Redemption Failed: Jays Lose 7-6

Say what you will about tonight’s 7-6 loss to the Texas Rangers, but it certainly was exciting. A back and forth battle ended when third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, whose third inning error led to the Rangers putting up six runs, missed his chance at redemption with two on in the botom of the ninth and struck out swinging on the ninth pitch he saw.

It’s frustrating to see such an offensive outburst go to waste, but I suppose that’s what happens at the Ballpark In Arlington.

Anatomy Of A Zero Earned Run Inning

The bottom of the third inning:

  1. With Jo-Jo Reyes on the mound, David Murphy lines out to Yunel Escobar.
  2. Yorvit Torrealba reaches first base on an error by, you guessed it, Edwin Encarnacion.
  3. Reyes strikes out Mitch Moreland in eight pitches.
  4. Torrealba advances to second on a wild pitch.
  5. Ian Kinsler draws a walk in eight pitches.
  6. Elvis Andrus singles to left field, scoring Torrealba and advancing Kinsler to third base. Andrus gets all the way to second on Travis Snider’s throw back into the infield.
  7. Michael Young doubles to left center field. Both Kinsler and Andrus score.
  8. Adrian Beltre gets hit by a pitch.
  9. Nelson Cruz singles to right field, scoring Young and sending Beltre all the way to third base.
  10. Mike Napoli doubles to left field, making Corey Patterson look foolish, and clearing the bases for two more runs.
  11. Jo-Jo Reyes is mercifully relieved by Carlos Villanueva.

Summary: Throwing 53 pitches, Reyes lasts two and two third innings, facing 15 batters, allowing five hits, walking one and hitting another, while only striking out one batter. The Rangers score six runs while Reyes is pitching. His ERA for the night: 0.00.

When will this experiment be over?

Biggest Play Of The Game

Michael Young’s bases clearing double in that infamous third inning increased his team’s chance of winning by more than 20%.

Biggest Opportunity Missed

With only one out in the second inning and Travis Snider on first base, J.P. Arencibia grounded into an inning ending double play that reduced the Blue Jays win probability by .119. Only Corey Patterson getting caught stealing with none out in the sixth came close to being the most disappointing play of the game.

The Aggravating Things That John Farrell Did Tonight

How is it possible to do worse than Corey Patterson batting second in the lineup? Why not try positioning Mike McCoy and his career .263 OBP in the lineup right behind Yunel Escobar and ahead of Jose Bautista? Yep, that will do the trick. It ended up working out okay tonight (ignoring the top of the ninth), but let’s hope that Rajai Davis’ impending return eliminates this option from future use.

Octavio Dotel has absolutely no business being brought into a game to face left handed batters. After the Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the seventh, he was brought in for the bottom half of the inning. The first batter due up was the left handed Mitch Moreland who stepped up and hit a home run off the second pitch he saw Last year, opposing batters accumulated a .993 OPS against him. When facing Dotel, the average left handed hitter is like Jose Bautista.

The Statistics You Won’t Believe

Before tonight’s game, Toronto Blue Jays players have combined for three wins above replacement. 2.1 of that belongs to Jose Bautista.

Juan Rivera has a six game hit streak going right now. His OBP in 27 PAs during those last six games is a Bautistaesque .519.

Shutdowns/Meltdowns

Carlos Villanueva continues to impress me. I was excited about the Blue Jays acquiring him so cheaply from the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason, and he hasn’t disappointed. Tonight was no exception. Coming into the game in the third inning, Villanueva pitched three and a third scoreless innings, earning a .162 WPA for an official shutdown.

Octavio Dotel had a meltdown by giving up the Moreland home run that anyone who’s ever visited Baseball Reference could’ve predicted. He contributed to his team’s WPA dropping by .125.

Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver both get a shutdown for Texas, pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth inning respectively.

Stray Observations Of The Game

In the third inning, a Texas Rangers fan reached over with his baseball glove and snagged a sure Jose Bautista foul out away from Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. Bautista ended up walking later in the at bat. It’s reassuring to know that Toronto doesn’t have a monopoly on clueless baseball fans.

It’s pretty easy to criticize the way that Corey Patterson treats the warning track (like it’s that game you played when you were a kid where the carpet was hot lava and you couldn’t let your feet touch it), but let’s try to remember that at this point in his career, he’s not really a center fielder. He’s started a combined 24 games there the last three seasons.

I’m not sure why John Farrell gets credit for Jose Bautista running hard on an infield grounder.

Are there any regrets associated with the Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco trade? I’m not there yet, but I was impressed with Napoli both at the plate and surprisingly in the field tonight.

