I’m heading out for a couple of weeks of holiday, going out to Vancouver Island and various spots in between here and there.
Before I go I wanted to take a look at how the Jays pitchers did in August.
We had a 17-11 record for the month (and every single loss was the end of the world, if you believe Twitter). The pitchers had an ERA of 3.63 (right in line with the season ERA of 3.79). The starters had a 3.76 ERA. The bullpen had their best ERA of the season at 3.38.
Marcus Stroman: 3.13 ERA, 1-1 record in 5 starts. Batters hit .252/.287/.358 with 5 walks and 39 strikeouts in 31.2 inning. His best strikeout rate of the season, by far. Struck out 11.1/9 up from 7.9/9 in July. The team scored 21 runs, in the 5 starts, but that’s kind of misleading as they scored 1, 1, 9, 2, 8 in the 5 games. He’s been a totally different pitcher, in the second half of the season. 3.88 ERA since the break, 4.89 before.
Aaron Sanchez: 3.91, 2-1 in 4 starts. Batters hit .253/.310/.341 with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts in 23 innings. His strikeout rate has dropped in the last couple of months. He was striking out 7.8/9 before the All-Star game, 6.3 after. Perhaps he is tiring a bit. Or perhaps it’s just a normal little slump that all pitchers go through at some point. He’s still been very good.
J.A. Happ: 3.52. 3-1 in 5 starts. Batters hit .235/.279/.400 with 7 walks and 31 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. Not quite as good as his 1.44 ERA, with 12.1 k/9, in July, but still more than a k per inning. Averaged 93 pitches a start, and it looks like Gibby is trying to take him out before 100 pitches lately. Likely not a bad idea, he’s 11 innings away from setting a career high. He has been a surprise.
Marco Estrada: 4.82, 2-2 in 5 starts. Batters hit .268/.325/.509 with 8 walks, 23 strikeouts and 7 home runs in 28 innings. Since the break, batters have .799 OPS against him, before the break .582. He’s not been right for awhile, but he went 7 innings, allowing just 1 run in his last start. Maybe we can hope it is a turnaround?
R.A. Dickey: 3.41. 2-1 in 5 starts. Batters hit .246/.323/.352 with 12 walks and 21 strikeouts (and only 1 home run) in 29 innings. By start, he allowed 1, 4, 1, 2, and 3 earned runs and the team went 4-1 in hits starts. We could do far worse for a 5th starter.
Francisco Liriano: 3.97, 1-1 in 4 starts. Batters hit .241/.330/.425 with 10 walks and 23 strikeouts in 22.2 innings. ERA drops 1.5 runs after joining the Jays. He’s been much better than we could have hoped. Of course, it is only four starts, but I wonder if Pete Walker will start getting the acclaim Ray Searage got. I mean, take a look at Liriano, Benoit, Grilli....was there any reason to think they could be good when we picked them up. I will admit, I give Gibby credit for knowing when to get Liriano out of the game. Add in Estrada from last year and he has a pretty good little track record at making pitchers better.
Roberto Osuna: 5.05 ERA, 0-1, in 11 games. Batters hit .238/.283/.571 with 4 home runs, 2 walks and 15 strikeouts. He had 7 saves with 1 blown save. He’s had a couple of bad appearances in a row, both in non-save moments. He did have one bad time out there in a save spot. I have a hard time believing the ‘he can’t pitch if there isn’t a save on the line’, but I do wonder if, with a big lead, he just goes out there and throws strikes, maybe thinking “they can’t hurt me unless I walk a few”. Course he did give up 2 home runs in his blown save. Maybe he’s “pitching to the score”.
Joe Biagini: 1.76 ERA, 1-0, in 12 games. Batters hit .222/.259/.296 with 1 walk and 12 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. He’s had 3 holds in the month. Atkins and Shapiro should take a bow for him. Who would have expected this. I’m sure not even Mark. He’s had one month with a ERA over 1.76 this season. June wasn’t good. Other than that, he’s been amazing.
Jason Grilli: 1.38 ERA, 1-1 in 13 games. Batters hit .119/.196/.238 with 4 walks and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings. He’s had a save and 6 holds in the month. Have you ordered your tee shirt yet? It is amazing. He had a 5.29 ERA with the Braves. He was giving up 8.5 hits and 6.9 walks per 9 innings. He comes to the Jays puts up a 1.93 ERA and has allowed 4.4 hits and 3.3 walks per 9 innings.
Joaquin Benoit: 0.00 ERA, 1-0 in 12 games. Batters hit .250/.302/.275 with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. He has a save and 5 holds. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since joining the team. I do think there has been a fair bit of luck involved. He isn’t striking guys out like he did in Seattle. He was a 10.4 k/9 innings there, 6.3 here, but he’s not walking guys as much. 3.8/9 here, 5.5 there. Small sample sizes and all. Benefits of a better defense?
Brett Cecil: 3.12 ERA, 1-1 in 12 games. Batters hit .188/.257/.375 with 3 walks, 12 strikeouts and 2 home runs. He has 1 blown save this month. He’s been so consistent, in the past, I don’t know what’s going on. The batter line against looks pretty good. I don’t know what’s going on. Lately the home run has been the problem.
Scott Feldman: 7.50 ERA, 2-1, in 10 games. Batters hit .370/.404/.426 with 3 walks and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings. He’s been the one hasn’t improved since joining the Jays. He had 2 really bad appearances that hurt his line, giving up 7 earned in 3.1 innings in those two games, but even ignoring those two games, he has been giving up a lot of hits.
Bo Schultz: 9.00 ERA in his 2 appearances this month. Batters hit .143/.250/.571 with 1 home run in his 2 innings.
Aaron Loup: 9.82 ERA in his 2 appearances this month. Batters hit .467/.474/.733 with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 3.2 innings. I discount it all because it was all in that 2 innings he pitched when we had the big lead against the Twins. He isn’t the type that should pitch two innings, and with such a big lead, he was just throwing strikes, just get guys to hit the ball and hope it finds a glove.
Ryan Tepera: 0.00 ERA in 4 appearances. Batters hit .222/.300/.222 in 4.2 innings, with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. It is a tough life when you have options, but he’s been very good when he’s been up with the Jays.
Danny Barnes: 4.50 ERA in 3 appearances. Batters hit .313/.389/.500 in 4 innings with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. He had a bad time of it in a mop up roles in his last game, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs in an inning of work. His other 2 appearances went well.