Really good start for Aaron Sanchez. He almost pitched himself out of the game in the 4th, giving up 2 walk and a hit batter, loading the bases with no outs, but a strikeout and a very nice double play ball hit to Ryan Goins got him out of trouble. He was never in trouble again. He was perfect for the 5th, 6th and 7th innings. We were surprised that Gibby left him in for the 8th, at 101 pitches, but he had been throwing so well that you could understand it. Gibby pulled him after a walk and a ground ball single that, had it been hit at a fielder, would have been a double play ball.
In all, Aaron went 7 innings (plus 2 batters), allowed just 2 hits, with 5 walks (the walk total inflated by an umpire that wouldn't give Sanchez a call on anything near the edges of the zone). He struck out 3, had 11 ground out and 5 fly outs and really didn't give up many hard hit balls. He had a couple of nice double plays turned behind him and Ryan Goins made at least two great plays. The one in the 7th inning was one of the best plays I've ever seen from short. The umpire at first base blew the call, but it was changed on review.
I'm hoping this is the Sanchez we'll see the rest of the season, but I'm sure there will be good and bad days, just, hopefully more good ones.
Aaron Loup was terrific in relief, coming in with 2 on and no outs in the 8th, but got out of the inning without ruining the shutout. He looked unhittable, getting 2 strikeouts.
Steve Delabar pitched the 9th, getting 2 strikeouts swinging, which makes me feel good about him. He needs those swinging strikes.
On offense, we got solo homers from Josh Donaldson and Chris Colabello (nice opposite field shot, after pulling one deep but just foul earlier in the at bat) in the 1st and 2nd innings, respectively. We got 2 more in the 6, Edwin Encarnacion walked, Russell Martin singled and Danny Valencia (single) and Kevin Pillar (sac fly) drove them home. A 3 run 8th, featuring hits from Jose Bautista (triple off the very top of the center field wall), Encarnacion (RBI single), Martin (double) and Ezequiel Carrera (2 RBI single).
We had 12 hits in all. 2 each for Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Martin and Valencia. And 1 hit each for Carrera and Colabello. 0 fors go to Devon Travis, Pillar and Goins.
Jays of the Day go to Sanchez (.292 WPA), Loup (.091) and Donaldson (.094). I'll give honorary mention to Edwin and Colabello. And one to Goins for his defense.
No Suckage Jays today.
That brings us back to .500, at 15-15, sitting 3rd in the AL East, 3.5 games behind the Yankees. Since we really haven't been playing well, I'm pretty happy with .500.
And we get our second strong start in a row. Let's keep it going.
Did I mention how terrible the plate umpire was today? Our bench was getting on him and Russell Martin had his share of discussions. We've had a few badly called games this season, but tonight might have been the worst. Gibby did well to keep his cool..
We had 1137 comments in a very friendly, fun GameThread. Pikachu led us to victory again. Good job.
Oh, and GO FLAMES GO (do you know how hard it is to write a recap while watching a hockey game?)