April 16th vs White Sox

Batter pLI WPA
Bonifacio – RF / CF 1.18 -0.122
Cabrera – LF 0.88 -0.049
Arencibia – C 0.99 0.170
Encarnacion – 1B 1.21 0.043
Lind – 1B 1.68 0.138
Lawrie – 3B 2.22 -0.242
Rasmus – CF 0.82 0.155 Pitcher pLI WPA
Davis – PH / LF  3.13 -0.154 Johnson – SP 1.12 0.156
Izturis – 2B 1.75 -0.241 Delabar – RP 2.44 -0.287
Kawasaki – SS 0.88 -0.062 Oliver – RP 1.20 -0.007
Total 1.42 -0.363 Total 1.40 -0.137

Bests / Worsts of the game after the jump!

GBOAT: J.P. Arencibia, 17.0%
Griffin: Steve Delabar, -28.7%
Impact At-Bat: Arencibia Solo HR, Bot 7, 18.9%
Impact Pitch: Dayan Viciedo RBI Double, Top 9, -31.6%
Highest Leverage AB: Brett Lawrie Sacrifice Fly, Bot 9, 5.55
Highest Leverage Opp. AB: Viciedo RBI Double, Top 9, 4.62
Lineup Contribution: -36.3%
Pitching Contribution: -13.7%
Average Leverage Index: 1.41
Chart explanation

- Josh Johnson’s line: 7.0ip, 4h, 2er, 2bb, 8k, 3.51FIP. Very, very nasty movement on his slider. Good to see.

- Steve Delabar (8 batters faced, 3 walks, 1 hit, 2 earned runs) earns a Meltdown.

- The 3-4-5 hitters all went 2-for-4.

- The biggest talking point of the game occured in the 7th when Rajai Davis pinch hit for Colby Rasmus, who had gone 2-for-2 with a home run at that point. Davis struck out in that at-bat (vs a lefty) and flew out in a big spot with 1-out in the 9th (against a righty), while Rasmus’ defensive replacement Bonifacio had the game-winning RBI double fly over his head. The “Rasmus would of cot that” crew was out in full force, but the legitimacy of the claim is up for debate. Some say that the ball wasn’t going to be caught by anyone, the counter being that Bonifacio took a pretty terrible route on it. Both may be true.

- Say what you will about Delabar’s night out of the ‘pen (it was bad), the Jays lost this game because they failed to score more than 2 runs off Dylan Axelrod.

- Another game without Jose Bautista, who missed his 2nd straight with back spasms. Makes me feel silly for believing he’d literally be back after one game though I’m sure I shouldn’t be surprised about being wrong in regards to Jays injuries by now.

- Solo home runs from Arencibia (5) and Rasmus (4).

- The legend of Kawasaki grew thanks to a diving snare that led to a bow for every player on the field. A baseball season is a very long and arduous  journey and these little love affairs with bit players that we all know won’t last forever are a fun way to get through the doldrums of a 162-game season. Don’t let someone trying to troll the worst player on the team bring you down (parody only works on deserving targets), just enjoy it while it’s here. Kawasaki Everything.

- Part of me really thought Brett Lawrie was going to win the damn game when he came up as the winning run in the 9th inning. He managed a sac fly, which actually hurt the WPA due to the lack out remaining outs. He went 0′fer on the night but looked exactly like we all hoped defensively. Also maybe I’m crazy but he appeared to be a little thinner than I remember. Maybe he lost weight or maybe my mind just remember him with superhuman sized arms.

- This was a hell of a game that had all of the highest leverage at-bats come at the very end. Tough to ask for much more of a game on a Tuesday night.

- This evening’s projected match-up is staff ace J.A. Happ (2.89FIP, 0.3fWAR) v Jose Quintana (3.26FIP, 0.2fWAR)

{All numbers via Fangraphs}

{gif via Matt from House of the Bluebird}

Comments (57)

  1. Lawrie did look a little skinnier. and whiter.. like he hasn’t seen the sun in 3 months.

  2. It WAS Gibbons’ fault.

    • It’s not about fault. Very bad decision. None of us are smart for observing that. Will Gibbons take a different path next time? Hopefully. That’s all I can ask.

    • Its incredibly unlikely the decision impacted the outcome of the game. What, because Davis happened to have a poor at-bat means you ignore 1000s of ABs of data that show he is a better option vs LHP? And you’re dreaming if you think Rasmus gets to that ball… if anything he gets a bit closer making it less likely hes able to play it properly off the wall in which case the runner scores from first. See, ridiculous ‘what-ifs’ can work both ways.

