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A Bullpen Only a Mother Could Love; Jays Waste Estrada Gem - Jays Lose 4-2

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Seven fantastic innings from Marco Estrada was not enough to lift the Jays to victory in this Mother's Day tilt.

Marco Estrada's effort went to waste as the bullpen collapses again in the Jays 4-2 loss to LA
Marco Estrada's effort went to waste as the bullpen collapses again in the Jays 4-2 loss to LA
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a 6-2 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers (15-15) on Saturday, the Toronto Blue Jays (16-16) looked to win the three game series on Sunday.

It also happened to be Mother's Day... I hope this recap wasn't the thing to remind you to call your mom...

The pitching matchup saw Marco Estrada (1-2 with a 2.64 ERA) take the mound for the Jays. The Dodgers would counter with Ross Stripling (0-2 and a 4.33 ERA).

This game, in theory, had all the makings of an offensive outbreak for the Jays, facing a 26-year old rookie featuring a low-90's fastball and a BB/9 over four.

"In theory" is a term people like to use when everything goes to hell in their preconceived notions of what to expect from a given situation.

What we got was a fantastic pitcher's duel.

It took until the third inning before the game's first hit. This being by Kevin Pillar. A double. He'd be moved to third on a Russell Martin groundout leading to Ryan Goins coming to the plate.

He hit a ball fairly well to the right side forcing Dodgers First Baseman Howie Kendrick (I didn't know he played 1B, either) to make a diving stop. He elected to try and get Pillar at the plate but the fleet-footed Blue Jays Centerfielder slid in ahead of the tag for the games first run.

1-0 Blue Jays.

Estrada wouldn't allow a baserunner until the 4th inning (a walk to Chase Utley), compounded by a Troy Tulowitzki error to put runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. But, the Jays rightie bore down and struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal to end the inning.

Stripling would finish after six strong. His final line: 6IP, 1 run (earned) on 1 hit, 6 K's and zero walks. He pitched a pretty darn good game for someone I thought the Jays would hit around the field.

That seems to be the troubling trend thus far for the 2016 Blue Jays.

The Dodgers wouldn't get their first hit until the top of the 6th when Trayce Thompson doubled to lead off the inning. But, as we've seen many times from Estrada, he navigated the rest of the inning giving up no runs and keeping the lead intact.

Until the 7th inning, at least.

With two outs in the inning Joc Pederson drove a ball deep to right over the wall to tie the game.

Chris Hatcher came into the game in the 7th getting Jose Batuista and Edwin Encarnacion to start the inning before getting into trouble. Justin Smoak managed to beat the shift (continuing his surprising early season run of singles heavy production) giving the Jays a runner. Tulowitzki walked to put two on for Kevin Pillar.

Pillar laced a single into right field, Smoak originally was to be held at 3rd because... well, let's be honest. He has the speed of Justin Smoak. But, Thompson bobbled the ball trying to get in position to make a throw and some heads up baserunning allowed Smoak to score the go-ahead run for the Jays.

And then Blue Jays Nation held their collective breaths (fairly or not) as Drew Storen entered the game in relief of Estrada.

Marco Estrada's final line: 7IP, 1 run (earned) on 3 hits, a homerun, 8 K's and 2 walks. He left in line for the win.

He'd walk Utley to start the inning and then Corey Seager ripped a ball to right that bounced over the wall (mercifully) for a ground-rule double. Runner's on 2nd and 3rd, no out, the meat of the Dodger's order coming up, and Gibby finally saw the light.

Roberto Osuna exited the bullpen and entered the game looking to for the rare six out save.

He'd get the first out with a K of Justin Turner (which he didn't like but I'm fairly certain it was all the called strikes were strikes). They'd intentionally walk Gonzalez to load the bases for Grandal.

After battling with Osuna Grandal finally managed to make some decent contact sending a flyball to deep center to move up the runners and tie the game. Howie Kendrik then singled to right to pick of Seager from third and give the Dodgers the lead.

Osuna K'd Pederson to end the inning but the damage was done.

3-2 Dodgers.

Pedro Baez entered the game. With one out in the Bottom of the 8th Michael Saunders singled, and after a Josh Donaldson strikeout Darwin Barney came in to run for Saunders. Kenley Jansen then came on to pitch to Bautista attempting a more conventional 4-out save. He'd get Bautista to weakly line out to end the inning.

With the save blown, Jesse Chavez came on in relief of Osuna for the Top of the 9th.

Chavez was pulled after allowing two singles (interrupted by a fielder's choice) and Chad Girodo came in trying to keep it a one-run game. Unfortunately, Seager singled to left cashing in Thompson (who was responsible for the aforementioned fielder's choice) and the Dodgers expanded their lead to two.

Gibby then went to Gavin Floyd because surely someone has to be able to get through an inning without allowing a run (inherited or otherwise). He'd start his stint by trying to prove that theory wrong by hitting Turner to load the bases for Gonzalez. But, then he'd K Gonzalez and Grandal and be the first reliever for the Jays not to suck!

4-2 Dodgers.

Jansen returned to close out the Jays in the bottom of the 9th to seal the win and series for the Dodgers. The Jays fall to 16-17, a start only a mother could love (streeeeetch).

Jays Lose 4-2.

JAY of the DAY
Marco Estrada (.256) and Kevin Pillar (.224) get my nod for JotD.

SUCKAGE
Oooh boy. Drew Storen (-.339). Roberto Osuna (-.108), Josh Donaldson (-.127), Edwin Encarnacion (-.113) and Jose Bautista (-.138).

The Blue Jays return to action tomorrow in San Francisco facing the Giants. Aaron Sanchez (2-1 and a 2.82 ERA) takes to the mound versus Jake Peavy (1-3 and a 9.00 ERA)... So... Should be another pitcher's duel, ultimately. 10:15 PM start.


Source: FanGraphs