I suppose in the grand scheme that one run on four hits is a better showing than a one hit shutout. Nonetheless, it was another anemic offensive showing as the Jays went pretty quietly to Tampa Bay. And though there was a very Tropicana Field-like play/ruling, we don’t even have that to blame.
In fact, the bats were asleep almost the entire evening. 11 of the first 12 went down, the exception a walk to Justin Smoak. Then with two outs in the 4th, the batssuddenly snapped to life, as Smoak singled and Randal Grichuk followed with one his own. That brought up Freddy Galvis, who in turn lined a ball down the left field line that bounced off the wall to Tommy Pham. He reached out for the ball, but bobbled it and knocked it out of play as Grichuk was rounding third to score behind Smoak.
It was called a ground rule double, so Grichuk was sent back to third to prevent the Jays taking a 2-1 lead. Given that there were two out so the runners were off on contact, there’s no way Grichuk doesn’t score on a ball not misplayed in the outfield, so it’s patently absurd that he was sent back. Danny Jansen then flew out to end the inning.
Brandon Drury then led off the 5th with a double, advancing no further on a pair of groundouts sandwiched around a strikeout. In fact, after that double, the Jays bats fell back into their slumber, with just two of the final 16 batters reaching, both on walks and one immediatley erased on a double play so only in the 8th did the Rays not face the minimum. Normally, if a team strings together four hits in five batters including two extra base hits they’ll come away with more than a run. But the Jays had the double misfortunate of not only starting it with two out, but not even getting the benefit of a two out hit. In other words, just another Rays game.
On the other side of the all, Jacob Waguespack turned in a servicable if unspectacular start in allowing three runs over five innings on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts. On one hand, it was a pretty messy outing in which he constantly worked around trouble with just one clean inning. On the other hand, it’s hard to complain given what what was frequently been turned in this year.
The Rays struck first as Waguespack continued the recent theme of not finishing out innings, walking Pham with two outs in the third. Austin Meadows then smashed a gliner down the right field line to plate him for a 1-0 lead.
Walks came back to be Waguespack’s downfall in the 3rd. With one out he walked Willy Adames followed by a single. He got Pham to pop out, but walked Meadows to load the bases. That brought up old friend Travis d’Arnaud, who as so often tends to happen managed to punish his old team with a single that plated two runs. He was thrown out trying to take second to end the inning, but the damage was done and it proved the decisive blow.
Waguespack allowed an infield single in the 6th before departing, quickly erased by Justin Shafer on a double play before he allowed a double and was yanked. He was on point, getting three groundouts before being replaced by Joe Biaginig, who was equally effective. He stranded an error behind him, and wiped out the single he allowed on a double play. Derek Law worked around a double in the 9th. Alas, all this this vain.
Jays of the Day: Galvis (+0.067 WPA) was in fact the only positive number among the hitters, but would have had it had the second run scored as it should have. The four relievers each registered a modestly positive number and deserve to split one.
Blew Jays: Waguespack (-0.153), Teoscar (-0.122), Gurriel (-0.120), Biggio (-0.112)
Tomorrow, the Jays will look to even up the series at 3:05 PM eastern with Ryan Borucki making his second start of the season. Maybe this TBD guy with whom the Rays are countering will be more hitable. But in any event, you’ll never guess who’s doing the recap...