      I wouldnt have made the same decision, but it is certainly defensible and the odds that the decision cost the Jays the game are about the same as the odds that Rajai is more likely to get on in the 7th than Colby was (slim).

      • You are also assuming that the double was preordained. That if Rasmus was left in then the AB goes exactly the same and the ball is put in play the same way. If you believe that, then you also have to believe that every thing in the game was preordained, including Gibbons’ decision making and the final score.

      • But it was only the 7th inning, you have to assume that spot will get another at bat, most likely against a better righty.

        Would you rather have a hot Rasumu face a lefty or Rajai face a righty later in the game at a potentially higher leverage at bat.

      • Over 1000 AB’s Davis is the better option vs LHP.
        No argument.
        But we’re not talking about thousands of AB’s.
        We’re talking about 1 AB with another possible later in the game,
        and it could come vs LHP or vs RHP.

        When Rasmus is “hot,” I don’t take him out against anybody,
        advanced metrics be damned.
        Remember that 2 month stretch last year?
        He was a different guy than in the other 4 months.

        There is a place for using advanced metrics.
        This was not one of them.

  3. Yes I noticed he looked thinner as well. Not sure if that is good or bad or if he just wasn’t wearing that blue under armour vest thing.

    Good to have him back. If you were landing at Normandy, he’s that guy you want charging the beach with you. Didn’t realize how much I missed him.

  4. The double was a rocket, and Colby might not have touched it, but I would’ve felt better if he had been the one to have the chance to not catch it.

  5. The part with pinch-hitting for Rasmus with Davis that made be cringe is what came true in the 9th inning….

    When Lind singled, my mind was cheering that Davis could come in as a pinch runner…Nope, already used – 9th could have been much different with Davis as a threat to steal

    • I agree. Davis’ weapon is his legs, not his ability to flail at the plate in an attempt to get on

    • This was the real bummer. With the thin bench, the Jays had no ability to move the important run into scoring position. Davis would have been infinitely more valuable in that spot – especially given Cletus had hit a dinger already in the game. I understand what Gibby was doing – but it likely bit him in the ass.

  6. He isn’t just a little thinner. To me it looks like somewhat let the air out of a balloon. Shouldn’t be difficult to get a screencap from last night and compare to 2012 (I’m too lazy to do…)

  7. Definitely skinnier. I think he was supposed to be 210/220 last year, and he looked more like 190/200 last night. Looks a lot more like 2011 Lawrie than 2012 Lawrie, which if the results follow would be a very good thing.

  8. I agree that Rasmus probably wouldn’t have caught that ball either. And maybe Bonifacio took a bad route. But I also thought the outfield was playing fairly shallow, which may have contributed to that play. During my brief and fucking terrible baseball career, whenever they decided to put me in the outfield I was always given the same instruction: it’s better to play deep and let a ball drop in front of you than to play too shallow and let a ball get over your head. I’m not saying play back at the fence, but if the outfield was playing a bit deeper maybe Bonifacio has a bit of a better shot at making the catch — assuming he still doesn’t fuck up the route.

    Anyone else agree? Maybe it was just me that saw the shallow OF play.

    • You have to play somewhat shallow there because it’s a tie game and you don’t want the runner on 2nd scoring on a single through the infield. You force them to beat you by squaring up the ball.

  9. My goodness Lawrie is fantastic out there on D.

  10. Lawrie looked amazing on D last night. Covers a lot of ground and has a cannon of an arm. So good to have him back.

  11. Lawrie looked outstanding on both sides of the ball I thought. The Cuban missle robbed him of a hit.

    One thing that did worry me though, I was watching the game with a buddy and as soon as Lawrie walked out I said “shit, he looks Brett Lawries skiiny little brother”.
    I’m hoping the weight loss was by design.

  12. What is the use of boni and davis? Seriously. Just awful baseball players. Cant hit, cant play d, have noodle arms. As far as im concerned, the only use for them is as pinch runners. Its too bad the FO and manager dont realize this

    • Bonifacio was thought of, by many experts as the sleeper in the Marlins trade. Even his fellow Marlins teammates expressed to everyone how great he would be.That even though he could play second,CF was his natural position. With his speed and ability he was definitely not a bench player and should be playing every day.
      Amazing what a couple of weeks can do to a players rep.

      • Davis career ops (.692). Bonifacio even worse career ops (.669). Wells, who they just dfa’d has a respectable .752 career ops in favour of davis. Its not the be all and end all but its a good indicator as to how bad they are at hitting. Also, it wouldnt be the first time the media overhyped a player and the management irrationally fell in love with a player.

