Jays Litsch Slap Red Sox

After three straight losses to the Detroit Tigers, morale in Blue Jays nation was at its lowest point of the season. What better way to pick things up than a mini series sweep of their AL East rivals in Boston. The Blue Jays crushed the Red Sox tonight 9-3.

Anatomy Of A Pitcher Being Left In The Game Too Long

John Lackey came into the seventh inning with the score 4-3, having already thrown 92 pitches. The two, three and four hitters were due up for the Blue Jays.

  • Corey Patterson walks for the first time since April 28th on four straight pitches.
  • Jose Bautista swings at the first pitch he sees and hits it off the wall in left. Patterson looks as though he intends to tag up on the fly ball and only scampers to first after the ball hits off the wall. With smarter base running, he could’ve been on third base.
  • Juan Rivera took a strike then flied out to left field.
  • Aaron Hill took a ball then flied out to left field.
  • J.P. Arencibia walked on six pitches to load the bases.
  • David Cooper walked on five pitches without swinging his bat once to bring home one run. Lackey was not impressed with the home plate umpire’s strike zone.

  • John McDonald hit a 2-1 pitch for a double to left field that scored two more, making the score 7-3, and chasing Lackey from the game.

Despite his departure, Lackey’s earned runs weren’t finished accumulating yet. Tim Wakefield came in relief and quickly gave up a single to Rajai Davis that scored another two runs, making the score 9-3.

Most Important Play(s) Of The Game

John McDonald’s home run and double tonight increased the Blue Jays chances of winning by 18%, while Rajai Davis’ 4 for 4 night with two stolen bases contributed 17%.

Biggest Opportunity Missed

With none out in the seventh inning and the Red Sox down by a run, Carl Crawford hit a single off Casey Janssen. The Jays pitcher struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia with the sixth pitch of the at bat, which J.P. Arencibia threw to second base to catch Crawford’s attempted steal.

The Aggravating Things That John Farrell Did

It’s difficult to decry the running game when Rajai Davis makes it look so valuable, but please remind me what the point of stealing a base is when Jose Bautista is at bat. The last two times that Corey Patterson has stolen a base while Bautista was up to bat, Bautista ended up getting walked.

It’s really hard to pick on anything Farrell did when Terry Francona left John Lackey in for far too long without any immediately discernible reason.

The Statistics You Won’t Believe

John McDonald was 0 for 8 coming into his home run at bat. That’s a bit misleading considering he had three quality plate appearances last night resulting in two walks and a great catch by Carl Crawford on a liner to left.

Coming into tonight’s game, McDonald has been much more patient at the plate than in previous years. He’s swinging at 12.6% less pitches outside of the zone than he was a year ago.

Jesse Litsch’s cutter was humming tonight, averaging three mph faster than his season average.

Adrian Gonzalez has yet to play a game at Rogers Centre in which he hasn’t hit a home run.

At 44 years, 282 days old, Tim Wakefield is the oldest man to ever play for the Red Sox.

Shutdowns/Meltdowns

For his part in getting the Blue Jays out of Jesse Litsch’s jam in the sixth inning, Casey Janssen is awarded an official shutdown.

Stray Observations Of The Game

When I was a kid, I used to prank call a cigar shop near my house. I’d ask if they had any Cubans and when they confirmed that they did, I’d inquire if his name was Juan then hang up. Both teams started Cuban shortstops tonight.

Am I mistaken or did John Lackey roll his eyes at Yunel Escobar in the bottom of the first?

Jesse Litsch moves well enough for a big guy to get the MoWFABG acronym.

Rajai Davis stealing two more bases makes me think that the best acquisition of the offseason: Jays signing Dave Roberts’ ghost.

A J.D. Drew who doesn’t have to play every game is a much faster running J.D. Drew.

Strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double plays are maybe the most exciting non-diving thing that the defense can do.

I’m 50/50 between Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco for closing out games.

Comments (24)

  1. Ginger Beard Man strikes again!!

  2. I love how John Lackey spends his time yelling at all his teammates for his own terrible pitching.

  3. I like Francisco for closer. The K’s are really valuable there I think, and starting an inning (as opposed to entering a game with runners on base) is better for a guy with a relatively high walk rate.

