So I’m cheating. For the first time, the random number generator came up with a game that happened during the life of our little blog and I copied the recap, and pasted it in after a little preamble.
Going into the game we were 11-12.
Brandon Morrow was making his 5th start of the season. He had a 5.03 ERA in his first four starts. The start after this one would be his last start of the season. He had a ‘torn sheath in his right index finger’. He came back to the team in September and pitched out of the bullpen. Marcus Stroman came up to take Brandon’s spot on the roster. Marcus would go 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 26 games, 20 starts in his rookie season.
2014 was a weird season, the season started with players passing the hat to raise money to sign Ervin Santana. Then, at the trade deadline, with the team in the race, the players were less than thrilled when the team didn’t make any big trades to help them down the stretch. And they were even less thrilled when Alex Anthopoulos wasn’t with the team in Houston at the deadline and wasn’t available to give his reasoning for not making a move. Shi Davidi had this little bit:
When the team returned to Toronto on Aug. 5, a member of the team approached me, nodded his head in the direction of Anthopoulos and said, “Who’s that?”
“You mean the GM?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Haven’t seen him for a while.”
On June 6th the Jays were in first place, 6 games up on the second place Yankees. But a 7-15 run after that dropped them back. The season would end with the Jays in third place, 83-79.
You had to know that things weren’t going to work out, when, to the first batter of the game, Morrow throws 4 strikes (all called balls) and gives up a walk. It got uglier from there. Morrow was terrible, and didn’t get any help from the plate umpire. He was wild and when he wasn’t, he wasn’t getting the calls. He gave out 8 walks and 0 hits against, in 2.2 innings. And, when he left the game, with the bases loaded, he had a shutout going.
It didn’t last long.
Gibby brought Chad Jenkins in. Gibby likes Jenkins, but this was the wrong move. Jenkins gave up the grand slam and then a solo homer, before getting out of the inning. Jenkins would give up another run in the 5th.
The offense tried. We scored 3 in the first. Jose Reyes walked, Melky Cabrera singled, Jose Bautista singled, then a wild pitch and a Dioner Navarro single and we had a 3-0 lead.
Then in the 8th, down 7-3, Juan Francisco hit his first Blue Jays homer. Singles by Colby Rasmus, Brett Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacion (pinch hitting) scored one. After Jonathan Diaz, pinch hitting, struck out, we had the bases loaded, 2-out and Melky up. But he hit a soft fly out and we were down 7-5 going into the 9th.
Bautista homered to start the inning. 7-6. Francisco struck out. Navarro singled (no pinch runners left). Rasmus struck out (showing bunt at one pitch, dumb move). Lawrie singles (runners on the corners, 2 out). Then Edwin hit a hard line drive. I thought he won the game for a moment, but it wasn’t far enough over the head of center fielder, Jackie Bradley.
We had some great defense. Two terrific double plays to keep Morrow in the game, in the first two innings. We also got to see Juan Francisco at third base and Brett Lawrie at second (I hope that doesn’t happen too often).
Jays of the Day: Navarro (.205 WPA) and Bautista (.188),
Suckage: Jenkins (-.476), Diaz (-.119 for that 1 strikeout), Cabrera (-.118), Colby (-.105). I’m giving one to Morrow too, he was only -.017 WPA, but, man, 8 walks and 8 outs. He was the victim of a bad strike zone (I’ll let Gerse count the bad calls) but he was also wild.
I thought I’d add the lineups for the game:
|BLUE JAYS||RED SOX|
|Jose Reyes, SS||Dustin Pedroia, 2B|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||Shane Victorino, RF|
|Jose Bautista, DH||David Ortiz, DH|
|Juan Francisco, 1B||Mike Carp, 1B|
|Dioner Navarro, C||Grady Sizemore, LF|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||A.J. Pierzynski, C|
|Brett Lawrie, 3B||Will Middlebrooks, 3B|
|Moises Sierra, RF||Jonathan Herrera, SS|
|Ryan Goins, 2B||Jackie Bradley, CF|
I want to make note of Juan Francisco in the clean up spot. He was hitting .333/.429/.667 coming into the game. You know, if you asked me to name the players on the 2014 Blue Jays, I’m sure it would take me three days to come up with Juan’s name. He played 106 games that year and finished the season with a .220/.291/.456 line with 16 home runs. He started off so great, but after this game, to the end of the season he hit .209/.277/.437. He didn’t play again in the majors after 2014.
Moise Sierra was batting .074/.107/.074 coming into the game. He was lost off waivers to the White Sox in early May. From there he went to the Royals, Marlins and Nationals.