    • You do realize there were two regulars not playing, right?

    • I certainly don’t see the point of having BOTH Davis and Bonifacio on the team.

      They’re decent 4th outfielders. Bonifacio is not an infielder. But, hey, maybe a team like the Braves still want him.

      Sadly, the “idea” of Bonifacio is much better than what he actually does. But he’s not really any better than Davis.

  13. I was shocked by how much smaller Lawrie looked last night. And not shocked that his two-strike approach hasn’t improved a wit.

    DIMED!!

  14. I blame the bats for not winning the game last night.

  15. Quintana? That creep can roll, man.

  16. AA has really screwed up all his previously great work in creating one of the best farm systems in the league. It’s going to take us a long time to get out of this hole.

  17. Boni had a .360 OBP in 2011 playing as a regular, racking up 2.7 wins. His defense value (per BR) was actually below replacement level, but his offense was supposed to be a plus. He had 2012 cut short by injury but still stole bases at a ridiculous rate.

    I think it’s totally fair that people expected him to be at least decent, but man does his swing look ugly, not to mention the complete lack of plate discipline. It’s baffling.

  18. Here’s a gif from last year to compare. I didn’t notice that much of a difference, aside from the hair…

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Tf5EWh55BWc/UFPTii_VztI/AAAAAAAAEkM/eZU1TzcwiEM/s1600/Lawrie-Aviles.gif

  19. Hey, we can all blame Gibbers here for the pinch hit. But that would be the easy thing to do.
    Only a mindless idiot would actually believe that one move changed the outcome of the entire game, c’mon.

    And to be brutally honest, when he made the switch in game, I thought it was a good move. Tough lefty in there, late in the game, get Davis in there to get on base. Davis hits LHP much better than Colby does. And despite Colby’s 2/2 day., let’s just remember it was against Dylan Axelrod.

  20. 9 runs in their past three games. That’s the takeaway, for me. It’s the bats.

  21. Who cares about this the pinch hit decision or the double over Boney? The main takeaway from this game is Josh Johnson striking out 8, and getting through 7 innings with just the 2 runs.

    If he keeps doing stuff like that for the next while, the Jays have a chance to stay in the hunt long enough for Reyes to get back.

  22. JP Arencibia hasn’t taken a walk since his first game of the season

    • Agreed. The guy’s BA is among the best on the team but his OBP is like .283. If he just took and/or fouled off more bad pitches, he’d be doing great.

  23. I’m glad the previous comment alludes OBPs, because guess who’s one of the like, 2 guys on the team with a better-than-.300 OBP? Colby Rasmus.

    As for Bonifacio in CF last night – I don’t know what kind of defensive alignment they were going for on that play – my assumption would be that he was playing shallow because a single might score a run and playing it shallow would afford the best chance to throw a runner out at the plate. However, seeing as how Rasmus has a better arm that Boni, I’d assume that Rasmus would be playing deeper on a guy that hit 25 homeruns last year, would take a better route to that ball, and would catch it. I believe Rasmus gets to that ball, or at least is able to play it before it gets to the wall. Either way, only one run scored on the hit, so it’s all moot unless Rasmus can catch it.

    My bigger concern with pinch-hitting for Rasmus is that on a roster that is struggling to get base-runners and struggling even more to get them in, why are you pulling a guy who is 2-for-2 with a walk, is a team-leader in OBP and OPS at the moment, for a guy who is better used in a running situation (for example, in the 9th when Davis could have run for Lind)? And, as we saw, the batting switch weakened the outfield as well.

    As for Delabar, he had a good first inning, and a bad second inning. Nothing about his first inning would indicate he shouldn’t have gone out there for the second. Of course, the bullpen has had a bit of a rest the last few days, so I don’t see why Gibby would run a guy out there for a second inning if he didn’t need to, but he’s the manager and we’re not, so I guess he had his reasons.

    I think the thing that bugged me the most, aside from only being able to score 2 runs off Axelrod, was the pitch for strike one that Lawrie watched in the 9th inning. It was a hanging breaking ball that was just the fattest pitch thrown all game by any pitcher, and Lawrie just watched it. To me, that’s the pitch a slugger dreams of, and one he definitely could have at least tied the game with, I think.

  24. Gibbons is by far not the main factor in the loss, what about the two walks and then the “double” (Boni did take a bad route but its a 50/50 Ramus catches it) by Delebar? Or the terrible 7-8-9 hitters? (I guess you could say Rasmus should have been up in the 9th so possible some gibby there) Yes we lost but really we should have had many more runs if people would get some singles.

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