After denying the Red Sox the opportunity to clinch the division title on their watch, the Blue Jays headed into Fenway Park tonight looking to add more rain to Boston’s post-season parade with a series sweep...and they came out swinging. Unfortunately Marco Estrada couldn’t hold the Jays early 3-run lead, and he was pulled after only getting one out in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Both pitchers were roughed up very early, giving up 10 runs (and plenty of hard contact) in the first three innings. Not the way Marco would like to end his season, on the shortest outing of his year, but I’m sure his $13m contract for 2018 eases the pain.
Teoscar Hernandez struck out to start the game, but back to back doubles by Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak, and a 2-run shot from Jose Bautista (his 6th career homer off Rick Porcello) put the Jays on top 3-0. Porcello retired the side in order in the 2nd.
Estrada was looking sharp to start, as he seemed to be locating his fastball very well by getting two quick outs. However, his defense let him down when they gifted the Red Sox a two-out unearned run. Ryan Goins slipped while trying to make a play on an Andrew Benintendi grounder, and Hernandez was charged with an error after bobbling a Hanley Ramirez ball off the green monster that allowed Benintendi to score from 1st.
The Red Sox took the lead in the 2nd in a very eventful inning. Christian Vasquez took lead off walk on a pitch that looked like it caught the bottom of the zone, then a double, ground-out, and back to back singles put the Sox up 4-3. At first, Xander Bogaerts was called out at home on a beautiful throw by Kevin Pillar, but the call was overturned.
The Jays tied the game in the 3rd. JD singled with one out, Smoak walked and Morales drove in Josh with a RBI single down the middle. Pillar would strike out with men on to end the inning.
The Red Sox took a strong lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Hanley Ramirez first put the Red Sox ahead with a solo shot off a high Estrada change-up in the bottom of the 3rd. Mitch Moreland and Vasquez followed with back-to-back singles, but a Rajai Davis single after a Devers groundout drove Marco out of the game. Luis Santos came in and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to strike out, but gave up a 3-run homer to Xander Bogaerts. Dustin Pedroia also singled (I did not miss him in the first two games), but Santos got Benintendi to strike-out to finally end the inning. If anything, this results of this September Santos experiment are hopefully conclusive enough by this point.
Darwin Barney hit his 6th homer of the season over the Green Monster in the 4th, to lock in Rick Porcello as the leader in home runs allowed this season (38 in 2017, vs 23 in 2016). He kept the Jays off the board for the rest of the game until David Price took over with 2 outs in the 6th. He also retired the Jays in order in the 7th.
Aaron Loup pitched the first scoreless inning in the bottom of the 4th. Tim Mayza and Carlos Ramirez pitched a perfect 5th and 6th, respectively. Ramirez gave up a run in the 7th, on a Mitch Moreland home run. Chris Rowley made it through the 8th with just single against.
There was an effort at a comeback in the 9th. Ryan Goins had a 1-out double and an out later, Teoscar Hernandez hit his 8 homer of the month, but that’s where it ended.
We had a pretty good day offensively, 10 hits, 3 of them home runs.
Jays of the Day: The only Jay with the number was Justin Smoak (.155 WPA, on a double and 2 walks
Suckage: Estrada (-.533), Santos (-.109) and Pillar (-.097 for his 0 for 4).
The Jays have an off day tomorrow before starting their final series of the year at Yankee Stadium on Friday. Joe Biagini will take on Masahiro Tanaka in a 1pm start.
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