On a day of one jarring piece of news after another — Pillar traded! Alford up! Socrates in! Grichuk extended! Bud Norris gone! — the Blue Jays were were kind enough to allow the fanbase some degree of continuity with the recent past on the field. Yes, over the first three innings, they did nothing at the plate.
Well, technically, not nothing. There was a walk by Rowdy Tellez. Which actually makes it the second most successful opening set of innings this season. So while 1-for-46 became 1-for-55 (dropping the batting average from .022 to .0182), the team’s OBP in the first three innings spiked from .022 to .035. Thanks goodness for small mercies!
It didn’t get much better from there. A nascent rally of two on in the 4th was extinguished as Danny Jansen grounded into a double play. But the best chance to put runs on the board came in the 6th, as Justin Smoak beat out a ground ball that was misplayed to put a couple on with two out. Jansen walked to load the bases for Tellez in a favourable L/R matchup, but first pitch swinging he hit a routine fly ball the other day to end the inning.
Tellez was responsible for the only run in the 9th, absolutely pounding a ball to dead centre for his second HR of the season. But it was once again too little.
Marcus Stroman turned in a decent effort, though the Orioles made some good contact that eventually piled up. He breezed through the odd numbered innings, with just three scattered singles, one being a bunt, and a lot of ground balls. It was the even numbered innings that were more of a challenge.
In the 2nd inning he got the first two batters (albeit with decent contact) before a two out double that was stranded. In the 4th, Jonathan Villar got him for a leadoff double, but he was picked off which was fortuitous given a subsequent single. But the 6th inning proved to be his undoing.
Dwight Smith Jr. continued his role as a one man hitting crew, leading off with a single. Villar followed with a RBI triple, scoring himself on a single for the two runs that utlimately were decisive. Stroman got a double play, but couldn’t finish the inning as Joey Rickard worked a walk that took Stroman over the century mark in pitches.
From there, Tim Mayza work an effective 1.1 innings, after a horrible errant pickoff attempt moved Rickard to 2nd. Daniel Hudson had a perfect 8th, followed by a scoreless if messy 9th from Javy Guerra. For whatever reason, Chris Davis was issued an intentional walk. In an ideal world this probably wouldn’t make it into this recap, but here we are.
Jays of the Day: None.
Suckage: Jansen (-0.153 WPA) and McKinney (-0.141), both with 0-fers. But really, the entire lineup.
Tomorrow, the Jays will look to salvage a game in this series with Matt Shoemaker opposing Nate Karns in an early 4:05 EDT start. Will the Jays manage a hit the first time through the order? Hope springs eternal!