Jays struggle to rip Eickhoff, lose 7-0

R.A. Dickey and Ryan Howard
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Welp. That sure wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Especially at the end. But as I said in my preamble to tonight’s game, bad teams sometimes beat good teams (or, if you want to insist on being a pessimist about these Jays, better teams).

That’s not to shrug off another listless performance from the bats and another dumpster fire from the bullpen, but… well… in another way I guess it kind of is.

I could probably nitpick it a whole bunch, but why? First pitch tomorrow is at 12:37 PM (in front of a School Day crowd of thousands of shrieking children), so I’m thinking let’s just let it go and dwell on the few actual positives we can take from this one. Even if some of them are… shitty.

  • Roberto Osuna wasn’t needed! Hey, if you’re going to lose, you might as well not blow your best relievers for later in this home-and-home four-gamer. Not only did Osuna not pitch, neither did Jesse Chavez, Gavin Floyd, or Jason Grilli. Of course, that (i.e. the quality of the relievers who aren’t those guys) may have had something to do with the game quickly getting out of hand after R.A. Dickey exited.

  • John Gibbons did go to one of his “better” relievers after Dickey allowed a Ryan Howard home run and a walk to Cody Asche in the top of the 7th. And yes, that is an ironic “better,” and the wink is implied. Joe Biagini has stuff that everybody seems to think should play, and he’s had some success so far — which is to say: unlike a whole bunch of guys the Jays have thrown against the wall to see if they stick (HELLO, SCOTT DIAMOND!), Biagini hasn’t been complete horseshit. But his last few outings, as the leverage has been ratcheted up, haven’t gone so smoothly. Tonight was another example of that, as he allowed a double and a single to push the Phillies’ lead to four. So, you ask, this is a silver lining how, exactly? Because the Biagini-as-high-leverage-reliever experiment is probably moving to the backburner a little bit, which (stats be damned!) feels about right.

  • Meanwhile, uh… Drew Storen! He’s bad! He’s been bad! He probably will continue to be bad! But tonight he sure as hell wasn’t bad. Storen faced three batters, and even though they’re just shitty Phillies — Andres Blanco, Tommy Joseph, and Ryan Howard — he struck them all out! And not only that, his stuff looked kinda lively. He got whiffs on all four of the changeups he threw — a pitch he’d used only three times over his previous eight outings — and two of his three sliders (per Brooks). Ryan Howard, I know, but still!

  • Meanwhile, R.A. Dickey was Dickey-ishly good, Edwin and Russell Martin will likely/hopefully be back in the lineup tomorrow, and hey! The Jays dropped the first game of their four-series run against the Yankees and Red Sox, then ended up taking eight of 12. And they dropped their first of four against the Orioles over the weekend, before coming back to win the next three. So… it’ll be alright.