Pillar puns! Holy shit, the Pillar puns. Because that game was the Kevin Pillar show at the end there, and I wasn’t immune to getting wrapped up in it…
Lots wife must have turned around because that was a PILLAR ASSAULT! (I’ll show myself out.)
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) June 10, 2014
Of course, it could have been a “Pillar Assault” of a different kind for us to talk about. Entering the game as a defensive replacement in left in the ninth inning, Pillar ill-advisedly tried to be a hero on a Kurt Suzuki liner — with two outs, a runner on second, and a two run lead — refusing to concede a hit, missing the ball, and allowing the tying run into scoring position in the process. Suzuki was plated after a shitty fly out to no-man’s land off the bat of Eduardo Escobar, before Casey Janssen finished off a nervy at-bat with Daniel Santana with a strikeout. The game shouldn’t have even got that far, as Steve Tolleson couldn’t make the transfer on a double play ball earlier in the inning that would have ended it, with the Jays up 4-2, but Pillar managed to bail both himself and Tolleson out, cashing a diving, pinch-running Erik Kratz with a bloop hit in the bottom of the frame, after Dioner Navarro walked, Anthony Gose atrociously couldn’t get a bunt down and struke out, and the amazingly awesome Jose Reyes singled to setup the winning play.
Bloop or not, it was a hell of a walk-off, because despite getting the ball to Janssen with a 4-2 lead in the ninth, it’s not like this was ever a no-doubter. R.A. Dickey looked to be in the throes of another bed-shitting after back-to-back home runs to lead off the game, though he settled down and pitched well until getting to one out in the sixth inning. His late-game issues continued, though, as a Josh Willingham triple (on a ball misplayed by Jose Bautista in a vaguely similar fashion to the one we’d see butchered by Pillar later), a bizarre hit batsman, and then a walk to load the bases led to his exit. John Gibbons, somewhat awesomely, brought Dustin McGowan into the situation — a late game reliever taking the hill in a very high leverage situation, despite there being eleven outs still to get (a move that absolves Gibbers from whateverthefuck he later had Gose doing, bunting with two strikes in the bottom of the ninth) — and a nifty turn of a double play from Reyes and (especially) Lawrie later and Dickey’s line ends up looking pretty alright!
Hey, and while we’re praising folks, how about the guys we’ve come to routinely expect greatness from: Bautista one-for-three with a walk, Reyes three-for-five with a huge insurance home run and the hit to setup Pillar’s big moment, and Encarnacion going two-for-three with a walk and a three-run shot.
I don’t believe in “teams of destiny” or anything, but I also don’t believe that “Kevin Pillar” just drove in “Erik Kratz” to win for TOR.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) June 10, 2014
It was a dramatic one — a nail biter, an emotional rollercoaster, and a fuckin’ thriller. Or is that… I don’t know… a Pillar?