What’s a playoff game without controversy?
Matt Shoemaker started. He threw 3 very good innings, 2 soft hit singles with 2 strikeouts. He was cruising.
And they take him out of the game.
I’m a fan of leaving in the pitcher who is doing well. Shoemaker was at 35 pitches. I figured they would give him up to 60ish pitches.
I understand it is a fine line, leave a guy in while he is pitching well, but you never know when that will end, but I figure Matt had another inning in him (at least).
In comes Bob Rae (yeah I know Robbie Ray).
Of course he gives up a triple to the first batter he sees. I say triple but I don’t understand why our outfielders refuse to cutoff a ball before it gets to the wall. I get that it is easier to follow the ball to the wall and pick it up, but that should have been a double. Next year, if we want playoffs again, we need our outfielders making these plays.
After a strikeout, Ray bounced one in the dirt, it went through Danny Jansen and the Rays had a run. I did think that Danny should have blocked it. With a runner on first, you have to do all you can to block pitches in the dirt.
After that, Ray was terrific. 3 innings, just that one hit (the triple), 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. A terrific outing.
And, if you want to be fair about pulling Shoemaker early, the Jays got 6 innings of 1 run ball from Shoemaker and Ray, you can’t hope for better than that. This was the plan and it went well.
Unfortunately A.J. Cole wasn’t terrific. He gave up up a walk and a home run, while getting just one out. Ryan Borucki got the last two outs of the inning.
Thomas Hatch pitched a quick eighth.
On the offensive side, we had a lot of trouble with Rays starter Blake Snell. He went 5.2, giving up 1 hit, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. We didn’t get our first hit until Alejandro Kirk singled to lead off the sixth.
We finally got a run in the eight. Rowdy Tellez, pinch-hitting, after missing time on the IL, flared a single into center. Cavan Biggio followed with a double. Rowdy scored on a Bo Bichette sac fly (good thing it was hit deep, Rowdy wasn’t running well). Unfortunately that’s where the scoring ended.
We had a shot in the ninth. Vlad had a long at bat but struck out on a checked swing that when just too far. Lourdes followed with a double, bringing the tying run to the plate. Teoscar went to a 3-1 count, then chased above the strike zone and watched strike three down the middle. Joe Panik followed. He watched a wild pitch, moving the runner to third, but then sliced one not quite hard enough to get over the infield.
We had some good at bats, and some hard hit balls, but they all seemed to find gloves. We have to figure a way to score more than 1 run in the next two games.
Jay of the Day: Shoemaker (.155 WPA)
Suckage: Cole (-.147), Bichette (-.137), Grichuk (-.095), Teoscar (-.125) and Panik (-.122)
We had 1107 comments in the GameThread. Alan F. led us to a disappointing loss.