Well wouldn’t you know it, the Blue Jays have put together three in a row. Building off of the wins against the Yankees, things didn’t look great to start. The Jays squandered a huge opportunity to get in front in the bottom of the first, only to see Marwin Gonzalez put the Astros up with a solo shot in the second. It sure had that, oh shit, here we go again feel to it, but thankfully things turned around. The bats came alive putting forward a five run fifth that would be more than enough to take them to victory. To end things off Roberto Osuna came in to slam the door shut yet again, retiring three in a row, including Carlos Correa, who now seems to be soaked in piss.
Starting Pitchers Lines:
Francisco Liriano (W): 6 IP 9 H 3 R 3 ER 1 BB 4 SO
Lance McCullers Jr. (L): 4.1 IP 9 H 6 R 5 ER 2 BB 3 SO
For the first time in a while last night, the highest impact player for the Jays came on offense. Jose Bautista was only 1 for 4 with a walk on the night, but he got on when it counted. The Jays lead off man attributed for an 11.5% WPA, leading the team.
The Blue Jay that hurt the teams chances the most today came on the offensive side of the ball as well. Ryan Goins was only one of four Blue Jays to put forth a negative WPA, and he “led” the way putting a dent in the team’s odds by 7.5%.
The lineup finally pulled their heads out of their asses, and instead of looking like a bunch of mediocre sluggers, put forward an effort that is more expected from this group. The offensive was incredibly impressive on the day, adding a combined 41.1% WPA.
For once, the Jays weren’t relying on their pitchers to carry them on to a victory. Only adding a combined 8.9% WPA (even with only one Ryan Tepera adding a negative) the bats were left to shoulder the load. Beliveau led all pitchers with a 4.1% contribution.
Highest Leverage At Bat:
Believe it or not, the highest leverage at bat didn’t come in the big fifth inning, it would actually occur in the first.The Jays set themselves up with an excellent opportunity to get ahead early in this one, loading the bases with only one away. With Kendrys Morales striking out for the second out, the runners stayed put for Troy Tulowitzki. A big swing on the line where an out to end the inning could bail McCullers out of a jam, or a base hit could lead to an early lead for the Jays, the LI came in at 2.77. Unfortunately for the Jays, Tulowitzki followed suit and struck out to end the inning.
Highest Leverage Opponent At Bat:
With the game all tied up at one, Liriano started to waver in the fifth. With Bregman on third and Springer on first and only one out, the diminutive Jose Altuve stepped into to box with his sights set on taking the lead back. At this spot midway through the game, it was a big opportunity for the Astros to significantly increase their chance of a win, registering in at a LI of 2.43. Altuve singled to right on a liner, scoring Bregman and putting the Astros back on top 2-1.
Highest Impact At Bat:
The highest impact at bat was again, surprisingly not in the five run fifth. With the Jays down 1-0 in the fourth, Steve Pearce came to the plate with Kendrys Morales on third. Pearce actually took advantage of a runner in scoring position and sent a liner to center scoring Morales and tieing things up. The game tieing run increased the Jays chances at a W by 11.7%
Highest Impact Opponent At Bat:
Just like the Yankees a couple of games back, despite the loss the highest impact Astros at bat was a positive as well. Immediately after getting out of a bases loaded jam with only one out, the Astros had Marwin Gonzalez due up to lead off the inning. Gonzalez had an immediate impact ripping a solo shot, putting the Astros up 1-0, and adding 10.3% to the Astros chances of a win.
The Jays take on the Astros in game two of the four game set, where Aaron Sanchez makes his triumphant return from a very Rich Hill-esque blister.
(h/t to fangraphs.com for WPA chart and statistics)