Detroit Tigers - 2 Toronto Blue Jays - 9 (Boxscore for the Mobile Users)
Is there anything better than a sweep? On Canada Baseball Day, no less!
Yes, it's a made up holiday-ish type event, but red jersey's!
The AL East Leading Toronto Blue Jays (I will never grow tired of saying that) sent Mark Buehrle to the mound, with his 13-6 record and 3.60 ERA, to face off against Alfredo Simon (11-8 with a 4.89 ERA) in the final game of their three game series with the Detroit Tigers.
The veteran lefty navigated the first inning allowing just a walk to Ian Kinsler before getting on 15 pitches getting out with no damage done.
Historical Note: Ben Revere grounded out in his first At Bat as the "Leadoff" hitter batting ahead of Josh Donaldson. It matters exactly zero percent but it's part of history. I thought I should mention it. Now forget it because it's meaningless.
Speaking of history, the fifth pitch Josh Donaldson saw from Simon was history as he demolished it over the wall in left to put the Jays first run on the board. 1-0 Blue Jays.
Not to be outdone Edwin Encarnacion, following his massive Homerun Hat-trick yesterday, deposited a ball just above the wall in right for his forth HR in two days. This being his 30th of the season. 2-0 Blue Jays.
And then, as if on cue, things got dicey.
On a pitch to Troy Tulowitzki, a pitch I'll add that was neither inside nor hit him but instead sailed over the catcher and umpires head, home plate umpire Bob Davidson issued warnings to both benches.
Remember that name? Well, maybe you remember him as the Ump who was suspended one game for "poor situation management". Oh, and he also once cost the Jays on a rather famous non-triple play call.
We've seen this story before. (Spoiler Alert: It really didn't come up again...)
With one out in the second inning Russell Martin had a fantastic AB fouling off a bunch of pitches, including one off his foot, working himself a well earned 10-pitch walk. Kevin Pillar then would drill an 0-2 hanger over the left field wall for his 9th HR of the season giving the Jays a 4-0 lead.
The power display continued in the fourth following a Tulowitzki double and a Justin Smoak ground out (to advance Tulo to third) the aforementioned Martin decided he didn't really feel like grinding out another 10-pitch AB and instead homered to left field on 0-2. 6-0 Blue Jays.
Much more efficient use of his time.
Then, in an act I'm choosing to call Centrefield brotherhood, Anthony Gose casually played a flyout (by Ryan Goins) and threw back to the infield sort of lackadaisically. Meanwhile, forgetting how many outs there were, Pillar (who had reached on an infield single that nearly took out Simon) had already rounded second and by all accounts was dead to rights. But, being a good former teammate and CF brother, Gose allowed Pillar enough time to get back to first and the inning continued.
A Revere walk later set the stage for Mr. MVP, ol' Billy Boy's favourite, Josh Donaldson to come to the plate with two runners on and two out.
He grounded out.
Bit anti-climactic, minus the 5th deck foul ball he blasted.
In the 5th inning Simon did something I don't think I've ever seen before in a live game (YouTube clips not withstanding). He threw what I can best describe as a 47 mph eephus pitch that fluttered to the plate and hit Edwin Encarnacion. I think everyone was laughing too hard so no ejection was made, and I'm okay with that. I mean, no one intentionally hits something with a pitch slower than the ceremonial first pitch. Thanks for the memory, Alfredo.
A Rajai Davis double followed by a Donaldson throwing error (trying to make a tough, though possibly ill-advised throw) had the Tigers with a runner on third with one out for Miguel Cabrera. Miggy would ground out to Donaldson who made an impressive play to redeem himself, but the run would score breaking the shutout. 6-1 Blue Jays.
As for Buehrle, he would pitch into the 6th inning where a walk and a Nick Castellanos double (in and out of the glove of Pillar who ran a mile to nearly catch it) before being pulled after 89 pitches.
His Final Line: 6 IP (+2) 5 hits, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 R, 1 ER. He left in line for the win.
Mark Lowe would replace him in the 7th getting a quick one pitch groundout (scoring a run) and a shallow pop out two pitches later before getting Gose to fly out to Revere. 6-2 Blue Jays.
The Tigers would stir a bit in the 8th against Aaron Sanchez with a Miggy walk and and J.D Martinez single but Sanchez would settle down and get Victor Martinez to roll over on a ball and ground out to Goins to end the inning. No harm done.
I was all ready for the Osuna Matada gif's to flood in following the end of the game but the bottom half of the 8th inning would show I was destined to be disappointed. I'll take the win to lessen my sorrow.
Speaking of Goins, the defensive specialist has had a very good run since the All-Star Break hitting .278/.402/.392 with a wRC+ of 127 in his 97 PA's before today's game. Which brings me to the aforementioned bottom of the 8th where Goins, facing the Tigers' Bruce Rondon and following a Martin single and Pillar walk, would continue his impressive run by driving a ball to left-centre field for a 2-run double, his 12th double of the season, to extend the lead to 8-2 for the Blue Jays.
He would come around to score on a bloop single by Donaldson, his 106th RBI of the season, making the lead 9-2 and chasing Rondon from the game having given up three runs in 0.2 IP (having taken over for Drew VerHagen who had pitched two innings in relief for Simon).
Bo Schultz would come in to mop up the game because, of course, Bo Knows Blowouts (credit to Janz_V84 who I took this from in the comments). The 9th wasn't without a highlight though as Troy Tulowitzki made a fantastic play ranging up the middle, spun, and made a great throw to get James McCann. If someone has the gif of that I ask you post it in the comments. It saved a run and kept the score 9-2.
A flyout to Jose Bautista, who would then channel his arm strength from 2014 to throw a laser beam to stop Castellanos from scoring, and a groundout to Tulo would clinch to victory!
Blue Jays win! Final Score 9-2
Jays of the Day: Mark Buehrle gets the nod for his solid outting (.117) and Pillar hits the number (.124) as well. No suckage.
The Jays welcome the Cleveland Indians to town tomorrow to start a three game set. David Price will take the mound against Danny Salazar in the first game. A 7:07 start time.
Blue Jays complete the sweep fuelled by 4 HR's on Canada Baseball Day!... Whatever that is... SWEEP!