Stop me if you have heard this one.
We get a reasonable start, if too short, out of our starting pitcher, but the bullpen coughs up the lead.
Being fair....we need more innings out of the starters. In the 3 games, against the Astros, the bullpen has thrown 11 innings. If they pitch that much, you are going to have guys pitching in important spot who you wouldn't generally want to see pitching.
Today it was Jeff Francis. 6th inning. We are up by a run. It isn't the spot you'd want Francis, but....with 4 innings to go in the game, and a bullpen that's been overused of late, Francis was going to have to be in the game. So, since there were 2 lefties to lead off the 6th, Gibby thought that was the best place to put him in. That Francis couldn't get either lefty isn't on Gibby.
Francis gave up a ground ball single and then a very hard hit fly that ended up a ground rule double. Out goes Francis, in comes Liam Hendriks. Hendriks has looked very good coming in from the pen, until today. Today he gives up 2 home runs and we go from up by 1 to down by 3, in about 5 minutes. Hendriks pitched a quick 7th, but by then it was too late.
I've gotta believe that that's the last time we see Francis this season. I thought he was fine in the mop up role, but, unless our starters start going deeper into games, we can't have a lefty that doesn't get lefties out.
If you were wondering why not bring in Aaron Loup instead of Francis:
Gibby said Aaron Loup wasn't available tonight because his back "locked up on him" after Thursday's outing. Hoping to be ready tomorrow.— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) May 17, 2015
Marco Estrada went 5 innings, looked pretty good, 5 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts. The runs came on a Evan Gattis home run. All the Astros runs came on home runs.
Estrada was pretty good, but he (and all the starters) have to start getting deeper into the game than the 5th inning. We've been asking too much from the pen (not that it wouldn;t be nice if they could, you know, not blow a lead once in a while).
On offense.....we scored 3 in the first inning. Josh Donaldson doubled, Jose Bautista walked, Russell Martin tripled and Justin Smoak singled. It looked like we were going to have a big day. Then the offense went to sleep for 7 innings, only waking up with 2 out in the 9th when Edwin Encarnacion had a pinch hit 2-run homer. But, it wasn't enough, we were still down by a run and Josh Donaldson popped out to left on the first pitch of his at bat and the game was over.
We only had 6 hits on the day, 3 in the first, 1 in the 9th and 2 in between. We do have to do better with the bats too.
In other bad news, Devon Travis came out of the game after hurting his shoulder on a bad swing, striking out in the 7th.
Jays of the Day: Martin (.109 WPA).
Suckage: Hendriks (-.257) and Francis (-.253).
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