Blue Jays Beat Rangers (Again)

The Toronto Blue Jays have come into Arlington, where the Texas Rangers own the best home record in baseball, and won the first two games of a four game series. Tonight, they did so by taking advantage of an opposing starting pitcher, Matt Harrison, who looked uncomfortable and awkward from the first inning on to the third when he was mercifully relieved by Brett Tomko. Both Rangers pitchers combined to give up ten runs which somehow ended up being more than the three runs given up by Toronto’s starter Jesse Litsch who eventually gave way to Frank Francisco, Casey Janssen and Shawn Camp who all threw a scoreless inning in relief.

Anatomy Of Adam Lind’s Plate Appearances

  1. In the first inning, Lind hit the first pitch he saw for a single to right field that scored Yunel Escobar from third base for the first run of the game.
  2. In the third inning, Lind took a strike, took a ball and then crushed the third pitch from Harrison to left center field for an opposite field solo home run.
  3. In the fourth inning, Lind swung on the first pitch he saw and sent it over the fence in right field for a three run home run that scored Corey Patterson and Jose Bautista.
  4. In the sixth inning, Lind grounded out to first base after a five pitch at bat.
  5. In the ninth inning, Lind grounded out to second base on a 1-2 pitch.

Summary: Lind went 3 for 5, knocking in five runs and contributing .222 WPA, the highest win probability added by any player in tonight’s game.

Biggest Play Of The Game

Adam Lind’s solo shot in the third inning increased the probability of the Jays winning more than any other play tonight.

Biggest Opportunity Missed

In the second inning, the Rangers batters got to Jesse Litsch with two out, putting up all three of their runs thanks to production from the bottom half of their order. Ian Kinsler couldn’t keep the rally going, flying out to left to end the inning. It was the closest the Rangers would get to keeping the game competitive.

The Aggravating Thing That John Farrell Did Tonight

Whether it was called for or not, Corey Patterson’s drag bunt in the first inning with Yunel Escobar already on base was a clever move that caught the Rangers infield completely off guard. I mention it not only because it led to the Blue Jays opening the game with five runs in the first inning, but also because I’m normally critical of bunts. There’s nothing wrong with using any strategy as long as it leads to getting on base and avoiding an out.

Even though it worked out okay, why would Farrell possibly allow John McDonald to attempt to steal second base with two out and Mike McCoy at the plate in the first inning? Do we really need McCoy starting any inning at the plate? #NotWorthTheRisk

The Statistic You Won’t Believe

Before tonight’s game, Matt Harrison had the fifth lowest ERA in the American League at 1.88. I’m going to go ahead and claim that his 4.02 FIP had more predictive value for future performances.

Also, in their last 13 games against the Rangers, the Blue Jays have hit 31 home runs. BAHAM!

Shutdowns/Meltdowns

Brett Tomko’s performance tonight would technically be considered a meltdown, but since you can’t really melt things that have already been destroyed, it’s difficult to pin much blame on him for the way that tonight’s score turned out.

Stray Observations Of The Game

Gregg Zaun’s beer gut provided by Gregg Zaun.

I watched tonight’s game from Hurricane’s on Bloor Street near Ossington in Toronto. There were a lot of hockey fans in attendance watching guys move around on ice wearing boots with knives. But a television set was reserved for the ballgame.

After the game got out of hand, what was with all of the camera time devoted to Nolan Ryan’s sour face? We get it. He used to be a good pitcher and now he’s the owner of the team. I really got my fill of that story during last year’s playoffs.

I keep waiting for Corey Patterson to be as terrible as his numbers tell me he is. It hasn’t happened. It’s worth noting that last season, he had a .344 wOBA against right handed pitching. Bautista Part Deux.

It’s funny how so far this season I’ve been more impressed with Jesse Litsch in his losses than in his wins. Tonight could have very easily gone the other way with Litsch allowing seven hits and two walks while only striking out one. I still prefer him to Jo-Jo Reyes.

Seven of the Rangers ten hits tonight came from the seven, eight and nine spots in their batting order.

It’s hard to give much credit to anyone on a team that lost 10-3, but Yorvit Torrealba played a very good game tonight, both defensively and offensively.