I guess the Jays all spent too long in the sauna before last night’s game, or something. Either that, or, well, their former first round supplemental pick James Paxton was actually really good. Regardless, the Jays’ bats were stifled by the Mariners, and they’ll look to rebound today against the low-key-usually-quite-good Hishashi Iwakuma.
Marco Estrada made his first start since July 2 after being activated from the 15-Day disabled list (along with Franklin Morales, as Aaron Loup and Andy Burns were sent to Triple-A Buffalo in the corresponding roster move). The Jays ace had aggravated his back, an injury that’s been nagging him all season, while batting in Colorado back in late June.
Anyways, Estrada was quite excellent, considering he was powering through pain the entire time he was on the mound. He managed to pitch six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three. And the most impressive part came in the sixth, when Estrada, visibly in pain and exhausted, managed to navigate through a bases loaded situation with just one out.
Estrada appreciates good defense. pic.twitter.com/TH7L6Zr4aw
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) July 23, 2016
Unfortunately, as solid as Estrada was, James Paxton was better. The only run the former Blue Jays first-round draft pick (who didn’t sign, tried to go back to college for a senior season, couldn’t because of some Scott Boras shit, and ended up being drafted by Seattle in the fourth round a year later) was completely dominant last night, probably because he figured “hey, I’ve already scorned my country’s home team once, maybe I should now go ahead an inexplicably have the best start of my career!”
Anyways, Paxton was damn good. Aside from a Michael Saunders homer in the second inning, Paxton didn’t allow a hit or a walk through five innings, including two strikeouts of Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and Troy Tulowitzki. Overall, Paxton tossed seven innings, allowed only three hits, walked one, and struck out nine. Now that’s the guy the Jays drafted with the 37th pick in 2010, right there.
The Jays best chance to score came in the seventh, as Josh Thole broke up Paxton’s consecutive out streak at 12 with a walk. With two outs, Josh Donaldson clubbed a double to left field, but the lead-footed Thole had to be stopped at third. I don’t know. I would have sent him there, but I see why they didn’t. Edwin was up to bat next, and you would hate to run into out number three with him at the plate. Also, the Jays didn’t have a catcher available, as Russell Martin injured himself getting fucked up in the sauna, or something.
That 2-2 pitch to Saunders was loooooooow. pic.twitter.com/iXWdSS6o6A
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) July 23, 2016
The Jays had another chance to even up the game in the ninth inning, as Edwin walked and Tulo singled with two outs, but Michael Saunders struck out thanks to a pitch that was terrifyingly reminiscent of the Wade Davis to Ben Revere one in Game 6 of the ALCS. Of course, if you don’t want to get shafted by the umps late in the game, maybe score more than one run the rest of the way?
News and Scuttlebutt
Jays not so good when returning from a road trip. pic.twitter.com/FuFuwDzYn4
— James G (@james_in_to) July 23, 2016
I thought this was pretty interesting. This season, when the Jays return home from a road trip, they’ve only won one game, while they’ve dropped eight. I don’t know what the hell is going on on that team jet, but boy oh boy, it isn’t good!
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 23, 2016
I mentioned earlier that Russell Martin injured himself in the sauna, which is, well, you never want to laugh at a player getting injured, because that sucks, but, I mean, this is kinda hilarious. Anyways, goes into a bit of detail here over what happened, in which he stayed in the sauna for too long, got dizzy when jumping into a cold shower, then suddenly was on the ground with a sore head. He also said he’s going to start using a timer in there, so he doesn’t get fucked up again! Good idea!
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 23, 2016
The excellent Keegan Matheson of Jays Journal did his weekly Minor League Jays roundup, which I mention this week because it features information on how Jose Bautista, Chris Colabello, and Ryan Goins are doing. Matheson also talked about the recent Jays rumour that has Toronto in a bidding war with Baltimore for players from the San Diego Padres (who, incidentally, the Jays will welcome to town on Monday).
When Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and JA Happ start for the Jays, the club plays .648 baseball. When RA Dickey starts, they’re a .350 team.
— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) July 22, 2016
And finally, here’s something kinda dumb from Steve Simmons if you want to have a good laugh out loud as he goes out of his way to try to make R.A. Dickey, who’s been quite excellent for the most part this season, look like some kind of detriment to the team.
Oh yeah, and something else that’s dumb. I can’t find a video for it, but fuck, why on earth were the fans at Rogers Centre booing Adam Lind last night?! In Lindo’s first game in Toronto since being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Estrada back in winter 2014, he was met with boos from the crowd. What the fuck? The guy played parts of nine seasons here, was a pretty good player throughout most of it, and was always a likeable guy. Shame on whoever bood Lind, you’re a dick.
Blue Jays: Zeke Carrera LF, Josh Donaldson 3B, Edwin Encarnacion DH, Michael Saunders LF, Troy Tulowitzki SS, Justin Smoak 1B, Kevin Pillar CF, Devon Travis 2B, Josh Thole C
R.A. Dickey: 7-10, 4.11 ERA, 5.26 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 8.5 H9, 3.2 BB9, 6.4 SO9
Mariners: Nori Aoki LF, Seth Smith RF, Robinson Cano 2B, Nelson Cruz DH, Kyle Seager 3B, Adam Lind 1B, Leonys Martin CF, Chris Iannetta C, Shawn O’Malley SS
Hisashi Iwakuma: 10-6, 4.01 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 9.5 H9, 2.1 BB9, 6.8 SO9