Aug 17, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Fans keep track of the eleven strikeouts by Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (not pictured) against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
It certainly feels better to win than enduring the last three horrible games against the White Sox. As noted in the TV broadcast, this series is the last one of the homestand which was against the three division leading teams of the AL and considering the state of the lineup and pitching staff the expectations aren't all that high.
Glad to see Edwin back in the lineup as right now, he's the man who makes the offense go.
On The Mound:
JA Happ used his "rising" fastball to get lots of outs. He started off by throwing three straight balls to Ian Kinsler which as we have seen this summer is not a good sign. JA surprised Ian by throwing three straight fastballs by him for the K which set the actual tone for the evening. He finished off Elvis and Josh on batted balls easily to end the first. After that JA Happ showed why AA wanted to get JA in the first place by throwing quality strikes early in the count and finishing off the Rangers with "rising" fastballs. JA struck out Beltre, Young and Murphy (all swinging) in the 2nd. He struck out Soto, Gentry and Ott in the 3rd (two looking, one swinging). This tied a Jays record of six Ks in a row. In the 4th he walked Kinsler to spoil the perfecto, but still got out of the inning by setting down Andrus, Hamilton and Beltre as at this point he started mixing in breaking stuff. The 5th did not go as well as Mr "I was traded for Esteban Loaiza" Young singled on a looper to CF to break up the no-no and then Murphy followed up with a roller up the middle. A bunt/out later, the Rangers scored on a slow grounder to 2nd ending the JA Happ shutout but that was all the Rangers would score on JA. The 6th ended three up three down. Easily the best start of the season for JA as a Jay. 6IP 2H 1ER 1BB with 8Ks on 98 pitches.
At the Plate:
Really not much to say. Edwin Encarnacion was mostly the offense tonight as he smashed a 2HR in the first inning off Yu Darvish after Kelly Johnson took a walk with one out. It was a no doubter that went down the LF line. The other run was scored by Anthony Gose who hit a two out blooper that bounced off Craig Gentry's glove for a triple in the 5th and was promptly driven home by Rajai Davis with a liner into CF. The Jays got measly total of 4 hits tonight with three of them off Yu. One each for EE, Gose, Davis and KJ. Yu and Alexi Ogando struck out 11 Jays with two (TWO!) BBs.
From the Pen:
Steve Delabar came on in the 7th and started to scare us. He walked Beltre to lead off. Got a quick out then gave up a single on a 3-2 pitch to Murphy. Hearts stopped rapid beating as he struck out Soto but started up again as Steve walked "the dangerous if you're a Blue Jay pitcher" Nelson Cruz to load the bases. He nearly got out of the jam with a grounder off Ott's bat to Omar Vizquel who uncharacteristically booted it as Beltre scored. Delabar was replaced by Brandon Lyon who got a slow grounder from Ian Kinsler to short on the first pitch and Yunel barely threw out Cruz in time at 2nd base. John Farrell used three pitchers (THREE!) to finish off the 8th inning. Lyon, Loup and Lincoln (an L train!!) each got one out in the 8th. Casey Janssen ran onto the mound in the 9th and ended it quickly with a 1-2-3 capped off by striking out Murphy for the final out and the save.
Based on Fangraphs WPA, EE (.121), Lyon (.198), Happ (.244) and Janssen (.173) earned Jays of the Day while Steve Delabar for scaring folks in the 7th (-.164) is stuck with the Suckage Jay of the Day.