Photo Credit: © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 8, Cleveland 4: Not even Andrew Miller can stop the comeback

The Clevelanders got on Marcus Stroman early, but the Jays answered back with eight unanswered runs (including one off of Andrew Miller!) to complete the comeback as the bullpen completely slammed the door.

Things worth mentioning…

  • Marcus Stroman allowed two runs in the first and second innings. It looked like his day was going to be cut very short, which is never an ideal way to begin a series, but Stroman grinded it out and managed to go five innings. It wasn’t great, but Stroman being able go three more innings without allowing a run was huge for Toronto’s comeback.
  • Teoscar Hernandez was recalled today in place of Josh Donaldson being placed on the disabled list. He was immediately slotted into the No. 2 slot in the lineup and he made his presence felt. Hernandez clubbed a double off of Andrew Miller to drive in the go-ahead run, which is one hell of a thing to do because Miller is basically like using a cheat code in a video game. He also smacked another double in the eighth inning that was basically a 400-foot line drive. I don’t think he wants to go back down to Buffalo any time soon.
  • Scoring a run off of Andrew Miller, fuck yeah. Randal Grichuk was at third with Steve Pearce batting. Pearce grounded out and Cleveland threw out Grichuk at home. It looked like the Jays were going to squander the chance, but they got some help from an old friend in Yan Gomes. With Hernandez batting, Gomes had a passed ball that allowed Pearce to advance to second. If that doesn’t happen, Pearce might not score on Hernandez’s double.
  • It was a very gusty effort by the Jays on Friday night. Like, when Cleveland went up 4-0, it was easy to assume they were just going to roll over. But the Jays clawed back with a big inning in the fourth led by Aledmys Diaz’s three-run bomb. It was also huge that the ‘pen was able to slam the door after Stroman was pulled, so hats off to them. This good bullpen, power-hitting lineup is a nice combo. The Jays are never totally out of a game.
  • Devon Travis got hit in the hand by a pitch in the ninth inning and left the game. I’ll update further as more information comes out.
  • allstev

    I like how things are looking, they’re winning games, and Grichuk, and Travis will start hitting at some point too, so they’re gonna get better. I like this team, they’re fun to watch.

    • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

      What if he comes back and goes on a tear? I know what you are saying, and who knows, if the team is really rocking, I wonder if they would break up a good thing and put Tulo back in. That being said, I imagine if he comes back this year, it will be around the all star game. I suffered the same type of injury to my ankle that he did, and 7 years later, I still have not recovered. I honestly wonder if he will ever make it back really. I know it’s a lot of money on the table, but I suspect that he will retire at some point this year.

  • lukewarmwater

    To quote Alicia Keyes this team is ON FIRE. Definitely a lot of fun to watch as the baseball Gods obviously big Jays fans so far with pitchers not holding runners on third, catchers missing balls, balls rolling into the dug out resulting in a runner scoring from third, umps missing a call like tonight to give Hernandez another shot. An amazing streak of late inning production. Plus I know I will have sinned in here but Gibby is truly being sacreligious by allowing the team to make a concerted effort moving the runner along 90 feet. Stealing bases, moving the runner along by hitting to the right side of the diamond, sacrifice flies. Yes folks at times the Jays are resorting to the hideous, disgusting , evil, unprofessional, dare I say it. OH WHAT THE HELL SMALLLLLLL BALLLLLL. That felt good to get off my concave chest. Keep it going Jays as the great start is giving this group more and more confidence.

        • lukewarmwater

          Sad that I have to reply as obviously if you read my posting more thoroughly you would realise I am referring to the whole season. But trust me your not the only one to just refer to last nights game. Btw in aggressive steal attempts or trying to take an extra base you are not always going to succeed but as I pointed out in the Baltimore series. Slow running Smoak broke for home on a grounder to third and was an easy out. The next night the right fielder for Baltimore in a scoreless game in the late innings fielded a single and came up firing to home even though it was Smoak plodding around the bases and he was going to definitely camp at third. But the Oriole right fielder hurried his throw which got past the catcher and a sleeping pitcher backing up the catcher and the little old raw hide roled into the Jays dug out for a birdie on the birds. That was the first run of a 2 run game. Yep Grandy hit a homer to win that game. But that first run was huge.
          Teams are being forced into errors such as the right fielder’s throw because clubs are aware that the Jays will attempt to take an extra 90 feet. I sincerely hope I made it clear for you this time. If not next time I will write war and peace.