Corey Patterson continues to play so much better than Corey Patterson ought to be playing. He got on base three times tonight and scored two runs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get chances in the lineup against right handed pitching even after Rajai Davis comes back.

Totally observation based, but J.P. Arencibia looked better behind the plate tonight than what I’ve seen in the past.

Nelson Cruz is a really good baseball player.

Comments (35)

  1. Is the idea to keep trotting Reyes out there until he looks so awful to every other team in the league that no one would dare claim him from waivers? How many starts before AA feels comfortable sending him down…

  2. This seems like the strategy. Haha.

  3. Wilner’s defending Farrell’s right to learn his way through the job. Fine, but why is it so difficult to figure out that Dotel can’t get lefties out?

    And I still bet Reyes makes it all the way to May. Eveland did.

  4. Alex has to be a complete idiot if he thinks that somebody is going to claim jojo on waivers after tonight’s disaster.

    And how does Farrell, a guy who game from an organization big on using stats, comes to Toronto and completely disregards it? He manages like it’s a beer league.

  5. I love how you shit all over, ‘you guessed it’, Encarnacion after he made a nice play to snag the hard grounder and made a perfectly fine throw to 1B.. Lind lifted up on the bounce to quickly. there was absolutely nothing wrong with the throw.

    Lind has been good so far at 1B but he definitely should have had that pick. It was a knee high 1 bouncer. C’mon seriously

  6. Frightening thought about Eveland.

    The Farrell defense thing has to be a response to his hatred of Cito. There was a little dig in there about Farrell not being arrogant about his role on the team.

    I was also surprised by Wilner’s ragging on Patterson. He hasn’t played CF regularly since 2008, No one thought he was better defensively than Rajai Davis.

    I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve been more immersed in baseball stuff than I was before or if he’s been on a bad streak, but I’ve been sort of turned off by Wilner lately.

  7. It wasn’t a good throw, but I’ve been pretty fair with Encarnacion. The “you guessed it” was put in because I wrote about it in the first paragraph as well.

  8. Wilner is pushed into a JP Ricciardi debate, that’s always entertaining.

  9. Watch the replay again.. It was standard pick for any 1B. Lind simply pulled up on it too fast.

  10. I’ve always found Wilner to be a tool.. He has his ‘guys’ that he defends to the death, which is fine, but don’t sit here and tell me Jesse Litsch was one of the best pitchers in the league in 2008 .

    I think in regards to Dotel Vs Lefties.. Farrell probably looked at the splits vs lefties and thought.. hmm must just be some sort of mistake, no way anyone can be THAT bad against lefties…

  11. Wilner still knows a lot more than anybody that would ever replace him. So I’m glad that we at least have him.

  12. fullmer, that’s really a stupid argument. what you are saying is there is nobody in toronto that knows anything about baseball that can’t talk on radio. I could do that in 2 seconds. The only reason wilner is on radio is because he has a “radio” voice. that’s the major requirement for radio. I’m sure Dustin would do a job that’s at least 10 times better.

  13. It’s not an argument, it’s just the way it is (heck, it gets terrible whenever Wilner goes on one of his Jewish holidays and is replaced by one of the many know-nothings).

    BTW, I live in Kansas City and listen to plenty Royals radio broadcasts. I’ve also driven through many U.S. cities over the years during baseball post-game shows. I don’t think you have any idea how bad it is (and how bad it could potentially be in Toronto).

    • Just watched the Encarnacion “error” again. I see your point. No doubt, that’s a tough error to give, especially with the play that Encarnacion makes to his left. Still, it would’ve taken a great dig for Lind to come up with that.

  14. I wouldn’t have given him an error on that play and thought so at the time.

  15. I don’t know how you can give up 6 runs and none of them earned. there seems to be a flaw in the rules. you shouldn’t be responsible for the runners on base, but anything after that is yours since you’d have to face those hitters the next inning anyways.

  16. The idea is that the inning would have been over without the error, so the runs are the responsibility of that fielder (not the pitcher, who would have gotten the necessary three outs without it).

  17. dustin, where are you watching these replays? I don’t see it on mlb.com

  18. yes fullmer, I understand the rules. I said I don’t agree with them. It’s like when a reliever comes in with runners on. He doesn’t get charged if the runners score, only the batters he faces. What would have happened if a reliever came in for jojo? Would the extra runs still have been unearned then?

  19. The principle of the rule is sound.

  20. “When facing Dotel, the average left handed hitter is like Octavio Dotel.”

    I think you mean Albert Pujols?

  21. It’s frustrating to see such an offensive outburst go to waste, but I suppose that’s what happens when Dotel pitches to lefties Redemption fail indeed.

