Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Jays put together a nice little victory this evening in the opening game of what will be a three-game series in Baltimore, holding on to take it 4-3 despite some nervous moments for the bullpen and a four out save from Roberto Osuna.
Marcus Stroman mostly pitched well for the Jays, though he did give up a pair of home runs (for the first time in his career, according to the MASN broadcast). The second blast he surrendered, a two-run shot in the seventh inning off the bat of Matt Wieters, brought the Orioles to within a run, making the run scored by the Jays in the top half of that frame — a two-out Bautista double scoring Michael Saunders — ever important.
Brett Cecil again wasn’t at his best. In the bottom of the eighth the left-hander gave up a long out to straightaway centre before Manny Machado slashed a double and Nolan Reimold walked, but that was as close as the Orioles would get. After a Chris Davis pop up (mercifully on the first pitch of the at-bat), Cecil was lifted for Roberto Osuna, who closed the door, blister and all.
Some stray observations (briefly):
Barry Davis tweets that Jesse Chavez was unavailable for the Jays tonight, as his back locked up on him, but he thinks he should be fine tomorrow.
That strike zone was balls. I mean: strike zone? I’d like to strike that zone! (It was bad out there tonight.)
Russell Martin can go 0-for-forever and I’d still want him in there for his defence, but… um… please, Russell Martin, don’t go 0-for-forever.
Justin Smoak continued his strange start to the season, coming to the plate four times and getting on in three of them, twice via the walk with a single mixed in. And, naturally, one of his two outs was via the strikeout. The hit was just his second in 22 plate appearances, 12 of which have ended on Ks, but he still somehow (read: because of walks) sports a .455 on-base. He currently has a 31.8% walk rate and a 54.5% strikeout rate. Bonkers.
“Are you sure the Blue Jays didn’t sign a life-sized cardboard cutout of Justin Smoak by accident?” asks Matthew Kory. And no. No, I am not.
Tulo’s two-run double was a thing that happened that we should take a second to remind ourselves of before we go back to shitting on/pretending we’re not worrying about him.
- Stupid Machado is fucking good, man.
A lot going on here. pic.twitter.com/AidUsJ6yCa
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) April 20, 2016