The Blue Jays Drop Another Winnable Game To The Orioles: Ostensibly A Game Recap

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays managed to lose another very winnable game, falling to the Orioles 3-2 on another night in which the starting pitching mostly excelled, but the bullpen was a little leaky and the offence (against shitty goddamn Chris Tillman) struggled to produce.

Marco Estrada only got through five innings, and he allowed six hits and four walks, but also struck out nine and limited the damage against him to just a single run. In the process he even made me not feel so terrified of the karmic wrath I’m due for referring to David Price, on this week’s Birds All Day podcast (which is now up, FYI), as the number three starter on last year’s Blue Jays. (Which… y’know…)

It’s easy to nitpick the bullpen, or the passed ball from Russell Martin that allowed the go-ahead run into scoring position with stupid fucking Manny Machado at the plate against Brett Cecil, or John Gibbons’ decisionmaking back there, but for one) meh, it happens. And for two) even if there are certainly things with which to pick nit here, the Jays wouldn’t have found themselves in this situation yet again — heading into tonight’s game, Jays pitchers had endured the second most batters faced in high leverage situations among American League teams — if their hitters were getting it done.

So… meh.

And here’s why: I’d feel like I was maybe a little being a little aloof about these early losses, or too optimistic in general, if the component of the Blue Jays’ that bears ultimate responsibility for a bunch of the losses they’ve accumulated so far was anything but their offence. Because it’s the Blue Jays’ offence! It’s really good. It’s going to be really good.

Or, at the very, very least, it’s very probably going to be very good, and it’s really still much too early to be worrying too much about Tulowitzki, Martin, Smoak, Colabello, Goins, and Pillooooooohmygod that’s a lot of guys struggling!

Only two of those guys are worth worrying about, though (hint: the two guys on the wrong side of 30 making $20-million per season), as the rest are going to be prone to not being good. So… everything’s splendid, then! I’m.. uh… confident.

  • OK, but yes, the bullpen. Trying to get two innings out of Pat Venditte was… not good. Nor was going to Brett Cecil for as long as John Gibbons did. He didn’t have a whole lot of choice, as Estrada didn’t go deep enough, and Gibbons noted after the game that none of Jesse Chavez, Gavin Floyd, or Drew Storen was available. But Roberto Osuna was available (though I must say I wasn’t bothered when Cecil was allowed to face Machado in the bottom of the eighth), for one.

  • For two, it’s kind of Gibbons’ job to manage the bullpen so that he doesn’t get stuck with it so short like this. Part of that is due to Chavez’s tight back, of course, and I’m not saying it’s easy to properly manage the short- and the medium- and the long-term (and especially difficult to do so while pleasing the unwashed masses), but there have been times when that stuff so far has seemed wanting. But again, these things only really seem glaring because the offence isn’t yet scoring the number of runs they’re certainly capable of.

  • I listed Justin Smoak among those struggling Jays hitters, but is he really struggling? Like… he is. Of COURSE he is. He’s a power hitter sporting a .056 ISO and a .278 SLG, and the 29.6% walk rate that’s carrying him is worlds away from sustainable. But he’s still got a .481 on-base! And he had a walk and a double tonight, to go along with a strikeout and, sadly, his first out on a ball in play all season — a ground out to short in the top of the 9th. His BABIP now stands at .800.
  • Bad Dabbler

    Martin and Tulo will come around. Smoak will start hitting for some pop..

    but as far as goins, pillar, cola, go, they are not offensive threats. Im not sure why people thought that the best of Pillar and Goins would show up this year as a baseline. They are marginal with the bat at best and are defensive stalwarts. They’ve basically done their jobs.

    we just arent hitting for crap with RISP. 2 for our last 19 i believe..and not good before that either.

    • 0noggin

      The Jays’ inability to hit/get on base/do anything productive with RISP defies rational explanation, so I’ll just put that in the “unsustainable” column, along with the sub-200 (and in some cases sub-100) averages sported by Russell Martin, Tulowitzki, Colabello and Smoak. JD, Bautista and Edwin haven’t been hitting well in high-leverage situations, either, which can’t last (can it?).

      Still, we’re approaching the end of April already, and it’s alarming. Although, I do like what Saunders is doing up at the top of the lineup.

  • Barry

    Oh well. We didn’t tear apart Tillman like we should have. Maybe the baseball gods are messing with us and we’ll give Tillman a pass then tee off on Sonny Gray.

  • Betas

    Can we also talk about guys having loose ties on their glooves? The run that scored in the first was the direct result of the ball going right through Donaldson’s glove…