Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball is a funny game some nights.
One minute you’re livid at the Jesse Chavez meatball to Matt Kemp that was annihilated into the left field bullpen, which was set up by the atrocious defence of Jose “You can’t spell ‘DH’ without ‘Jose Bautista, duh!'” Bautista gifting the Padres a two-out extra-inning double, while also wondering what to make of the random dude telling you on Twitter that the Jays were about to make a trade with the Mariners. The next Devon Travis is having a 79-pitch at-bat against the ghost of Carlos Villanueva’s memory, the Jays are somehow beating the hilarious Padres on a walk-off wild pitch (or was it a passed ball?), and the Mariners thing turns out to be the Jays actually acquiring the maybe-not-terrible Joaquin Benoit for the very-definitely-Drew-Storen Drew Storen.
What a world!
Kudos all around!
Kudos to @TheDeerhunter1979, who had the trade before anybody, despite being, as far as I can tell, some totally random dude (who didn’t seem like an idiot, which is why I thought he might be on to something in the first place)! And to Ross Atkins and company for turning Drew Storen, who — if you hadn’t forgotten about him entirely already — one figured was simply going to get released after being Designated for Assignment by the club over the weekend, into at least another aging right-handed reliever with a better track record than his 2016 suggests to take a flyer on! And also to the Jays players themselves, for whatever the hell kind of embarrassment train they just ran on the poor Padres, and for gutting it the hell out through a game that lesser humans would have been too bored and dispirited by to mount a comeback in the way that they did tonight.
Hey, and the Orioles and Red Sox both lost tonight, too! Fuck! Fuck yes!
And honestly, as weird as it is to be in any way pleased about the acquisition of a reliever who has walked 15 batters over 24 innings this year (or something), and looked nothing like himself, I was preparing myself to hear that the deal for Benoit was for some sort of low level prospect with at least a slight chance of coming back to bite the club! But for Storen?? Why, that’s just found money!
Er… in a roundabout way.
Plus, Benoit is a bit Grilli-like in the fact that he has a good track record, still strikes guys out, and sucked in large part because of his troubles with the walk — which have gone away a little bit in his last few outings (only 2 walks over his last 4.2 innings!) — and the fact that he’s simply been a little unlucky.
Benoit has been oddly homer-prone (a 15.4% HR/FB this season, compared to 9.9% for his career), and has an ugly strand rate (65.8%), but isn’t struggling in terms of hard contact rate or velocity, when compared with his most recent seasons. And since Grilli seems to have worked out exceptionally well, uh… let’s just assume Benoit will also!
So… yeah. Good night. Good night.
Could have been worse, at least! (i.e. we could be talking about a terrible strike call against Josh Donaldson, or the quality of the umpiring one the whole, or Marcus Stroman again not quite living up to expectations, or John Gibbons’ decision to keep Bautista in right field and lose the DH (instead of asking him to play first base), or any number of points in this game where the whole damn thing could have gone sideways).