There were a couple of interesting moments in yesterday's Blue Jays game. I thought we'd look at them:
In the tenth inning Gibby pinch hit Justin Smoak for Chris Colabello. It kind of interested me. Smoak had a good game, the day before, and I figured he should be allowed a few games in a row. Chris really hasn't been hitting at all, and hasn't looked good at the plate. I don't think he's squared up a ball yet this year. But, after last year, I can understand giving Colabello every chance to get back to where he was last year, but since the team really isn't scoring the way we should, I would rather go with the hot hand. Or at least the lukewarm hand.
It really seemed strange to me that, with one on and one out in the 10th, that he would replace Chris with Justin. If Chris was the better choice at the start of the game, I don't know why he wouldn't be the better choice at the end of the game. I mean there really wasn't enough new information, between the start of the game and the 10th inning to change a mind.
The other reason it seemed strange to me is that, after Colabello's spot, we had Ryan Goins and Josh Thole. I mean if you were planing to pinch hit for one of those three, would Chris be your choice?
It worked, well sort of worked, Smoak had a hard hit single to right, giving us runners on first and second. Unfortunately, Goins, at the end of a 9 pitch at bat, where he fouled off four pitches, hit into a double play.
It seemed to me that, if you were going to pinch hit for Colabello, you should have put Smoak in there in the first place.
I also wondered, if Goins hadn't hit into the double play, would Thole have hit, or would Gibby go with Russell Martin to hit for him. I do like the idea of giving Russell a full day off, when he is getting a day off, but, with the game in the 10th, odds are Martin wouldn't have had to catch many innings.
Another thing I thought was interesting was the use of the bullpen. Gibby said, before the game, that Jesse Chavez wouldn't be available, that he had a tight back. Brett Cecil pitched in the last two games. And Roberto Osuna had a 4 out save the day before, though he threw just 15 pitches, between that and the finger nail issue (or blister, I've heard both explanations), I figured Gibby would rather not use Roberto.
By the tenth inning, Gibby had used Gavin Floyd and Drew Storman. That left him with Pat Venditte and Joe Biagini (plus the three guys listed above). Gibby went with Biagini. Kind of a curious choice as he is a rule 5 pick. I would have thought Venditte first, but maybe he wanted to save Venditte for when Chris Davis was likely to bat.
Tie game, 10th inning is a place I wouldn't want to be using my rule 5 guy, if I could help it. It almost worked out. Biagini got 2 quick outs, then the double. Then the really soft ground single that was just too soft for Troy Tulowitzki turn into an out. All the hard hit balls we had and the game changes on a ball that Joey Rickard barely touched. And the passed ball....
If the game had continued on, I would have been interested to see which of the 'unavailable pitchers' would have gone into the game first. I'd imagine Roberto Osuna would have followed Venditte if it had gone that far. Or perhaps it would have been Osuna first and then Venditte until the game ended.
Josh Donaldson's bunt attempt, on the first pitch of his at bat in the first inning was interesting. He fouled the pitch off, so it wasn't like one of Jose Bautista's fake a bunt attempt to watch a pitch. At the time, I didn't think he was bunting for a base hit, but maybe he was. Either way, I really don't want Donaldson bunting with someone on base.
I also hate the idea of players decided to bunt on their own or at least sacrifice bunt on their own. If I was Gibby I'd have a talk with the players saying 'I call for bunts, not you, do not take it upon yourself to decide to bunt'.