Justin Smoak has been so good. I’m afraid I scared my neighbors cheering his homer.
Chris Rowley was interesting to watch. He was having a hard time staying in the strike zone, gave up 5 walks in 5 innings, but didn’t give up many hard hit balls. 5 walks and 4 hits, in 5 innings should have added up to more than 2 runs, but he got the outs when he needed them.
It wasn’t as impressive as his last start, but he kept us in the game, which is nice to see from someone I didn’t expect to see pitch for the Jays this year.
He was helped out by some crappy Rays base running. Rays catcher Wilson Ramos started off the second inning with a drive down the left field line, but he didn’t run out of the box, and settled for a single. An out later, Adeiny Hechavarria doubled. Ramos’ lack of hustle cost a run there. Then, with Ramos on third, Mallex Smith grounded one to Ryan Goins. Goins came home and Miguel Montero nicely blocked the plate with his foot and got the tag down.
Rowley, to me, looks like the type of guy that will need time to figure out how to get guys out in the majors, but, two starts and just 3 earned in 10.1 innings isn’t bad.
Most of our offence came on 2 swings from Josh Donaldson, getting solo homers in his first and third at bats, and 1 swing from Justin Smoak.
We got a gift run in the third inning. Darwin Barney struck out, but reached first a wild pitch on strike three. He went to third when Norichika Aoki grounded one off Chris Archer, that deflected away from the Rays second baseman. After Donaldson struck out (sure, when guys are on base he doesn’t homer), Barney scored on Justin Smoak’s single.
Our bullpen had good and bad moments:
- Rowley walked Ramos to start the 6th inning, and Aaron Loup came in to give up back-to-back singles to load the bases.
- Danny Barnes came in, bases loaded, no outs, and got out of it allowing just 1 run. He also got the first out of the 7th.
- Tim Mayza got the last 2 outs of the 7th, giving up a single.
- Dominic Leone had a tough 8th inning. He gave up a 1-out single to Peter Bourjos. Bourjos stole second on strike 3 to Brad Miller (good throw by Montero that almost got us the strikeout/throw out). Then Evan Longoria hit one to the wall in center. Ezequiel Carrera got to the wall and jumped, but missed the ball. We really needed the catch. Leone gave up another single and a walk but got out of the inning without giving up another run and with the game tied. He was helped by a nice play by Barney, getting to a ground ball that looked like it was going through to the outfield. It was still a single, but, if it had gotten past him. the runner on second would have scored. A very nice play. With the Smoak homer, Leone gets the win, even after giving up the tying run.
- Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single in the 9th, but then got a double play ball. He picked up save 32 of the season.
Jays of the Day: Barnes (.254 WPA), Rowley (.133), Smoak (.362) and Donaldson (.211).
Suckage: Loup (-.195) and Leone (-.134, though Carrera could have saved him, if he knew how to use his glove).
Tomorrow’s game is an afternoon game as well, against the Cubs.
We had 543 comments in the GameThread. Not bad for a mid-week day game. Paigne led us to victory.