It turns out 15 hits is a lot more fun than 15 strikeouts (who knew?). One day after striking out 15 times against the Red Sox while having just five batters reach safely, the Jays posted 15 hits en route to a 12-1 rout of Detroit.
Before turning to that in greater detail though, Marcus Stroman was quite brilliant on the other side of the ball, matching the seven shutout inning he threw against Detroit in the season opener way back on March 28th.
His evening actually started slightly ominously, as the first two reached on singles and I wondered if this was going to be another of those starts were he gets nickle-and-dimed for 10 hits while getting knocked out in the 5th inning. But instead, he recovered to strike out Miguel Cabrera and Christian Stewart sandwiched around a flyout, and then cruised the rest of the evening while the Jays were the ones who strung together hits.
Stroman allowed just four more hits over those last six innings, scattering them such that there was never more than one inning. He didn’t allow any free passes while striking out five. Yes, it was the Tigers and they squandered some opportunities as he was not immaculate, but it was a pretty vintage Stroman outing in what is likely one of his last starts with the Jays.
It was a different kind of offensive attack, with just three extra base hits among the 15, a double by Eric Sogard leading off the game and home run by Teoscar Hernandez leading off the 6th. They didn’t runaway from the get go, scratching out single runs in the 1st — Sogard scoring on a wild pitch — and 2nd, after Vladimir Guerrero and Cavan Biggio led off the inning with back-to-back singles and the former scored on a Danny Jansen bounce out.
It would be in the middle innings that the Jays strung together hits and put the game away. Vladdy and Biggio started the 4th by again both reaching on a single and walk. With one out, Billy McKinney walked to load the bases. Teoscar, Sogard and Freddy Galvis followed with RBI singles to plate a total of four runs. They left the bases loaded, but at 6-0 it already felt like more than enough.
The put it completely to bed in the 5th. The aforementioned Teoscar bomb (at 110 MPH off the bat) was followed by a Galvis double, Gurriel RBI single, Smoak walk, Vlad’s third hit (RBI single). Danny Jansen plated the final run with his first hit of the evening after making a little mid-game change:
Did Danny Jansen shave his mustache during the game?! pic.twitter.com/ImCE9MES6p— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 20, 2019
Apparently it’s not the first time, though I’m not sure this was really a necessary situation to be invoking extra help.. They added more more run for good measure after Sogard and Galvis started another inning with a pair of baserunners. Sam Gaviglio turned in a serviceable couple innings to finish the game despite breaking the shutout in the 6th inning.
Jays of the Day: Stroman (+0.203 WPA), Sogard (+0.162), Vladdy (+0.091), Teoscar (+0.091). Galvis can have one too for the three hit night that nonetheless resulted in him ever so slightly on the wrong side of the WPA ledger (-0.004)
Blew Jays: None, though surprisingly for a game like this a couple came reasonably close in the persons of Lourdes Gurriel (-0.071) and Jansen (-0.059), each 1-for-5 on the evening.
Tomorrow, Trent Thornton will take on old friend Daniel Norris at 6:10 PM eastern (ugh...) in a matchup of starters on their second organizations who have very similar stat lines (3-7, 5.25 ERA and 2-8, 5.14, respectively).