Kevin Pillar has been so good, I’m glad he was the one to hit the walk-off homer. What a pretty swing. That’s homer number 5 for Kevin. He hit just 7 last year.
I guess it is saying something, when you think your starting pitcher didn’t look very good, or very comfortable, and he still gives you 5 innings with no earned runs.
Aaron Sanchez went 5 innings, allowed 5 hits, 2 walks and had 4 strikeouts, but he never looked quite like vintage Sanchez. He spent time pacing and he had a tough time hitting the strike zone. The one run against him was very unlucky. He gave up a 1-out infield single. Darwin Barney made a nice play, and a very good throw (umpire called Carlo Ruiz out, but, after a long review, he was called safe). Very tough call, if he was us, I would have guessed inconclusive). Then Jean Segura doubled down the right field line. Jose Bautista got to the ball quickly, made a strong throw to second, and hit Segura in the foot, allowing the run to score. Sanchez did a great job to strand Segura at third.
Dominic Leone pictured a nice 6th, but gave up a solo homer in the 7th, which tied the game. Ryan Tepera put up 2.1 innings of perfect ball.
On offense, we didn’t do all the much. Justin Smoak hit a 2-run homer, which accounted for all our scoring, until Pillar’s homer.
We had a couple of chances:
- With 1 out in the second inning, Justin Smoak singled and Steve Pearce doubled. Pearce came out of the game, after sliding into second. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, you’d like to score. But Devon Travis and Ryan Goins both struck out.
- In the 5th, Travis started the inning with a double. Gibby had Goins bunt him to third. I hate bunting guys from 2nd to 3rd. It’s bad baseball. The baseball gods know that and had Maile pop out and, after a Pillar walk, Barney struck out.
- In the 6th, after the Smoak homer, Ezequiel Carrera walked, but was thrown out trying to go first to second on a ball the catcher dropped. I can’t blame Carrera, had to think the ball wouldn’t have been picked up that quick. Of course, Travis followed that with a double, that would have scored Ezequiel, had he stayed at first.
- And in the 8th, we had a 1-out single from Morales (Chris Coghlan came in to pinch run) and Smoak walked. But a Ezequiel strikeout and a Travis fly out, and another hope died.
We had 7 hits and 5 walks. Smoak (single and homer) and Travis (both doubles) had 2 hits each. We had 0 fors from Barney (0 for 4, 2 k), Bautista (0 for 2, but 2 walks), Goins (0 for 3, k) and Luke Maile (0 for 4, k, never ever bunt in front of Maile).
As well as the game winning homer, Pillar made a great catch in center on a ball hit right over his head. A great jumping catch. The M’s had runners on first and second, without that catch, it would have been a different game.
Jays of the Day: Pillar (.413 WPA, plus the catch), Smoak (.379), Tepera (.270, great work) and Sanchez (.134).
Suckage: Maile (-.198, but he did throw out Segura trying to steal, great throw, even better tag by Goins. We needed replay, but it was clear on the replay), Goins (-.176, did make a nice play in the field and that tag was perfect), Carrera (-.126) and Barney (-.125).
Five straight wins and 11 of the past 15! May has been so much better than April. Now if we could stay off the DL......
We had 707 comments in a very nice GameThread (winning is fun). I led us to victory. Yay me.