Lots of good things out of this game, the last game the Jays will play at the House that Ruth Built. First of all, we beat a lefty, and we hit him often and hard. In 6.1 innings we got 10 hits and 6 runs off Pettitte. Three runs in the first inning. And we got Doc his 17th win. Three more to get to 20 and he should have 5 or 6 more starts.
And our big, slugging DH went 2 for 4 before jetting off to Arizona. He also got to take part in my favourite baseball strategy....he was made to bunt in the first inning. Scoot walked to lead off and then Eck bunted him to second. The classic one run strategy in the first inning. Fortunately the Jays beat it for 3 runs with singles from Rios and Wells and a double from Barajas. That right, Rios hit with RISP, but managed not to drive in the run as Leyva held Scoot up at third when Nady made a good throw from left.
That was Nady's good defensive play in the inning, he levelled things three batters later by making a terrible play on Barajas fly over his head, he turned the wrong way chasing it and turned a ball that could have been an out into a two run double.
That was all the runs Doc would need but we scored 3 more, one on a solo homer by Rolen that was very nice to see. I was worried that Rolen would be a singles hitter for the rest of the season but his homer wasn't a cheap one.
Offensively almost every Jay had a hand in our win. All the starts had at least one hit except for Lind who went 0 for 4 as the only lefty in the lineup vs. Pettitte. Even Mac got a single, to the opposite field, which I was glad to see. I know Cito said he hits better when he pulls the ball but, it seemed to me, he was trying to pull outside pitches for the past couple of weeks and it wasn't working. Sometimes you have to go the other way just to show you can.
Pitching, Doc was, as usual, very good. 7 Innings and only 2 runs allowed. He threw 103 pitches and I was very surprised when Cito pulled him after the 7th. I wasn't sure why he felt the need to use Downs for the 8th when we were up by 4 but we have the day off tomorrow. Downs pitched a scoreless inning in spite of hitting ARod and Giambi in back to back at bats. Now if you aren't going to allow them to score, there likely aren't two players I'd rather see plunked in the league. League came in to pitch a 1,2,3 9th. He has been great this year, he has a 2.08 ERA and Cito likes using him.
As you know by now, Eck was traded after the game. I don't know why Cito didn't like using him. Watching him throw the ball from short is great fun I know, but really he wasn't that bad and he's hitting .277, nothing to complain about on this team. I will bet, but I'm not going to do the work to prove this, that he was likely the lightest, shortest DH used in the majors today. I'm glad for him that he gets to go to a team that will let him play and have a good shot at the playoffs. I wasn't thrilled that we signed him but he's a very likeable player. Good luck to him. I was hoping the team might free Zaun as well but no such luck for him.
I'm not going to post the fangraph, it isn't that interesting today, but it is here for anyone that is interested. Our Jay of the Day is Doc (.180 WPA) with honorable mention to Big Rod (.098) and to Eck to take to Phoenix. We don't have a Suckage Jay today. Real team effort win.
That was the Jay's 100th win at Yankee Stadium, a nice round number to end at. Doc is 4-1, 2.50 against the Yankees this year, first pitcher to win 4 against them in a season since 1996. As mentioned, tomorrow is an off day and then the Twins come to town. Twins have a shot at the AL Central or the Wild Card still so we get to play spoiler once more.
Today's title comes from a beautiful song written by Steve Earle called Goodbye, a lament to lost love, Emmylou Harris has a nice version of it on her great CD Wrecking Ball. Hugo is enjoying a weekend away and I'm away tomorrow so an off day couldn't come at a better time. Enjoy your Labour Day.