Braves Chop Jays Again

Of all the baseball games I’ve ever seen, tonight’s Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves game was one of them. It may not have been the most exciting matchup tonight, but boy was it boring.

The Atlanta Braves got ahead early and somewhere between the impressive movement on Mike Minor’s changeup and the Toronto lineup’s continuing struggles to get on base, it became impossible for the Blue Jays to catch up, as they lost their second game of the series, this one by the score of 5-1.

A Handy Guide To Creating A Forgettable Game

  1. Have your favourite team fall behind early.
  2. Let them score a single run in the first inning and then either never again for the rest of the game or very late when the game is already out of reach.
  3. Ensure that the game in question isn’t being played against a rival of any sort or a team in which your favourite isn’t competing against in any sense.
  4. When down by four runs, put Jason Frasor into the game.
  5. Close out the game with the final three batters grounding out.

Most Important Play Of The Game

Brian McCann’s home run off of Zach Stewart in the third inning with one out and one on gave the Atlanta Braves a 3-1 lead while increasing their win probability by 20%.

Biggest Disappointment Of The Game

With one out in the fourth inning and men on second and third, Rajai Davis struck out, reducing the Blue Jays win probability by 7.5%. Yep, he swung at pitch #4 there.

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.

Surprise! Adam Lind went two for four tonight with two singles, knocking in Toronto’s only run and contributing 10.8% to the losing team’s probability of winning.

The Aggravating Thing That John Farrell Did Pat Tabler Said

Paraphrasing: “It’s no coincidence that all those teams with Eric Hinske made it to the World Series. When he speaks, players in the clubhouse listen.”

The Statistic You Won’t Believe

As a team, the Toronto Blue Jays have the highest wOBA versus left handed pitching in the leauge. Now for the unbelievable part: Mike Minor is indeed a left handed pitcher.

Say what you want about Zach Stewart tonight, but the rookie starter moves fast. Tonight game time was two hours and twenty two minutes.


Hahaha. Good one. By the time the Blue Jays bullpen entered the game, high leverage situations were hard to come by. Still, seven up and seven down for Marc Rzepczynski and three up and three down for Jason Frasor deserve to be mentioned.

Carefully Selected Quote Cliche Of The Game

From Baseball Prospectus, tonight, like the last few nights, I’ll go with:

When it comes to my at-bats, I should have done a better job. He kept us off balance. You’ve just got to tip your cap. We had our chances through this lineup to get a hit. Opportunities are there, but we just haven’t seen them get that hit.

Stray Observations Of The Game

Rajai Davis loves the outside like a stray cat. Okay, these pitches looked worse on television, but what’s the best case scenario here if Davis makes contact, even good contact on any of these pitches? It was not a pretty at bat in the top of the seventh against Mike Minor.

Marc Rzepczynski looked much better in his two and a third innings tonight than he has in any of his last six appearances. The key to his success: throwing sliders that not only result in swinging strikes, but also end up in or at least close to the strike zone. He mixed ten sliders into his twenty four pitches tonight. Seven of the sliders resulted in strikes, three of which were whiffs.

All this talk about the Blue Jays sudden lack of offense, and yeah, it’s not fun for fans to watch, but look at this lineup. This isn’t a lineup that should be averaging 4.6 runs a game. Regression was bound to happen, and this is it rearing its ugly head. That’s why we’ve only seen two runs in the last three games. It’s part of making up for the 24 runs in two games we saw at the beginning of the month.

Jonny Venters is very good. Three batters = three ground ball outs. Entering tonight, his ground ball rate was almost 80%.