Alex Anthopoulos acquired David Price for games just like tonight. And like every other start since he became a Blue Jay he did not disappoint. Price was dominant as he pitched seven shutout innings he allowed only two hits walking one while striking out seven. The only inning that the Yankees threatened when Price pitched was the third inning when Price escaped a bases loaded one out jam by striking out Alex Rodriguez and getting Brian McCann to pop out.
The Blue Jays were able to take advantage of Adam Warren and his Yankee teammates miscues in the first inning as they plated three runs in the first inning. Ben Revere led off the inning with a single, Josh Donaldson was hit with a pitch, Jose Bautista would hit a single to plate Revere, Donaldson and Bautista would move up on a wild pitch. Donaldson would score on a Encarnacion ground out. Justin Smoak would hit a double which would cash in Bautista. The Blue Jays offence would stay quiet until the seventh when they would add a run on a Russell Martin Sac Fly.
John Gibbons wasn’t messing around tonight as he pulled Aaron Sanchez after allowing the first two hitters to reach in the eighth inning. Brett Cecil was brilliant yet again, after allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury he struck out Brett Gardner, Rodriguez and McCann. I thought with the lefty heavy lineup that Gibby would have started the inning with Cecil. It does bring up the question though, is it time to re-evaluate Sanchez’s role in the bullpen? He may have gotten slightly unlucky on the groundball up the middle, but walking the first hitter he faced and then falling behind to Ackley didn’t help. With the way Mark Lowe has been pitching it is time to move him into higher leverage situations.
Roberto Osuna had a bounce back effort even though he did allow a home run in the ninth. I wouldn’t be to worried about it unlike some of the media members in Toronto that seemed to be awfully worried about the amount of home runs that Osuna has allowed. There have only been the two home runs that cost the Jays the lead , the other home runs didn’t matter to the outcome of the game.
Marcus Stroman made his highly anticipated home debut tonight and didn’t disappoint as he allowed a run on six hits in seven innings of work he walked a batter while striking out three. In the inning that the Red Sox did score their run they had two bloop hits and infield single and a sac-fly so it’s not like they had hard hit balls that led to their lone run. The defense behind Stroman tonight was once again top notch as they turned 2 double plays to get out of innings and the only blip on the night defensively was a Justin Smoak error on a ground ball.
The crowd tonight was electric and was just as loud as they were for David Price’s debut start with the Jays last month. Honestly though the crowds have been amazing the last month and a half and with the Blue Jays magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to seven I can only imagine what the crowd reaction will be when they do clinch a playoff spot during the homestand.
The Blue Jay bats didn’t hit a home run tonight which is hasn’t happened much this season, they did however pounce on Red Sox mistakes. With a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, Edwin Encarnacion hit what should have been a double play to third baseman Brock Holt. Holt had the ball go off his glove and go into left field. The next batter Justin Smoak would hit a two run double and Ryan Goins would bring Smaok in when he hit a triple making it a 4-0 game.
Perhaps one of Alex Anthopoulos most important acquisitions wasn’t made at the deadline. Cliff Pennington was picked up during the Blue Jays early August series in New York and ever since he’s been a Blue Jay he has come up with great defence and some timely clutch hitting and more importantly professional at bats. Pennington in his first plate appearance had a sac bunt up the third baseline allowing Kevin Pillar to advance to third base, and in his at bat in the sixth inning he hit a sac-fly to score Ryan Goins with the Blue Jays sixth run. What’s been even more impressive is how he has contributed to the line-up playing everyday while Troy Tulowitzki is out.
John Gibbons used Aaron Sanchez in the ninth inning with a five run lead, it did seem like an odd move to use your set up man in that spot but I do kind of see the reasoning behind the move. Much like using Roberto Osuna in the ninth last night in Atlanta, Gibby probably wanted to get Sanchez some work since he hadn’t pitched since Tuesday’s loss in Atlanta. And if they need to go to someone in then pen tomorrow to set-up they could again use Sanchez or use Mark Lowe, who has been seeing more outings in higher leverage spots in which he has passed with flying colours.
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.
The Blue Jays opened up their 10 game road trip in losing fashion getting hammered 11-4 in Boston. The Jays lead is now down to a half game over the Yankees. The Blue Jays send R.A Dickey to the mound tomorrow night to face Boston rookie Henry Owens.
Josh Donaldson had three hit day, including his 37th home run of the season which opened the scoring. Jose Bautista had a two hit day including a two run double in the eighth. Justin Smoak was 1 for 2 with a pair of walks and hit his 14th home run of the year in the fifth inning. John Gibbons for not burning through the bullpen and only using his low leverage middle relievers leaving his top relievers rested for the tomorrow. Marcus Stroman made it through his rehab start today proclaiming himself healthy and ready to go.
Troy Tulowitzki’s struggles at the plate continued with a 0 for 4 day. Russell Martin also had a 0 for 4 day which included him grounding into his 19th double play of the season. Ryan Goins was 0 for 3 on the day as well. Ryan Tepera allowed three runs in two innings of work and Jeff Francis was touched up for a Travis Shaw two run homer in the eighth inning.
Mark Buehrle didn’t have it from the start giving up five runs on nine hits through three and a third innings. It does seem like it’ll make for an interesting discussion on just what the Blue Jays will do this weekend when it comes to bumping Buehrle back a start to get a Marcus Stroman start against the Yankees this weekend. Aaron Loup only threw two pitches on the day and neither accomplished what it’s intended purpose was, he allowed a single to Mookie Betts and then hit Pablo Sandoval in the wrist with a pitch, but the bigger question should be why was he in a game that was still within reach?
