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Errors, bad relief, and a lack of timely hits, Jays lose to Rays

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Ray 8 Blue Jays 4

That was an irritating game. We had a lot of chances to score and didn’t. And the Rays first 3 runs were unearned because of 2 throwing errors.

Marcus Stroman looked to be not 100% right from the start of the game. He was soaked in sweat in the first inning and he wasn’t his usual hyperactive self. He also had some control troubles. The Jays said he was fine, but I’m thinking something was not right.

But through 2.2 innings he kept the Rays off the scoreboard. Then, with 2 out in the third inning, and a runner on first, Marcus got Ji-Man Choi to bounce a soft grounder to Lourdes Gurriel to second. Gurriel whiffed on the throw to first. He was only about 30 feet from first and he missed Smoak by a good 10 feet. He could have ran it over to first for the out.

That’s Lourdes second throwing error in the past two games. Gurriel came out of the game after the inning. Steve Sax disease can be crippling. I hope he can get over it quick.

After that Stroman had a 10-pitch battle with Avisail Garcia that ended in a walk and a run scoring single by Brandon Lowe before getting out of the inning. The throwing error cost Marcus 15 pitches and a unearned run.

Next inning Kevin Kiermaier reached on a throwing error by Stroman. A single, a walk and 2 ground outs cost Marcus 2 more unearned runs.

In all Stroman went 4 innings, allowed 3 hits, 3 unearned runs, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts.

We scored a run in the first inning for the first time since Cito was manager. Well, not really but it seems that way. Billy McKinney started us off with a hustle double and Freddy Galvis singled him home. After that Smoak reached on a hit batter but a double play and strikeout ended the fun.

We wouldn’t score again until Galvis hit a solo homer in the 7th.

We had chances. We loaded the bases in the 4th inning, but Brandon Drury popped out. And we loaded the bases in the 5th inning but pinch hitter Teoscar struck out to end that inning.

We had 7 hits and 4 walks. McKinney 3 hits, 2 doubles and a 9th inning 2 run homer. Galvis had 2 hits, including the solo homer. Our top four hitters went 7 for 17 with 2 walks. The rest of the order went 1 for 18, with 2 walks.

Thomas Pannone was our pitching star.. He went 3 perfect innings of relief, with 4 strikeouts, including an ‘immaculate’ inning in the 5th, getting 3 strikeouts on 9 pitches. The last Blue Jays pitcher to do that was Steve Delabar, on July 30, 2013 in Oakland. I was there. And Roger Clemens did it, back in 1997 against his old team the Red Sox. It is just the 89th time in MLB history it has happened.

Our other relievers weren’t as successful. Javy Guerra gave up a hit and a walk and 2 earned while getting just 1 out. Tim Mayza gave up 4 more hits, 3 more runs, a walk and a home run, in a 5 run 8th inning. Before that we were down by just a run.

Elvis Luciano pitched the last 1.1 innings, allowing a hit and getting a k.

We did have a good defensive moment, Randal Grichuk made a terrific catch at the wall in the 2nd inning. It was a thing of beauty.

Jays of the Day: Smoak (.164 WPA), Galvis (.144), Pannone (.133) and let’s give one to McKinney even though he didn’t have the number.

Suckage: Mayza (-.176), Hernandez (-.110, 0 for 2, 2 k), Tellez (-.103, 0 for 2, 2 k), Drury (-.088, 0 for 4, 2 k, reached on error) and Jansen (-.088, 0 for 3, walk). Stroman had the number too, -.148, but that was mostly because of the Gurriel error.

We had 760 comments in the game thread. I led us to crushing defeat.

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1 Tom Dakers 108
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