100% of BBB GameThread voters believed there would be some sort of defensive miscue during tonight’s game that always seems to happen with the Jays play at the Trop. We were all correct, and today it came in the form of an inside the park home run. In the bottom of the 3rd, Avisail Garcia hit a high fly ball to right field that had a 1% chance of being a hit, but Randal Grichuk lost it in the roof and it fell many feet behind him and rolled all the way into the corner.
Clayton Richard had another fine-but-not-great start. He kept the Jays in the game but as per usual they weren’t able to score. Richard had a 70-75 pitch limit as he still builds up from injury, and he was at 32 pitches after the first inning. He ended up pitching 4 innings, giving up 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned, although that inside the park home run should have been an out), with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts.
The Rays scored first in the 1st. Garcia led off with a single, Tommy Pham walked, then one out later, Willy Adames walked as well. Former Blue Jay Travis d’Arnaud hit a sac fly to score him. Richard settled in and had a nine pitch 2nd inning, and then gave up the aforementioned “home run” in the 3rd.
In the 4th, Rays had runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out, but a strikeout, a very nice pick off of Ji-Man Choi and a groundout got Richard out of the inning.
Justin Shafer took over in relief in the 5th. He gave up a single to Austin Meadows, but that was all. He also pitched the 6th, and issued a lead off walk to d’Arnaud, but got Daniel Robertson to fly out on a nice catch that Grichuk did make slightly in the stands.
Thomas Pannone was sent in to face the lefty Choi, who he walked. But he got the next two batters to strikeout and prevent any damage. He wasn’t as successful in the 7th, as he gave up a solo shot to Austin Meadows, though he struck out the side around that. He worked about a single to deliver a scoreless 8th inning as well, all in all once of his better outings and saving the Jays from using more relievers.
Offensively, the Jays couldn’t score off opener Ryne Stanek or follower Ryan Yarbrough. In the 1st, Smoak found a hole through an aggressive 4-man outfield shift for a single. The Jays had a lone walk in the 2nd, and no base runners in the 3rd.
The Jays had their best scoring opportunity until the very end in the 4th and came up short. Smoak singled to lead off, then Rowdy Tellez smoked a ground rule double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. But Grichuk popped out, Lourdes Gurriel Jr grounded out and Brandon Drury struck out.
Eric Sogard had a lone walk in the 5th, and I should note he foul bunted out on a full count to lead off the 8th. Brandon Drury had a single in the 7th, which was it until one out in the 9th when with one out Grichuk singled and Gurriel hit a ground rule double to again put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Drury got a run home this time, although at the expense of one of the two out remaining and it was simply too little, too late. At least they avoided the shutout.
And, oh, move the team to Montreal already.
The 5,786 is the smallest crowd ever for a #Rays game at the Trop. Previous low was 6,509 on Sept. 5, 2017 when a hurricane was in the forecast— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 29, 2019
To put that in perspective, Buffalo had an announced attendance of 5,278 and low-A Dayton had 7,303 for their game against Lansing (they’ve soldout every game in their 19 year history, over 1,300 games, and it’s worth pointing out that was despite the area sustaining some bad tornado damage).
The ugliness extended across the entire system, as it was only the D-Jays taking it to the Tampa Yankees/Tarpons 10-5 that prevented a clean org sweep. In fact, for the most part it was uglier at the lower level.
Buffalo got absolutely waxed 16-2 by Syracuse. Sean-Reid Foley pitched a solid first three innings, alloweing just a solo home run on a ball that looked pretty routine and just kept carrying. He couldn’t find the zone in the 4th, came out of the game in discomfort, after the first four reached (three on walks), and a succession of relievers proceeded to get shelled.
In Harrisburg, it wasn’t Patrick Murphy’s night in bad weather, as he had a rough first inning after a delay to start the game, seemed to settle in, and then allowed three runs after getting the first two batters of the 5th. Lansing got pasted 8-1 in Dayton, as Cobi Johnson too had a reasonable good start derailed in the 5th on a pair of home runs (the Lugnuts gave up four in all).
Jays of the Day: Tellez (+0.068 WPA) came closest, so Belisarius for the genius recap title
Suckage: Jansen (-0.131), as Grichuk and Gurriel’s 9th inning hits lifted them out of ignominy.
We had 389 comments in the GameThread. Congrats Alan, this loss is on you!
Tomorrow night, the Jays will look to stave off the series sweep with Trent Thornton against reigning Cy Young winner (though should have been second to Justin Verlander) Blake Snell, so that should go great seeing as in some sense he’s exceeding last year (more strikeouts, less walks) though allowing more home runs with a normal BABIP.