Going into the game yesterday with a garbage 2-8 record against their division rivals, and showing nothing against the Trash Birds in game one of the series, the Jays actually turned the tables. What’s even more surreal, is how the they got there. After shutting the Orioles out in the first, (a novel concept, not allowing a team to score in the first inning) Jose Bautista actually put the Jays in front early! A lead off oppo taco put the boys up 1-0 in just the second Orioles pitch of the game.
From there on out the Jays followed Stroman’s lead on to a convincing victory. Stroman went seven and two thirds topping out at a career high 119 pitches. Justin Smoak would also chip in adding to his all star resume driving a solo shot to center. Baltimore also helped the Jays pad their lead with some shotty defence allowing another two runs to score on a fielders choice off the bat of Jose Bautista. To put a cap on the evening, Roberto Osuna also made an appearance coming in for a non save opportunity in the ninth and looked damn good doing it. He’d strike out the side in order to seal the deal on the shutout and Jays win.
STRO🔥🔥🔥🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
Buck Showalter's expression for everything that happens 😡
A WIN!!! 🎉🎉🎉
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) June 29, 2017
Starting Pitchers Lines:
Marcus Stroman (W): 7.2 IP 5 H 0 R 0 ER 1 BB 8 SO
Wade Miley (L): 5.0 IP 6 H 4 R 3 ER 4 BB 5 SO
Cheers! (to the Jay that gave them the best chance to win):
No shock here after the outing that Marcus Stroman put up. Stroman put the team on his back tonight and added a whopping 33.6% to the Jays chances to win.
Jeers…. (to the Jay that hurt their chances the most):
Despite being the only Jays batter to account for a run last night, Troy Tulowitzki continued his struggles since coming back from injury. His 0 for night resulted in him being the most harmful to the Jays chances of winning with a -9.5% WPA.
Thank the baseball gods that the Blue Jays actually were able to put together some swings resembling at bats last night. They may have needed a little help from Showalter’s crew, but they still added to the Jays chances on the evening putting forth a combined +14%.
With the starting pitcher getting credit for the highest WPA added, there’s a good chance of this number being pretty impressive. With Danny Barnes and Roberto Osuna stepping in to shut the door for the last 1.1 innings, the staff would prop up the Jays with an excellent 36% WPA.
Highest Leverage At Bat:
For Toronto, the highest leverage at bat came in the bottom of the fourth. With the Jays only up by two, Joey Bats stepped up to the plate with the bases juiced and two away. The big opportunity for the Jays to take a demanding lead registered in at a 1.91 LI.
Highest Leverage Opponent At Bat:
Last night wouldn’t give the Orioles too many high leverage at bats. As a result, the highest LI they would see was 1.71 with none way in the third inning. Paul Janish came to the dish against Stroman with Caleb Joseph at first. At the time the Orioles were only down 1-0, so Janish had a chance to get the Orioles right back in it. Stroman however, would get Janish to fly out to center.
Highest Impact At Bat:
Thanks to the Orioles, the highest impact at bat of the game would come on a fielders choice on the highest leverage Jays at bat. Bautista put the ball on the ground for what looked like would be an easy end the to the inning. The Orioles proved they are shit, however, and after two errors, Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce would score giving the Jays a 4-0 lead. The insurance runs resulted in a 11.3% WPA.
Highest Impact Opponent At Bat:
With the Orioles never really threatening, the highest impact at bat would come in a rare spot last night. The biggest impact came in the first inning, and it was a negative one. Seth Smith got on as the lead off batter, and it appeared as though the Jays were going to surrender yet another first inning run. Stroman had other ideas though, and got Manny Machado to hit into a double play, resulting in an early -7.3% WPA. That would stand as the biggest at bat for the Orioles over the remainder of the game.
The Jays are back at it again tomorrow seeking a series win against the Orioles in the final game of the three-game set. The Jays will look to JA Happ to lead the way.
(h/t to fangraphs.com for WPA chart and statistics)