Angels 7, Blue Jays 2
Well, the winning was nice while it lasted.
J.A. Happ started off strong, striking out the side after a lead-off double. However, our cautious optimism would be short lived as things would unravel quickly in the next inning.
The top of the 2nd went like this:
-Fly out, fly out, base hit, walk, single (run scored), walk (to load the bases for Trout), walk (run scored), strike out.
Happ took strong issue to Hernandez’s strike zone, especially after he walked in a run. Incorrect ball and strike calls are part of baseball, but Hernandez’s behavior needs to be noted here. In a seemingly deja-vu situation from yesterday, Hernandez unnecessarily took off his mask and started chiming at Happ, which escalated things and created tension. Gibbons came out of the dugout and after a brief exchange, he was instructed to go back to the dugout and did so, without being ejected. Happ went to calmly talk things over with Hernandez after the inning ended and things seemed to die down from there.
The call Happ took particular distaste to was right on the border to be fair, but he was justified in his overall frustration. Behold:
Here's the zone for this inning. Top left in the zone was the 3-2 to Trout. pic.twitter.com/N2nWPZwCVX— James G (@james_in_to) July 28, 2017
Robinson would go on to walk, so who knows how the outcome would have changed if he had gotten that call.
Happ threw 43 pitches that inning.
Happ had a nice bounce back in the next inning, retiring the minimum on 4 pitches in the third (can’t fault umpire ball/strike calls when the balls don’t pass through home plate).
The bottom of the third did not go well for the Jays. Troy Tulowitzki tried to run out a ground ball, and stepped on C.J. Cron’s foot on first base. He slipped off the base, and appeared to have rolled his ankle. He looked to be in quite a bit of pain, and did not remain in the game. We would later be informed Tulo left with a sprained ankle. I hope it’s not serious.
The Angels scored again in the fourth, on a Mike Trout single. Cowart reached on a Ryan Goins bobble, which forced Maldonado, who had walked prior to that, to second. Maldonaldo came around to score for the second time in the game.
Parker Bridwell kept the Jays off balance for most of the night, and they wouldn’t get a baserunner until the bottom of the 4th on a two out walk to Josh Donaldson. Josh would move first to third on a Justin Smoak single (bless you Smoak), but Morales would fly out to strand the base runners. I guess you can’t hit home runs at every at bat.
Happ had a nice bounce back inning in the top of the 5th, retiring the side in order despite another questionable Hernandez called ball.
The Jays were also retired, in order, on a very small number of pitches in the bottom of the 5th.
Happ pitched a clean 3 up, 3 down top of the 6th.
The Jays would get another base runner in the bottom of the 6th, on a two-out single by Russell Martin. Josh Donaldson fouled back a very hittable hanging breaking ball, and was called out on strikes on the next pitch. MVP JD would have crushed that.
Dominic Leone came in to pitch the top of the 7th, retiring his three batters in order (and bringing the running total to 10 straight batters).
Bridwell pitched a 3 up, 3 down bottom 7th.
Leone came back out to pitch in the 8th. He struck out Cron, but Andrelton Simmons hit a pretty good pitch for a bloop double right on the foul line to end Dominic’s night. Matt Dermody came out as our LOOGY for Calhoun, but failed at his one job. During the at bat, Simmons quickly and safely stole 3rd base as Josh was a little late getting over, and ended up tripping over Simmons. Simmons would proceed to score on a base hit from Calhoun.
Chris Smith came in and got Maldonado and Robinson to ground out to end the inning.
The Jays didn’t score their first run until the 8th. Bridwell allowed a base hit to Darwin Barney to start off the 8th, but was pulled only after getting Kevin Pillar to fly out. Cron would then rob Ryan Goins of extra bases (and likely a run scored) off of David Hernandez. Jose Bautista hit a laser down the third base line for a double to score Barney. Martin then singled to put runners on the corner with two outs, but Josh Donaldson would ground into a fielder’s choice to strand the runners. I really, really miss MVP JD.
The Jays had more hits in this inning (3) than they had the entire game prior to that point (2).
Apparently the Jays challenged the force out at 2nd during the commercial break, but it didn’t look like they had much of a case. Trying to grasp at anything I suppose.
Chris Smith also pitched the top of the 9th. Cowart hit a high fly that went over Bautista’s head, and he would then come around to score on an Escobar ground ball double down past third base. Smith then got Mike Trout to fly out.
What happened next was interesting...
Albert Pujols hit a ground ball straight to Josh Donaldson, who threw the ball to Martin to tag out at Escobar at home. Martin appeared to have very briefly forgotten that it was Pujols who was racing down to first at Morales speed, and may have been able to get an inning ending double play if he had been a tad bit quicker (at least, the Angels announcers thought so). That would prove to be costly as Cron would go deep in the next at bat to tag on another two runs.
A Simmons triple was stranded with a Calhoun fly out to Steve Pearce.
In the bottom of the 9th, Justin Smoak skyrocketed a high fastball off Cam Bedrosian 404 feet for his 29th home run of the season. Bedrosian would retire the next three Jays in order to secure the win.
Jays of the Day: None, except I’ll give Smoaky one for his homer, and because cause I’m really, really thankful for him.
Suckage: Morales (-0.93), and everyone else in a Jays uniform save for Leone, Martin and Barney.
Goins, Pillar, Pearce, Morales, and Donaldson all had 0 fors.
I’ll see if Tom can add in the comments table.
All eyes will be on current trade bait Francisco Liriano as he likely makes his last start as a Blue Jay. It would be great if he could have a really solid start so the Jays could get a decent return.
A fellow by the name of Yusmeiro Petit will make his first start of the season for the Angels in a spot start for the injured Alex Meyer.