You know, I looked at the line up today and thought we'd be lucky to score. I'm going to mention the amazing part first. How can a team score 18 runs when the 'cleanup' hitter doesn't score or drive in a run? I wonder if that is a record of some sort? Every one else in the lineup scored at least one run.
Adam Lind drove in 8 with a grand slam and a bases clearing double and solo homer. Rod Barajas hit 2 homers as well, driving in 5. Rod....is amazing. A few days ago he was hitting .130 since the All-Star break. Now he's had 4 homers in the last 10 days. After a hitting line of 182/.193/327 with 2 homers in July he is now .209/.243/.448 in August with 5 homers in August. Still isn't a good month but it has been a heck of a week. If he could be somewhat consistent he could be great. But when you only have 2 months out of 4 with a BA over .225, it is hard to think of you as great. Trouble for the manager is you never know when the hot streak will hit.
Marco Scutaro, Aaron Hill and Lind scored 3 runs each. We had 14 hits and 7 walks. John McDonald even had 3 hits. You know life is good when Johnny Mac gets 3 hits. Vernon Well had a double and a triple. He also almost pulled a Alex Rios, with 1 out in the 9th he ran off 2nd base on a fly ball, apparently thinking there were already 2 outs. Thankfully he got back in time. If he hadn't got back we wouldn't have scored our last 5 runs.
Randy Ruiz walked 2 times and was caught stealing once. He was a hit and run and Jose Bautista missed the ball. Why you would call a hit and run with Bautista up I have no idea. Bautista isn't exactly a bat control guy. Scoot also walked twice and was thrown out stealing once. And Hill walked with the bases loaded, which, we think, might be the first time this year we got a bases loaded walk.
Pitching didn't go so well. Brett Cecil pitched 4 very good innings then gave up 7 runs in the 5th. He was clearly tired. Cito wanted him to get through the 5th so he could get the win but it darn near cost us the game. He was hit in the thigh with a ground ball in the middle of it all. I'm sure he has a great bruise. 2 batters later he gave up a grand slam but after that he got a strikeout to end the inning. He has pitched more innings than ever before in a season, he is clearly tired. I would have much rather Cito pull him when he was tired. A win is nice but a young man pitching tired is an invite for an injury.
Casey Janssen started the 6th and didn't look great, gave up 2 singles, a walk and struck out 2. Jesse Carlson relieved but gave up a run scoring single before getting out of the inning. He gave up 2 singles getting one out in the 7th before Scott Downs came in. Downs gave up a deep fly that Vernon caught high at the wall. I'm not sure it would have been a homer but it was close. It was a terrific catch. Instead of being a 3 run homer to give the Rangers the lead it was a Sac Fly that made it a 1 run game. Downs closed out the inning and pitched a perfect 8th. Jason Frasor pitched the 9th but since we scored 7 runs in our half of it, it wasn't a save. Cito could have chosen not to put Frasor in but likely he was warming up at the start of the 9th before Cito knew we were going to get 7 runs that inning.
In one of those wonderful scoring quirks, Brett Cecil gets the win, even though he gave up 7 runs in the 5th. It is one of those things that reminds you that win/loss records for pitchers are worthless, but then well, in the end, who cares. it's the way things are done.
Defensively Johnny Mac made a great play at third base in the second inning and made a good play in the 8th on a ball he booted. He didn't panic, picked up the ball and made a great throw to first to get Ian Kinsler, who likely should have been running harder down the line. And Vernon's catch in the 7th inning was, at the time, a game saver. If that had been a home run I'd have been in the bathroom soon after trying to find a razor sharp enough to slash my wrist.
Jays of the Day are Scott Downs (.222 WPA for 5 straight outs at an important time), Barajas (.161, off 2 homers), Adam Lind (.126, 2 homers, 8! RBI) and Hill (.106). I'm also giving one to Vernon for the double and triple and the very important catch. John McDonald had a -.005 but I'm giving him a honorable mention for the two fielding plays and the 3 hits. Suckage Jay.....well...Jesse Carlson got the number (-.132). I didn't think he was so bad but ok.
That was one long game. But then tomorrow will be much longer. We have a rare double header tomorrow night. Brian Tallet (5-8, 5.09) goes against Dustin Nippert (4-2, 4.02) in the first game at 5:00 Eastern tomorrow. Marc Rzepczynski (2-3, 3.48) is up against Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.92) in the second game, starting time, well sometime after the first game ends. Let's hope the first game comes in a little shorter than today's 3:34 epic battle.
The game thread was great fun tonight. Wins will do that for you. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as fun. But please please Cito, if for no other reason than my sanity is hanging by a thread, don't bat Millar cleanup.
My understanding is the Jay's September call ups won't be there tomorrow night. I'm thinking that with the double header tomorrow, getting a couple of fresh arms to Texas would be a good thing. Oh and Happy Birthday to my Dad. Not that he will read this but hope he enjoyed it.