Blue Jays 5 Cleveland 6
As it turned out, all that mattered was the seventh inning.
After Cleveland tied the game in the bottom of the sixth we took the lead again in the seventh. Jonathan Davis, who I was cursing a few minutes before, led off with a walk. I figured he would steal against reliever Emmanual Chase, but Danny Jansen put down a bunt. Nice bunt. And then Marcus Semien singled Davis home. Unfortunately, Bo Bichette followed that we an easy double-play ball.
Tyler Chatwood, whose control seems to have disappeared, came out for the bottom of the seventh. He got a soft fly out, then walked Yu Chang on five pitches. A mound visit followed, but it didn’t help.
Another walk on four pitches put the winning run on. A five-pitch walk loaded the bases and finally Anthony Castro is up throwing but it is too late. Another five-pitch walk brought in the tying run and Castro comes in.
Castro got a call on a pitch off the plate, and then got Jose Ramirez to swing at one way off the plate. A foul ball and a ball. And then a fly ball deep enough to score the winning run.
Siddal complained about taking Stripling out early in the first game, burning Dolis and Romano. That’s a stretch to me, up four, you should be able to close out a game.
It seems the loss last week when he pulled Chatwood and then lost with Travis Bergen stuck in Montoyo and Walker’s mind. And they weren’t going to lose that way again. So they lost a different way.
You’ll likely remember that Siddal was complaining that Charlie pulled Chatwood in that game, when, in my mind, there was no choice, but Bergen wasn’t any better. Today, well he listened to Siddal’s advice and it didn’t go any better.
They really need to find someone other than Romano that they trust late in a game. At the moment, I’m all for calling up Thomas Hatch.
It is a normal thing to live and die with your closer. Tom Henke had 16 blown saves over two seasons, and mostly it was because, when he came into the game, he was going to finish, win or lose.
But Chatwood isn’t the closer. It shouldn’t be win or lose with him.
There is always a lot of hyperbolae when there is a bad loss.
Just like Stripling, in the first game, Steven Matz was terrific through the first five innings, allowing just one hit.
Things fell apart for him in the sixth.
It started off with a Santiago Espinal error, on a very easy ground ball to third. Santiago is hitting .227, so he’s gotta make all the plays. That was his fourth error at third. I know it is narrative and all, but it seemed to open the door to Cleveland, who, to that point, seemed to be just going through the motions.
That was followed by a double (Rene Rivera), a single (Cesar Hernandez), and a single (Amed Rosario, that went off Matz glove). suddenly our four-run lead is two and Matz is out of the game.
Tyler Chatwood comes in with the tying run at first. Single to center and Jonathan Davis throws home, even though he had no shot at the runner, allowing the tying run to go to third. That cost us when Harold Ramirez hit into a double play, and that runner on third scored. A walk and a stolen base made things tougher, but a fly ball ended the inning with it still tied.
On offense, until the seventh, we did all our damage in the third inning. Sam Hentges seemed to lose the strike zone. In the inning:
- Marcus Semien took a one-out walk.
- Bo Bichette singled him to second, a seven-pitch at-bat, where there was only one ball call. Bo chased off the plate fouling five pitches off, before getting his single.
- Vlad Guerrero walked.
- Teoscar Hernandez doubled high off the center-field wall, about a foot short of a home run (he did some arm curls when he got back to the dugout, scoring three.
- Randal Grichuk doubled off the left-field wall, this one about three feet short of a home run, scoring Teoscar.
We only had five hits, and three of them were in that inning. A few more runs would have made things so much easier.
Jays of the Day: Semien (.319 WPA), Hernandez (.188).
Suckage: Chatwood (-.752) and Castro (-.164, hardly fair really). Matz ended up -.090, but a lot of that was on the Espinal error.
Tomorrow is an off-day, thank goodness.
We had 671 comments in the GameThread. EMK19 and I tied for who led us to that stunning defeat.