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Today in Jays History: Jays win in 19 innings

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

9 Years Ago Today

The Jays and Tigers played for 19 innings. The game was 6 hours and 37 minutes long, a team record in innings and time. We would lose a 19-inning game in 2016.

The final was Tigers 5 Blue Jays 6

In the 19th inning:

  • Munenori Kawasaki led off with a single. Before this at-bat, he had been 0 for 5 with a walk. He came into the game in the bottom of the seventh, pinch-hitting for Ryan Goins. Rick Porcello was pitching in his second inning.
  • Jose Reyes bunted. Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello threw wide to second base, and we had runners on first and third.
  • The Tigers intentionally walked Melky Cabrera to load the bases. Walking the bases loaded to face Jose Bautista is one of those moves that I don’t understand. I know the thought process is to give a force out at the plate, but it also makes a walk a game-winner. Bautista had a .411 OBP at the time. If that works, I’d pitch to Melky and walk Jose to face Juan Francisco with the bases loaded, but no one is offering me a manager job.
  • Bautista hit a deep fly, not a home run but deep enough to score the runner, and with the outfield shallow, the Tigers didn’t try to catch it. Ruled a single. Jays win 6-5. You might remember that while Bautista was being interviewed post-game, R.A. Dickey came by and kissed him.

Before that?

Mark Buehrle started and wasn’t good. He went 3.1, allowed 9 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned, no walks and 4 strikeouts. A Reyes error in the first hurt him.

After Buehrle came out of the game, we had 15.2 innings of shutout ball from out bullpen. We used 7 relievers:

  • Todd Redmond: 2.2, 1 hit, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts.
  • Aaron Sanchez 3 innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts.
  • Brett Cecil 1.1, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts.
  • Dustin McGowan 1.1, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.
  • Aaron Loup: 0.1.
  • Casey Janssen: 1 inning, 1 hit, 1 walk.
  • Chad Jenkins: 6 innings, 7 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts. He pitched into and out of trouble trouble in most of his 6 innings. He only had 1 clean inning, but it worked.

On the list of heroes of the game, Jenkins has to be near the top. Jenkins would only pitch in three more games for the Blue Jays. One of them four days later and two next season, and that was the end of his career.

I had complaints about the way the bullpen was used. When you are in the late innings of a close (in this case, tied) game, you should have guys pitch more than an inning. When Jenkins came in, he was the end of the bullpen (though I’d imagine if Chad’s arm fell right off, Dickey would have been asked to pitch. Sometimes it feels like managers forget that games can go more than nine innings.

On offense, we were down 3-0 after the first and 5-0 after the fourth. We scored:

  • 2 in the sixth: With 2 outs, Danny Valencia doubled, and Dioner Navarro homered.
  • 2 in the seventh: Steven Tolleson (remember him?) walked. Colby Rasmus singled. That was the end of the day for David Price. He went 6 innings, allowed 5 hits, 4 earned, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. An out later, with Phil Coke in, Reyes singled home Tolleson and Cabrera singled home Rasmus. That was it for Coke, the unusually named Al Alburquerque came in, finished the inning, and pitched the next.
  • 1 in the ninth: Joba Chamberlain came in for the inning. Anthony Gose led off with a single. Gose was pinch-hitting for Tolleson. He would go 2 for 6, on the day after coming into the game in the ninth inning. Rasmus struck out, Gose went for second on the two-strike pitch and, initially, was called out, but it was overturned on replay. That saved the game. After a Kawasaki lined out, Reyes singled home Gose. Tied game. It would stay tied for 9.5 more innings. It was Anthony Gose’s birthday (still is, he turns 33 today, and he pitched out of the pen for the Guardians last year).

We had 17 hits (8 after the ninth inning (Tigers had 22 hits, 11 after the ninth inning). Reyes was 4 for 9. Cabrera 3 for 5 with 5 walks (43 walks that year and 5 were in this game, including 2 intentional walks). Valencia, Navarro, Gose and Rasmus had 2 walks each. The biggest 0 for was an 0 for 7 for Nolan Reimold (with 2 walks).

Want to talk about old-school managing? The Tigers handed out 5 intentional walks. Two for Melky and Bautista and one for Rasmus.

We intentionally walked Victor Martinez twice.

From the recap (if you want an inning-by-inning recap of the extra innings, it is there):

Jays of the Day are: McGowan (.226), Janssen (.143), Sanchez (.120), Loup (.117). Super JotD are: Reyes (.606), Melky (.457). Finally, Chad Jenkins had a .861 WPA(!), good for the team’s first Ultra Jay of the Day (> .800 WPA) since Bautista and Kawasaki did it 4 days apart in May 2013 (which makes it seem much more common occurrence than it is).

Suckage: Buehrle (-.287), Francisco (-.512), Thole (-.342), Reimold (-.296), Kawasaki (-.367). Bautista had the number, too (-.328), but I can’t give him one.

The FanGraph was a thing of beauty:

14 Years Ago

The Blue Jays, well, J.P. Ricciardi, put Alex Rios on waivers.

Rios was owed $60 million on his contract and hadn’t been very consistent. He was hitting .264/.317/.427 with 14 home runs that season.

The White Sox claimed him, and the thought was that they and the Jays would work out some sort of trade. But the White Sox didn’t offer anything. After a few seconds of thought, J.P. let the White Sox have him. It was a rather controversial move at the time, giving away a former All-Star for nothing (except for salary relief).

He played five seasons for Chicago, hitting .269/.310/.430 with 74 home runs. From there he went to the Rangers and then the Royals, finishing his career in 2015. In all, he hit .277/.321/.434 with 169 home runs and 253 stolen bases.

He was thought of as an underachiever. He had two quite good seasons, 2006 and 2007, hitting .299/.352/.505 with 41 home runs over the two years, but then never built on those numbers to become the star we expected. He was quite good defensively, with the odd lapse when he didn’t seem to totally have his head in the game. Perhaps we fans expected a little too much out of him.