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Of doubles and double plays: Blue Jays fall to Cleveland 9-4

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Clevelands 9 Blue Jays 4

Let’s start with tonight’s standout, since there wasn’t a ton of positives from an otherwise underwhelming loss between two ships heading in very different directions.

After pinch-hitting and doubling last night in his major league debut, Rowdy Tellez got the start tonight at first base with his dad in attendance. He picked right up in thes econd inning where he left off, lining a ball the other way to left-centre, splitting the outfielders for another standup double.

He did essentially the same thing in the 4th inning, another ball smashed the other way, this time a little more to left and catching a little more air such that it one hopped the wall. It’s the first time a player was started a career with three straight doubles. Alas, all good things must end in the 6th the Mighty Rowdy could only fly out. But for good measure, he added one final double in the 8th inning, lining a bullet past/threw the first baseman and down the line. Not a bad start to a major league career, five at-bats and four doubles, for a .800/.800/1.600 line.

Those were not the only significant doubles. Leading off the bottom of the 9th, Reese McGuire lined a ball into left-centre for a double and his first major league hit, breaking an 0/3 debut. He also gunned down a runner trying to steal, so it was a pretty good night for people making their first MLB starts.

Rowdy’s second double was at the centre of the Jays’ one scoring inning as Shane Beiber faltered the second time the lineup. Lourdes Gurriel singled and Kendrys Morales walked leading off the 4th, and with one out the Tellez double broke the shutout. Teoscar Hernandez followed with a double of his own, cashing the two runners and giving the Jays a brief lead. They tacked on one more as a result of a fielding miscue with two out to allow Teoscar to score.

And that was it. The 5th, 7th, and 9th innings ended on double plays, as Beiber regained form and worked through six innings. Randal Grichuk pinch hit after Beiber departed, and singled twice, but other than that there was nothing particularly noteworthy other than the above and BOTSO apparently messing up names (I report that on information and belief; for I was listening to the Fisher Cats rout the Trenton Thunder for a second straight night to take a strange hold lead on their playoff series, though conversely Lansing dropped a second straight 4-3 decision to Bowling Green and become the second Blue Jays affiliate to have their season ended at the hands of Tampa Bay).

Cleveland jumped ahead literally right off the bat, on a home run by Francisco Lindor. After that, Sam Gaviglio set down the next eight batters in a row until, well Lindor came back up and hit another home run. Through four innings, Gaviglio had a one hit shutout against everyone not named Francisco Lindor. Yes, Mrs. Lincoln, but except for that part how was the play?

Unfortunately, that basically been the story of Gaviglio’s season, usually rolling well enough pretty good except when giving up those pesky home runs. He’s now up to 35 in 179 career innings, and that’s just not going to cut it. Things fell apart for Sammy G in the 5th after being staked to the 4-2 lead, starting with a roller up the 3rd base line stayed a foot fair. Another single, and a double scored a run and put two in scoring position to end his night.

From that point on, with 18 pitches on the roster, it was a new reliever for every inning:

  • Jose Fernandez had to deal with Lindor in the jam he inherited, and gave up a two run single to make it 5-4 and cough up the brief lead that would never be reclaimed.
  • Justin Shafer turned in a very messy 5th, fortunate to only give up one run as he gave up three hard line drives and a walk. He was the victim of Devon Travis bobbling a ball, but also a lineout to Travis on which that runner was doubled off at 3rd.
  • Danny Barnes had a good clean inning for the first time in a while, a quick and routine inning with one strikeouts
  • David Paulino made his Blue Jays debut coming off the DL and after throwing a ground ball ball down the line retired the next three in order including two strikeouts with a curveball heavy approach
  • Mark Leiter Jr. got the 9th and made sure the Jays wouldn’t mount a comeback by giving up a HBP, single to that Lindor guy, and then a three run homer to Brandon Kipnis. That took the Jays out of striking distance from 6-4 to the 9-4 final.

Jays of the Day: Rowdy! (+0.281 WPA)...Diaz (+0.110) had the number but only because of the error so no dice.

Suckage: Gaviglio (-0.249) and Fernandez (-0.093) had the numbers, but Shafer (-0.077) and Leiter (-0.070) were close enough and bad enough we’ll include. At the plate we’ve got a bunch too: Pillar (-0.190), Travis (-0.159), and Morales (-0.115).

Tomorrow, Marco Estrada and Carlos Carrasco face off, same time, same place.