Marcus Stroman was terrific, for 6 innings. The 7th inning was a problem. If his team could have scored him some more runs, the 7th wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.
In the 7th, he gave up a 1-out double to right. Then, likely the play of the game, at least to that point. Jackie Bradley hit a ground ball down to first, Justin Smoak bobbled it a bit, and then tossed to Stroman. Stroman had trouble finding the bag, and Bradley was safe. Suddenly we had runners on the corners and 1-out, instead of a runner on third and 2-out. Stroman was given the error, and that’s likely the right call. He got distracted by Justin’s bobble and forgot that he had to get to the bag. They practice this all spring for a reason.
A walk, a sac fly and a single and a 3-0 game became a 3-2 game and Marcus was out of the game.
Dominic Leone came in and, first pitch, gave up a double to Dustin Pedroia. Tying run scored, but, thankfully Mookie Betts ran through Brian Butterfield’s stop sign and was thrown out. Out of the inning with a tie. We were lucky.
Stroman went 6.2, allowed 5 hits, 3 unearned runs (because of his error), 3 walks with 5 strikeouts. As usual, just about everything was hit on the ground against him. He had 11 ground outs with just 2 fly outs.
We got the lead back in the top of the 8th. Smoak started the inning off with a walk and went to third on Kendrys Morales’ single.
Strangely, Gibby decided to pinch run for Smoak at that point. I didn’t understand, if you wanted to pinch run, it should have been when he was at first.
Runners on the corners and no outs. Troy Tulowitzki popped out (he had a bad game, 0 for 4, 2 k). I really would have liked some good contact there. Thankfully Steve Pearce singled, bringing home the go ahead run.
At this point Gibby pinch ran Ryan Goins for Morales at second. I didn’t mind this one as much, since I hoped we wouldn’t get around to this spot in the order again, and Kendrys wasn’t going to score from second on a single (or a double for that matter).
But Kevin Pillar struck out (chasing 2 pitches well out of the zone) and Darwin Barney struck out.
Our other runs were scored early: One out
- 2 in the first on a 1-out single for Russell Martin and a 2-out walk for Smoak. Morales doubled off the ‘monster’ to drive them both in.
- 1 in the second, Steve Pearce hit one way over the monster.
We had 8 hits and 4 walks. Some guys had good nights (Morales 3-4, 2 RBI and Pearce (2 for 4, homer, 2 RBI) and some didn’t, 0 fors for: Jose Bautista (0 for 5, 4 k) and Tulo (0 for 4, 2 k).
Ryan Tepera pitched a very nice clean 8th with a strikeout (and a hard line drive right into Josh Donaldson’s glove). He gets the win. Roberto Osuna got a strikeout and 2 medium fly outs (Ezequiel Carrera worried me, he kind of over ran the ball on the 3rd out, but he made the catch. Save 23 for Roberto. He has 49 strikeouts and 4 walks in just 37.1 innings.
Jays of the Day: Morales (.311 WPA), Osuna (.218), Pearce (.211), Tepera (.150) and Stroman (.106).
Suckage: Tulo (-.176), Leone (-.140, all on 1 pitch) and Barney (-.094). Let’s give one to Bautisa too, even though he had a -.082.
We had 538 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory. Go me.