What a way to close out the season series with the Twins! After going into Minnesota and taking three out of four a few weeks ago (it only feels like eons ago), the Jays were thoroughly outclassed for three straight games, getting swept in aggregate by 20-1 in the runs column, 38 to 11 in the hits column, and 8-1 in home runs.
On the plus side, they were not shutout! Billy McKinney’s solo home run in the 5th inning snapped the streak of 24 scoreless innings after they plated a lone run in the 7th last Sunday in Texas. Nevermind that it’s been 41 innings since they put up a crooked number.
But that was it for positives, other than that they won’t see the Twins again until 2020. They managed a grand total of two hits, the other being a Freddy Galvis single. There were two walks drawn as well, against 14 strikeouts. To his credit, Twins starter Kyle Gibson was very good, throwing a breaking ball heavy mix at which the Jays just flailed, and flailed, and flailed.
Randal Grichuk had the ignominious distinction of the only 0-for-4, all strikeouts to take home the Golden Sombrero. Socrates Brito was not far behind, only earning a regular sombrero since he only made it up three times, one of six to put up an 0-for-3.
It was no prettier on the other side of the ball, with the pitchers allowing 18 hits and the defenders committing two errors behind that. Trent Thornton was hammered right from the beginning, and though he limited the damage to a single run in the first, Jorge Polanco took him deep for a two run shot, and C.J. Cron did the same in the third to end his night at 2+ innings, 5 runs on 7 hits, a walk and two strikeouts.
The bombs kept coming, as Sam Gaviglio had an uncharacteristic rough outing in relief, giving up a two run bomb of his own to make it a four spot in the third. Suffice to say that y=2^x-1 (where y is the other team’s runs and x is the innings) is not a winning formula, even if it it’s it doesn’t extend to the fourth inning.
Derek Law had a nice couple innings, striking out four and giving up just an infield single. Tim Mayza struck out the side in the 7th, albeit with a couple hits. Daniel Hudson had a perfect 8th. So there was some respite from the shelling.
On the other hand, Elvis Luciano came in for the 6th and was hit hard, a double and a(nother) two run bomb. Thomas Pannone loaded the bases with none out in the 9th before working out of it (courtesy Minnesota not further running up the score).
Jays of the Day: That’s four straight games without one (on the merits)
Blew Jays: Thornton (-0.309 WPA), the entire lineup again less perhaps McKinney, and realistically a bunch of the relievers too.
Tomorrow is mercifully an off-day, both for those of us who have watched the last few days as well as the bullpen which has had to absorb 4+ innings in three of the last four games. The Jays will try to regroup on Friday welcoming in the White Sox to begin a season series that will be over within 10 days.