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Walk-Off Grand Slam by Steve Pearce, Jays Sweep A’s

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
Morales hitting one out.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

A’s 4 Blue Jays 8 (10 innings)

Second day in a row we get a game tying home run in the 9th and, soon after, a game winning home run (but this time we had to wait more than a minute between the two homers).

In the 10th Liam Hendriks had troubles finding the strike zone. He walked the bases loaded (Miguel Montero, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales each took walks). Steve Pearce came to bat with 2 outs. He went to a full count and then got the batting practice fastball and took it out of the park.

The ninth inning has been a fun time, at least for the last couple of days. Today, Kendrys Morales hit a game tying home run. Yesterday he got the game winner in the ninth.

Baseball is fun again. I’m sure it will go back to breaking our hearts again soon.

I thought the real story of the game was going to be the plate ump tossing Gibby, Marcus Stroman and Russell Martin.

Fifth inning, and the plate ump, Will Little, had been taking a fair bit of abuse from both teams. He wasn’t terribly consistent, which is something that players will hate. You’d like the same pitch to be called the same way every time up there.

Anyway, 5th inning and Marcus wasn’t getting pitches on the edges and was getting frustrated, and Gibby was giving his opinion from the bench. Suddenly, the umpire had enough and Gibby was gone. Gibby came out and gave his opinions to the umpire from close up. It amused me that the umpire was nodding his head, seemingly in agreement with Gibby’s assertion that his inability to call strikes had something to do with his ancestry.

Next batter, and there were a couple of ‘on the edge calls’ that went against Marcus. Full count pitch was off the plate by a little, Martin held the pitch for an extra second or two. And then Stroman swore loudly. I don’t think Stroman was swearing at the ump, he seemed to be upset at himself and he’s 60 feet away, so the ump should be able to let him vent a bit. I really hate that, baseball should be personal for the players, but the umpires should be detached.

But the ump didn’t see it that way and ejected Stroman. Martin turned to plea Stroman’s case, it seemed like he was asking ‘why was he ejected?’. There may have been some colorful language added, but Martin was ejected by the time he got the sentence out.

I’m sure the ump knew he was having a bad day, which likely added to his mood and everyone had been on his case. So he had a quick trigger finger.

He really should be talked to (and I’m sure he will be, MLB does these things behind closed doors).

Anyway, Stroman had a tough day, he was all around the strike zone, but often not in it, and then often he wasn’t getting the pitches on the edges he wanted. Ejected at 4.2 innings, he allowed 6 hits, mostly of the ground ball variety, and 6 walks, with 4 strikeouts. He was kind of lucky to give up just 3 earned. He wasn’t sharp.

For the second day in a row, the bullpen kept us in the game:

  • Chris Smith went 1.1, with 1 hit and 1 strikeout. A very nice job.
  • Joe Smith pitched an inning, allowing a walk. It looks like he’s totally recovered from his shoulder troubles.
  • Ryan Tepera had a bit of trouble, he gave up a 2 hits and a walk, giving up the go ahead run.
  • Aaron Loup pitched a clean inning.
  • Roberto Osuna pitched a clean 10th inning. He gets the win.

It was homers again for the Jays. Josh Donaldson hit his first home run since July 8th, way back in the first inning. And Kendrys Morales had 2 solo homers, 1 in the fifth and the big tying run shot in the ninth, both monster shots to dead center. The other ‘regulation time’ run came in the 6th, Jose Bautista led off the inning with a double and scored on Justin Smoak’s bloop single. Then, of course, was the game winner from Steve Pearce.

We had another shot at a run. In the 7th, Tulo had a 1-out, ground rule double. An out later Darwin Barney had a ground ball single to right. Tulo was sent home but was out easy. I wasn’t against sending him with 2 outs. But, it seemed like Tulo was kind of looking behind him, and didn’t think he would score. Two outs, he should be running on contact and planning to come home. He has had leg troubles, so there is some excuse for being slow, but I thought he should have had a better jump and should have been, head down, planning to score.

Jays of the Day: Morales (.547 WPA), Pearce (.190), Smoak (.125) and Osuna (.141).

Suckage: Tepera (-.189), Barney (-.198, but some of that was for Tulo getting thrown out at the plate) and Pillar (-.125, even though he had his first hit in days).

Nice to get a sweep. I had been questioning my love of the game, then we get 2 walk-off wins in a row.

We had 784 comments in the GameThread. Dennis in Tokyo led us to victory. Great job.

Best comment of the game:

# Commenter # Comments
1 Dennis in Tokyo 72
2 Tom Dakers 66
3 Alan F. 62
4 syedahmed 57
5 delv213 41
6 erik.t 39
7 hpatton 34
8 Anthony Turgelis 28
9 kateincali 28
10 red hot blues 28
11 Pyramid Power 27
12 jmarples 25
13 spockster 23
14 gammaDraconis 23
15 radivel 21
16 Scurvybird 21
17 Diamond_D86 19
18 Cameroli 16
19 ewank 14
20 Rivervillian 14
21 Drinkin' Wit' Terrell Farley 14
22 Kurupt 13
23 Minor Leaguer 11
24 TwitchyJC 11
25 JoseBautista 10