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Ray was terrific, Jays offense was terrible, Jays lose

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
If you think this looks like a catch, you are wrong.
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Tigers 4 Blue Jays 1 (10 innings)

It is really driving me nuts that we can’t hit these random, average (or aspiring to be average) starters. We should be able to score five runs easily against these guys, but it doesn’t happen. You should lose when you only score one run in 7 innings off (looking for his name) Tyler Alexander.

That was just a terrific start for Robbie Ray. Easily as good as he’s looked all year, and he’s been good all year.

8 innings, just 5 hits (all singles, at least one should have been an error, nothing hit hard), 0 walks, and 11 strikeouts. I wonder how many 11 strikeouts, 0 walk games there are in a season?

But, in the eighth inning, Zack Short singled to start the inning. Bunted to second. Not a fan of the bunt, but not a bad spot for one. Then Short stole third. A slider in the dirt got past Alejandro Kirk and the tying run scores. Lots of complaining about the one knee thing, but that was a very tough ball to block. Called a wild pitch and likely the right call.

Unfortunately, it tied the game.

And there is no way a pitcher like Tyler Alexander should hold the Jays to 1 run in 7 innings. It can’t happen. Tyler came into the game with a 4.57 ERA. We should have been able to hit him.

We didn’t.

4 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts against him. The only good moment against him was Vladimir Guerrero’s 36th home run, his first since August 8th.

And we would only get one hit against the Tigers bullpen.

Beyond that, Kirk had a double. And Lourdes Gurriel, Santiago Espinal, and Kevin Smith (his first MLB hit) had singles. Gurriel also had two walks.

And the 0 for 12 with RISP, plus 4 double plays, didn’t make for winning baseball.

The Jays had a good shot at a win. In the ninth inning, Teoscar and Gurriel both walked to start the inning. Both on full counts, both excellent at-bats against hard-throwing Gregory Soto.

With Anthony Kirk coming up, Charlie pinch-hit with Breyvic Valera. I hate this move. Kirk seems to have a quick bat. He’s the type of hitter I want in this spot.

Add in that Soto is having trouble with the strike zone.....I don’t think bunting is the move, but Valera comes in to bunt. Bunting against a guy throwing 100 isn’t easy. Two misses bring us to a 0-2 count. Now Soto is throwing strikes here, but then no reason to shot for the corners if a guy is bunting. I hate bunting with two strikes (really, if there is the word bunting in the sentence, I’m going to hate it). But with two strikes, the bunter can’t really think about ‘placing’ the ball. He’s gotta bunt it where it is thrown and keep it fair.

Good news, he got it down. But news, first baseman Jonathan Schoop made a nice play on the ball (almost bunted it past him) and made a good throw to third. Teoscar was out.

I mean, we needed just one run, and the bunt is a one-run strategy, but it isn’t easy with runners on second and third because it is a force at third.

Anyway, we were still in a pretty good spot, two on, one out, only need a run......Grichuk hits into a double play, and the chance is over.

Jordan Romano pitched a nice ninth, giving up a double on a softly hit ball, with two outs. Gurriel almost caught it. Perhaps should have caught it, but it didn’t matter. Romano got out of the inning.

Trevor Richards started the 10th, with the Manfred Man on second. He got two strikeouts. Then a softly hit single that Gurriel grabbed in shallow left. I was sure he would get the runner at the plate, but he threw well up the first baseline. We really needed a good throw there. Richards walked the next guy. and that was it for him.

Adam Cimber comes in. Remember how good he was right after we got him? Well, he hasn’t been lately. Cimber gives up a couple more hits, and a couple more runs score. We really need Cimber to figure things out again.

We didn’t do anything with the bats in the bottom of the tenth, and another frustrating game comes to an end.

I wouldn't say I liked the bunt idea, but that wasn’t why we lost. We lost because, once again, a rather average starting pitcher made us look terrible. They gotta find a way to hit these guys. The Tigers are going to run two more average-ish starting pitchers out against us. We have to learn to hit those guys.

Jays of the Day: Ray (.354 WPA), Romano (.147), Gurriel (.140, should lose points for that throw), and Kirk (.093).

Suckage: Grichuk (-.563, on an 0 for 4, 1 k and 2 double play, ground balls), Marcus (-.161, 0 for4, 2 k), and Richards (-.149, though really, if Gurriel had made the throw we all expected, he would have been out of the inning).

Grichuk’s number is pretty amazing for a hitter. I would love to sit him for a game. Try Otto Lopez out there?

We had 734 comments in the GameThread. I led us to yet another defeat. Yay me.

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