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Blue Jays win on a walk-off wild pitch

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Padres 6 Blue Jays 7 (12 innings)

The bottom of the 12th was the best inning of baseball I can remember.

Russell Martin started things with a single. Kevin Pillar traded with him, hitting into a force out. Darwin Barney, pinch hitting, doubled to put the tying run at second. He hustle to second in what I thought was a big moment, as he was the tying run.

Devon Travis went to a full count, and then fouled off a bunch of pitches. The 13th pitch he hit a ton. I was sure he won the game, but it was just foul. Just barely foul. Foul by inches. Travis ended up walking to load the bases. That was the at bat of the game.

Bases loaded with Bautista and Donaldson coming up. Couldn't ask for better.

Bautista went to a 3-1 count and then took ball 4 to move the tying run to third. Another great at bat.

Then it was up to Josh Donaldson. When he went to a 3 and 1 count, life was good. Next pitch off the plate inside. Josh takes it....called a strike. I swore loudly. Then he ground to second, but thankfully, not hard enough for a double play and the game was tied again.

Edwin up. And a wild pitch walks us off!


But for one pitch,it wasn't a bad outing for Marcus Stroman (insert Titanic joke here). The one bad moment was the Alex Dickerson (him again?) 3-run homer. In all Stroman went 6.2, allowed 7 hits, 1 walks, with 7 strikeouts. And, of course, the 4 earned runs.

The 3-run homer changed a 3-1 Jays lead into a 4-3 Padres lead.

Jays scored 2 in the first, Jose Bautista walked and Josh Donaldson hit one out to center field. We got one more in the 5th on a Justin Smoak home run (opposite field, he hit one to the wall, same area, in the 2nd inning that I thought was going out).

Then we tied things up again in the 7th. Russell Martin and Kevin Pillar walked to start things off. Melvin Upton hit into a force out at second, giving us runners on the corners. Upton moved to second on a wild pitch that hit the ad behind the plate and came straight back to the catcher, costing us a chance at a run).

Devon Travis followed with an interesting at bat, he swung at a pitch that bounced away from the catcher. Martin from 3rd game home, but the umpire ruled it a foul ball. Replays seemed to show that he didn't touch it, but it's one of those unreviewable plays. Travis ended up tapping one down the line to third, reaching base but not driving in the run.

Jose Bautista, up next fouled off 3 straight pitches. I told my wife, watch the pitcher bounce the next one. He did, and it bounced away from the catcher and Martin scored. The first base umpire ruled Bautista swung at the pitch (I didn't think he came close to a swing) but we tied the game anyway. Josh Donaldson popped out to end the inning.

We should have scored more than one against a struggling lefty, facing our big right-handed batter.

For 5.0 innings the bullpen was great.

  • Joe Biagini relieved Stroman with two on and two out and got out of the inning. He got the first 2 outs of the 8th, and then Gibby brought in
  • Brett Cecil, to face lefty slugger Alex Dickerson. Dickerson singled, but Cecil got Ryan Schimpf to ground out.
  • Roberto Osuna pitched around 2 hit batters to get through the 9th.
  • Jesse Chavez pitched 2.2 perfect innings, and then there was a fly ball over Jose Bautista (that I thought he should have caught at the wall, he played it very gingerly) and then the Matt Kemp home run and I thought we were going to lose..
There was an interesting decision that Gibby made in the 7th inning. He had Upton pinch hit for Smoak, against a lefty. After the inning, he could have had Jose Bautista go to first and Upton go to right. Instead he moved Edwin from DH to first, losing the DH for the rest of the game.

I'm guessing Gibby didn't want to have Jose at first when one mistake could cost the game. Edwin did end up making 3 excellent plays.The flip to that is that Ezequiel Carrera batted in the 9th, when it would have been Upton had he picked the other option. But then, Darwin Barney was in that spot when he hit the big double in the 12th, helping us win.

I don't think either decision would have been wrong. I'm not all for teaching a new position mid-season. I think that is a recipe for failure. And, since I'd like Jose to succeed at first base, I'd rather it happen in spring training.

Jays of the Day: Martin (.439 WPA), Travis (.326), Barney (.182), Donaldson (.133), Smoak (.096), Biagini (.145) and Osuna (.137).

Suckage: Stroman (-.210), Chavez (-.136), Tulo (-.246), Pillar (.143), Carrera (-.134) and Saunders (-.115).

The FanGraph is a thing of beauty:

Source: FanGraphs

We had 1873 comments in the GameThreads. Eric H led the way to the big victory. Great job.

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