That didn’t exactly go as planned, but thanks to old friend J.P Arencibia and his Tampa Bay teammates the Blue Jays still have their three game lead atop of the AL East. The Blue Jays magic number stands at 16. The Blue Jays continue their three game set with the Braves Wednesday night as they send David Price to the mound, the Braves counter with Shelby Miller.
Mark Buehrle who had struggled in his last outing in Boston, had a Buerhle like outing allowing two runs, only one earned, in five innings. He allowed six hits and worked in and out of trouble a few times during the night. Justin Smoak hit his 16th home run on the season which tied the game in the fifth inning. Cliff Penington had himself another great night at the plate going 2 for 3 with a walk. The bullpen was great yet again, Brett Cecil had another excellent outing tossing a scoreless inning striking out a pair of hitters. Mark Lowe worked a scoreless seventh inning. The Blue Jays defence had a good night for the most part as they were able to turn four double plays on the night.
John Gibbons made some head scratching moves, the first one was having Ryan Goins face a lefty in the top of the eighth inning, at the time it seemed off, and it was made to look even worse when he was taken out in the bottom of the eighth in a double switch for Darwin Barney. I’m not going to kill Gibby for going to Aaron Sanchez for a second inning, at the time it seemed like a good move at the time, but after having it blow up on the Blue Jays the last two times they’ve tried it, I wouldn’t try going back to Sanchez for two innings anytime soon. I’m also not going to kill Gibby for not walking Simmons in the ninth, with Bourn due up it would have been a tough chore to double him up, and there is no guarantee he keeps the ball in the infield to have a shot at getting the runner at home. Smoak, who has been great defensively at first, didn’t have such a great night he made an error in the third which led to a Braves run and then couldn’t come up with the scoop on a throw from Barney in the ninth.
The top three hitters in the Blue Jays lineup went 0 for 13. The Jays also failed to get a hit off of the Braves bullpen which is the 30th best bullpen in Baseball. Here is a worrying stat about Aaron Sanchez, after tonight’s game in his last 106 pitched thrown he has only had two swinging strikes. I know that his command is off at times but he needs to trust his stuff a little more and start locating his fastball and stop falling in love with his breaking pitches.