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Bullpen Giveth and Bullpen Taketh Away: Blue Jays Lose to Orioles

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Blue Jays go down early, battle back, and then lose the lead late in this crazy game.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Father's Day at the ballpark saw the Blue Jays face their hated rivals (we can call them that now, yeah?) the Baltimore Orioles in an afternoon tilt.

The Jays got what seemed to be an early Father's Day present as the Orioles sent Chris Tillman to the mound. Tillman and his 5.23 ERA in 17 games against the Jays looked to slow down a Jays team which, if not for a bullpen meltdown, would be going for the sweep in this game.

However, it was the Orioles who got things rolling first getting to the Jays starter early.

Scott Copeland making his third start in place of an injured Aaron Sanchez entered the game with a 3.21/2.19/2.95 slash line in his two starts (one good, one not as good) would last just an inning and a third in this one leaving after a Jimmy Peredes Home Run that made it 7-0 in the Top of the 2nd.

Bo Schultz would enter the ball game and promptly walk the first two batters he faced before striking out Travis Snider.

Now, for those of you who changed the channel, this is what you missed in the bottom half of the inning.

Edwin Encarnacion got the home fans going with a double to start things rolling. A Justin Smoak strikeout and a Russell Martin single gave Ezequiel Carrera a chance with two runners on and the Venezuelan native made the most of his opportunity depositing the Tillman offering over the fence in right field to bring the Jays within four runs.

Kevin Pillar, not to be outdone, launched a Home Run of his own to left and suddenly the Jays were right back in it. The Jays began to smell the familiar odour of a wounded Tillman on the mound and looked to pounce while they could. And after a Ryan Goins single and a Jose Reyes slashing double down the left field line Buck Showalter would decide it was time for he too to pull his starter. Tillman, like Copeland, lasted just 1.1 innings.

Josh Donaldson walk led to Jose Bautista facing Tommy Hunter with the bases loaded where Bautista would have a little blooper land between the Second Baseman and the Right Fielder for a two run single and suddenly... miraculously... the Jays were down just one run, 7-6.

Edwin would pop up and Smoak would K for the second time to end the inning but the Jays had done their job. Gotten the starter out, had the Orioles burn one of their high leverage guys early, and made it a winnable game once again.

Russell Martin would double to lead off the bottom of the third and after a Carrera K (where he bunted the 2nd strike foul...) Pillar continued his hot streak with an RBI base hit to tie the game up at seven...

Skip to the bottom of the 4th inning where Josh Donaldson would drill a ball over the head of the Orioles CF David Lough for a double giving Jedi, BOSS-Tista, The Man of a Thousand Stretches (as my friends and I call him), a chance with a runner in scoring position and the Jays slugger did not disappoint the home crowd taking Orioles pitched Brad Brach deep over the wall in Center Field.

Yeah... You missed the Jays scoring nine runs and taking a lead...

Chris Davis would take Phil Coke deep in the top of the 5th inning to make it a one run game again and I start to get winded just writing this... 

An energy drink and a short break later we're in the Top of the 6th where the Orioles get runners on the corners with one out prompting the Jays to make yet another pitching change bringing in Aaron Loup, just about 24 hours removed from his blown save, to face Delmon Young.

He'd start off the AB falling behind 3-0 but with a level of grit and mental toughness not seen in Toronto since David Bolland would battle back to 3-2 before inducing the inning ending double play grounder. 6-4-3 and we're off to the bottom of the inning!

Now, in the top of the 7th with two out and noted lefty killer Travis Snider at the plate (I don't know, man... Buck and Pat said it) a weird hop off the turf would cause what should have been a routine single to bounce by Pillar and go to the wall. Snider would take advantage by racing around for the triple and cause yet another pitching change. This time, to bring in Steve Delabar.

J.J Hardy would single to left to cash in Snider and tie the ball game at nine.

Pillar would make amends right after crashing into the Centre Field wall to make a catch taking a hit away from Flaherty that surely would have led to a run, thus keeping the game tied.

This all leads to the bottom of the 8th where Dioner Navarro, pinch hitting for Goins, would get a leadoff walk before being pinch run for by Munenori Kawasaki, Reyes sacraficed Muni to 2nd, and a pitching change to bring Darren O'Day in for Matusz (who had come in for Chaz Roe) who would strike out Donaldson leading to the marquee matchup!

O'Day vs. Bautista

Which led to a four pitch unintentional intentional walk...

Leading to the next marquee matchup!

O'Day vs. Encarnacion...

Sources (Belisarius) claim that O'Day hates parrots... So... Real bad blood in this one... (Bluebird Banter can neither confirm nor deny any alleged claim that O'Day hates parrots)

After a lengthy battle lasting nine pitches Edwin would finally pop out to the catcher to end the inning.

Brett Cecil would come in for the 9th and walk two batters giving J.J Hardy a chance with runners on. Cecil would get a ground ball but Reyes, for whatever reason, didn't look like he picked up the ball well and it went through the middle for a single bringing Chris Davis in to score and give Baltimore a 10-9 lead.

Flaherty would crush a ball into the gap in right-centre scoring two on a a triple and blow the game wide open for the Orioles. They'd tack on another to go up 13-9 and that would be the final.

The Jays Bullpen outside of Cecil would give up just 2 runs in 7 innings of work but Cecil's four runs in 0.2 innings of work would prove to be the difference.


Source: FanGraphs



JoD
: Despite the loss some Jays deserve to be recognized. Bo Schultz hit the number (.111), Aaron Loup (.212), Bautista (.262) and Kevin Pillar (.198)

Suckage
: Scott Copeland (-.405) is the obvious one... Brett Cecil is right there along with him (-.466). Encarnacion had a rough game (-.146) and Smoak K'd three times but came in shy of the number at (-.085) so he gets an honourable mention.

I am now 0-1 in games I write the post-game so... I take full blame for the loss.