Game 1: Monday, September 4
JAYS WIN!!! 10-4
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ
Toronto was off and running in the 1st thanks to a three-run homer from Kendrys Morales. He drove in a Steve Pearce, who’d doubled, and Justin Smoak, who had walked, off of Rick Porcello. In the 2nd, the Jays got a pair of singles but no runs. In the bottom half, Boston loaded the bases on a double, a walk, and a throwing error by J.A. Happ. Following a forceout which Raffy Lopez made at home for the second out of the inning, Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run single.
Three Mo runs coming right up! 💪 pic.twitter.com/U7l6Du3MUo
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 5, 2017
Jose Bautista homered to centre in the 3rd, widening the Jays’ lead. After they stranded another pair in the 4th, Darwin Barney hit an RBI double in the 6th and Lopez got to Porcello for the third Blue Jays homer of the night, a two-run shot to right centre. Nunez drove in another run for Boston as the third of three consecutive two-out singles. The run was charged to Happ, who’d been pulled after the second single, but the hit was off Dominic Leone. Leone started the 7th, allowed a leadoff walk to Andrew Benintendi, threw a wild pitch, and then gave up a single.
Aaron Loup came in the face the pinch hitter Mitch Moreland. Moreland grounded into a foreceout that scored Benintendi, making it 7-4, but Ryan Tepera came in and ended the inning without farther damage. The Jays rallied again in the 9th, when Smoak hit a solo home run, Bautista doubled and scored on a Morales double, and Kevin Pillar singled to drive in Morales. The Jays had fourteen hits, three of which belonged to Pearce; the Red Sox had nine. Josh Donaldson was the lone position player without a hit. Happ took the win after 5.2 innings with one earned run (three total) allowed on six hits and three walks.
Because this was the game that would never end (and it went on and on, my friends), I wrote a full inning-by-inning breakdown. You can read that here!
If a quick recap is what you want, here you go. Marco Estrada had an amazing seven-inning scoreless start. The Jays scored two runs in support of Estrada – one in the 2nd on two hits and a Teoscar Hernandez sac fly, the other from a Kendrys Morales home run in the 6th. Roberto Osuna blew the save on two hits and a walk that tied the game in the 9th.
Across ten innings’ worth of extra-inning madness, the Blue Jays stranded six runners and the Red Sox stranded four. Tom Koehler, Luis Santos, and Matt Dermody did the heavy lifting for the bullpen, keeping the Red Sox off the board. In the 19th, Chris Rowley was in his 4th inning of work when he gave up a leadoff double to Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez singled, Betts scored and the 6-hour marathon was over. All told, the Jays had twelve hits and four walks and struck out twenty-three times, the Sox had eleven hits and five walks and twelve strikeouts. Including the starters, the teams combined to use seventeen pitchers.
Game 3: Wednesday, September 6
Jays lose, 1-6
Losing Pitcher: Joe Biagini
The Blue Jays scored first, after Miguel Montero worked a bases-loaded walk in the 1st. But Doug Fister kept them scoreless after that, going 7 innings, and allowing four hits. The Red Sox scored off Joe Biagini with a single and a groundout in the bottom of the 1st. The Jays got a leadoff single in the 2nd but stranded it, and Biagini set the Sox down in order, with some help from Michael Saunders:
The leap. The extension. The catch.
Well played, Captain Canada. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/50o60omKLb
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 7, 2017
In the 3rd, with a rainstorm beginning, Biagini allowed a single and a walk, but stranded them both. Boston really got to him in the 4th – after a leadoff walk, Xander Bogaerts tripled and Rafael Devers singled. Then Sandy Leon hit into a forceout, but the Blue Jays didn’t challenge when Devers ran into Richard Urena at second as Urena was attempting to turn a double play. They got the first out of the inning, but when Jackie Bradley hit a home run it drove in two thanks to the lack of challenge. The rain picked up as Tim Mayza entered with one out and one on, and Darwin Barney set off a gorgeous double play to end it.
Another Boston run came in to score in the 6th, when Bradley reached on a ball that Urena dropped thanks to the rain. Carlos Ramirez entered with one out, and hit Chris Young with a pitch to load the bases. There was a delay while the pitching coach went to check the mound. Andrew Benintendi popped a ball up to left, but Saunders dropped it – Saunders then threw home in time for a forceout, and Montero, after touching the plate, threw to third base for another forceout, ending the inning on an unusual double play.
The good ol’ 7-2-5 inning-ending double play.
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 7, 2017
Ryan Goins reached on a fielding error in the 6th but was stranded at third base, and after that the Jays didn’t get another baserunner. They struck out ten times, took three walks and had four hits – all off Fister. Ramirez pitched two innings, and Aaron Loup pitched one. Each walked a batter and struck out one, but didn’t allow any hits or runs.
After being injured in the last series, Marcus Stroman is slated to pitch on Friday when the team returns home to face the Detroit Tigers.
Manager John Gibbons was away this week attending to personal matters. He’s expected to be back by Friday as well.
Weirdly Specific Record Alert:
- In Tuesday’s marathon game, the Blue Jays batters set a new record for the most strikeouts (the previous mark was 22)
- Tuesday’s game tied the club record for longest game (by innings) with nineteen.
- The double play started by Michael Saunders on Wednesday is possibly the first recorded instance of a 7-2-5 double play with forceouts at home and third base.
My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Estrada/Barney/Dermody
Marco Estrada’s terrific start on Tuesday was overshadowed by the blown save and lengthy game, but he deserves a ton of praise. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and three walks. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 2nd and shut down ten batters in a row to close out his start. Considering the struggles he had earlier in the season (allowing six runs in five innings in just his last start), this was vintage Estrada and good to see.
Darwin Barney had a 4-for-13 series, including two doubles and an RBI. He also made a few defensive gem, including a few which may have taken away hits in the extra-inning game.
Matt Dermody came into the 13th inning of Tuesday’s game and was pretty incredible when his team needed him most. He threw three scoreless innings including three strikeouts, allowed two hits but stranded both, and didn’t walk anybody. After allowing a leadoff single in the 13th, he set down seven batters in a row. As a left-handed pitcher, Dermody has had pretty severe splits this season – RHB are hitting .351 against him, compared to .111 for LHB. Despite that, he carved through the Red Sox lineup capably even though only three of the ten individuals he faced were lefties (Sandy Leon, a switch-hitter, batted right-handed against him).
Where We Are Now:
Last in the AL East, 15 games back of Boston
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