Game Recap: Russsssssssssss!

Holy shit, that felt nice! I had almost forgotten what a huge hit felt like, because it’s been, like, what, three days since the Jays lineup came up with one? Regardless, after an ugly loss on Friday featuring some limp bats and another slow start to today’s game, Russell Martin’s three-run home run in the sixth inning was most certainly a reason to get fired up. How fired up? Let’s ask Jason Grilli: 

Source: FanGraphs

Look at that spike! Russell Martin’s home run literally doubled the Jays’ win expectancy percentage from 41% to 82%. I think that homer also had a similar effect on the collective mood of Blue Jays fans, too, because twitter was a goddamn morgue heading into the sixth inning, and while I wasn’t there, I can only expect the stadium had a similar mood to it. 

The Astros grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning by smacking a single and a couple of doubles off of Aaron Sanchez, but Josh Donaldson quickly responded in the bottom of the first with a home run to cut the lead in half. After that, it was complete gloom for a few innings. Collin McHugh continued on the trend of striking Blue Jays out like he was being paid on commission. Thankfully, though, Sanchez settled down after the first, surrendering only two hits and a couple of walks in his other six innings of work. 

In the sixth, Edwin Encarnacion got things rolling with a base hit (after he took what probably should have been ball four), then Michael Saunders, who was clearly listening to Gregg Zaun on TV between innings, put down a perfect bunt to third base to beat the shift. Then, after Troy Tulowitzki grounded out (after, again, taking what should have been ball four, but fuck it), Russell Martin stabbed some life into the goddamn team, stadium, and entire fanbase with a cannon to centre field, giving the Jays a 4-2 lead. 

Jason Grilli came in to work the eighth, got fired up, as the tweet above shows, then Roberto Osuna closed things out in the ninth to give the Jays the win. I don’t know about you, but that home run from Russ felt like the one had last year against the Yankees in September. Were the stakes as high today? Absolutely not, but man, that felt very, very necessary. 

Also, here’s a nice mental image that I’ve been thinking about for the past hour: