Since I saw a bad trailer for the new A-Team movie today, the line "I love it when a plan comes together" comes to mind. Great pitching and good hitting is a recipe for winning. And, surprise, we didn't hit a home run today. Quite the disappointment really. Less than 4 home runs in a game is a disappointment for that matter, but it is nice to see we can score runs on singles and walks. Maybe we will see that we don't have to swing from the heels all the time. Maybe, but I doubt it.
We took 8 walks tonight, which must be a season high (I'd check, but it is late and I am tired). Our power guys took most of them, 3 for Jose Bautista and 2 for Edwin Encarnacion. Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells and Alex Gonzalez took one each. We also had 6 hits, 2 for Adam Lind, one each for Lewis, Wells, Gonzalez and John Buck. Pretty much everyone had a hand in our offense. Lyle Overbay was 0 for 5 with 3 k but he did drive in a run. Aaron Hill was 0 for 4, but his walk came in the middle of our 4 run 7th inning. Fred Lewis came closest to hitting one out, he lead off the game with a ball that hit high off the right field wall and ended up a triple. Lind hit a double to account for our other extra base hit.
Brett Cecil was outstanding, 7.1 innings, just 2 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. He gave up more fly outs than normal 11 to 7 ground outs. He looked strong until the 8th inning. After 1 out, in that inning, he gave up a single and walk. Cito came to take him out of the game. He might have been able to finish off the inning but I'm glad Cito took him out at that moment. It is good that he could come away from the game feeling good about things. Jason Frasor got 2 quick outs to finish the 8 and Cito brought in Scott Downs to 'save' the 6 run lead. I don't know, it might have been a good chance to try David Purcey, but it's always been Cito's way to use his best arms when we have a lead, even when it is a big lead. And, you know, we are 27-20 now, so I'm not going to complain about that.
You know, we may call him E5 (though I won't anymore) but Edwin made some very nice plays in the field today. He did make one throw that Overbay had to make a nice dig on, but he also made a handful of very nice throws, including a Jeter style jump spin throw that was very pretty. He also very carefully called off Fred Lewis on a popup that he went back into the outfield on, not wanting a ball to drop while they almost collide again. Vernon Wells made a couple of nice catches in center. Jose Bautista made a good running catch too.
Jays of the Day go to Cecil (.400 WPA) and Lind (.112). I'm not sure if Cecil's start quite makes the Doctastic level, but it really couldn't have been much better. No Suckage Jay, Aaron Hill had the worst number, -.068.
Today's win puts us half a game behind the Yankees for second in the AL East, as well as the wild card spot. It is early, there is a lot that will happen yet, but we are a fun team to watch.
In the 'Cito drives us crazy' file, he still insists on batting Overbay 5th, even against a lefty, while the two hottest hitters in baseball bat 7th and 9th. It is hard to imagine that a player like Encarnacion, with 6 homers in the last week should bat 9th or that the number 2 RBI guy in the AL, Bautista, should bat 7th. Add in that Lyle hasn't been able to hit a lefty in the last few years and both Jose and Edwin have hit amazing against lefties in their careers, well, it is just hard to figure the logic.
But we are winning. So enjoy.
Tomorrow Ricky Romero (4-1, 2.71) goes up against Ervin Santana (3-3, 3.75). Tonight's game thread was great fun, as usual, so if you get the chance, join us in it tomorrow night.