If you’re going to beat a 28 start winless streak, you might as well be the first Blue Jays pitcher this year to go nine innings and get the victory. Jo-Jo Reyes threw a complete game eight hitter, allowing only a single run as Toronto put up eleven runs on thirteen hits and two walks. Every member of the starting lineup scored at least one run except for Juan Rivera

Eat it, AL Central.

I could say more, but I’m inclined to agree with this:

Anatomy Of An Inning For Your Pitcher

I honestly don’t want to believe that the Blue Jays went up to bat in the fourth inning and put up seven runs on the board for their starting pitcher tonight because once you do that, you have to believe that all those other time that they didn’t put up seven runs, they weren’t trying hard enough. So, let’s instead take a look at the Jo-Jo Reyes start.

  • Reyes threw 121 pitches, 75 for strikes and 46 for balls
  • He threw 63 four seamers, 33 two seamers, 12 changeups, eight sliders and five curveballs.
  • He collected seven swinging strikes, four with his four seam fastball, two with his slider and one with his changeup.
  • His fastest pitch of the night was 91.8 miles per hour with his four seamer, but surprisingly, his two seamer averaged a higher speed.

Looking at the Pitch FX data, there’s a wide range of speeds and rotations on his four seamers and two seamers, suggesting that there are some cut fastballs there as well.

And here is Jo-Jo Reyes’ pitch type and location on the night:

Most Important Play(s) Of The Game

Jayson Nix’s home run in the third inning with Rajai Davis on base increased the Blue Jays likelihood of winning by 13.9%. Nix, of course, was traded to the Blue Jays by the Cleveland Indians just before the season started after being designated for assignment.

The Shamsky Award

Named after Art Shamsky, who single handedly increased the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning by 150.3% in a losing effort during a game in 1966, The Shamsky Award is given to the player on the losing team who contributes the most to them winning.

Shelley Duncan went 2 for 4 with a home run that went off the second row of the 500 level, and by himself, increased his team’s chances of winning by 13.8%. Unfortunately, this of course means that the rest of his team combined to decrease their probability of winning by 63.8%.

The Aggravating Thing That John Farrell Did

It’s hard to complain when a game is won so convincingly, but why call for a hit and run up 6-1 with Jose Bautista at the plate and two runners on? I’ll trust Bautista to advance the runners without forcing him to swing at a pitch, thank you.

The Statistics You Won’t Believe

Jose Bautista has nine more walks than any other player in the American League, but three less intentional passes than Miguel Cabrera.

Shelley Duncan’s home run in the top of the fourth was the fifteenth to ever reach the 500 Level at Rogers Centre. According to Hit Tracker, fifth deck home runs look like they go farther than they actually do because of the way that the decks are stacked.

During Jo-Jo Reyes’ winless start streak, three different relievers blew four different saves for him: Will Ohman, Blaine Boyer and Jon Rauch twice.

Shutdowns/Meltdowns

No Toronto Blue Jays relievers were used today.

Carefully Selected Quote Cliche Of The Game

From Baseball Prospectus, tonight I’ll go with:

Obviously, it’s good for us to come in here and do this and keep moving and playing well. It feels nice to contribute to a game where everyone contributes. You just have to focus on taking it one inning, one pitch at a time. My job is to keep it close and good things are going to happen. I just wanted to win the game. I was throwing my normal game like I pitch to any other team. I thought I was throwing a lot of strikes. I would say every time I go out there I get better and better mentally.

Stray Observations Of The Game

There was a cynical part of me that was almost cheering for Jo-Jo Reyes to get pulled from this game without the lead so that he would ensure that his record setting 29th straight start would come to a conclusion without a win. Such is the ridiculousness of giving any credit whatsoever to pitching wins as a meaningful statistic.

Jose Bautista’s absolute dominance of everything he sees is leading many of us to overlook how well Yunel Escobar is playing right now. He’s looking much more like 2009 Escobar than 2010 Escobar. Tonight, the Jays shortstop went 2 for 4 with a walk.

At this point, I’d just assume that anything Jose Bautista didn’t swing at was a ball.

I’m pretty sure that for mere mortals MVP chants before June would be premature. Not so much for Jose Bautista, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and a double.

Buck Martinez: “Breast awarness . . . er, breast cancer awareness.”

In closing:

Comments (11)

  1. Wins aside, 2011 Jo-Jo Reyes is basically 2010 Brett Cecil with less walks.

  2. Also: if you had to rank all of the AL shortstops based on their performance so far in 2011, who would you put above Yunel? I’m probably just drawing a blank but right now I can’t think of anybody off-hand.

  3. You know, I think that wins have a degree of relevance statistically as to the caliber of a pitcher. It isn’t the end all be all but it certainly isn’t the meaningless stat you seem to rage on about. The more decisions a pitcher has I think you can extrapolate that they have influenced games to a greater depth. Going deep improves your odds of positive influence. A pitcher that goes deep enough to pass the ball to a higher caliber reliever thus improves his odds of victory once again. Good pitchers get wins…even with anemic offenses.

    It would be interesting to determine statistically what innings influence the outcome of a game the most. It seems to me that the first inning, the fifth inning and of course the ninth have greater relevance in most games I’ve watched. I’ve got nothing to base this upon other than feel but these seem to be the pivotal points momentum wise when I watch a game.

    • @Shawn – The more decisions a pitcher has I think you can extrapolate that they have influenced games to a greater depth. Going deep improves your odds of positive influence

      I agree, but you don’t need “wins” to extract that information. How about, um, innings pitched! More comprehensive stats like WAR reward innings pitched but don’t leave the pitcher at the mercy of his team’s offense.

  4. MAYBE Asdrubal Cabrera, but his defense is terrible and who knows if he’ll sustain what he’s doing. I also haven’t looked at a direct comparison. Hmm…maybe I’ll do that.

  5. Fangraphs has six AL shortstops with higher season WAR than Escobar, (including both Aybar and Izturis from the Angels, even though Izturis has only played 11 games at short), but Fangraphs has his WAR at 1.3, while B-R has his WAR at 1.9. I don’t have a B-R subscription, so I can’t do a quick search, and I’m too lazy to check all the AL teams’ shortstops’ WAR, but I suspect B-R would have him ranked more highly, which is where he should be.

  6. On the Bautista hit and run, it was a 3-2 pitch (both times) so he wasn’t forced to swing. But I guess he was forced not to strike out. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Farrell is trusting that he will make contact if the pitch is a strike, which is reasonable given how infrequently he’s struck out so far this year.

  7. Agree with Mich on Bautista. IT’s not a hit and run on a 3-2 pitch, regardless of how many outs there are. It’s a don’t strike out thing, which we can be pretty safe in assuming with Bautista.

    You also missed…. Buck Martinez: “The Jays are going for their first 4 game win streak since last Sept. ” Didn’t they JUST have a 6 game streak???

    It was really nice to see the crowd get behind JoJo in the 9th, and the team’s (especially the starters) reaction after the final out.

  8. 7 swinging strikes in 9 innings doesn’t seem like a lot. I get that Reyes will have fewer than say, Morrow, but how does that compare to Litsch?

  9. @Shawn K: I get your argument and it is presented well, but I would have to counter with the argument “2010 King Felix”.

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