So that was a game of baseball. Go figure these games sure seem to play out differently when you go from playing a stretch against the bottom of the barrel to one of the best teams in the league. It didn’t take long to notice either. Houston jumped on Valdez early grabbing the lead in the bottom of the first and tacking on another one in the third going up 3-0.
The Jays gave us the temporary perception that they were going to make it interesting scoring two in the top of the fourth bringing them within one. This is where you may want to stop. In the bottom of the fourth Valdez, Dermody, and Bolsinger each contributed one out each while giving up a combined total of nine runs against.
Houston now up 12-3, from there on out it was going to be a giant mountain to climb. The Jays did show some life with a Martin home run in the fifth and again in the sixth scoring four on an Ezequiel Carrera double and a Ryan Goins three run shot. Unfortunately it was way too little too late. The Astros cruised on to a 16-7 win.
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) August 5, 2017
Starting Pitchers Lines:
Cesar Valdez (L): 3.1 IP 6 H 6 R 6 ER 2 BB 1 SO
Brad Peacock (W): 6 IP 9 H 7 R 7 ER 2 BB 6 SO
As you can imagine, not many guys really increased the Jays odds of a win significantly. Once a team is down by ten runs, even a Steve Pearce special gets back four runs, which really doesn’t increase the odds ALL that much. There was one player to stand out, however. Kendrys Morales was almost a full 14% higher than any other Jay, earning the raise of our glass tonight with an added 15% towards the Jays win probability.
Really, the whole team deserves our jeers tonight. Outside of Morales, every Blue Jay contributed a less than two or negative WPA. When it comes down to it though, there can only be one, and Cesar Valdez gets the spotlight tonight. Going only 3.1 innings, the starter still hurt the Jays chances by a brutal -33.8%.
Thank goodness for Morales, who brought the Jays lineup to a respectable level. With Morales’ 15% pulling everyone up by the bootstraps, the lineup was actually able to muster up a positive WPA. It was .01%… but still! Positives!
The pitching contribution was the death blow for the Blue Jays today. Between Valdez and the five other relievers that worked in relief of the starter, they all combined for an abysmal -50.1% today. It’s pretty easy to draw this conclusion from the score as well, but the pitchers wear this loss in full today.
Highest Leverage At Bat:
The highest leverage at bat for the Blue Jays would come in the top of the fourth. At this point, the Astros had only mustered up three runs and the Jays had made it close scoring two already in the inning. Carrera was on second base with two away and Rob Refsnyder was at the dish. A base hit could score Zeke and tie things up, and as a result registered in at LI of 1.46. Unfortunately, Refsnyder would fly out to end the inning.
Highest Leverage Opponent At Bat:
Flip things over to the bottom of the fourth, with the Jays and the Astros still in a close game. The first two batters reached safely bringing Tyler White up with none away. The game still close, the insurance runs could have meant a lot, and so the LI came in at 1.62. White took advantage of the high leverage situation, ripping a double to left scoring Carlos Beltran and increasing the Astros lead.
Highest Impact At Bat:
There weren’t too many opportunities for the Jays bats to have an impact with the poor pitching performance, but Kendrys Morales was responsible for the biggest impact. His home run with Justin Smoak on in the top of the fourth brought the Blue Jays within one run of Houston and increased the Jays odds of a win by 16.3%.
Highest Impact Opponent At Bat:
Again, with the game turning into such a route, the Astros highest impact at bat came early on. In the bottom of the first with Josh Reddick on base and two away, Yulieski Gurriel blasted a home run to center field. The two run shot gave Houston the early lead increasing their chances of a win by 19.1%.
Game two of the three game weekend set goes tonight. Here’s hoping for some better results than that one.
(h/t to fangraphs.com for WPA chart and statistics)