You will believe a right fielder can fly. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
There is no way that Casey Janssen should have been needed in that game. We were up by 8 at one point and up by 7 when Aaron Laffey left the game after 5 innings. All looked good. Then Jesse Chavez came into the game.
Jesse's time, coming into the game in the 8th up by 7, went like this: walk, homer, single, homer. And that was it for him. If you enter a game up by 7 you shouldn't leave it up by only 3. And you should get some outs. Andrew Carpenter took over for him and got two quick outs, then he walked 2 and Casey Janssen, with the tying run at the plate, had to come in to try for the 4 out save. Travis Hafner singled, after a long battle, and the lead was down to 2. Thankfully Carlos Santana hit a fly ball to right. Jose Bautista didn't look smooth, making the catch, scaring the life out of me. Any catch is a good catch, I guess. Casey pitched a quick 9th, though he needed all of the park to keep Shelly Duncan's opposite field fly ball from making it a 1 run game. Nice catch Rajai. Casey had to work for his 13th save.
Aaron Laffey had a sort of ok start. At times he looked great, but most of the time he wasn't good. 5 innings, 8 hits, 4 earned, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the offense we got, it was good enough for his first win of the year.
Our offense was great, we had 13 hits and 6 walks. Everyone in the lineup got on base at least once, except for Rajai Davis. Davis is in a deep slump, with today's 0 for 4, he is 0 for his last 23 at bats. Not good at all. Lots of soft fly balls from Davis. At least he had a nice throw from left field to put a runner out at he plate. As the game turned out, it was a big play.
Among our offensive stars were:
- Edwin Encarnacion, who had 2 home runs, one just a massive shot over left center, into the 'Sightlines Restaurant'. I can't remember seeing a ball hit up there before.
- Adam Lind was 4 for 5, with a double and 4 RBI. A couple of the hits were soft singles that just went to the right spots but still, it was a good game for Adam. Really should have been 5 for 5, his one out looked safe to me, on a very strange play. The ball went off the pitcher and into foul ground. Casey Kotchman did a nice job to get to it and flip it towards first, pitcher Esmil Rogers got to the bag about the same time as Lind and did a good job picking up the ball. Lind should have run over him, but I still think he was safe.
- Yunel Escobar had a 2-run homer.
- J.P. Arencibia hit 2 doubles, both opposite field.
- Brett Lawrie 2 for 4, with a double and a walk.
Jays of the Day are Lind (.211 WPA), Edwin (.115), Jose Bautista (.099, 1 for 3, 2 walks, 3 runs and that very important catch in the 8th) and I'm giving one to Casey (.089) for the 4 out save and saving my laptop from being thrown across the room.
Suckage goes to Jesse Chavez, only a -.072 WPA but that is only because the team was way up when he came into the game. Honorable suckage mention to Drew Carpenter for bringing the tying run to the plate and making us need Janssen. Add in Davis for the 0 for and not getting to a couple of catchable balls in left, he gets saved from the award by the nice throw to get Jason Kipnis at the plate to end the 5th inning. Without it, Laffey wouldn't have finished the fifth. It was likely the wrong call to send Kipnis home, the Indians had the bases loaded and were down 6, but it took a good throw to get him.
Lefty Aaron Loup got into his first game and did a very nice job, going 2 perfect innings, taking over for Laffey. A very nice job. With how bad most of the rest of the pen looked, he'd likely moved himself up in the eyes of John Farrell.
A win is a win and all, but that wasn't near as much fun as it should have been. I'd imagine that Jesse Chavez will be shipped out of Toronto before I hit the publish button.
Tomorrow's rubber match sees Carlos Villanueva (3-0, 3.05) and Derek Lowe (8-6, 4.43) get the starts. It is another 1:00 Eastern start. I'm still wondering if we could have good offense and good pitching in the same game.