  4. And Litsch keeps on trucking. The guy’s pretty good.

  5. Love this feature, think you’re missing Janssen’s name in who to credit with the shutdown. I’m a big fan of Davis at the bottom of the order and he should have the green light all the time. Agree with you on Patterson running during Bautista’s at bats and to steal from the great @drewGROF ” Let the artist work in peace.” I’m leaning ever so slightly towards the Rauch closing camp just because he throws more strikes. That Patterson base running Gaffe was infuriating, but also glossed over was Bautista wasn’t exactly hustling out of the box.

  6. Bautista hit it so high that he figured it would be a HR or fly out. Either way, he’d still have had a double if Patterson had a decent baseball IQ.

  7. Patterson failing to advance on the Rivera infield single in the bottom of 8 looked pretty lame.

  8. I think the most important takeaway from tonight’s game is that John Lackey is really terrible.

  9. Dustin, you lie, you never called any cigar shop when you were a kid.

    Oh by the way, I called this factory that makes those children’s pop up books and I asked if Aaron Hill works there and they said yes he did. I freaked and hung up.

  10. “It’s difficult to decry the running game when Rajai Davis makes it look so valuable, but please remind me what the point of stealing a base is when Jose Bautista is at bat. The last two times that Corey Patterson has stolen a base while Bautista was up to bat, Bautista ended up getting walked.”

    For someone who has been obsessed with run expectancy charts, I really don’t know what you are getting at here. In a 1-1 game in the third inning with 1st and 3rd no outs you WANT Bautista to end up getting walked there – the more baserunners, the more runs you are likely to score. That’s not something to complain about.

  11. No, you want Bautista to have a chance to swing the bat. Good things happen then. Run expectancy charts don’t take into account who is batting, and who is coming up, and I’ll take Bautista 1st and 3rd over Rivera bases loaded, thank you.

    I’m not sure I like either closer option. Rauch doesn’t exactly have stuff and I worry each time he comes in. Francisco reminds me of Gregg with his locations.

    According to Wilner, Lackey didn’t exactly have effusive praise of the Jays after the game, either. Something about how everybody gets John McDonald out (but him), etc. And did you see him freak when Crawford DIDN’T catch the Bautista loooooong single, or when Youkilis couldn’t snag the Mcdonald double? He needs to grow up and take a little responsibility methinks instead of getting exasperated that teammates don’t make what would need to be highlight reel plays to save him.

  12. Seems a combination of Lackey is terrible and he was left in way too long. The Jays looked not great in makingonly 4 runs off him through 6 given how hittable he looked. Though from where we sat it looked like he did through a pretty good curve ball a few times. Anyway, Tito should have felt blessed he got 6 out of Lacking.

  13. It’s always admirable to dis the team that just beat you. Stay classy, Lackey!

  14. If a team is going to pitch around Bautista in a tie game in the 3rd inning with 2nd and 3rd no outs, they are going to pitch around him with 1st and 3rd and no outs.

  15. Take it easy on Lackey. While it’s not a total excuse, his wife suffering from cancer means a little bit of grace should be extended his way, no?

  16. A little off topic…Parkes what is your evaluation of Mr. Aaron Cibia so far?

  17. Patterson’s base running gaffe is inexcusable. Long fly ball in full view. Go to 2nd. Stop. If it hits the wall you go to third. If it’s a great catch you have plenty of time to get back to 1st. If it’s caught and you tag up you’re out at 2nd.

    Litsch is currently our best starter. We sent him down, why?

    Correction – Rivera is the pop up queen.

    Note: The tide turned in this game when every one on base started to run. I love that we run now. Didn’t everyone complain last year when we didn’t/couldn’t run? When almost all of your hitters are batting .240ish you need to run.

  18. Perhaps some compassion can be extended, and understanding of his struggles. It doesn’t excuse his acting like an ass.

  19. Lackey’s always been an ass. Sorry to hear about his wife, though.

  20. While it’s unfortunate that his wife is sick, I don’t see how saying that Johnny Mac sucks will make it better.

  21. Oh and by the way, anytime you throw an 89 mile an hour fastball down the middle of the fucking plate to a big league player, you’re going to get hit.

  22. Dustin, Lackey definitely did roll his eyes at Escobar. “Oh great, here we go already”

  23. After reading the comments here, I went to go see what Wilner had to say about Lackey’s comments. I saw this: http://twitter.com/#!/Wilnerness590/status/68514651352207360

    What did Lackey actually say? That’s what I’m curious about…

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