Well… This game was kind of unpleasant. The Yankees took the lead first, but the Blue Jays got 2 quick runs in the third, on a 2-RBI double from Jose Bautista. He cashed in Kevin Pillar (who had been hit by a pitch) and Josh Donaldson (who had singled). Brian McCann scored two of the 3 runs for the Yankees, including a solo home run that tied the game.
Ryan Goins made a few nice defensive plays, but that was about the only bright spot for the Blue Jays, who reported being annoyed by an inconsistent strike zone. Sanchez also attempted an ill-advised pickoff on McCann in the second that sailed over second base and allowed him to advance to third.
Game 2: Wednesday, April 13
BLUE JAYS WIN! 7-2
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ
In the first game this season in which they put up double-digit hits, the Jays were already leading 3-2 entering the 8th and then they tacked on a bunch of runs to widen the lead and make the fans feel better. Every run was scored by a different member of the lineup – Edwin Encarnacion and Pillar were the odd men out. Surprisingly enough, not one run was scored via the homer.
Happ went 6 innings and allowed only one run on 7 hits, owing in part to some nice double plays turned behind him. Brett Cecil and fresh-from-Buffalo Pat Venditte each pitched clean innings, which must have been a boost to Cecil’s ego after the tough time he’d had in his last three outings. Drew Storen gave up a solo home run to Mark Teixeira in the 8th, but that was the only damage sustained by the bullpen.
Game 2 must have been a big wake-up call for the bats, because there were only 2 innings in this game that they didn’t get at least one hit. All the Blue Jays’ runs came on homers – a long 3-run Josh Donaldson shot in the 5th, and a solo homer by Troy Tulowitzki in the 6th.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 15, 2016
Tulo was also kept busy on the defense side of things, as Stroman lasted 8 innings, and only allowed 3 hits, 2 runs, and induced an impressive 16 groundouts (7 of them in Tulo’s direction). The only real struggles came in the 4th as the Yankees scored two runs when Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, followed by two singles (one of which seemed like an error at the time), a fielder’s choice, and a wild pitch.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Jays are now 0-3 in one-run games this year. If you recall, this is something that plagued them last year as well. They also haven’t scored later than the 4th in any of their losses, and later than the 3rd in 3 of the 5. This is the part of the program where I say ‘What the heck is up with this, Best Offense in Baseball?’
Also, losses are slightly more tolerable when Dan Shulman is announcing them! But only slightly. The wins, on the other hand, are made just that much sweeter!
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- With his home run on Thursday, Josh Donaldson extended a hitting streak to 10 games, which makes him 1 of 4 Blue Jays to ever open a season with a streak of 10+ games.
#BlueJays batters have struck out MLB-high 100 times. That is their most through the first 10 games of a season in franchise history.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) April 15, 2016
My favourite player(s) this series: Goins/Stroman
The number 9 hitter went 3-for-4 on Wednesday with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored. After that game, his AVG was lifted to .321, tied for highest on the team with some guy named Jose Bautista. Also this:
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) April 14, 2016
Which maybe is more of a poor reflection on those guys than it is a good reflection on him, but still! Take all the bragging rights you can get, Goins!
The StroShow has got to be the best show in town. As mentioned above, Stroman pitched an 8-inning gem on Thursday, the entirety of which lasted just 2 hours and 22 minutes (wouldn’t Papa Mark Buehrle be proud!). He threw just nine pitches in the first inning, five in the 7th, and seven in the 8th. Wow.
He retired 11 in a row through the 5th-9th. Looks like his ‘9 every 5’ mentality over the offseason is really paying off, and it looked like he didn’t even want to be done after the 8th, but Gibbons insisted.
Stroman – “I’m not coming out. Nuh-uh.” pic.twitter.com/KbQ3syDPGL
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) April 15, 2016
Where we are now:
2.5 games back of the Orioles (who have finally lost games! Yay!)
The bad news is… Not plentiful, other than the whole losing-when-they-can’t-score-late thing.
The good news is, there isn’t an off day Friday, so hopefully the bats will stay hot for a 4-game series in Boston! Pitching is also looking good, so just like our friend Marco Estrada here, there’s lots to be excited about!
That’s right Marco. Donaldson is #1 pic.twitter.com/bzYueVLx9o
— Gruber’s Mullet (@GrubersMullet) April 15, 2016
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