The one part, of the 2014 Jays, that I didn't question was the bullpen. I was worried about the starting rotation (with good reason), I wondered if the offense would be any better than average (since we have almost no depth), but the bullpen would be just fine. We had so many good arms, we'd have good relievers in Buffalo. It was the one spot, I thought, that we could survive an injury or two.
Man was I wrong.
Tonight, 6 strong innings from Dustin McGowan ended up wasted. Well, 5 strong innings. He did have some troubles in the 2nd inning. He allowed a single and a walk, to start the inning. After a fly out, there was a 'wild pitch' (I would have called it a passed ball) that scored a run. Then another walk put runners on the corners. Alcides Escobar took off to steal second and Dioner Navarro threw into the outfield, to allow the runner from 3rd to score. Fortunately, Dustin got Jarrod Dyson to strikeout to end the inning. Two runs scored, one of the earned.
In all Dustin went 6 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. No many strikeouts, but then not many hard hit balls. He was helped out by a great throw from Jose Bautista, getting Nori Aoki trying to move up from second base on a flyout to right.
Gibby let Dustin go out to start the 7th (Dustin had a very quick 6th, just 13 pitches). And then pulled him after he allowed a leadoff double. Steve Delabar came in to give up a home run. Our 3 run lead was suddenly 1 run. He got 2 outs but then Jarrod Dyson bunted. Delabar fielded the ball then, instead of making the easy throw to first, decided to try to tag the speedy runner. And failed. Stupid move. But, Brett Cecil came in and got out of the inning, with us still up by a run.
The 8th is where it really fell apart. Cecil gave up 2 singles, before getting a ground out. Gibby brought Sergio Santos, with runners on the corners. A double, down the third base line, scored the runners and we were behind. A walk and another single and Santos was finished. and we were down by 2. Esmil Rogers follows, and gives up 2 more singles, 3 more runs score and well the game was over.
We did get a couple of runs in the 9th. on a Bautista walk and Edwin Encarnacion homer. Dioner Navarro came within a couple of inches of hitting his own homer.
We were ahead twice. Bautista homered in the first. That lead only lasted until Dustin gave up the two runs in the second. Then we scored our own 2 runs in the fifth. Jose Reyes doubled and Melky Cabrera tripled (both with the help of some bad defense from Nori Aoki in right field and a Jason Vargas wild pitch.
Two more runs in the 7th gave us our 3 run lead. Colby Rasmus doubled, Chris Getz bunted, Reyes singled and Melky Cabrera doubled.
Jay of the Day goes to Cabrera (.298 WPA, off a 2 for 5, double and triple) despite some poor defense in left.
Suckage: Santos (-.467, some bad luck, ground balls that missed fielders), Cecil (-.144), Delabar (-.114), Juan Francisco (-.109, 0 for 5, 3 k, not really his fault, he shouldn't be playing against lefties) and Getz (-.108, 0 for 3 with the bunt).
Even with the lousy game, the GameThread was great. 1682 comments. junior_felix_jr led us to, well defeat, but great effort Jr.