Yes, the Blue Jays played tonight. No, they did not win this time either. Yes, that’s probably all you want to know.
It started out very well indeed. Eric Sogard led off the game with a home run. Trent Thornton worked a perfect first in turn. It was all downhill from that highwater mark.
The Jays had additional baserunners in each of the first five innings. They did not do anything with them. After that they didn’t going down in order for the last four inning save a brief spasm of activity with two out against old friend Miguel Castro, as Lourdes Gurriel Jr walked and Randal Grichuk doubled hi home to briefly put the Jays within a run.
Thornton walked the bases loaded in the second, and got out of it without damage. He was not so fortunate in the third, as four straight hits scored two runs on the pair of doubles sandwiched on the middle. The Orioles had six doubles on the evening, four of which scored their four runs. Two more back-to-back doubles in the fourth scored another run, with Thornton working around a fifth double allowed in his fifth and last inning. Not his best night, but three runs in five nnings isn’t bad either.
The Jays are now just two games ahead of the Orioles for not only the AL East cellar but the MLB cellar too. With two games left in this series.
Since the Jays are no fun to talk about right now, let’s talk about some things that are more fun:
- Dunedin swept a doubleheader in Kissimmee, clinching the first half title. So at least one Jays team will be making the playoffs, albeit in September not October.
- T.J. Zeuch made his first outing of the year in the first game, striking out 7 over 4 innings, with just a walk and single allowed.
- David Paulino likewise was very good coming off an extended injury stint, striking out 6 over 4 innings with just three baserunners
- Bo Bichette played both ends of the aforementioned doubleheader, going a combined 5 for 8, mostly hard line drive hits, offset bu two errors in the field
- And finally, Griffin Conine continued to absolutely torch the ball in low-A, going 4-for-5. He started by pulling a line drive into the right-centre gap for a double, dumped a fly ball the other way for a single off a curve, then really got down to business. The third time he got two more curves, watching the first before demolishing a hanger over the fence. Then for good measure, on a 2-2 count got a fastball and obliterated it to dead centre. There would be no cycle as he struck out his last time up.
Jays of the Day: None. Grichuk had the high number at +0.075 WPA
Blew Jays: Justin Smoak (-0.154), Thornton (-0.111), Freddy Gavlis (-0.102), Danny Jansen (-0.091, Golden Sombrero).
Tomorrow, the Jays sent Edwin Jackson to the mound, so that’s great. On the other hand, David Hess is 1-8 with 7.08 ERA for the Orioles — so maybe there’s a chance? Of course, that one win was 6.1 no hit innings against the Jays.