The Blue Jays finished off their three game series with the Indians by taking the rubber match 5-1. The Blue Jays who hold a game and a half lead on the Yankees, will enjoy an off day on Thursday before opening a three game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
R.A Dickey who won his seventh straight decision was brilliant going the distance allowing a run on four hits and striking out six. Dickey worked a 1-2-3 inning in seven of the nine innings he pitched tonight and could be argued that it was one of his best starts in his time as a Blue Jay. Ben Revere kick started the offence tonight with a single, stole second and then scored on Josh Donaldson’s single in the first inning. Revere would end up going 2 for 4 on the night scoring twice. Donaldson also had a big night at the plate going 3 for 4 driving in three runs and scoring twice. Troy Tulowitzki also had himself a good night at the plate going 2 for 3 driving in a pair of runs and had a sac-fly. Ryan Goins extended his career high hitting streak to 12 games going 1 for 4. In a non game related note, Marcus Stroman had his first rehab start in Lansing tonight and by all accounts Stroman looked impressive as he tossed four and a third hitless innings walking one and striking out seven.
Justin Smoak was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts, Kevin Pillar was also 0 for 4 tonight with a strikeout. Jose Bautista was held hitless although he did walk twice which is a good sign. Edwin Encarnacion was also held hitless in three at bats, he also had a walk. The Jays offence was stagnant after the second inning once Trevor Bauer got chased from the game but with an early five run lead and with the way Dickey was dealing it didn’t really matter.
The rain showers that kept the roof closed in the early going of the game tonight…….yeah, I got nothing.
Of all the possible Blue Jays to play hero, perhaps the least likeliest would be Ryan Goins. Goins hit a walk-off two run homerun in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 victory keeping them a game and a half ahead of the Yankees. The Blue Jays will finish off their three game series with the Indians Wednesday night sending R.A Dickey to the mound to face the Tribe’s Trevor Bauer.
What more can be said about the second half that Ryan Goins has had? If you had told me in April that he would be hitting a walk-off bomb to win a big game in a pennant race in September I would have told you that you’re crazy. Yes it’s been that type of run for this team in the second half of the season. Goins did extend his career high hitting streak to 11 games. Goins also made a Roberto Alomar type play making a tremendous diving grab in foul territory in the second inning. Dalton Pompey who made his return to the big club was the main reason the Jays got their third run in the bottom of the seventh, pinch running for Justin Smoak, he didn’t waste any time stealing second, and then stealing third and scoring on Kevin Pillar’s sac-fly. Marco Estrada was great again, going seven strong innings allowing two runs which were both home runs. Brett Cecil had another scoreless outing, which was his 23rd straight which is two of the franchise record which is held by Cecil.
Despite a walk and a sac-fly Edwin Encarnacion’s hit streak came to an end at 26 games which falls two games short of the franchise record held by Shawn Green. Roberto Osuna blew only his second save of the year allowing a home run to ex Jay Yan Gomes. Dioner Navarro who finally got a hit in the tenth inning, but he had some ugly at bats earlier in the game, in the seventh inning after Smoak had walked Navarro flew out on the first pitch of the at bat. it wouldn’t have killed him to take a pitch or two in that at bat.
Josh Donaldson bunting in the third inning, he’s a power hitter he should be trying to drive the ball not bunting. Fans at the Dome doing the Wave, it’s seriously time to kill the wave. The Dome is the only ball park that I’ve seen it at and there really is no reason for it. We’re in a pennant race pay attention to the game not do the wave.
The Blue Jays had their three game win streak snapped dropping a 4-2 decision to the Indians. The Blue Jays are still a game and a half ahead of the Yankees for first place in the East. The Blue Jays continue their three game series with the Indians Tuesday night sending Marco Estrada to the mound, while the Indians send Cody Anderson to the mound.
Edwin Encarnacion extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a pair of hits. Josh Donaldson had a two run triple in the fifth inning giving him 35 RBI in the month of August tying him with Encarnacion. Ryan Goins had a pair of hits, including a great at bat in the bottom of the ninth which extended his career high hitting streak to ten games. Ben Revere had a pair of hits but his inability to come through in the ninth may reignite the debate over whether Revere or Troy Tulowitzki should be in the leadoff spot. David Price had another strong outing despite being on the losing end, he went seven innings while striking out nine. Brett Cecil’s defensive play in the eighth inning flipping a ground ball with his glove to Justin Smoak to record the second out of the inning was nothing short of a webgem.
Chris Collabello went 0 for 3 at the plate with a pair of strikeouts. Kevin Pillar who got a hit in the ninth, looked awful in his previous three at bats. Russell Martin was 0 for 4, Justin Smoak struck out in the bottom of the eighth inning with the tying and go ahead runs on second and third in the bottom of the eighth.
For all the wonderful defence the Blue Jays have enjoyed this year there were a few plays that were better if they hadn’t been made. In the first inning Ryan Goins had a ground ball hit too him and instead of going for the sure out at first he tried to gun down the lead runner, unfortunately he made a bad throw that Donaldson couldn’t come up with. In the ninth Donaldson threw a ball into the Jays Dugout that he would have been better served if he had just held onto the ball. Oh well, go get em tomorrow night.