Blue Jays 1 Tigers 2
As is so often the way lately. The game turned on a bad defensive moment.
In the eighth inning, Victor Reyes, pinch-hitting, leading off. Tim Mayza into the game. Reyes lines one to center field. Josh Palacios made a diving effort but came up well. Past him, to the wall, Corey Dickerson did back it up, but by the time he got there, Reyes was most of the way around the bases. Inside the park home run.
I don’t know what we can do about the limp bats. Maybe there is a horse medicine that could help?
This seems like a recording, but once again we had great starting pitching and next to no hitting.
Steven Matz was great. 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned, 0 walks, and 2 strikeouts. Very little was hit hard against him. The one run against came in the fourth inning, with one out, Jeimer Candelario hit a ground-rule double to center field that Josh Palacios almost got a glove it, running straight back to the fence. Generally, I’d say ‘you run that far you might as well make the catch’, but this was a tough over-the-shoulder catch.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to score him.
Adam Cimber pitched a scoreless seventh, despite making a throwing error on a pick, sending the runner to third with one out. But a ground out and a pop-out got him out of the inning.
On offense, against a starter, Matt Manning, who came into the game with a 5.91 ERA, we managed just 6 hits. Vlad had two.
Those with 0 fors were Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernadez, Palacios and Kevin Smith.
In Smith’s case, it was an 0 for 2, and one of the ‘2’ was a fly ball right to the wall in center field (413 feet, out of the park in almost all MLB parks), truly a terrific catch by Derek Hill to pull it back in the park.
We had another like that in the ninth inning. Lourdes Gurriel hit one to the wall in left, which Robbie Grossman caught right at the top of the wall. Only 351 feet, but likely would have been a home run.
Our run came in the third. Bo Bichette led off with a double. An out later Vlad doubled him home.
As well as two hits, Vlad had two amazing defensive plays. Jonathan Schoop ground one hard up the middle, hitting Matz in the leg. Vlad fielded it, sidearmed a throw to Matz and Matz tagged Schoop just before he got to first. Matz did a great job realizing he couldn’t beat Schoop to first and remembered he could ‘just’ tag him.
And in the sixth, Schoop on first, ground ball to Vlad, grabs it on his knees, touches first, and makes a throw, to second. Bo made a nice tag. The Tigers appealed (and I thought he was safe, but New York agreed with the call on the field).
Jays of the Day: Matz (.221 WPA), Cimber (.091) and I’m giving one to Vlad (.068 plus the two great plays.
Suckage: Mayza (-.217, maybe not fair, but he did give up 2 hits that inning if the hit to Palacios was just a double, he would have scored on a single later), Semien (-.109) and Palacios for the miss.
Tomorrow....there is another game. 6:00 Eastern. Alek Manoah vs Jose Urena, who comes in with a 6.19 ERA and will come out with an ERA in the 4s?
We had 302 comments in the GameThread. I led us to a devastating loss. Go me.