Well, that could have gone better on all front. Despite some inconsistent pitching from the Orioles, the Jays offense couldn’t do anything to support Sam Gavaglio and they limped to a 7-0 defeat in Camden Yards. More importantly, since the standings mean nothing for both teams, Baltimore was able to get Morales in swing mode, going 0-3 with a pair of strike outs and a walk. Both Hess and Gavaglio were able to keep the score locked at zero into the sixth, but Gavaglio and the bullpen were unable to hold the line as the Orioles racked up seven runs over the next 2 innings, 5 of them coming off the bat of Trey Mancini.
So I checked and while it is Crabfest over at Red Lobster, it was all about the LOBster for the Blue Jays. In the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th, the Jays left men on base, multiple times with two men on and less than two outs. They weren’t helped by an extremely erratic strike zone by Marty Foster at home plate, who cost the Jays a run in the 4th by ringing Smoak up on a ball clearly down and away on a full count. Grichuk would follow up with a deep enough fly ball to score if Smoak had been on first and not the second out.
At the end of the day, the Jays simply gave away too many at-bats to Hess, bailing him out of 3 ball counts chasing pitches for poor contact or swinging strikes. Ultimately, a team that leaves 21 men on isn’t going to win. Most saddening was the end of Morales bid to tie the MLB record for homeruns in consecutive games. He was in swing mode all night, although not helped by the strike-zone. In his last plate appearance, it was the Ghost of Morales Past at the plate, swinging weakly through an inside breaking ball not even close to the plate.
6th To Forget
Neither Hess or Gavaglio were sharp, but both were able to rely on some quality defence and inconsistent plate approaches to stay out of trouble until the bottom of the 6th. The Orioles loaded the bases with a single, a bunt that Diaz just couldn’t find the handle on, and an intentional walk following a wild pitch. Travis was able to knock down a stinger from Chris Davis to get the out at first and only surrender a run. But Trey Mancini smashed a ball over the centre-right fence for a three run shot.
Danny Barnes came on in relief, allowing a double down the third base line to Jace Peterson before escaping the inning. But in the 7th with one out, he walked Jonathan Villar and allowed a single to Adam Jones. After a Davis strike-out, on which Jones stole second, Mancini came up with a double up the line to score two runs and come home immediately after as Tim Beckham laced a single over a leaping Diaz.
The only positive was that farmhand Murphy Smith came into the game as his MLB debut and recorded a clean 1.1 innings, not allowing a hit or walk, striking out none.
Jays of the Day: I’m going to give it to Murphy Smith. After ten years in the minors, a clean debut sounds about right. For JotD.
Suckage Jays: Behold my bountiful field of offerings! Actually, this was a team loss. Some guys had a reasonable night at the plate like McKinney and Maile, some guys made some great defensive turns like Travis and Martin, but at the end of the day, none of them could push the runs across they needed against a team that gave them plenty of opportunities to take control of the game.
We had 328 comments on the game thread, lead by delv213 which is pretty great, considering that both players are fans are starting to get worn down at this point in a lost season.