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Solarte wins it with a Grand Slam in the 11th inning.

That was one long amazing game.

MLB: Game One-Toronoto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 13 Cleveland 11

What an amazing game. I apologize for the mess that the recap is.

So, because I don’t want to mess up the rest to recap we’ll do a straight retelling of the 9th inning on.

Top of the 9th: Morales struck out and Diaz ground out. The Gurriel walked (great at bat) and Granderson walked (very good as well). But Donaldson popped up the first pitch he saw.

Bottom of the 9th: Seunghwan Oh in for the Jays. He gets a fly out. Then strikes out Gomes. A fly out ended the inning.

Top of the 10th: Dan Otero in for the Clevelanders. Please score. Hernandez struck out. Solarte hit one off the wall but was throw out trying to stretch it into a double. Kill me. Pillar reaches on error. Great dive into first to avoid the tag. Martin was hit by pinch, but Kendrys popped one into left.

Bottom of the 10: Tim Mayza in. He got a fly out. Tyler Naquin hit one that Solarte got a piece of, but he went past. Hernandez hurried to get the ball, and made a great throw to second for the out, but Diaz was hurt on the play. He stayed in the game. He almost had to. Mayza got a strikeout to end the inning. He may have to go another inning.

Top of the 11th: Tyler Olson in. Diaz leads off, looks like his wrist is ok. He chased for strike 3. Not a good at bat. Gurriel ground out to short. Luke Maile comes in to pinch hit for Granderson. I think it is a bad move. But he walked. Josh Donaldson doubled. Maile to 3rd. Brings up a fair question about pinch running with Smith, but tough to use that last guy on the bench. Teoscar walk to load the bases. AND THEN SOLARTE HIT A GRAND SLAM!!!!!!!

Bottom of the 11: Osuna in. Davis fly out. Ramirez hit by pitch. Brantly doubled. I’m starting to sweat. Edwin singles. Tying run at the plate. I’m going to chew off my arm. Pinch hitter Yonder Alonso struck out chasing. Jason Kipnis lined out to Pillar. We have another game soon.

Jaime Garcia cruised through the first 3 innings. Things were going great, we were up 5-0 and then came the bottom of the 4th. It just went bad. Let’s run through it:

  • Michael Brantley singled to right. Decently hit ball.
  • Edwin Encarnacion popped one up to short right. Teoscar Hernandez took a couple of steps back (Edwin has a big swing) and then started in on the ball. I thought he didn’t show the urgency he should have. Generally, outfielders that get fooled go full out to make up for their mistake, it didn’t look, to me, like Teoscar was going hard. It fell for a single.
  • Yan Gomes flied out to Kevin Pillar, deep. Brantley moved up.
  • Brandon Guyer hit a fly down the left field line, double, 1 run scored. 5-1. It wasn’t hit all that hard, just down the line, too far from Granderson.
  • Bradley Zimmer singled up the middle, ground ball that missed everyone. Two runs scored. 5-3.
  • Zimmer stole score, bad throw from Martin but he got a good jump.
  • Erik Gonzalez struck out on a pitch that bounced near the plate. Martin blocked it, but it bounced away, Gonzalez was safe at first.
  • And then Francisco Lindor homered (opposite field). 6-5.

Out goes Garcia (I have no complaints with Gibby leaving him in. He wasn’t pitching horribly, if we caught the popup it would have been a different inning. If you wanted to pull him, where would you have done it, after the strikeout?). Danny Barnes came in.

  • Rajai Davis singled. But was caught stealing second. Heck of a throw from Martin. Finally two out.
  • Jose Ramirez walked and stole score. Play at second was close.
  • Encarnacion singled again, driving home Ramirez. 7-5.

Out goes Barnes, getting 1 out. In comes John Axford.

  • Yan Gomes ground out. He made the first and last outs of the inning.

About as bad an outcome as you can have in game one of a double header. Three pitcher used before the end of the fourth inning.

Thankfully Axford was able to go 2 more scoreless innings, for a total of 2.1, and I’d have asked him if he had enough to start the next inning. A terrific (and needed) job by him.

Tyler Clippard started off the seventh in a way that made it look like a big inning was coming. He gave up a leadoff double then walked Edwin (not that I was against that idea). But a strikeout, fly out, strikeout (with a wild pitch, just to add to the drama) ended the inning.

Ryan Tepera gave up a solo homer in the 8th to make it a 1-run game again. Nothing is easy. And then a 1-out infield single to Rajia (that Donaldson made an terrific play and throw on, just safe). But, thankfully Tepera picked Rajia off first. Huge play. Ryan wasn’t sharp. He followed the pickoff with a walk. And then a ground ball down the line, not a tough play for Solarte at first but he let it go by and then Teoscar was slow to the ball and threw into second when he had to throw home. They got the runner between second and third but the game was tied.

And Josh Donaldson tied the game up again in the 6th, hitting a 2-run homer.

Before that we had scored 2 in the second inning, on a Russell Martin home run.

And 3 in the 4th. Lourdes Gurriel singled, Curtis Granderson walked and Donaldson doubled home Gurriel. Yangervis singled home Granderson and Donaldson.

Later in the game we got the lead in the 7th. Pillar led off with a single. He stole second. Two outs later (after Martin lined one hard to left, but right into Rajai Davis’ glove), Pillar stole second. Aledmys Diaz walked (a very good at bat for Diaz). Gurriel followed with a hard hit second to left. Pillar score. Diaz was thrown out going to third. I’m not too mad at him. It was close.

In the 8th we got one more. After 2 outs, Teoscar doubled, Solarte walked and Pillar doubled in Teoscar.

We had a lot of hard hit balls that found gloves. Morales went the other way in his first two at bats, and both times found Rajia’s glove. Martin had a hard liner caught. And there were others.

We had 17 hits and 9 walks. 5 hits for Solarte. 3 for Gurriel (great day for him, he also had a walk in the 9th). Donaldson had 2 hits and 3 RBI. Pillar had 2 hits and a walk. Soon I might start to believe. Granderson walked 3 times and had a single.

The only Jay in the starting lineup not to reach base was Morales.

There were some weird moments. Solarte moved up from second to third on a deep fly out. He seemed, to me, to be running much harder than he needed to, and then, tried to slide head first into the base, but....I guess the best way to put it is he stuck the land. He hit the ground and stopped, and his head drove into the ground. He cut up his face some but stayed in the game.

Steve Pearce seemed to aggravate his oblique injury on a swing. He did have to come out of the game.

And Cleveland reliever Nick Goody grabby his elbow after a pitch. I hope it isn’t bad as it looked, because it looked like we won’t be seeing Goody pitch for a long long time.

Jays of the Day: Solarte (.558 WPA), Donaldson (.209), Pillar (.215), Gouriel (.125), Axford (.150) and Clippard (.112)

Suckage: Garcia (-.395 not all his fault), Tepera (-.322), Barnes (-.119) and Morales (-.309). Teoscar had a -.103, but I’m not giving him on because of the throw out at second and the walk in the 11th.

Next game in 30....we’ll get a new GameThread up.

We had 1595 comments in the GameThread. I led us to victory. Yay me.

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