Two Blue Jays who had frustrating 2010 seasons lead the way past Detroit in the first game of a four-game series, 7-4.
On the Mound:
Jesse Litsch has been very good for Toronto this season and continued that with a great start. Litsch had his cutter working from the get-go and it, as well as his other pitches, got him through 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, with 9 strikeouts and 3 walks. Litsch only gave up one extra-base hit, a double by Magglio Ordonez, and got 7 ground balls to 3 fly balls to boot. Jesse now has 31 Ks and 14 walks in 35 2/3 innings on the season, and a 48% ground ball rate on top of that, which makes for a stellar 3.35 xFIP. I don't know whether he can keep up his strikeouts or whether it's just a blip, but striking out almost 8 per 9 innings on top of Jesse's ground ball skills has made him a very impressive pitcher so far this season. Those who wrote him off should be feeling rather silly.
At the Plate:
Adam Lind has been more or less carrying the Jays offensively for the last little bit, and yesterday was no exception, though plenty of others contributed as well. Lind started the scoring with a single the other way in the first, and added a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th when the game was still close. Lind's line is now .318/.347/.524. More walks would be nice, and Lind is perhaps swinging at too many pitches out of the zone (36% of them) but Lind is crushing the ball (26.2% of his batted balls are line drives) right now, including pitches outside of the strike zone, and his strikeouts are back to 2009 levels. He's also playing a great first base.
It wasn't just the Adam Lind show yesterday for the Jays' offense - Corey Patterson had three hits, including two doubles (one of which scored two runs), out of the two spot. Patterson has been a nice surprise as fourth outfielder, filling in adequately for Davis in center field, and contributing a .274/.315/.440 line at the plate, with an extra-base hit in more than 10% of his plate appearances.
J.P. Arencibia had two run-scoring hits, a single up the middle in the first inning, and a double the other way into the gap in the third inning. Juan Rivera had three singles.
From the Pen:
Jason Frasor relieved Litsch in the 7th and got the last two outs with no trouble. Jon Rauch pitched a clean 8th with three fly ball outs around a strikeout in which the batter reached on a wild pitch. Shawn Camp had a lot of trouble in the 9th, though. Yunel Escobar made an error to start things off, and Camp sort of came apart after that. Magglio Ordonez lined out to even up Camp's luck, and Jhonny Peralta singled up the middle. Camp got the next batter to ground to Adam Lind, moving the runners to second and third. Camp then gave up a double to Brandon Inge and singles to Don Kelly and Scott Sizemore before John Farrell saw fit to take Camp out of the game. They were all unearned runs after the error, but, as I said, the lineout after that about evened up Camp's luck for the inning. Camp is still having a fine season, though how he does that while only striking out one batter every three innings is something of a mystery. Frank Fransisco got the final out, a lineout to Johnny Mac.
Today, the Jays look to get back within a game of .500. Ricky Romero will pitch against Justin Verlander in a matchup of excellent young pitchers. The game starts at 4:07, see some of you in the game thread!
Today's title comes from Detroit's own Temptations and their awesome song "Since I Lost My Baby"