Nice to have a game in which Rajai Davis was the hero. That play in the 3rd inning, where he rounded the bases on a ground ball off the pitcher was as exciting a play as we've seen this season. Then that double in the 10th, just all speed and hustle, after looking lost earlier in the at a bat. Nice to see Brett Lawrie drive him in too. I don't think Brett's fists could handle him failing again, after watching him beat on something behind the bench in the dugout yesterday.
We didn't get much offense again. 8 hits. 3 for Davis, 2 doubles and then infield inside the park home run (actually infield single, plus two errors). 2 for Edwin Encarnacion (both doubles), 1 each for Mark DeRosa, J.P. Arencibia (both doubles) and Lawrie's game winner. But it was just enough.
Kevin Pillar went 0 for 4 in his major league debut, but I liked how he was going the other way on outside pitches. Twice he hit the ball hard to right field, but right to Shane Victorino. He looked good with the glove too, and showed a decent arm.
I really didn't have high hopes for Esmil Rogers tonight, but he was very good. 6 innings, 5 hits, just 1 earned, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. The one mess up was the David Ortiz home run in the 6th and lots of people have given up home runs to him. I was impressed when he got out of the first, even with JP letting strike 3 bounce away to lead off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, but Esmil struck out two more and got a pop out to Jose Bautista in shallow right. I almost hoped Jose would drop it so Esmil could have had 4 k in the inning.
Neil Wagner was very impressive in relief, giving us 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts.
Brett Cecil, on the other hand, wasn't impressive, he blew the save in the 9th, giving up 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, with 1 k. I'll admit, I didn't think the home run he gave up, to Mike Napoli, was going to get out. It didn't look to be hit that well, off the bat, but Rogers Centre gives and takes away. Brad Lincoln did a nice job getting out of Cecil's mess in the 9th and then pitching a scoreless 10th, even with a Brett Lawrie error to lead off the inning.
Jays of the Day are Lincoln (.317 WPA), Davis (.278), Rogers (.245), Wagner (.151), Lawrie (.105) and Encarnacion (.103).
Suckage goes to Cecil (-.454) and Reyes (-.104). Kevin Pillar had the number too, -.130, but I can't give it to him on his first day in the majors and the WPA doesn't take into account the couple of nice catches he made, one while Rajai tried to run into him.
I'll admit I'm not Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler biggest fan but Buck's line about line about how he would rather take a player with character than a player with talent must have been the dumbest thing ever uttered during a Jays game and explains a lot about his time as manager of the Jays. Buck, millions of people have 'character', only a few hundred can play in the MLB.
This is the thing that baseball commentators do, they have no handle on talent or how stats work or anything really important, so they make up crap about character. A team wins, they have character. The same guys, if they lose, are cancers in the clubhouse. A winner is colorful, a loser doesn't have his head in the game.
Anyway, great GameThread tonight. 32 of us posted 677 comments. Expos&nordiques4ever led the ways. Great work.
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