I try to remain fairly rational when writing about my favourite team, but I admit that I’m still more of a fan than some sort of journalist or reporter. I don’t shy away from that. And I don’t think anyone would mistake my writing about the Blue Jays as anything other than biased and very prejudiced.
Tonight’s game write up is a perfect example of me being a fan and not a reporter. It was terrible. There were terrible mistakes from the manager, terrible performances from the mound and terrible approaches at the plate. It was all just terrible.
So many times, we as fans only tend to see one team on the field. When the Jays win they’re great, when they lose they’re terrible (like tonight). We forget that the reason they might be winning is that the other team is playing poorly or that the reason that they might be losing is that the other team is playing well. Tonight, I’m certain that Toronto lost the game far more than Detroit won it.
Two days after being no hit, tonight’s 10-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers (which, don’t kid yourself, is actually complimentary to the way that Toronto played tonight) is the low point of the 2011 season. Oh, and Adam Lind might need to go on the Disabled List with a strained back muscle. Just great.
Anatomy Of An Inning Gone Wrong
After three innings of shutout baseball in which he struck out five batters, this is how Brandon Morrow’s fourth inning went:
- Strikes out Brennan Boesch with an 88 mph slider in the dirt, but Jose Molina looks completely unprepared for the pitch he presumably called for and it hits the dirt as the catcher stabs at it with his backhand, missing and allowing Boesch to advance to first base. It’s scored a wild pitch.
- Walks Miguel Cabrera on six pitches. Look at where that sixth pitch lands according to Brooks Baseball:
- Gives up a deep fly ball to center field that is hard hit, but playable for a good center fielder. Corey Patterson is not a good center fielder as evidenced by his route to the ball. Victor Martinez comes away with a double and one run knocked in.
- Gives up a line drive to shallow center field off the bat of Don Kelly, scoring Cabrera. Martinez advances to third.
- Collects the first official out of the inning on Jhonny Peralta’s liner right to Yunel Escobar.
- Walks Alex Avila to load the bases on five pitches. He was again squeezed by the home plate umpire. This time on the first pitch of the at bat.
- Is pulled for Shawn Camp who gives up a double to clear the bases.
Morrow was pulled with a fielding independent pitching number of 2.04.
Biggest Play Of The Game
Austin Jackson’s three run double to center field off Shawn Camp with two out in the fourth inning that scored all of the runners that Camp had inherited from Brandon Morrow made for the greatest increase in win probability in the game (27.3%).
Biggest Opportunity Missed
After Jose Bautista reached third base in the bottom of the first inning, there was one out for Edwin Encarnacion. He flew out but it wasn’t deep enough to bring Bautista in. Aaron Hill followed by striking out.
The Aggravating Things That John Farrell Did
Batting Corey Patterson second in the lineup is almost excusable when he’s playing well, but his on base percentage has dipped back to his career norms right now which means there’s no reason whatsoever to bat him second in any lineup. He hasn’t had a walk since April 28.
I wouldn’t have pulled Brandon Morrow in the fourth inning. He was pitching well, but bad defensive plays from Jose Molina and Patterson combined with a bloop single and some squeeze action by the home plate umpire made it look otherwise. Look over that anatomy of an inning gone wrong written out above. I can’t help but feel as though a mound visit would’ve induced some rest for Morrow and gotten him through the rest of the inning. As manager, Farrell should’ve realized the extent to which the runs being scored and put on base wasn’t on Morrow’s head.
It’s always exciting, but I’m not really sure why you try to steal a base down four runs with your best hitter at the plate.
Even down by four runs, there is no way Octavio Dotel should be allowed to enter a game in which those due up are left handed hitters or switch hitters. He walked the first lefty he faced, then gave up a home run to the next lefty he saw.
The Statistics You Won’t Believe
Coming into tonight’s game, Jose Bautista has had an incredible 34% of his plate appearances end in a walk or a home run. More than half of this year’s qualified batters don’t even have an on base percentage that high. In other words, eliminate singles, doubles and triples from Bautista’s totals, and he’s still avoiding outs at a better rate than the average batter.
Brandon Morrow’s four seam fastball is only a couple mph faster than Max Scherzer’s, but Morrow’s slider was about 10 mph faster than Scherzer’s tonight.
Corey Patterson has started twice as many games in CF this season than in 2009 and 2010 combined.
Shawn Camp and Octavio Dotel both decreased the Blue Jays chances of winning enough to be considered having official meltdowns.
Stray Observations Of The Game
I really enjoy Brandon Morrow pushing the velocity on his fastball past 95 mph every once in a while in the same way one might tease a dog while playing tug.
I thought high eighties sliders only existed in video games. Morrow was consistently throwing them at 88 and 89 mph.
Corey Patterson’s horrible route to Victor Martinez’s double in the fourth inning shouldn’t be nearly as criticized as the decision to play Patterson in center field.
I hear the Pittsburgh Pirates are an interesting team to follow.
In the eighth inning, Juan Rivera hit a foul ball off of Joaquin Benoit. In my mind it was close enough to drop his bat, falling eight to ten feet from the foul line. Three pitches later, Rivera dove to avoid a tag after a poor throw forced Miguel Cabrera off the bag on what should’ve been an inning ending double play. #Hustle&Heart
I’m hoping that the Rogers Centre is equipped with the proper drainage for the sewage left on the field after tonight’s game.