Last nights game against the Red Sox turned into a marathon, combining for more than twice the length of a standard game. An excellent start from Estrada, a Hernandez sacrifice fly, and a Morales tater had the Jays up 2-0 ready to close things out in the ninth. Unfortunately, Osuna continued his struggles as of late giving up two runs and pushing the game to extras. The game would continue with no-one blinking, including excellent outings from Dermody and Rowley. Things would finally come to their merciful end in the bottom of the 19th when following a lead off double off of the bat of Mookie Betts, the Jays would be BABIP’d into submission. A Han Ram blooper to center scored Betts, the Sox walking away with the 3-2 win. Anyone who was able to stay awake for that entire game, and remain fully functional today, credit to you.
Uhhh I don't remember most of what happened
19 innings ☠️
Congrats Boston ⌚️
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) September 6, 2017
Starting Pitchers Lines:
Marco Estrada (ND): 7 IP 3 H 0 R 0 ER 3 BB 3 SO
Eduardo Rodriguez (ND): 6.0 IP 6 H 2 R 2 ER 1 BB 8 SO
With the game lasting almost forever, 23 players ended up with a chance to help the Jays odds of a victory. 23 players, but only one can be the best, and last night it was Marco Estrada. Estrada was incredible last night shutting down the Red Sox (who were probably lost as fuck with out having signs relayed to them) in seven innings of three hit baseball. The start was worth 48% in win probability added.
The Jays did end up losing, so with all of the WPA Estrada added, someone had to do the exact opposite. Last night, it was Justin Smoak who is most deserving of the jeers. In his one for four night (off of the bench!!) Smoak put up an abysmal -38.7% WPA.
Of the sixteen batters that came to the plate for the Blue Jays, only four were able to post a positive WPA, with the highest being 12.4% from Michael Saunders. When three-quarters of your hitters are bad, however, you’re gonna have a bad time, and boy did they ever. The lineup combined for an incredibly bad -166%. Yup. It was that bad. Go figure it would help to score at least one run in 13 innings to help a win.
The pitching contribution was incredible last night. In the end, the furthest a team can combine for is an added or subtracted 50%. With the line-up being so brutally bad, the pitchers picked them up to get to that point. With only Roberto Osuna posting a negative WPA (-39.7%) the combined total from all seven arms was an impressive 116% WPA.
Highest Leverage At Bat:
Almost a full second game within a game, the Jays had their biggest leverage at bat. In the top of the seventeenth inning, with the Jays facing Fernando Abad, they’d get two runners in scoring position (thanks to an Urena steal) for Raffy Lopez. With runs being so hard to come by, a base hit scoring two would give the Jays a second opportunity to close things out with two run lead. An excellent nine pitch at bat ensued (that included a second attempt at a strike out eephus pitch from Abad), but Lopez came up empty striking out on a high knuckle-curve.
Highest Leverage Opponent At Bat:
The highest leverage at bat for the Red Sox came much earlier in the game. With the Jays leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, they’d hand things off to Osuna. The inning didn’t start great as the Sox would chip away at the struggling closer, with the first two batters reaching. Boston then scored a run on a Hanley Ramirez ground out, bringing up Moreland. Now only down by one with Betts at third, Moreland needed to score that run. The game tying situation came in at an incredible 5.76 LI. Moreland took advantage, too, grounding out to second allowing Betts to score from third and lock things up at two all.
Highest Impact At Bat:
The biggest impact at bat for the Jays on the night would end up being a big negative. In the top of the eleventh, just two innings after giving up the lead, the Jays were in an excellent position to take it back. Justin Smoak would face Austin Maddox with runners on first and third and only one away. Smoak hit a shallow fly ball to Jackie Bradley Jr. for the first out, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Bautista attempted to tag up and score from third, only to be gunned out at home on an absolute rope from Bradley Jr. The double play ended up impacting the Jays chance at a win by an incredible -32.7%.
Highest Impact Opponent At Bat:
Just like the highest leverage at bat for the Red Sox, the biggest impact would come in the bottom of the ninth as well, just a little earlier. After Andrew Benintendi walked to lead off the inning, Mookie Betts drove a double to left. The double put the tieing run in scoring position with none away and increased the Sox chance at a victory by 25.9%, and well, we all know how things went from there.
The rubber match goes tonight with the Jays sending Joe Biagini to the mound to face off against Doug Fister. This whole trend of going thirteen innings without a run is really starting to wear thin, so more fucking runs, please.
(h/t to fangraphs.com for WPA chart and statistics)