Game Threat: Trying To Solve Chicago, Blue Jays (40-35) vs White Sox (37-37)

After last night’s loss, the Jays fell to 0-4 on the season in games with the White Sox, which, when you include last season, means they’ve been dropped by Chicago six straight times. This is, uh, kinda weird, considering that fact that, you know, the White Sox really aren’t that good, or anything. Maybe the Jays choke up a little seeing Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro, and Melky Cabrera in the other dugout and want to cut their old pals some slack? Probably not? 

Yesterday

Last night’s game featured two good young starters, Aaron Sanchez and Carlos Rodon, who pretty much matched each other the entire way. Sanchez tossed six innings, working his way in and out of trouble inning after inning, ultimately allowing two runs on eight hits and one walk. Rodon went five-and-two-thirds, allowing two runs on six hits and a couple of walks while collecting eight strikeouts. 

In the seventh, with Jesse Chavez pitching in relief, the White Sox pulled ahead after an unfortunate sequence that involved Josh Donaldson messing up a Tim Anderson ground ball on a terrible hop, then Ryan Goins making a really bad throw on a fly ball that allowed the runner to advance from second to third. With one out, Edwin Encarnacion made a nice stab at first to collect the second out of the inning, but immediately after, Todd Fraizer made up for it by singling Anderson home. 

In the ninth inning, down 3-2, the Jays put together a nice opportunity to blow the game open at the best possible time. With one out, Darwin Barney put together an excellent at bat, drawing a walk off of closer David Robertson after going down two strikes in the count. Right after Zeke ‘The Legend’ Carrera singled, then Josh Donaldson clubbed a ball right at third baseman Tyler Saladino that he couldn’t handle, and the bases were loaded. 

But that’s as close as it would get. Robertson struck out Encarnacion with some well placed fastballs that Edwin couldn’t catch up to, then Michael Saunders popped out on the first pitch he saw, giving the White Sox the win. 

Overall, a pretty meh game. Sanchez had a decent start, depending on how you look at it. He made a mistake to Melky Cabrera, allowing a solo home run after getting ahead in the count, and he allowed a lot of contact throughout the night. But he looked like a veteran in handling it, as he did a an excellent job at working his way out of jams. 

Devon Travis and Kevin Pillar continued to smack the ball, each collection a pair of hits, which is great, because the Jays need production from the bottom of the order to be successful. Also, Drew Storen had a nice inning of relief in what was his first sorta kinda high leverage situation since, fuck, I don’t know. But he preserved the one run deficit in the eighth, meaning he may get some more looks in these types of situations. 

It was one of those scoring-runs-is-gonna-be-damn-fucking-impossible-for-whatever-reason games, which always sucks. You could just tell when this Kevin Pillar groundout scored one of their two runs that it was going to be like that. 

News and Scuttlebutt 

Speaking of offence, CALL THIS KID UP IMMEDIATELY. Not actually, obviously. But check out Vlady Jr. swing for his first pro jack. Fantastic stuff. 

And in prospect injury news…

In two innings with Dunedin, Cecil has allowed one run on two hits, while also collection four strikeouts, which is certainly promising. Franklin Morales, who I always totally forget about, has also tossed two innings, with no earned runs, one hit a couple of walks, and three strikeouts. 

Today 

Blue Jays: Carrera RF, Travis 2B, Donaldson, DH, Encarnacion 1B, Saunders LF, Tulowitzki SS, Pillar CF, Goins 3B, Thole C

R.A. Dickey — 4-8, 4.08 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 8.7 H9, 33 BB9, 5.9 SO9 

White Sox: Anderson SS, Eaton RF, Abreu 1B, Cabrera LF, Fraizer 3B, Avila DH, Lawrie 2B, Navarro C, Shuck CF

Miguel Gonzalez — 1-2, 4.29 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 1.45 WHIP, 9.3 H9, 3.8 BB9, 7.5 SO9 

Well, the Jays had a hell of a time hitting yesterday, they really, really shouldn’t with Miguel Gonzalez on the mound. You’ll remember Gonzalez from his days with the Orioles when he was pretty bad but weirdly successful for a few years, especially against the Jays. For his career, Gonzalez has a 2.99 ERA and 1.107 WHIP over 81.1 innings against Toronto, but in his start earlier this year against the Jays, he was tagged for five runs over five-and-a-third. It kinda goes along with his whole profile as somebody who doesn’t have great stuff, doesn’t strike anybody out, and allows quite a bit of contact, but gets good results, as now that he’s not playing in front of Baltimore’s elite defence, he isn’t doing so hot. So score so goddamn runs! It looked like the offence was finally reaching something remotely close to 2015’s murder squad, but it’s been dry these past few games.