Series Sum-Up: at San Francisco, May 9-11

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Game 1: Monday, May 9th
Winning Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez
Save: Roberto Osuna


Sanchez went 0-for-3 in his first career plate appearances, but that’s OK because the rest of the offense picked him up. They tagged Giants starter Jake Peavy for five hits and as many walks in five innings. Sanchez threw seven innings, and although he gave up five walks, he only allowed three hits and one run. Two of the walks were of the four-pitch variety, but he followed up each with a three-pitch strikeout.


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Edwin Encarnacion had a good night, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk, and a home run that scored the winning runs in the 3rd inning. Plus he played first base, since there’s no DH in the NL.


Game 2: Tuesday, May 10th
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ
Save: Roberto Osuna


Much ado has been made about Troy Tulowitzki scuffling at the plate lately, but he found his bat in a big way tonight. He hit a solo homer in the 2nd inning to put the Blue Jays on the board, and ended the night 2-for-3 with that home run, a double and 3 runs driven in. Defensively, he made an error, but no harm came from it, and he also turned a beautiful double play in the 4th.



Tulo and Michael Saunders (in the form of pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera) were the only Blue Jays to score, with 2 runs each. Saunders had 3 hits including a triple on the night. The real hero of the game was J.A. Happ, who threw 8.2 shutout innings, allowed 6 hits (none for extra bases) and three walks. He even got a hit of his own, in the 8th!


Happ faced the minimum through five innings, thanks to a double play and Russell Martin throwing out a runner. It looked like he was going to get a complete game, too, until he gave up a single and a walk in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and Osuna was brought in. Osuna gave the fans some more drama, adding a walk to load the bases, but then he struck out Jarrett Parker on 3 pitches to end the game.


Game 3: Wednesday, May 11th (day game)
Jays lose, 4-5 (13 innings)
Starting Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Losing Pitcher: Ryan Tepera


Well if there’s one thing to be said in favour of this game, it’s that the Blue Jays battled. After being down 4-1 in the 8th inning, they scored two runs, and Michael Saunders tied it in the 9th with a solo home run. But over 4 extra innings, they couldn’t capitalize, stranding 5 baserunners (13 total). Troy Tulowitzki made a very un-Tulo-like two errors in this game (the first time he’s done that since 2012), including a very infuriating one that helped the Giants load the bases on Drew Storen in the 10th. There was a bright side to that inning, since Storen obviously escaped unscathed. With one out, he allowed a single, hit a batter, then the Tulo error happened – but then Storen struck out Brandon Belt, and Denard Span grounded out to Encarnacion at first.


The next time they loaded the bases (off Ryan Tepera in the 13th) didn’t go over nearly as well. Tepera hit the first batter with the first pitch. Span bunted, Russell Martin picked up the ball and threw it to second for the force-out, but Tulo couldn’t catch it, so both were safe. That was ruled a fielder’s choice. Runners advanced on a wild pitch, but the next hitter walked anyways. With the bases loaded, Encarnacion snagged a line drive off the bat of Matt Duffy for the first (and only out) of the inning. Then Tepera threw four consecutive balls to Buster Posey. They literally walked the game off. Without a hit in that inning, I might add. Sigh.


Overall Notes:

I don’t know if it’s the lights, the wind, or if the AT&T Park seagulls know how to hypnotize players (and the Giants are immune), but something wonky happened to the Blue Jays’ outfield in this series. Michael Saunders had not one, not two, but three misplayed balls in the first two games, one being the infamous foul that hit him on the head. He managed to recover from a missed ball in Game 2 quickly enough to turn it into a force out at 2nd. Kevin Pillar had a rare mis-read on a ball in Game 1 that wound up being a double, and Jose Bautista over-shot another ball.


And that’s not the only funky stuff happening with outfielders, check out Carrera jamming along to some Journey in the dugout:


Weirdly Specific Record/Milestone Alert:

  • For the first time in Blue Jays history, they had two starting pitchers begin the season 4-0 (Stroman & Happ, prior to this series)
  • With his homer on Monday, Edwin Encarnacion is tied with Joe Carter for the 4th most home runs by a Blue Jay, 203


My favourite player(s) this series: Happ

I don’t want to go all ‘David Price who?’ on you, but I’m not missing him nearly as much as I’d expected. Many folks were wondering if the improvements J.A. Happ made in Pittsburgh last year were sustainable, and so far it’s looking like they are. He’s 5-0 to start the season, has the second-lowest ERA in baseball since last August 15th, and was one strike away from a complete-game shutout on Tuesday. With the lowest starter’s ERA on the team, as well as the fewest walks, he’s shaping up to have an incredible year.


Where we are now:
3rd place, 4 games back of Baltimore


The bad news is, the Jays have been walked three times this year, twice in extra innings, and all in rather frustrating manners. Certain members of the bullpen continue to struggle, and Tulo’s new glove isn’t quite the Old Reliable that his ‘pancake’ was.


The good news is, they’re off to face Texas, and we all know how much this team loves to beat Texas!


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