Game 1: Monday, June 13th
Jays lose, 0-7
Losing Pitcher: R.A. Dickey
You know, over the last three games, this team averaged seven runs a game, which is nothing to scoff at. But that’s only because they scored eleven in one game, ten in the second… and zero in this one. Wildly inconsistent. R.A. Dickey gave up three runs in 6.1 innings, during which time his team only gave him three hits in return. They got three more hits after Dickey left the game, and five total walks, but not a single Blue Jays runner got past second base.
Canadian pitcher Scott Diamond made his Blue Jays debut in the 9th and didn’t exactly impress – the first four batters he faced reached, via two walks, a double and a single. Three scored.
Game 2: Tuesday, June 14th (day game)
JAYS WIN! 11-3
Winning Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
It would seem that the bats just went to bed early the night before so they could be up in time for this 12:37 start time. I’m not complaining! The Jays jumped out to a 9-0 lead in 2.2 innings off rookie starter Zack Eflin, who was making his major league debut. Those nine came, in part, via three home runs – Kevin Pillar to lead off the 2nd, a two-run dinger to Ezequiel Carrera in the 3rd, and a grand slam to Josh Donaldson in the same inning. They sent ten batters to the plate and had five hits in that 6-run 3rd. Edwin Encarnacion added two runs via a homer in the 7th.
Stroman had a strong 7.0 innings, as he allowed just two runs and six hits, only walking one. He struck out six and faced the minimum through three innings – Cody Asche got a hit in the 3rd but was caught stealing by Russell Martin. The first Phillies run didn’t come until the 6th. In total, the Blue Jays had fourteen hits and five walks, while the Phillies had seven and one.
Game 3: Wednesday, June 15th
JAYS WIN! 7-2
Winning Pitcher: Marco Estrada
Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson aren’t cooling off anytime soon, it would seem – both homered again today, and Donaldson scored two runs to Encarnacion’s three. The duo also pulled off a double-steal after they both walked in the 4th inning, which set them up to be driven in by Russell Martin and Ryan Goins, respectively. Goins and Martin were the other two Blue Jays to score runs – Goins had a triple in the 2nd but was stranded, he then scored in the 4th on a Devon Travis double. Martin, who was hit with a pitch twice in the game, scored on the second HBP when Travis drove him in in the 7th.
Marco Estrada continued on his run of great starts. He gave up four hits, walked just one, and struck out five over 6.2 innings. The only two Phillies runs of the game were charged to him, both of which were driven in by Cody Asche. Estrada admitted post-game to not feeling his sharpest, and was grateful to his defense as Josh Donaldson turned two excellent plays behind him.
Game 4: Thursday, June 16th
JAYS WIN! 11-2
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ
There are certain things you can rely on happening every day. The sun will rise, the earth will turn, etc. Now it seems we can add ‘Edwin Encarnacion will hit a home run‘ to that list. He was not alone on this day – Michael Saunders, Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis joined him. They hit a season-high five home runs total, as Pillar actually homered twice. Russell Martin hit a double in the 8th that drove in EE – Edwin would have been on first if not for a bizarre error by Odubel Herrera. Herrera, forgetting how many outs there were, threw a ball into the audience, which means Edwin advanced two bases. That also gave Martin a personal-best streak of seven games with an RBI.
As for Happ, he was truly dominant over 7 innings with only three hits and two walks. The only run that scored on his watch was unearned, as Tommy Joseph reached on an error in the 7th. Happ needed just 89 pitches to complete his outing – and even contributed to his own run support, after he reached on an error on a sac bunt, then scored. He also singled in the 5th, before being caught out on a double play. But he didn’t look too thrilled to be hitting.
Silly NL. Why are you doing this to our pitchers? pic.twitter.com/sz4qpiKRan
— Daryl (@ateDARYL) June 17, 2016
Mike Wilner told a hilarious story on Twitter about the Blue Jays pitchers switching out R.A. Dickey’s warm-up music before his start on Monday.
Jose Bautista ran into the wall trying to make a catch in the 7th inning of Thursday’s game, and left the game immediately afterwards with soreness in his foot. He was placed on the DL the next day. Michael Saunders left Tuesday’s game with hamstring tightness, but returned to play each game afterwards and appeared to be fine.
I think Kevin Pillar must like hitting in NL East parks – the only other multi-homer game he’s had in his life came last June against the Nationals, in Washington. That was off of Max Scherzer and was pretty exciting, as it’s something no other right-handed hitter has ever accomplished against Scherzer.
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- The Blue Jays have scored 10+ runs in four of six games for the first time ever
- Marco Estrada continued his franchise-record streak, with his 10th consecutive start of 6+ innings and 5 or fewer hits allowed.
- Estrada’s streak has also now tied the MLB record
My favourite player(s) this series: Encarnacion/Donaldson/Pillar/Travis/Goins/Happ
I can’t just pick the entire offense, can I? No? OK… Here’s two-thirds of the offense. Plus a pitcher, for good measure.
Encarnacion is the obvious choice, with his three-game home run streak, five hits, six runs scored, seven RBI. He’s now the MLB leader in RBI, and the only game this series that they lost was a game EE didn’t play in. Coincidence?
Josh Donaldson had nine hits and eight runs scored, including three doubles and two home runs. He drove in six and had and five walks. He now has a nine-game hitting streak and a twenty-one game on-base streak. In addition to his work with the bat, he did some great defending at third base, including this play:
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 16, 2016
Usually you wouldn’t overlook Kevin Pillar having three home runs in the same series… But when you look at the two above, it’s kind of understandable. Superman had six hits with the three homers, drove in four runs, and scored four.
Ryan Goins has been struggling mightily at the plate this season. That’s why I want to recognize his performance in this series – he made the most of his limited opportunity through three of the four games. He went 4-for-14 (.285) with a triple and a double, but also contributed in important situations as he drove in two and scored two.
Devon Travis was only put into Thursday’s game after Jose Bautista left with an injury – but he homered in his first at-bat, bringing his hit total for the series to seven, and his RBI total to three. He also debuted a new home run celebration with Pillar, which made me gig
— Daryl (@ateDARYL) June 17, 2016
J.A. Happ also deserves a shoutout for seven innings on 89 pitches with only one run, and for getting a hit to keep his .333 batting average (2-for-6) this season alive. AL pitchers hitting is just too funny.
Where we are now:
Third place, 2.0 games back of Baltimore – but in possession of the second AL wildcard spot!
The bad news is, Jose Bautista is injured.
The good news is, the rest of the offense seems like it’s more than capable of making up for the lack of Joey Bats. The next series is also against division-leading Baltimore, and given that they won 3 of 4 games against them last time around, I’m optimistic about their chances!
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