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It had been a while since we had a blow out loss, Jays get rocked by Astros

The fourth inning lasted longer than my commute home in LA rush hour traffic

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Astros 16, Blue Jays 7.

Cesar Valdez was likely looking to cement his spot in the rotation, and prove his rocky start against the Angels was a fluke...however, he managed to do the exact opposite.

To be fair, every Jays pitcher allowed at least one run in this game - the Astros first 15+ run game since they last

As the visiting team, the Jays batted first...well, I think they did. It happened so quickly that I can’t be sure.

Valdez looked pretty sharp to start retiring the first two batters before allowing a single to Josh Reddick. Yuli Gurriel took a Valdez offering deep during his next at bat to make the score 2-0 Astros. Valdez did bounce back in the second inning to retire his three batters on 14 pitches.

The Jays had a base runner in the 2nd after a Steve Pearce walk, and in the 3rd on a Jose Bautista infield single, but couldn’t advance either runner past first.

Our defense was looking sharp in the bottom of the third, as both Josh Donaldson and Ryan Goins made very nice plays to get outs around a Derek Fisher double. Reddick walked to put 2 on, with 2 outs for Gurriel, who singled to drive in a third run. At this point I was lamenting the one run, which in hindsight I would take a dozen times over what would happen in the next inning.

The top of the 4th was a good inning for us. Josh Donaldson hit a ball to the warning track, Smoak walked and Kendrys Morales poetically waited for the announcers to say Peacock doesn’t give up home runs for the 100th time before going deep on a hanging breaking ball for his 21st home run of the season. The score was briefly 3-2, and that was the closest the Jays would get to winning this game.

The bottom of the 4th can only be described with the following words: disaster, nightmare, catastrophe, please have mercy.

Here is how it went:

Valdez gave up a single, a walk, a RBI double, and had one strike out before being replaced by Matt Dermody.

Dermody must have missed his sky high era of 135.0 because he gave up a single run, a 2 run HR, then allowed a single before being replaced by non-4k Mike Bolsinger.

Bolsinger walked his first batter, gave up a 3 run home run to Gonzales, allowed a double to Beltran (on a missed catch by Carrera in center field, but what else is new) and then walked McCann for the second time in the inning. White had his second base hit in the inning, followed by a Jake Marisnick base hit and another walk to another guy in an orange jersey to load the bases. Bregman hit a deep fly that looked like it might have gone out for a grand slam, but Pearce caught it (!) right at the wall to end an inning that lasted half an hour, sent 15 batters to the plate, and gave the Astros 9 runs on 8 hits.

Since there’s no mercy rule in the major leagues, we were forced to send batters up for the top of the 5th.

A Goins base hit was erased by a Bautista GIDP, and then Martin hit a ball straight to the back wall on what looked like it could have been a home run but was called a double. Martin hung out on second base while Gibbons asked for a challenge and the call was overturned for Martin’s 12th (and I’m calling it - likely his most anti-climatic) home run of the season. For those keeping track, Peacock had now given up the same amount of home runs he had all season to the Jays in this game.

I thought at this point Gibbons might put Barney in to pitch the bottom of the 5th, but instead he went with an actual pitcher and sent out Aaron Loup. Loup pitched around a lead off hit and walk for a clean inning.

Morales started off the 6th with deep fly to right field, and Marisnick just missed the ball and smashed into the wall, allowing enough time for Morales to get to second on a hit where he is usually held at first. Pearce followed with a single, and Carrera drove in Morales with another single to put runners on second and third with one out.

The announcers took some time to analyze Peacock’s lack of command and ended up attributing it almost sympathetically to his 30 minute chill session on the bench while his team scored 9 runs. They must have been on to something, or they forgot that Ryan Goins’ superpowers are activated with RISP (especially with 2 outs), because he launched a ball to the right field for a 3 run home run to bring the score up to 12-7. The Blue Jays had now hit more home runs off Peacock in this game than he had allowed all year. Bautista struck out to end an inning that allowed the Jays to score 4 runs on 4 hits.

Loup went back out for the 6th and allowed a lead-off double to McCann, giving a hit to the only starter in the line-up who didn’t have one yet. Tyler White took the next Loup offering deep for a 2 run home run to bring the score 14-7.

Joe Musgrove came on in relief of Peacock in the 7th and retired his three Jays in order.

Barnes made his first appearance off the DL in the bottom of the 7th. He allowed a lead off double to Gurriel to put him on base for the 5th time this game. Gurriel would come around to score and give Danny Barnes an earned run too. Can’t be the only Jays pitcher to not have an earned run this game I suppose.

A rookie Astros pitcher kept the top of the 8th scoreless, and we all got to celebrate the return of JP Howell as he allowed a solo HR to Tyler White on his first pitch. If that isn’t the epitome of predicability, I don’t know what is. He then went on to retire the next three Astros in order.

Nori Aoki made his Blue Jays debut with 2 outs in the top of the 9th to a standing ovation, but grounded out on a full count to end the game. New catcher Raffy Lopez made his debut in this game somewhere too.

It was nice that we scored so many runs. I hope we can end the Valdez experiment and give Chris Rowley a shot (as Matt W suggested here) with Joe Biagini now being stretched out in Buffalo. We will still need a 5th starter at some point. I’m glad I don’t have to be the one who makes these decisions.

Tomorrow, Marco Estrada will go up against Charlie Morton, and we will get to find out which Jays pitchers earned themselves a plane ticket to Buffalo after tonight.