The losing streak is over. Yay. Long live the winning streak.
It seems like a long time since Aaron Sanchez pitched this well. He had a 5.96 ERA in May and never pitched more than 5 innings in a start.
Today, 6 innings, just 2 hits, 3 walks and 7 (!) strikeouts. He threw a lot of first pitch strikes, especially early in the game. The only run against him was a home run on one of those first pitch strikes, and I’m ok with that if it means he’s getting ahead of guys most of the time.
It looked so easy for him today. His last pitch was strike 3 to Niko Goodrum to end the 6th inning and was his 100th pitch of the game.
And our offense showed up, even if it took until the 6th inning for it to get there.
We scored 2 in the 6th, off a Justin Smoak homer on a full count pitch. Smoak crushed it, we knew it was gone on contact.
And in the 7th inning, we scored 4 runs. It seems like weeks since we’ve scored 4 in an inning. And really it could have been more. Kevin Pillar started us off with a ground ball single. I figured he might be stealing, hoping to get us an insurance run, but Russell Martin followed with a walk. Then Devin Travis sliced a fly to right field and I thought it was out, but Nicholas Castellanos caught it at the top of the wall. I thought our bad luck was continuing.
But Randal Grichuk doubled down the third base line to score Pillar. That was Randal’s first hit since coming off the DL. Aledmys Diaz followed with a line single that fell in front of Castellanos (a ball he should have caught), scoring Martin. And, after a Curtis Granderson strikeout (bad at bat there), Yangervis Solarte singled, scoring Grichuk and Smoak hit a ground rule double scoring Diaz. It cost us a run when Smoak’s ball bounced over the wall but we could afford it.
We got 2 more in the 8th. Randal Grichuk hit an opposite field 2-run homer, giving him 3 RBI on the day. I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come.
We had 11 hits (2 of them homers) and 5 walks today. Smoak had 3 hits, homer, double and single. Diaz and Grichuk had 2 each. 0 fors go to Granderson and Morales.
The bullpen wasn’t great.
Tyler Clippard had a scoreless 7th. He gave up a hard hit double off the left field wall, but he had 2 strikeouts.
Danny Barnes started the 8th with a walk, not what you want with a 7 run lead. A pop out and a single and Barnes was out of the game getting just the one out.
Aaron Loup followed giving up a run scoring single to make it 8-2. And another single to make it 8-3.
In comes Ryan Tepera with 2 on and 1 out. Ryan got a strikeout against John Hicks but the pitch got past Martin so the run scored from 3rd. 8-4 and I’m started to worry. But Ryan got JaCoby Jones to pop up and Ryan took charge and made the catch on it.
Thankfully Ryan had a nice 1, 2, 3 9th inning.
Jays of the Day: Sanchez (.245 WPA), Smoak (.283) and I’m giving Grichuk one even though his WPA was only .009.
Suckage: Granderson had the number (-.106), but lets give one to Barnes and Loup for making us sweat.
We had 457 comments in the GameThread. TimmyMax led us to victory. Great job.