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Jays drop finale to Rays in 10

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

In what was the theme of the series, the Jays made a costly defensive miscue and it ended up being the difference in this game as Jays fell 2-1 in 10.

In the top of the 10, having already gone through Loup, McGowan, Janssen and Cecil, John Gibbons brought the newly returned Sergio Santos into the game. Santos rewarded his confidence by walking the first batter. He then induced a medium depth (some might say routine) fly ball to right field along the line. Nolan Reimold, in the game after Bautista was tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the 6th, got to the spot but lost the ball, and it fell in and bounced out of play to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with none out.

That brought Evan Longoria to the plate, and he grounded a ball through the SS/3B hole to score Zobrist. Melky made a great throw to nail Forsythe at the plate, which was upheld on review. Santos responded with back to back strikeouts, but the damage was done and the Jays were behind.

If anything, the bottom of the 10th was even more farcical than the top of the inning. Juan Francisco tapped a ground ball to 2B and beat it out for a hit, and the ball got past Loney to advance him to second. Kawasaki attempted to bunt him over to third, but popped up the bunt halfway to mound. Miraculously, it fell in and the pitcher couldn't get it to 1st in time, putting the tying and winning runs on 3rd and 1st respectively with none out and the top of the order due.

At this point, Fangraphs had the Jays as 67% favourites despite trailing, but that was as good as it would get. Reyes was retired on a pop-out in foul territory thanks to a great play from Longoria. Melky then popped out to second, and Reimold struck out to end the game and strand the tying run 90 feet away.

Drew Hutchison had a very good start for the Jays, going 6 innings and giving up just one run on 6 hits, with 2 BB and 7 K. After yielding a run on 2 hits, a walk and wild pitch in the 1st, he held Tampa off the scoresheet and gave the bats a chance (haha...). Aaron Loup had a mostly clean 7th, giving up a leadoff hit to Kiermaier who got greedy and was thrown out trying take second on Reimold (something he probably doesn't even try on Bautista). Dustin McGowan came in and had a dynamite 8th with strikeouts of Longoria and Loney.

Casey Janssen came into the game in the 9th in a non-save yet critical situation on the heels of blowing the save yesterday. Unfortunately, he didn't redeem himself, as he gave up back-to-back singles before a sac bunt put the go-ahead run 90 feet away with one out. Gibby had enough and went to Cecil. It was a stroke of genius, as Cecil slammed the door shut with back-to-back strikeouts, both masterful.

There is very little to say about the bats in this one, other than besides Juan Francisco and Dioner Navarro they basically sucked. With Navarro on 1st and 1 out in the 5th, Francisco smacked a double. Navarro was wisely held at 3rd, but neither Kawasaki nor Reyes could get him in. Then in the 7th, after singles from Navarro and Rasmus, Francisco smacked a sac fly to deep CF, just barely missing a 3 run bomb. That was the only run of the day.

Source: FanGraphs

Jays of the Day: Hutchison with a good start (0.213), McGowan with the dynamite 8th (0.110), Cecil for saving the day in the 9th (0.359). Hitter wise, Francisco (0.375, 2-3 with a sac fly that just missing being a 3 run bomb). Kawasaki had the numbers at 0.162, but most of that is the bunt he popped up and I'm not rewarding him for failing to properly execute.

Suckage Jays: As with the other games this series, a long list. On the pitching side, Janssen (-0.216 for making a mess out of the 9th), and Santos (-0.290, some of that belongs to Reimold but then it was mitigated by Melky throwing out the runner at home. He earned it).

On the position player side, Reyes (-0.425, 0-5); Cabrera (-0.393, 0-5 with a runner thrown out but also popped out with the tying run on third and 1 out); Reimold (-0.342 plus the missed catch); Encarnacion (-0.170, 0-4). Bautista doesn't have the number but he gets one for getting himself tossed and thereby bringing Reimold into the game in RF. We'll call it contributory negligence. Oh yeah, and Colby gets one too (+0.006) for his 3 strikeouts but mostly for taking his sweet time getting the ball back into the infield at one point, allowing the runner to take second (I wish I could remember exactly when, but I just remember being ticked off).

On Monday the Jays welcome the Red Sox into town when J.A. Happ will take on Sunscreen Buchholz at 7:07.

Meanwhile, about 100 km as the crow flies to the southwest, the Buffalo Bison pulled into a tie for the wild card in the International League by beating Pawtucket in a wild back and forth affair. I know a certain BBB correspondent was there and will probably have more, but briefly:

  • The Bison took a 2-0 lead in the 5th when Brett Wallace and George Kottaras both went yard
  • In the top of the 6th, Sean Nolin walked the second batter and Bryce Brentz hit the next pitch for a line drive no doubt 2 run home run to tie things
  • In the 7th, Chad Jenkins came in and gave up 3 runs, with both some good and bad defensive plays behind him. In the bottom of the inning, the Bison chased starter Anthony Ranuado by putting 2 on with 2 out. Anthony Gose was the next batter, and with a 0-2 count launched a game tying three run blast to CF.
  • Jenkins came back out to the 8th and gave up the lead back on a double to Garin Cecchini. But in the bottom of the inning, Brett Wallace answered right back with his 2nd HR of the day.
  • The teams traded zeroes from the 9th to the 11th, with Buffalo stranding a one out triple in the 11th with 2 strike outs to end the inning.
  • In the 12th, with one on and two out, Dan Johnson was intentionally walked, to get to Matt Hague. That backfired, as Hague drew a walk. That brought up Brett Wallace, who decided to end it with a walkoff grand slam, his third HR of the day.
Super Bison of the Day: Brett Wallace

The Bison will take on the PawSox on Monday and Tuesday, sending Brad Mills and Daniel Norris to the mound to face Matt Barnes and Henry Owens. It might only be AAA, but from where I sit anytime the Jays team can possibly knock a Red Sox team out of the playoffs, I'll be following. Especially if they get the hang of it, decide they like it and a few of the players decide to make a habit of it for the next 5 years or so.