The Blue Jays bats were very slow to get going. It was a day ending in -y. But I repeat myself.
Noted ace David Hess, he of the 4.78 career ERA and 5.77 FIP, no hit the Jays over 6.1 innings before being removed at 82 pitches after Brandon Drury lined out to open the inning. Notwithstanding that he almost certainly wasn’t going to go the distance regardless, that early a hook was a bit curious.
In the end, the only blemish on his line was a walk drawn by Billy McKinney leading off the 4th inning. For the fourth time in five games, the Jays went hitless over the first three innings, running their season line to 1-for-46 (that one being a leadoff triple that was followed by three strikeouts). If nothing else, the consistency is almost impressive. It was also the third time in five that the Jays were no hit into the 6th inning.
After that the floodgates opened against the bullpen, eventually stranding the tying run at third in the 9th. But we’ll get to that in a bit as it was too little, too late with the Jays having dug themselves a very early hole. It took starter Sean-Reid Foley all of three batters to end the starter shutout streak, as Jonathan Villar took him deep after a one out walk.
The spiraled from there, as poor command by Reid-Foley combined with defensive miscues to result in a train wreck of an inning. An infield single to Drury was followed by what should have been a routine 4-6-3 double play, but Freddy Galvis missed the feed by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and there were two on instead of the inning being over. Then Reid-Foley lost the zone, walking two straight and forcing in a run. He struck out Jesus Sucre, but the curve got past Jansen allowing a 4th run to score (and almost more as Danny Jansen couldn’t find the ball, and then was caught like a deer in headlights at home plate).
The second was better but still not good. A leadoff hit-by-pitch came around to score on a sac fly with a single in between. Add another wild pitch and clearly control was still an issue. At 52 pitches it spelled the end of Reid-Foley’s night, which was exactly what the Jays needed with a short bullpen (nevermind that the very notion of a short bullpen on the fifth day of the season with a 13 man pitching staff literally boggles the mind).
Enter Thomas Pannone, on the heels of taking the loss in yesterday’s 10th inning. Despite it being a second day in a row pitching, he went four shutout innings and 69 pitches, holding the Orioles to just a hit and a walk with five strikeouts. Granted, the Orioles missed some fastballs up in the zone, but nonetheless a very impressive outing,
He was followed by San Gaviglio, who threw the last three innings, also having pitches yesterday (though he only required a more manageable 35 pitches). There was only one blemish on his line, but it ended up a fairly consequential one as Trey Mancini hit an absolute bomb off him for a sixth and final Baltimore run right after we were informed about how Sammy G was throwing with great confidence and conviction.
Back to the bats. After Hess departed, reliever Pedro Araujo walked Justin Smoak, before Randal Grichuk got his first hit of the year and the Jays’ first hit of the game with an exclamation mark, a no doubter of a two run homer. Galvis added his own bomb in the 8th to cut the lead to 6-3.
That left three outs to get three tying runs. Drury led off with a single, and one out later Grichuk blooped a ball just off Villar’s glove, allowing him to advance to second with Drury at third. Kevin Pillar pinch hit and hit a sac fly, which was actually a big negative win probability event since a second out matters a lot more than the run. Teoscar Hernandez briefly made it exciting, hammering a triple off the wall, representing the tying run on third. Alas, Lourdes Gurriel struck out on three pitches, and the Jays couldn’t get out from the deep hole they dug.
Jays of the Day: None technically hit the number, but we’ll give one to Grichuk (+0.084 WPA) and Pannone (+0.050) for the four shutout innings that kept them in it. And we’ll give one to Minor Leaguer for using his powers for good and showing up to break up the no-hitter.
Suckage: SRF (-0.338) and Gurriel (-0.199). Any number of others could well be singled out as well.
Tomorrow the Jays and Orioles are back at it at at the normal 7:05 EDT, with Andrew Cashner the next in line to try to look like an ace against the Blue Jays with Marcus Stroman opposing.