Jays Lose To White Sox 3-1

On a night when the public address system crashed, the Blue Jays lost the game thanks in large part to one of the more reliable cogs in the team’s wheel breaking down. John McDonald’s ninth inning throwing error, his first of the year, eventually led to two runs being scored, but all the White Sox needed was one of them, as Chicago beat Toronto 3-1.

Pitching fans were treated to two very different styles from the two starters tonight. Brandon Morrow relied only on a fastball and slider (what Orel Hershiser would call a small repitwah) to strike out five batters and only allow four hits and one run. Meanwhile, White Sox starter Phil Humber went seven and two thirds relying on five different pitches that he worked into the game evenly, only running into trouble when Yunel Escobar took him deep in the sixth inning.

While Morrow certainly did his job keeping the White Sox to only a single run through seven innings, it’s hard to blame the Blue Jays bullpen for reasons that we’ll take a closer look at in the breakdown below.

The Simon And Garfunkel Lyrics Of The Game

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dare

Disturb the sound of silence.

Anatomy Of A Failed Slugger

When Adam Dunn signed his four year $56 million contract with the Chicago White Sox this past offseason, it seemed downright reasonable compared to some of the other free agent deals being handed out. Almost 200 plate appearances into the season and calling Dunn a shadow of his former self is an insult to the player who hit at least 38 home runs for seven years in row coming into 2011.

Tonight was yet another disastrous outing.

In Dunn’s first at bat, the model of consistent power struck out looking, taking both the second and seventh pitch of his at bat, which were as close to identical as you can get.

Earlier today, I took a look at Zack Greinke striking out five batters yesterday afternoon on swinging strikes with sliders. I’m going to assume Brandon Morrow was reading it because that’s exactly what he did to Adam Dunn in the fourth inning.

And again in the sixth inning.

I’m assuming Marc Rzepczynski was watching those last two at bats and read my story on Greinke today because he absolutely embarrassed Dunn on a slider nowhere near the strike zone.

Yes, Adam. It really was that far away.

Most Important Play(s) Of The Game

Juan Pierre’s base hit scored two runs in the top of the ninth, increasing the White Sox chances of winning by 40.5%. The worst part was that it was probably the exact type of contact that pitcher Marc Rzepczynski would’ve hoped for. Pierre simply beat Rzepczynski to the bag, and Juan Rivera didn’t help matters when he tossed the ball at the reliever’s feet. The White Sox took a 3-1 lead and never looked back.

Biggest Opportunity Missed

Juan Rivera’s groundout in the bottom of the eighth decreased the Jays chance of winning more than any other play in a bottom half of an inning, but I’m going to go with what happened just before Rivera’s at bat as the biggest missed opportunity.

The Aggravating Things That John Farrell Did

I thought we’d already figured out that running while Jose Bautista is at bat isn’t a good idea. Nonetheless, Corey Patterson stole second base, meaning that with a 3-1 count, Bautista was given a free pass instead of a chance to hit the ball with the game tied in the eighth inning. Juan Rivera came up next and ended the inning with a ground out.

You could definitely question the thinking behind keeping Marc Rzepczynski out there for almost 30 pitches, but he did look good striking out two batters and the two guys who did reach base did so in the flimsiest of ways.

The Statistics You Won’t Believe

Adam Dunn has five home runs this season. Dunn hit his tenth of last season on May 27th, 2010. His slugging percentage coming into tonight’s game was .355. Jose Bautista’s batting average was .342.

The Blue Jays lead the league in infield fly balls, sending 16.3% of their fly balls straight up into the infield. Surprisingly, the team leader isn’t Aaron Hill. It’s Corey Patterson. Must be all the fastballs.

Brandon Morrow collected eleven swinging strikes tonight. Eight of them were sliders.

Including tonight, Aaron Hill has only nine walks this season. He has more infield fly outs than walks.

Shutdowns/Meltdowns

Marc Rzepczynski gets an official meltdown, but we’ll give this one to John McDonald whose throwing error accounted for the likelihood of the Chicago White Sox winning the game by 17%.

