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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

A’s 7 Blue Jays 5

Well, that was rough.

Getting the obvious out of the way first. Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson was terrible. Pitches well off the plate were called strikes. Sometimes with the Jays pitching, but more often with the A’s pitching. Or it seemed more often. Tomorrow’s Umpire Scorecard will be an interesting thing.

I don’t know if Nelson is always giving that outside pitch, but there would be a trail of ejected managers if he does. Charlie got the boot today. And, well, I think any of us would have been booted if we were managing. I do admire our players. They kept their cool.

Hyun Jin Ryu had a rough day. 4 innings, 6 hits, 5 years, 1 strikeout. It seemed like everything was hit hard. And a fair bit of bad luck with sequencing. He gave up 3 runs in the second inning and then 2 in the third.

We did manage to battle back, helped out by the bullpen doing a great job until the ninth inning. Trent Thornton (2 innings), David Phelps, and Yimi Garcia (all an inning each) put up zeros.

We didn’t do much offensively until the sixth inning:

We got:

  • 1 in the first: Raimel Tapia started things off with a double, moved to third on Bo Bichette’s ground out and scored on Vlad’s ground out.
  • 1 in the fourth: Back-to-back-to-back singles from Lourdes Gurriel, Matt Chapman and Zack Collins got us the run.

Then in the sixth, we scored 3 to tie the game. With two outs, Lourdes singles and Matt Chapman followed with his second home run of the second. Next pitch Collins hit his first home run as a Blue Jay.

Julian Merryweather, in the ninth, got a strikeout and then had a long at-bat against Christian Bethancourt that ended with a single on the 8th pitch. The next batter, Cristian Pache hit the second pitch of his at-bat out for a home run.

That took the life out of the game. Merryweather struck the next two batters out, but there is a metaphor for closing the barn door after the horse left.

Alejandro Kirk led off with a walk in the bottom of the inning, giving us hope. But Santiago Espinal struck out (swinging at a pitch even Nelson couldn’t have called a strike), George Springer, pinch-hitting, struck out. And Tapia, not wanting to be left out, struck out as well.

We had 10 hits on the day. Collins had 3 (hitting .385 now). Gurriel and Chapman had 2 each. Bo, Vlad, and Zimmer had 0 fors.

Jays of the Day: Collins (.270 WPA), Chapman (.170) and Yimi Garcia (.109).

Suckage: Merryweather (-.405), Ryu (-.315), Zimmer (-.102, though he made a very good catch in the outfield), and Espinal (-.101).

The Jays are now 5-4, still at the top of the AL East, but a winning streak would be nice.