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Today in Jays History: Jays Win 9th in a Row

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Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Six years ago today

The Blue Jays beat the Rays 3-2 to win their ninth straight game.

We won it on a walk-off error. From the recap:

I figured we were going to see extra innings, but I’m happy without free baseball tonight. What a way to win. Bottom of the 9th, tied at 2, Dioner Navarro leads off with a single to right field. Gibby puts Kevin Pillar in to pinch run. Very smart move. Very obvious move. Anthony Gose puts down a nice bunt, along the first base line. The Rays really couldn’t do anything other than hope it goes foul, but Juan Oviedo suddenly decides to pick it up and throw to first. He wasn’t going to get Gose, even with a good throw, but being on the first base line, it was impossible to make a good throw. The throw goes into right field and Pillar scores all the way from first. It was a close play at the plate, but he was in.

We got pretty lucky.

Liam Hendriks started, pitching 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned with 7 strikeouts. But Liam had a fair bit of luck. From the recap:

If the game was decided on who he the ball furthest we would have lost. Liam Hendriks was hit very hard, but just about every ball found a glove. He only gave up 3 hits, no walks, 2 earned with 5 strikeouts, in 6 complete.The guy is the luckiest pitcher I’ve ever seen.

And he owes his outfielders a couple of dozen Fosters. He had 9 fly outs and 3 ground outs. Several of the fly outs were to the track. Two of them forced outfielders to make amazing catches at the wall. Anthony Gose made a Devon White type catch at the top of the center field wall and Melky Cabrera made a more oxen type catch at the left field wall. It wasn’t pretty but he got the ball, and that’s what counts. There was also a ball hit a mile that was no more than a few feet foul. The umpires needed replays to be sure they were right on the foul call.

We also saw a great play from Brett Lawrie at second base, going a long way to get a ground ball and throwing it to first from his butt. Edwin Encarnacion made very good stretch to get the out. Juan Francisco made a nice ‘one-step and a dive’ play, and followed it with a great throw to first. Lawrie also had a great barehanded play from third in the top of the 9th, on a Yunel Escobar ground ball.

I remember thinking that Liam seemed to have a force field holding balls inside the park. There were at least four Rays fly balls that were within a few feet of being home runs.

Liam was demoted to Buffalo a few days later. He came up at the end of June for one more start. After that start, his ERA was 6.08 and was traded to the Royals, along with Erik Kratz for Danny Valencia. We would get him back at the end of October, trading Santiago Nessy to the Royals. He was much better in his second stint with the Jays, with a 2.92 ERA in 58 relief appearances. He was traded to the A’s for Jesse Chavez after the 2015 season, not one of our better trades.

Dustin McGowan pitched 2 good innings of relief, and Aaron Loup pitched a quick ninth, giving up just a walk.

Jays of the Day are McGowan (.307 WPA), Loup (.143), Gose (.259, plus the amazing catch) and Bautista (.111, plus the great slide). Hendriks also had the number, .170, but that should really go to his outfielders, though he did have some nice strikeouts. He throws strikes, and that’s about the nicest thing you can say about him.

Suckage numbers go to Rasmussen (-.106). Cabrera had the number too, -.136, but he made that catch so I can’t give him a suckage. Francisco was close too, -.093, but he made a couple of nice plays on defense too.

The win pushed the Jays record to 32-22, good for first place, 3 games up on the Yankees and 4.5 on the Orioles.

Unfortunately, the Jay 51-57 the rest of the way, finishing 3rd in the AL East.

Tampa Bay Rays Table
Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS Pit Str WPA
David DeJesus DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .261 .346 .457 .803 9 6 -0.135
Evan Longoria 3B 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 .264 .325 .377 .702 22 16 -0.112
James Loney 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .292 .350 .385 .735 19 12 -0.083
Desmond Jennings CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .239 .332 .391 .723 22 13 -0.122
Matthew Joyce LF 3 1 2 0 0 1 3 .281 .378 .411 .789 8 7 0.134
Logan Forsythe PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .204 .266 .265 .531 5 4 -0.042
Ali Solis C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wil Myers RF 3 1 1 2 1 1 4 .228 .305 .355 .660 17 10 0.112
Yunel Escobar SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .254 .329 .341 .669 15 9 -0.167
Jose Molina C 2 0 1 0 1 0 3 .137 .182 .137 .319 12 5 0.035
Kevin Kiermaier LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .500 .750
Sean Rodriguez 2B 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 .244 .286 .577 .863 14 9 -0.070
Team Totals 31 2 4 2 2 7 34 .129 .206 .290 .496 143 91 -0.450
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/27/2020.
Toronto Blue Jays Table
Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS Pit Str WPA
Jose Reyes SS 4 1 3 0 0 1 4 .260 .333 .420 .753 14 9 0.028
Melky Cabrera LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .314 .357 .498 .855 11 9 -0.133
Jose Bautista RF 2 1 1 0 1 0 4 .301 .434 .528 .962 13 6 0.118
Adam Lind DH 2 0 0 0 2 1 4 .333 .423 .560 .982 21 10 -0.063
Edwin Encarnacion 1B 4 0 1 2 0 1 4 .263 .339 .579 .918 21 14 -0.008
Juan Francisco 3B 3 0 0 0 0 2 3 .267 .359 .594 .953 8 8 -0.088
Steven Tolleson PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .304 .385 .609 .993 8 5 -0.033
Brett Lawrie 2B-3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .236 .282 .418 .700 19 14 -0.047
Dioner Navarro C 4 0 1 0 0 2 4 .270 .309 .342 .651 19 13 0.001
Kevin Pillar PR 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .296 .296 .407 .704 0.000
Anthony Gose CF 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 .289 .413 .368 .781 14 10 0.275
Team Totals 32 3 9 2 3 10 36 .281 .361 .281 .642 148 98 0.050
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/27/2020.
Tampa Bay Rays Table
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str WPA
Chris Archer 6 6 2 2 2 7 0 4.00 26 100 66 0.134
Joel Peralta 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 0 5.09 4 19 12 0.012
Jake McGee 1.1 0 0 0 0 3 0 1.14 4 27 18 0.175
Juan Carlos Oviedo, L (1-1) 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1.62 2 2 2 -0.370
Team Totals 8 9 3 2 3 10 0 2.25 36 148 98 -0.049
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/27/2020.
Toronto Blue Jays Table
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str WPA
Liam Hendriks 6 3 2 2 0 5 1 2.31 22 95 62 0.134
Rob Rasmussen 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1 3 3 -0.111
Dustin McGowan 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 4.50 7 27 16 0.298
Aaron Loup, W (2-1) 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 2.84 4 18 10 0.130
Team Totals 9 4 2 2 2 7 1 2.00 34 143 91 0.451
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/27/2020.