The Happy Recap
Our azure-clad heroes struck back in the City of Brotherly Love, dominating the Philadelphia Phillies 13-2 at Citizen's Bank Ballpark on Saturday night.
Making his first start since his interrupted 6 no-hit innings last weekend, Shaun Marcum (pictured left playing SS for Southwest Missouri State, although former teammate Ryan Howard is out on the DL and did not feature today for the Phillies) completed his no-hitter by allowing no hits through his first 4 innings. Marcum pitched extremely well, allowing 2 runs in the 5th inning but settling down nicely thereafter. Marcum's final line: 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 BB, 6 Ks. Pretty great stuff. Marcum left after 6 because he was at 85 pitches and is still getting stretched out. If I had to guess, I would guess no pitch count for his next start, but we'll have to see. Either way, he has been terrific - efficient and effective. He seems much more comfortable as a starter, using his nice variety of pitches to get ahead of batters and put them away.
On offense, the Jays squandered early chances n the 1st and 2nd innings, but put up 7 runs in the 3rd and 4th innings and added 6 in the 8th. Lyle Overbay tripled in Rios and hit a 3-run HR to break the game open, while the Mighty Troy added a 2 run-HR and Vernon Wells broke out of his slump (we hope) with two sharp RBI singles. Matt Stairs added a grand slam in the 8th to make it 13-2, and that's where it stayed.
This game was never really in doubt, but the bullpen did a nice job of not letting the Phillies prolong it. Downs and Frasor cruised through the 7th and 8th, striking out 5 and allowing no baserunners, while Towers made quick work of the Phillies in the 9th for his first scoreless appearance as a reliever.
I was fine with Gibbons pulling Marcum after 6. The score was 7-2, and Marcum was probably on about a 90-pitch count and was at 85. However, Gibbons allowed John McDonald to hit for himself with the bases loaded in the top of that inning and two outs, leaving both Lind and Frank Thomas on the bench. I understand it was a 5 run game and you don't want to show up the opposition (although the Jays obviously did so when they broke the game open later on) but this was just dumb in my opinion. Just this past week, two teams have scored 5-6 runs in the 9th inning to come back and win (BoSox and Mets). A 5-run lead in the 7th inning is not game over, and Lind or Thomas obviously gives you much more of a chance to score runs than McDonald. Why bother even getting these guys on base if you're not going to make the maximum effort to bring them in?
Jays of the Day
Overbay(2-5, 4 RBI, 1 HR, 3 runs, 1BB) and Marcum(his line above), as well as Stairs(3-5, 4 RBI, HR, 1 run). Honourable mention to Rios, who doubled to lead off the game and added 4 walks later on, which was great to see as well as Wells.
Hopefully, this is the start of this offense getting on track. With the way they've been pitching lately, that could be the start of something very good.