That was a very impressive first start for Zach Stewart. If that is an example of what he will do for us, we'll be very happy. He went 7 innings, threw strikes and had good movement on his pitches. He gave up 7 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned and struck out 4. He really deserved a win.
He was helped out by 3 double plays. One of them a great job by Jose Bastista. With Mark Reynolds on first, Ryan Adams hit a fly to Jose. Jose made it look like he couldn't see the ball in the sun, caught it, then threw to first to double off Reynolds.
Course, Stewart was hurt by some bad play in the field too. Jayson Nix missed a grount ball that went just past him. Aaron Hill lost a popup in the sun for a double. And Corey Patterson was very slow getting to a Vlad Guerrero double down the left field line that allowed Nick Markakis to score from first.
On offense we had trouble with Jeremy Guthrie, we only had 1 hit and 1 walk off him. Fortunately he came out of the game after 5 with back troubles. We scored two runs in the 6th off Jim Johnson. Nix singled. Yunel Escobar hit a ground ball that could have been a double play, but second baseman, Ryan Adams, booted it. Corey Patterson put down a sac bunt, surprise. Bautista singled both runners home. Lind and Hill singled to load the bases but EE hit into a double play to end the inning.
Jason Frasor pitched a quick 8th. Jon Rauch came in for the 9th. He got Vlad to hit a soft bouncer up the middle that somehow got between Hill and Escobar. Then he got a ground ball to first that just missed Adam Lind to put runners on the corners. Derrek Lee followed with a swinging bunt that Nix almost made the play on to get the runner at the plate. Almost but not quite. I thought, when Sportsnet was showing us how the Jays were setting up, that Nix and Escobar were too far back. If they had been in a couple of steps, Nix would have been able to make the play.
Rauch left, after getting 3 ground balls (one hit hard) and no outs. Luis Perez came in and gave up a walk and a single and we were down by 2. Shawn Camp relieved him, with the bases loaded and no outs,and finally got the 3 outs, without allowing any more runs.
Kevin Gregg came in for the save and I though we had a chance. Adam Lind lead off with a home run, off the foul pole, but that was all we got off Gregg.
Jays of the Day are Stewart (.143 WPA), Frasor (.110). Lind (.116) and Bautista (.102). Players with suckage numbers are Rauch (-.392), EE (.294 on an 0 for 4) and Joe Molina (-.112, 0 for 3).
Plate umpire Bob Davidson had an interesting strike zone all game long. He ended up tossing Jose Molina after Jose struck out, swinging at a very low pitch after Davidson called a similar pitch a strike. Jose made some comment after the strikeout and was tossed quick. It seemed like a quick toss, Molina didn't turn towards Davidson, he just said something as he walked away, but then Molina had had troubles will Davidson all afternoon. Both benches had moments of getting on Davidson's case.