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Jays squander a million chances, get walked off and swept

Silver lining: at least they didn’t allow any little league home runs tonight

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 3 Rays 4 (11 innings)

After doing very little in the first eight innings before finally breaking the goose egg in the ninth, the Jays jumped all over Bake Snell from the get go. Eric Sogard singled leading off and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. pulled a ball down the left field line to make it 2-0.

Justin Smoak and Rowdy Tellez followed that with a pair of singles of their own, which made for quite the improbable feat (in what will likely be the only time I quote Scott Carson):

Alas, those runners would be stranded as Randal Grichuk struck out and Freddy Galvis squared a ball up, but right at the second baseman for a double play. The Jays would pay for not landing the knockout blow while they had Snell on the ropes, as he settled in for a quality start. In fact, it was the last time the Jays would put multiple runners on base until he departed after six innings. With the exception of the third, they would have exactly one runner reach in every inning.

Meanwhile Jays starter Trent Thornton was walking a tightrope for most of his outing. After allowing singles in the first, by right both should have scored with two out after he gave up hard contact to the deepest part of the park, but Jonathan Davis bailed him out with his best Superman impression:

Unlike Snell, Thornton didn’t really right the ship. He managed to strand a leadoff double in the 2nd. He allowed Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham to reach leading off the 3rd, but limited the damage to a a two out RBI single. After a perfect fourth, Meadows and Pham again voth reached leading off the 5th, and this time the Rays would not be denied on a double by Avisail Garcia to take a 3-2. Two batters later Thornton was done.

Daniel Hudson and Joe Biagini did a solid job holding the line though the the middle innings, combining for 3.1 scoreless innings with just a couple reaching.

That allowed the Jays to finally string together some positive offensive outcomes against the Rays bullpen. Gurriel singled leading off the 8th, advanced on a wild pitch by Jose Alvarado, and scoring on a Smoak single to tie the game. The bases were loaded on a pair of walks to Tellez and Grichuk, with Smoak being pinch run for (after Charlie Montoyo opted not to a few times in the recent past, at least in the timely manner).

It was for naught, as the Jays seemingly did their damnedest not to push a go-ahead run across despite the Rays best efforts to give them ample opportunity over those four final innings. Galvis grounded into a double play to end that threat. In the 9th they put runners on the corners with one out on a Vlad double and Sogard single. Gurriel and Grichuk flew out without pushing a run across. In the 11th, they had the first two reach on a double from Brandon Drury and walk to Danny Jansen. the next three guys went down.

With a tie game going to the 9th on the road, Montoyo opted to save Ken Giles for a potential save situation if the Jays took the lead. And so he went with Derek Law, who worked around a bit of a mess to put up a scoreless inning. But in so doing, to borrow a sentiment from Suetonius, the die was cast:

Justin Shafer got through a messy inning of his own to post a scoreless 10th, but the weight of all the opportunities caught up in the 11th. A leadoff walk and a one out single put runner on the corners. An intentional walk was issued to load the bases but set up a right-on-right matchup with the outfield drawn in. Willy Adames hit a routine fly ball that fell in for the walkoff single.

So it goes.

Jays of the Day: Smoak (+0.150), Biagini +(0.146), Law (+0.134), Drury (+0.121) Hudson (+0.093, just to make Hudson superfan barraqudie happy)

Blew Jays: Galvis (-0.369), Shafer (-0.232), Thornton (-0.195), Biggio (-0.144), Jansen (-0.129)

Overall, it doesn’t feel like tonight was a good correlation between WPA/results and process, but again, so it goes.

Tomorrow, the Jays are off for the first time in two weeks (a stretch in which they went 5-11) as they travel to the Mountain West to take on the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.