Game 1: Monday, September 11
JAYS WIN!! 4-3
Winning Pitcher: Marco Estrada
Save: Dominc Leone
The Jays loaded the bases in the 1st inning but failed to capitalize. In the 2nd, Mark Trumbo overran a pop-up off the bat of Teoscar Hernandez. After he turned around to chase after the ball, he somehow knocked it into the stands. Hernandez had already rounded third and run home, but the umpires conferred and gave Hernandez third base – it was ruled a double and an error on Trumbo. Hernandez scored on a Ryan Goins groundout.
What unfolded next was… interesting. Darwin Barney hit a double to centre field, which Adam Jones misplayed, and Barney made the turn for third. However, sliding on his belly, he somehow lost momentum partway to third base. Barney then proceeded to do some kind of dog-paddle move on the ground (laughing the entire time) and was somehow safe. Luckily his efforts weren’t wasted, as he then scored when Richard Urena hit a double.
When you’re not afraid to make a splash… pic.twitter.com/rBhosg7gUd
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 12, 2017
In the top of the 4th, Baltimore got on the board with a leadoff double and a single from Jones. Goins hit a solo home run in the bottom half to make it 3-1, then Mark Trumbo led off the 5th with a home run. But Toronto hung on to their lead by scoring again in the 6th off Miguel Castro, who had replaced Ubaldo Jimenez. Castro hit leadoff man Miguel Montero with a pitch, then Hernandez singled and Goins moved the runners with a groundout. Montero came in to score on an infield single by Barney.
Marco Estrada was lifted from the game due to a high pitch count after 5 innings (although he’d only allowed four hits to that point). He had zero walks and seven strikeouts. Danny Barnes pitched a perfect 6th, before walking the leadoff man Trey Mancini in the 7th. Matt Dermody was brought in for one batter and struck Chris Davis out, then Tom Koehler allowed a single to plate Mancini. The Baltimore bullpen shut down the Jays after that point, but they preserved the one-run lead and after Carlos Ramirez pitched a perfect 8th, Dominic Leone got his first major-league save.
Neither team had much offensive luck early in the game. The Jays got the leadoff man aboard in the 1st and 2nd only to have multiple fly balls die right in front of the outfield wall. They got on the board in the 3rd off Dylan Bundy, thanks to a Luke Maile single and a Justin Smoak RBI double. Joe Biagini kept the Orioles scoreless through six, facing three batters over the minimum (all singles).
Baltimore got to Biagini in the 7th, tying the game at 1-1 on a double and a Mark Trumbo single. But he went back out for the 8th inning for the first time in his career, only to give up a solo home run to Tim Beckham. Taking a 2-1 deficit into the bottom of the 8th, the Jays got a walk and a single with one out, but didn’t score.
Then came the 9th. After Tom Koehler and Tim Mayza combined for a scoreless top half, Kevin Pillar led off with a walk against Zach Britton. Teoscar Hernandez singled, and Pillar moved to third. Darwin Barney reached on a forceout, and Maile singled on a ball that Manny Machado knocked down, plating Pillar. That handed Britton just his second blown save of the season. The next batter, Richard Urena, singled to centre and Barney scored from second, winning the game for the home team. Mayza was credited with the first win of his career.
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 13, 2017
Game 3: Wednesday, September 13
Jays lose, 1-2
Losing Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Both of the Baltimore runs came in the first inning, and both were unearned on Marcus Stroman. The leadoff hitter Tim Beckham reached after Josh Donaldson’s throw caused the first baseman to come off the bag. Two outs later, Beckham was on second when Adam Jones doubled on a fly ball that the left fielder Teoscar Hernandez misjudged. Beckham scored, and Jones followed when Trey Mancini tripled.
The Jays got their lone run in the 3rd off Kevin Gausman, as Hernandez led off with a double and Richard Urena doubled to score him. With one out, Donaldson hit an infield single that bounced off Gausman, putting men at the corners. Justin Smoak then hit into a double play. Baltimore loaded the bases with nobody out in the 4th with a Mancini double and two walks, but Stroman got a strikeout and a double play to get out of the jam. The Jays stranded a pair of one-out singles in their half of that inning. They turned another double play to end the 6th – Stroman actually has the most DPs turned behind him in the majors this year.
Stroman went 6 innings with six hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. Shortly before he left the game, the training staff went out to check on Stroman because he was having problems with his finger. Carlos Ramirez pitched another scoreless inning, then Dominic Leone, Matt Dermody and Ryan Tepera combined for the last two innings. Goins made a leaping snag on a line drive that stranded a man at third in the 8th. Trailing by a run, Kendrys Morales doubled in the 6th and was stranded. Toronto didn’t get another baserunner until Morales came up again – with one out in the 9th – and singled. Kevin Pillar then hit into a double play, ending the game. Each team had seven hits and an error.
Russell Martin returned from the disabled list after missing a month thanks to a strained oblique. He was activated prior to Tuesday’s game, but didn’t play until Wednesday. He went 0-for-3 in that game.
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- Marco Estrada set a new career high for strikeouts in a season on Monday, when he got his 166th. His previous career high was 165 in 2016.
My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Urena/Hernandez/Barney/Ramirez
Richard Urena has a six-game hitting streak, and went 5-for-13 in this series. He hit two doubles, and drove in a run in all three games. His contribution on Tuesday was the most remarkable, as he came up with one out and men on first and second in the 9th inning of a tie game and lined a pitch into centre field to win it. Tuesday was also the first three-hit game of his career.
Like Urena, Teoscar Hernandez is on a six-game hit streak, and had four hits in ten at-bats during this series. He had two doubles, one walk and scored twice.
Darwin Barney was 2-for-4 in the series with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. He made some great defensive plays too, but mostly gets this honour for delivering one of the most entertaining moments of the 2017 season. His post-game scrum was pretty entertaining, too (and not just because of his hair).
Carlos Ramirez still has an ERA of 0.00 and pitched two scoreless innings in this series. He didn’t allow any hits, and walked just one. He also struck out a pair. I hadn’t even heard of Ramirez before he was called up at the beginning of September, but he’s been so impressive!
Where We Are Now:
Last in the AL East, 14.5 games back of Boston
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