The Pittsburgh Pirates are a fun team to watch so long as they’re not playing your favourite team. Despite hitting four home runs, the Toronto Blue Jays were nubbed, fisted and blooped to death by a Pirates offense that collected nine hits and a walk off of Jo-Jo Reyes, lighting up the Jays starter six runs and sending him to the showers before the fourth inning was over.
The Jays showed signs of getting the five run difference back throughout the rest of the game, but luck refused to be their lady tonight.
Anatomy Of An Inability To Locate Your Fastball
Reyes had a problem tonight: he couldn’t locate his four seam fastball, forcing him to throw more two seamers and change ups than normal, and he overcompensated with this pitches by throwing them right down the middle of the plate.
Of the 87 pitches that Reyes threw tonight, only 30 were four seamers, with six actually located in the strike zone. Look at this chart to see all of the four seamers (in green) missing the strike zone.
Here are the last pitches for each batter that Reyes faced tonight. As you can see, his two seamer and change up, which both had less vertical movement than usual, were getting knocked around. A lot of the hits were unlucky, but batters are going to make contact with pitches in the middle of the plate and that’s what happens when you rely to heavily on putting balls in play.
Most Important Play Of The Game
Matt Diaz stepped up to the plate in the fourth inning with none out and Lyle Overbay on first base. He hit a shallow liner to right field that bounced over the head of a charging Eric Thames making his first MLB start in right. The ball got past the covering Corey Patterson (who only looked as though he was making his first MLB start in his position) and went all the way to the wall, allowing Diaz to park himself on third base like it was the lot outside of a closed supermarket. His triple made the score 3-1 for the Pirates and increased his team’s probability of winning by 14.3%.
Biggest Disappointment Of The Game
With two on and one out in the seventh inning, Jose Bautista was intentionally walked to load the bases before Jose Veras was called on by Clint Hurdle to face Adam Lind with the score 7-6 for the Pirates. Lind hit a cracking shot near the first base line that was snagged by Lyle Overbay who calmly stepped on first base to double off Jose Bautista. It was Overbay once again killing off a Jays rally with a double play. The one play decreased the Blue Jays probability of winning by a staggering 30.5%
Most Overused Joke Of The Game
Alex has left the building.
Moments after Alex Presley hit his first career home run.
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.
Despite two home runs from Edwin Encarnacion and a dinger each from Jose Bautista and Corey Patterson, it was Yunel Escobar’s two for five performance, in which he got on base at the most important moments of the game that increased his team’s chances of winning more than any other player. He contributed a total of 20.6%
The Aggravating Thing That John Farrell Did
Before the game, Jose Bautista told Mike Wilner that Blue Jays could’ve used the exact same nine hitters in tonight’s lineup and left him in right field instead of putting him at third base. It doesn’t sound to me as though he’s as enthused to be playing at third base as some would lead you to believe. And he’s right not to be. I don’t think he’s a superior defender at third base or right field, but putting Rivera – Patterson – Thames out there when you don’t have to is absurd, even if the cost of putting Bautista out there is Edwin Encarnacion at third base.
The Statistics You Won’t Believe
Jo-Jo Reyes and Ricky Romero have given up more home runs than any other Blue Jays pitcher with eleven each.
Kevin Correia has now also given up eleven home runs.
Aaron Hill has only hit into five double plays this year. It only seems like a million.
Nothing from Blue Jays pitchers, but Shawn Camp came the closest to reaching a shutdown with his 5.6% WPA added.
Carefully Quoted Cliche Of The Game
From Baseball Prospectus, tonight, I’ll go with:
I wasn’t making my pitches. I wasn’t hitting my spots. It was almost like even if I was, they were still going to find a hole. That’s baseball. You get days where you nub three or four and they go for hits. I didn’t try to walk anybody and when I got behind in the count I still pitched my game.
Stray Observations Of The Game
Pat Tabler used a variation of “athletic” to describe baseball players of African American descent four times by the second inning.
When Charles Barkley visited the broadcast booth in the third inning, Tabler did not describe him as athletic.
I’m fairly critical for the most part of Rogers Sportsnet’s Blue Jays broadcasts, but they’ve made impressive strides this season with Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun hosting the games, and their video stingers between inning halves.
I think Aaron Hill is a great defender, but he looks scared putting his glove down on tags.
Someone must have left the dehumidifier running at Rogers Center this last week.
If Joel Hanrahan is Dwight’s brother on the office, does that mean he also used to write for Fire Joe Morgan?