Blue Jays 2 Oakland 6
Abraham Lincoln once famously predicted that the world would little note nor long remember an event at which he was speaking. He was wrong about his Gettysburg Address and the dedication of the National Cemetery there. but it is a phrase that could well have applied to this most recent contest/effort involving the Blue Jays. The final score of 6-2 belied how one-sided was this slow moving affair that dragged itself out well past three hours.
Simply put, Sam Gaviglio was got hit very hard, as his breaking balls in particular did not have sharp break and caught way too much of the plate, often lining up perfectly with the swing plane of Oakland hitters. In fairness, another recent theme contributed as shoddy defensive play early exacerbated Gaviglio’s struggles that started by a pair of walks to start the game. On another night, he might have got out it and perhaps settled in.
Instead, after allowing those walks to score in the first and turning the one run lead to which he had been staked into a one run hole, the third inning spiraled on Gaviglio as he couldn’t stop the hard contact. A moonshot by Khris Davis leading off the inning was followed by a hard double to Matt Olson, another Mark Canha, a hard single to Marcus Semien, the ignominy of another run on a double steal and it was 5-1.
Luis Santos relieved and was surprisingly serviceable in finishing out the inning without further damage and putting a zero in the 4th. At this point, the game was still theoretically in range at 5-2, and the Jays called upon Brandon Cumpton to eat some innings to save the beleaguered pen. I’d consider that he failed in that modest assignment, as he ground the game to a painful halt in throwing 46 pitches to 10 batters, getting just 5 outs.
So the Jays had to use Joe Biagini, whom I’m sure they would have preferred not to. He was excellent, recording three strikeouts to the four batters he faced in finishing the 6th and handling the 7th. Tyler Clippard likewise worked a perfect 8th with three extremely routine balls in the air.
Offensively? Well at least this time the Jays didn’t wait until the 9th to get on the board. In fact, they even jumped out to a lead on Trevor Cahill as Kendrys Morales cashed a double by Randall Grichuk with a two out single. Justin Smoak hit a bomb down the right field leading off the 3rd, but really, that was about it. Until Dwight Smith Jr. singled with one out in the 9th (promptly followed by a game ending double play), the only Jays to reach other than Morales were on errors. Yangervis Solarte was robbed by Matt Chapman a couple times.
So it goes.
Jays of the Day: Kendrys Morales (+0.161 WPA) who was on base all four times with two singles and two walks
Suckage: The whole lot, I’m tempted to say. Gaviglio (-0.336), Maile (-0.139), and Solarte (-0.103) are the numerical culprits tonight, but plenty of others didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory. In fact, I’m giving one to Cumpton for prolonging the agony to the extent he did while failing to chew through more innings.
Tomorrow, the Jays will send Marcus Stroman to the hill against Sean Manaea as they try to stave off the sweep in a matinee-ish affair at 3:35 EDT. On the bright side, if it’s another lethargic loss, at least it won’t start after dark and end the next day.