The Matchup; For the Kansas City Royals, Edinson Volquez (8-4 with a 3.18ERA). He squares off against the Toronto Blue Jays' Felix Doubront (1-0 with a 2.00 ERA).
Two pitchers enter. One pitcher leaves...
Welcome to Thunderdome...
NOTE: This was originally a joke, but I feel like once you all read the recap and see the highlights of this game you'll agree that that opening, which I wrote ten minutes before first pitch, was surprisingly prophetic.
The Unofficial First Half of the MLB season wrapped up with the Toronto Blue Jays finishing their three-game set against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Bottom of the 1st saw our Heroes fall behind when Eric Hosmer singled to left field scoring Alcides Escobar from 2nd to put the Jays down 1-0. Then, with one swing and two runners on base (Doubront having recorded just a single out), Kendrys Morales crushed a ball to left-centre field for a 3-4un homer. 4-0.
Jose Reyes boots a ball in the next At Bat leading to Omar Infante taking a ball over "Left Fielder" Chris Colabello's head leading to Salvador Perez scoring from first on a bit of a botched relay (Reyes triple pumped before unloading...). 5-0.
Reyes would make two impressive plays in the next two balls hit to him in the inning, but only one led to an out thanks in full to Paulo Orlando's quick feet managing to beat out an infield single and allow another run to score.
6-0 before the Jays knew what hit them.
Adding insult to injury in the 2nd inning Kevin Pillar would steal third with two out but his momentum would pull his toe off the bag just long enough for him to be tagged and called out, a call which was upheld under review, and thus ending the Jays turn at bat.
This was about the point most of the message board as well as myself began to lose interest in the game. Speaking of, I'd like to thank MjwW for the original headline (Mailing it in: Jays Lose), and everyone else for their suggestions.
The game flowed along without any scoring for a few innings while the chat moved into a discussion about whether or not playing in the ALE, a division where parody (parity, but parody is funnier considering this game/season) exists in spades year to year leaving every team feeling like that can win, has actually stopped the Jays from being more realistic with the team they have. And before anyone knew it, it was the Bottom of the 5th inning.
A defensive miscue by Chris Colabello in Left Field led to the 7th Royals run. Catchable ball he should have had. He's not a very good left fielder but with Jose Bautista injured and Josh Donaldson out of the lineup I can't say I blame Gibby for his decision. But, it's far from ideal. Not like, say, Dalton Pompey in LF...
And then... The unimaginable.
Undoubtedly sparked by the return of Tom the Jays put a couple of runners on to start the 6th inning (Reyes single, Devon Travis on an error) which were driven in on a Jose Bautista double and an Edwin Encarnacion ground out, respectively. 7-2, the Jays trailed. Another error on a Russell Martin grounder allowed the Jays to avoid a double play and score a third run and suddenly I begin to consider changing the title.
Danny Valencia doubled to the wall in right scoring Colabello and Martin and suddenly it was a 7-5 game.
Kevin Pillar chopped a ball over Mike Moustakas' head scoring Valencia and then Ezequiel Cerrera slapped a single to right scoring Pillar (moving to 2nd on the throw was Carrera). And suddenly, without warning, the game was tied at 7 and the fans were back into it.
Also, I deleted the original title.
Travis, with a full count and two out smacked a groundball through the right side and Carrera, who was running hard after having advanced earlier on the previous throw home, slid in just ahead of the ball to score the EIGHTH run of the inning for the Jays. 8-7 for the Jays.
At this point the Jays had chased Volquez from the game as well as his relief Ryan Madson (who had come in to face Martin).
KC would get out of the inning without any further damage but had already seen its lead vanish behind seven unearned runs.
Steve Delabar came in to relieve Doubront (who had gone 5IP, allowed 10 hits and 5ER) and singles by Infante and Rios started the bottom of the frame before a bunt moved them both up 90 feet for Escobar.
Then, as soon as it came, the lead vanished.
Reyes, in a play eerily similar to the one against the White Sox in the Jays 4-3 loss last week, and exactly the same as the one earlier, allowed a ball to bounce between his legs for an error and both runners scored to give KC the 9-8 lead. A Lorenzo Cain RBI single to right added another run, this one off Aaron Loup (though I believe the run is credited to Delabar, but Loup was pitching) made it 10-8.
Colabello would reach on an error by Moustakas leading to an RBI double by Martin and the Jays pulled back within one run because that's the kind of day it was. Unfortunately, Martin got a bit too cute on a wild pitch as he was rounding third aggressively and was thrown out straying too far from the base on a great play by Salvador Perez effectively ending he Blue Jays rally.
And then... more craziness.
Leading off the 8th inning the man affectionately known as MVPillar put a ball over the head of the Royals Right Fielder leading to a triple, his 2nd of the season. After Carrera struck out Reyes came to the plate looking for some sense of redemption and achieved it with an RBI, game tying single to Centre.
At this point I'm 90% sure I've fallen asleep in my chair and am dreaming this game.
Then, controversy. Because this recap didn't have enough to cover.
With a 1-2 count, unhappy with one of the calls, Bautista would take exception to Jerry Meals' work. Though he did not appear to show up the umpire, he would definitely get his piece spoken and deciding he'd heard enough, Meals would toss Bautista out of the game. The Jays best player and All-Star slugger tossed out of a tie game in the 8th inning against the 2014 AL representative in the World Series.
Either a case where an umpire seemed completely oblivious of the situation or, perhaps, one where he knew the situation all too well and chose it for his chance to be noticed. An Ump Show to add to the comedy of errors.
And Meals' dismissive attitude following the ejection leads Gregg Zaun to believe it was definitely an Ump Show (as explained in his post-game comments).
Justin Smoak would come in and fly out to end the inning, but the real damage had already been done.
Bo Schultz would come in for the Jays in the 8th as the first batter he faced, Orlando, would take him deep to left rubbing salt in the wound and putting the Jays behind once again, 11-10.
The Jays would threaten in the 9th getting a runner to first with a Colabello walk but a strike em' out, throw em' out double play (Martin K'd, Goins, the pinch runner, thrown out) ends the game and the Jays lose a rough one 11-10.
Jays of the Day: Jose Reyes' bat (.128) and Devon Travis (.202) make the number. Kevin Pillar (.347) as well.
Suckage: Felix Doubront (-.386), Steve Delabar (-.398), Edwin Encarnacion (-.108), and an honourable mention to Jose Reyes' defense, though his bat was acceptable.
Mercifully, it's now the All-Star Break. See ya'll after the Break.