  22. Was surprised when I checked the boxscore this morning and saw the “L” beside Dotel’s name, when it clearly should have been beside Farrell’s name.

  23. Patterson was thrown out in the sixth, not the ninth. I had to double check that, because it sounded wrong.

    It’s easy to blame Farrell for the Dotel thing, but seriously. Let’s put the blame where it should go. Jo-Jo. Seriously, not doing anything for this team. It’s not like he’s giving up runs, but going deep in games. What’s the point if he’s not even eating innings. Think of it this way. If Vallanueva had started, he’d have gone deeper in the game than Jo-Jo did.

    As for the unearned runs, like Fullmer said, the logic is sound. But, if you have 6 unearned in one inning, no observer should go, well… they’re unearned, therefore he was pitching great. He should be able to get one out in however many batters it was.

  24. The reality is that Jo Jo should have picked up his teammates.. Shit happens in a game, defense isn’t always perfect but you need to collect yourself, bare down and get your team out of it. Jo Jo fell apart like a fragile teen.

    In all honesty I think at this point you can send him to the minors cuz its doubtful anyone actually wants to give him a roster spot.

    I seriously hope VIllanueva or Stewart pitch in his spot next time around.

  25. I doubt we’ll see Stewart. Brad Mills maybe. The other option is his next spot is an off day, so he may just be skipped.

  26. I’ve been thinking about how Dotel keeps coming on to face lefties, despite his splits, and despite his performance against lefties earlier this season (not even a month in and he’s already had several meltdowns against lefties – yikes!). Farrell isn’t an idiot, so why does he keep trotting Dotel out there? I can’t help but think there’s more to it than hi m just not knowing the splits. Perhaps trying to demonstrate that he’s not just a ROOGY so that they can ship him off?

  27. Which of course isn’t to excuse it when it’s late in a tie game in a hitter’s ballpark. But if it was the case, it would at least make a little more sense.

  28. Dotel was in aginst 1 lefty and 6 righties. I’m guessing Farrell didn’t want to burn his only lefty reliever, when he knew he’d see a lefty in the 8th or 9th anyway. Still the wrong move. Leaving Carlos V. in for one more batter is still a beter move. On the other hand, we all seem to think that a homer was the automatic result. Which isn’t really fair now, is it?

    Regarding Jo-Jo…. if you’ve been in the major leagues for parts of 3 years, and can’t shake it off and make good pitches after bad things happen, you probably aren’t going to develop that ability any time soon. Though I would think its a solid bet that he still gets 1 or 2 more turns. Seeing what Mills is like when exposed to MLB quality hitting, other than Baltimore, not pretty. Richmond is a good spare part, but shows this team nothing they didn’t already know. There isn’t anybody banging on the door, so they can afford to see just how much progress he can make. And there are 29 other teams, he will be claimed on waivers, he’s under 30, he has a pulse, he throws 90mph, someone will try it.

  29. The last two years (2009-2010), Dotel has pitched the equivalent of about 6, maybe 7 starts against left handed pitchers. (I can’t remember the exact number of innings, but it’s around thae 36-40 range). Before that two year period, he really wasn’t much worse than your average right hander.

    Maybe Farrell didn’t want to restrict his bullpen usage to the point where Dotel can only be in for one to two batters at a time based on what is a fairly small sample size. Especially if the pitching scouts can’t find a discernable reason why Dotel should be that much worse against lefties. (Not saying this is the case, but it might be.) Another 2-3 starts worth of innings this year with the same results may persuade him to change his mind though.

  30. Yes, clearly Farrell’s fault. I mean, those 2 pitches he threw to Moreland obviously were far more important in determining the outcome of the game than the other 293 meaningless pitches that were thrown. Not to mention the fact that Farrell should have clearly picked Encarnacion’s throw out of the dirt, or barring that at least managed to record one more out before surrendering 6 runs in the fateful 3rd. Lastly, for him to somehow not manage a single run against the formidable pairing of Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver is a clear indication that he is not a clutch hitter. Really Farrell, chasing 88mph fastballs up at your chin? Terrible, he should be sent down, I mean fired today!

    • If you read the post, I’m pretty sure you’d realize I put more emphasis on the third inning than any of Farrell’s mistakes. Just because there were more costly mistakes in the game doesn’t excuse Farrell’s decisions.

  31. If you re-read my comment, I’m pretty sure you’d realize my tongue in cheek commentary wasn’t directed at you but rather the multiple posters that explicitly state that losing the game was all Farrell’s fault – something that you did not do in your post. Just because Farrell’s decision to use Dotel was dubious doesn’t excuse the more costly mistakes that actually cost the team the game.

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