0 games are fun to watch, when your team wins. Jays in 30 will be able to show pretty much the whole game.