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.
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.