Marcus Stroman was outstanding on Monday night, giving rise, perhaps, to more hope than ever that the Jays of the next few years can compete with a rotation not dissimilar to the one that Oakland took to last season’s playoffs.
The A’s had 39-year-old Bartolo Colon as its veteran stalwart, and didn’t give a single start to anyone else over the age of 26, with the rest going to A.J. Griffin (25), Jarrod Parker (24), Tommy Millone (26), Dan Straily (24), Brett Anderson (25), and Sonny Gray (23) — with the youngster, Gray, taking the ball twice in the playoffs, while Colon, Straily and Parker making the other starts.
Sure, those guys were then a touch older than the likes of Aaron Sanchez and Dan Norris, who will both be 21 next season. But still! You can’t say it’s not doable.
Last night’s game was about much more that notion, of course, as you can see in the two GIFs below — the bookends of the night: Stroman’s season nearly ending very badly, as he narrowly avoided being hit in the face by a line drive, and Ryan Goins ending the game in spectacular fashion by reaching back to barehand a ball that took a bad bounce off the turf, preserving Stroman’s Maddux — a complete game, three hit shutout, with eight strikeouts and no walks, which took him just 93 pitches.
These both come from tweets embedded by Ian at the Blue Jay Hunter, but they’re not the only outstanding GIFs he has. There are four more in his post — including the outstanding seventh inning stretch episode featuring Colby Rasmus — so click the link and check out the rest over there.