Tagged: Kevin Pillar

Blue Jays 5 Rays 4; Post Game Musings

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Josh Donaldson helped cement his spot as the favorite for the AL MVP with not only his walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, but his heads up play to tag  Mikie Mahtook trying to get back to third base. As for the home run that ended the game, it was Donaldson’s third walk-off home run of the season and it’s his seventh of their career.

Kevin Pillar has had a great homestand at the plate, as he collected two more hits including a game tying double in the eighth inning. In Pillar’s last five days alone he has had a WPA of 1.137 and with all the other sluggers on this team Pillar’s offensive numbers this week have for the most part flown under the radar. Pillar almost made another amazing diving grab in the first inning on Brandon Guyer’s lead off triple.

Justin Smoak had himself a day, he was 3 for 4 at the plate he had double in the first inning to drive in the first Jays run and his two run shot in the sixth inning set the table for the comeback.

Mark Buerhle didn’t have his best stuff today but was able to last six innings and keep the Blue Jays in the game. It was most likely his final home start as a Blue Jay. Buehrle is smart enough to know that he might not be on the playoff roster and he even said after the game that the Jays should put whoever is throwing the best on the playoff roster and not what they have done. During his three years with the Blue Jays he has been a mentor to the young pitchers on the team and has been one of the team leaders, he has also pitched well during his time as a Blue Jay. It should not also be lost on people that for the three years he has pitched in Toronto he has done so with his wife and kids at home in the US to stay with the family pit bulls because of Ontario’s pitbull ban. That in itself deserves some major props.

Sunday was the Blue Jays 27th sellout as they reached a season total of 2,784,891 they averaged 34,504 per game it was their highest attendance since 1995. They had 36 games of 40k plus and 53 games of 30k plus.

 

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Blue Jays 9 Braves 1; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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The Blue Jays snapped their two game losing slide with a big win in Atlanta on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays lead in the AL East remains at three games and the Blue Jays will have a chance to extend that lead to three and a half games tonight as the Blue Jays close out a ten game road trip in Atlanta. Marco Estrada will take the ball for the Blue Jays as the Braves counter with Matt Wisler.

THE GOOD

The offence looked much better on Wednesday night as Edwin Encarnacion made his successful return to the lineup by going 3 for 3 with a pair of walks. Russ Martin was 2 for 5 on the night and drove in four runs one of the hits was Martin’s 20th homer of the season. Ben Revere was 2 for 4 with a pair of runs batted it, Kevin Pillar also had a pair of hits on the evening. David Price was great once again as he allowed one run on six hits in seven innings work while allowing three walks and striking out nine picking up his 16th win of the season. Ryan Goins was 1 for 2 on the night but once again his defence stood out as he made a couple of great plays in the field. The first play was a play he made on a ball that was deep in the hole and he did his best Derek Jeter impression by making a strong throw to get the runner at first. The second play was a heads up throw to third on a play where Cliff Pennington missed making the catch on a ball hit to shallow right, Pennington made a heads up throw to Goins at second to get the runner going into second and then Goins made a great throw to third where Josh Donaldson made the tag on the runner, it was one of the more strange double plays one will see.

THE BAD

Pennington and Price were the only Blue Jays starters not to record a hit on the night. Aaron Loup walked the only batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth inning, it’s probably not the best thing in the world to do for a pitcher trying to play himself onto a potential playoff roster to be walking guys with a six run lead.

THE UGLY

It’s surprising to me that in the year 2015 that the Braves still play their “Chop” chant during their games. There was a lot of people on twitter surprised that they would continually play it during the game and quite frankly I was surprised that it got as much play as it did.

 

 

 

Yankees 5 Blue Jays 0; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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The Blue Jays dropped the final game of their four game tilt in the Bronx 5-0 on Sunday. The Blue Jays lead in the AL East is at 3.5 games. The Blue Jays enjoy an off day Monday before starting a three game series in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

THE GOOD

R.A Dickey, despite allowing five runs in seven and two thirds innings, was able to save the bullpen sans Ryan Tepera which was well used during Saturday’s doubleheader. Kevin Pillar who broke a 0 for 15 slide with a base hit had another great diving grab in center to steal an extra base hit early in the game. The Blue Jays received somewhat good news on Troy Tulowitzki’s injury, Alex Anthopoulos stated prior to the game that he could be back within two to three weeks, which would have him back in time for the playoffs which at this point seems to be the main concern. For the meantime Anthopoulos was able to add depth as he acquired Darwin Barney from the Dodgers. Barney who was a Gold Glove winner in 2012. Kudos to the Blue Jays fans that travelled to New York for the series it seemed like the stands were half filled with Blue Jay fans and on several occasions there were “Lets Go Blue Jays!” cheers as well as “MVP” cheers for Josh Donaldson and the Jose-Jose-Jose chants for Jose Bautista.

