That didn’t start well. Aaron Sanchez, coming back from the DL, pitched just one inning and left with, what appears to be, a split finger nail.
But our bullpen was terrific:
- Ryan Tepera pitched 3.1 terrific innings. He gave up just 1 hits and struck out 5. I almost thought he could go longer, but I think Gibby was right in pulling him when he did.
- Aaron Loup threw 2 nice innings, he did allow 2 walks, but got a strikeout.
- Joe Smith had some troubles. He gave up a hit and a walk, getting just 2 outs. Rays pulled off a safety squeeze on him to get their run.
- J.P. Howell.....well, he gave up a walk, on 4 pitches, but got a fly out to Jose to get out of the 8th. He was the only Jays’ pitcher to give up a run and he gets the win. Baseball.
- Roberto Osuna was the victim of some bad luck. Ryan Goins made a rare error to put a man on base, with 1 out. Justin Smoak just couldn’t dig the throw out. Then, after a strikeout, got a soft ground ball, that went off his glove. Unfortunately Devon Travis was moving to where the ball was going to go, and couldn’t get to the ball quick enough. Thankfully he got Norris to strikeout to end the game.
On offence...we didn’t do anything at all until the 8th inning. Chris Archer was terrific.
In the 8th inning:
- Darwin Barney started us off with a walk.
- Pillar ground out on a full count, thankfully Barney was running on the pitch and moved to second.
- Jose Bautista crushed one to left. I was sure it was out, but it just didn’t have enough height. It was almost caught, but hit high off the wall, for a double.
- After an intentional walk to Kendrys Morales, Smoak struck out. He’s been so good that I’ll forgive.
- Russell Martin lined one down the right field line. The single gave us the lead.
- Ezequiel Carrera pinch hit for Steve Pearce, and hit a soft ground ball up the middle that was knocked down by shortstop Daniel Robertson, but he couldn’t make a play. And we scored 3 runs in an inning. A nice
We had 7 hits (the only extra base hits were doubles from Morales and Bautista). Jose and Kendrys had 2 hits each. One each for Smoak, Martin and Carrera.
Also, of note, Archer threw behind Bautista, apparently in retaliation for Sousa getting hit yesterday. Baseball is a kids game played by children much of the time.
Bautista had his 1000th hit as a Blue Jay.
Smoak came up limping, after catching a popup down the right field line.
Jays of the Day: Bautista (.281 WPA), Martin (.189), Morales (.134), Loup (.186), Tepera (.166) and I’m giving one to Osuna (.076), since he didn’t let the couple of unlucky moments unravel him.
Suckage: Joe Smith (-.228), Smoak (-.204, but he made a nice catch on a popup foul and down the line in right, in the 8th inning. Rays scored 1 that inning, but, if he doesn’t make that catch, you never know), Pillar (-.111, 0 for 4) and Pearce (-.108, 0 for 3, he’s having a tough time of it).
We had 837 comments in the GameThread. lalalaprise led us to victory. Great job.