Carefully Selected Quote Cliche Of The Game

From Baseball Prospectus, tonight I’ll go with:

We just had a tough day. We just haven’t gotten many breaks. That’s part of the deal. We couldn’t get a break. Every team is going to have a game like this. We’re not out of anything. This team will bounce back. I know it. We have to forget about today. Come Friday, our heads will be clear and we’ll be ready to go again. Get some sleep and come back ready to play.

Stray Observations Of The Game

For a couple of glorious innings during tonight’s game, the PA system at the Rogers Centre went down and the game was played in silence. No announcements. No songs. No promotions. Just baseball.

I wonder if other teams’ fans are just as happy to see Corey Patterson batting second in the lineup as I was to see Juan Pierre leading off for the White Sox.

I was saddened to learn that reporter Joe Cowley didn’t travel with the team to Toronto, opting instead to follow the Bulls in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. What a shame.

Adam Dunn looks awful. He must really hate baseball. That joke isn’t old. You’re old. What do you mean that doesn’t make any sense? You don’t make any sense.

John McDonald recorded his first error of the season, transitioning too quickly in an attempt to throw Alex Rios out at first on a grounder to third. He clearly forgot that Rios doesn’t actually run out those types of hits.

No one in Toronto misses Alex Rios. Not even a little bit.

Comments (9)

  1. On Tuesday, and tonight, a lot of things went well for the Blue Jays. Solid starting pitching, for example. Its regrettable that just a few more things went not well at all. Considering there are 2 hot (OK 1 really) hitters in the whole line up, its remarkable that the losses have been this close at all.

    Rise and grind again, gentlemen, we give you no other choice.

  2. Imagine if J.P. Arencibia caught that foul tip when Juan Pierre was up, literally the pitch after was the groundball to first. Rzep would’ve struck out the side.

  3. I’ve heard that Adam Dunn doesn’t like baseball. I’ve also heard that JP Riccardi doesn’t like being a GM :)

  4. The sound problems at the Dome were wonderful. Hopefully they have more audio difficulties in the future. Baseball has never been so enjoyable to watch in person and I can only imagine how much better that would be with a big crowd that’s actually into the game. Rogers won’t ever do this intentionally, but as a compromise I’d love it if they just did a couple of innings with silence every game.

  5. I was at tonight’s game. The silence was AWESOME. For a few brief moments, I lived in a city that could watch a baseball game without playing the Addam’s Family theme song, where I wasn’t forced to endure the Black Eyed Peas (Nobody likes them, right? NOBODY!?). Then the sound returned for a while, and I was reminded that the Roger’s Centre is trapped in 1998, as Collective Soul (REALLY?!) and Disturbed (OH-WA-AH-AH-AH) rained down for absolutely no reason.

    For a few precious innings, I was at a baseball game, watching baseball, and not being force-fed terrible music and lowest-common-denominator marketing opportunities. I felt human. It was glorious.

    Then I went and got wasted at Smokeless Joe’s, and couldn’t help but notice that just down the street, a crappy Jack Astors with King-Kong-style spotlights was packed to the gills with patrons, while my quiet, quality, neighbourhood bar was nearly empty.

    The Idiocracy is upon us, my friends.

  6. @Adam

    I want to be your new best friend.

    Well said about the joy of watching a pure baseball game without all the audible garbage thats spewed out through the PA.

  7. A frustrating week indeed.

    The pitching has been adequate to good this season, save for the odd starter not making past the 4th or the bullpen bleeding like a stuck pig on occasion. The offence however has been downright shameful for most of the season with it seems only 1-2 hitters going at a time. I just wonder how much better this team would be with 3 more good bats in the lineup (e.g., a healthy Lind, a performing Snider and a *wishful thinking* emerging Lawrie). Maybe things will look up in June/July :)

  8. Glorious was the exact word I used on Twitter while it was going on. Great to just listen to the sounds of the game and it made the cheers sound all the more real and effective. Amazed me that several others were complaining on twitter that the lack of sound was ruining their ‘Fan Experience’. Hopefully at least some were sarcastic but I’m not so sure.

    Being more sensitive to the sound system it was quite laughable late in the game when they did the Casino Rama ad, was ridiculously obvious that all the cheers were being pumped through the sound system. Little off-putting actually.

  9. That excitement wheel and the Bruce Power ad are by far the two most obnoxious ads in the history of baseball ever.

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