Walkoff wins are fun!
Walkoff wins on errors....more fun. Well, more fun if the good guys are the ones that win.
I figured we were going to see extra innings, but I'm happy without free baseball tonight. What a way to win. Bottom of the 9th, tied at 2, Dioner Navarro leads off with a single to right field. Gibby puts Kevin Pillar in to pinch run. Very smart move. Very obvious move. Anthony Gose puts down a nice bunt, along the first base line. The Rays really couldn't do anything other than hope it goes foul, but Juan Oviedo suddenly decides to pick it up and throw to first. He wasn't going to get Gose, even with a good throw, but being on the first base line, it was impossible to make a good throw. The throw goes into right field and Pillar scores all the way from first. It was a close play at the plate, but he was in.
If the game was decided on who he the ball furthest we would have lost. Liam Hendriks was hit very hard, but just about every ball found a glove. He only gave up 3 hits, no walks, 2 earned with 5 strikeouts, in 6 complete.The guy is the luckiest pitcher I've ever seen.
And he owes his outfielders a couple of dozen Fosters. He had 9 fly outs and 3 ground outs. Several of the fly outs were to the track. Two of them forced outfielders to make amazing catches at the wall. Anthony Gose made a Devon White type catch at the top of the center field wall and Melky Cabrera made a more oxen type catch at the left field wall. It wasn't pretty but he got the ball, and that's what counts. There was also a ball hit a mile that was no more than a few feet foul. The umpires needed replays to be sure they were right on the foul call.
The 2 runs that scored came on a Will Myers home run.
We also saw a great play from Brett Lawrie at second base, going a long way to get a ground ball and throwing it to first from his butt. Edwin Encarnacion made very good stretch to get the out. Juan Francisco made a nice 'one-step and a dive' play, and followed it with a great throw to first. Lawrie also had a great barehanded play from third in the top of the 9th, on a Yunel Escobar ground ball.
We scored our first two runs in the first inning. We loaded the bases on singles from Joses Reyes and Bautista and a Adam Lind walk. Edwin singled to the opposite field. Edwin doesn't always have to homer. Bautista was just safe at home, I figured the Rays would challenge the play but they didn't. After seeing a few replays, I think he was safe, just barely touching the edge of the plate.
Our bullpen was sharp again. Rob Rasmussen started the 7th, gave up a single and was pulled, but Dustin McGowan followed with 2 very good innings, allowing just 1 walk. Aaron Loup looked unhittable in the 9th and got the win.
Our 9th straight win and 3rd straight sweep! Look out Royals.
Jays of the Day are McGowan (.307 WPA), Loup (.143), Gose (.259, plus the amazing catch) and Bautista (.111, plus the great slide). Hendriks also had the number, .170, but that should really go to his outfielders, though he did have some nice strikeouts. He throws strikes, and that's about the nicest thing you can say about him.
Suckage numbers go to Rasmussen (-.106). Cabrera had the number too, -.136, but he made that catch so I can't give him a suckage. Francisco was close too, -.093, but he made a couple of nice plays on defense too.
Our sometimes overheated, but generally well mannered, GameThreads netted 2316 comments. Kraemer_17 led us to the walk off win. Great job.