R.A.Dickey looked pretty good, for the first 3 innings of tonight's game, then it all came crashing down. After the Jays finally got their first hit off Drew Smyly in the top of the 4th, a Devon Travis home run (his 5th of the season) and after they scored one more in the inning on three consecutive singles (we should have scored more) R.A. gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th on 2 2-run homers. One from James Loney and one from Rene Rivera.
Then in the 5th, the Rays scored 5 more and the game was over for all intents and purposes.
In all, Dickey gave up 9 hits and 8 runs (7 earned) in 4.2 innings, the first time Dickey has failed to go 5 innings in over a year. His last 33 starts, he's gone at least 5 innings. I guess we can stop thinking that Josh Thole holds some magic power to make RA a good pitcher. Dickey's ERA jumped from 3.26 at the start of the game to 5.25 when he left.
It wasn't all his fault, there were a couple of balls that Steve Tolleson, playing left field (likely playing his last game as a Blue Jay), should have caught and one fly that Tolleson and Dalton Pompey basically collided on and ended up dropping. A very easy catch for either one, if, you know, they had called it. Tolleson was given an error on the play. Of course, by that time, Jeff Francis was into the game, but the two runners that scored counted against Dickey's line.
Francis didn't exactly shut the Rays down, he gave up 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, 1 walk with 6 strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Good on Gibby for leaving him in to the end and not tiring another reliever.
On offense we managed just 6 hits and 1 walk. Danny Valencia had 2 of the hits, one a double. Travis and Justin Smoak each homered. Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion had the other 2 hits.
Other than Travis' home run, there was really nothing good about this game. Travis was our lone Jay of the Day, getting a .129 WPA. The lone Suckage award goes to RA for his -.493 WPA. I'd give one to Tolleson too, mostly for the missed catches, but he got DFAed, so I'm feeling a little sorry for the guy. And really, it isn't his fault that he was miscast as an outfielder. He's a pretty decent infielder, but shouldn't have been put in the outfield. I'm glad Saunders will be around to give us our full quota of real outfielders.
The Jays landed in Tampa about 4:00 AM, (though I'd imagine Dickey went down the day before) so I guess we can excuse them sleeping through this one. Tomorrow they play a night game, so they can catch up on their sleep. Dan Norris goes up against Erasmo Ramirez, with the game starting at 6:00 Eastern.
We had 864 comments in the GameThread, not bad for a game that was over in the 5th inning. DangYouToHeck led the way. Good job in a losing effort.