THE BAD

The offence was quiet all game as Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant over seven innings allowing a grand total of four hits, which is all the Blue Jays could muster on the day. Kevin Pillar was picked off of Second base in the second inning, I like Pillar’s aggressiveness but in that situation off a pitcher like Tanaka he needs to be more aware and not get caught as far off the bag as he was.

THE UGLY

The attendance at Yankee Stadium all weekend was rather disappointing considering it’s the heat of a pennant race and the series was so hyped up, it was even more so during the second game of last nights doubleheader when it looked like it was just friends and family at the ballpark.

Blue Jays 10 Orioles 4; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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The Blue Jays finished off their nine game homestand with a 10-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The Jays finished their homestand 7-2 and head to Boston to kick off a 10 game road trip which includes a four game series in the Bronx against the Yankees, which the Blue Jays hold a game and a half lead over in the AL East. The Blue Jays are also eight games clear of the Minnesota Twins for the final Wild Card spot, but we all know the Jays are only looking at winning the division.

THE GOOD

The Blue Jays offence scored 10 or more runs for the 21st time this season, Ben Revere paced the offence going 3 for 5  while scoring three times. Jose Bautista had another big day at the plate going 2 for 3 driving in three runs while scoring three times and belting his 33rd home run of the season. Troy Tulowitzki was only 1 for 5 but that one hit was his fifth home run as a Blue Jay, a two run shot in the third inning to make it a 5-0 game at the time. Kevin Pillar was 1 for 3, with his lone hit being his 10th home run of the season which made it 6-0 and sending Orioles starter Chris Tillman to the showers. Edwin Encarnacion went 2 for 5 getting his first hit since his hitting streak ended on Tuesday night. Josh Donaldson was 2 for 3 while driving in a pair of runs on the day. Dioner Navarro was 2 for 4 on the day and did a masterful job working with Marco Estrada as he didn’t best stuff but still managed to only allow a pair of runs over five innings.

THE BAD

Estrada walking four batters today, like I said in the Good column he was able to gut out five innings without breaking or giving up the lead. LaTroy Hawkins allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Roberto Osuna came on in a non save situation in the ninth and for the second straight outing allowed a home run, I guess with a seven run lead a run or two wasn’t going to hurt and the main thing a manager and pitching coach want to see from a pitcher with a big lead is pound the strike zone which Osuna did throwing 10 of 14 pitches for strikes.

THE UGLY

The Tampa Bay Rays with Chris Archer on the mound blowing a 3-0 lead and dropping a 6-4 decision to the Yankees, It would have been nice to head out on the road trip up two and a half games.

Blue Jays 5 Indians 1; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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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.

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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 UGLY

The rain showers that kept the roof closed in the early going of the game tonight…….yeah, I got nothing.

Indians 4 Blue Jays 2; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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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.

THE GOOD

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.

THE BAD

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.

THE UGLY

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.

Blue Jays 5 Tigers 3; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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The Blue Jays kicked off their nine game homestand with a 5-3 win. The win moves the Blue Jays back to 16 games above 500 at 72-56. The Jays send Drew Hutchison to the mound tomorrow afternoon to face the Tigers Buck Farmer. The Blue Jays optioned Josh Thole to single A Bluefield after the game to make room on the roster for Hutchison. The reason Thole was sent to Bluefield was because their season ends September 1st and he can be called back up once their season ends.

THE GOOD

Edwin Encarnacion was 1 for 2 with a pair of walks to extend his hitting streak to 23 games. Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson sparked the Blue Jays offence with back-to-back homers in the fourth inning, Jose Bautista added his 31st home run in the fifth inning. Kevin Pillar was 2 for 4 and had a stolen base. Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Smoak teamed up on one of the best plays of the night as Tulowitzki fielded an Ian Kinsler ground ball deep in the hole in short and was able to make a throw to first that Smoak made a great pick to record the first out of the eighth inning. Speaking of the eighth inning Aaron Sanchez only needed five pitches to retire the meat of the Tigers order, Roberto Osuna followed that up by striking out the side in the ninth inning. R.A Dickey had a good bounce back effort tonight pitching into the seventh allowing three runs both of which came via the long ball.

THE BAD

Chris Collabello was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts, Josh Thole was the only other Blue Jays starter that didn’t record a hit.

THE UGLY

When the team is rolling the way they have, well, it doesn’t give much ugliness to write about. However, there are some that keep wanting to see Tulo dropped from the lead-off spot in favour of Ben Revere, I may be in the vocal minority of leaving Tulo in the leadoff spot because I believe your better off to have your best hitters at the top of the line-up to give them more at bats and as it unfolded on Tuesday night in Texas it gets the top of the order up when it matters in the ninth inning. Sure, Tulo has had his struggles to start his time in Toronto but once he heats up it’ll make the top of the Blue Jays line-up even more dangerous.