          • GrumblePup

            I don’t think anyone has a problem with “small ball” in general. It’s not that bunting and stealing are always bad. But they are always the wrong choice to make.

            So it gets tiring listenting the people who are consistently clamoring about small ball, going on and on about how the Jays aren’t trying to win because no one is creating anything on the basepaths. (I’m not accusing you of this).
            This is where the hatred of the term “small ball” comes from. From people who don’t understand that SITUATIONAL bunting and stealing are good. ARBITRARY stealing and bunting to “get something going” are bad.

            Stealing 2nd because you’re down by a run is, in general, bad. But stealing second when Jon Lester is on the mound is a pretty good bet if the baserunner has some speed.

            The Jays have always been pretty good at choosing the right moments to steal. A team needs to be successful around 75% of the time in order for it to be beneficial in the overall. Last year the Jays were sitting in the low 80s (I think, I don’t remember the exact number off hand, but I just finished doing a bunch of research on this topic to explain to my friend this exact point. He’s in the ‘steal everything all the time or you’re not trying hard enough’ camp.)

            So yes, I also hope Gibby keeps this up. And by keeps this up, I mean “doing what he has always done and allow players to bunt and steal when the situation calls for it” instead of becoming a “small ball first” manager, because that is never a good idea.

          • dolsh

            Giving up outs is always bad. Taking an extra base as often as possible? Sure. Pressure the defense? Sure. But “small ball” isn’t always “smart ball”.

          • lukewarmwater

            Eloquently stated Grumble. Thanks for the research you did on the subject. I totally agree with much you stated. I think where the small ball or simply trying to move the runner 90 feet along becomes extremely important is of course late in a close game and especially in extra innings where most years we haven’t done very well. You also have to consider it in the N.L. parks when your pitcher has to bat 4 times. I always enjoy your postings.

          • Abogilo

            Your points are perfectly valid and I agree that you are thinking and arguing your point very well. I believe that as a whole (especially how this team is built) small ball choices will almost certainly cost the Jays more than it will gain them. I have no numbers to back me up though.

  • The Humungus

    Two things:

    1. I absolutley gave up on this game when it was 4-0 Cleveland. So, stoked to wake up and see a win.

    2. Andrew Miller has . . . Been ordinary this year. He’s allowing a tonne of baserunners early. I know small sample size, but it’s still odd (I have him on a fantasy team where I like to stash a high strikeout, low era reliever in a pitcher spot over a mediocre starter, so I know he’s allowing more than 2 baserunners per inning).

    • smallg

      Not sure I would call 15.2 SO9 and a 0 era as pedestrian. Those stats are prior to last night. But 4 hits and 3 walks(one intentional) and 9 strikeouts over first 5.1 innings. Still better than pedestrian in my book. Give credit where credit is do, jays scored first run of the season off miller. Go jays.

      • The Humungus

        I didn’t say pedestrian. I said ordinary. And while he was striking out nearly 2 guys an inning, that’s expected. I was commenting on him allowing a significant number of baserunners (while acknowledging the small sample size).

        Since converting to relief full time, Miller’s WHIP entering the season was under 0.8. It’s currently sitting at 1.3. And extra half runner per inning is something I’d call an early season surprise, and certainly out of character for him.

        • smallg

          Yes, l would agree, his 1.3 WHIP is a little higher than his norm(and maybe after last night he is averaging closer to the 2+ WHIP you previously mentioned). My apologies for miss quoting you. Not sure where I got pedestrian from. Ordinary, or dull , is used to describe pedestrian in the dictionary(in the context used). Kinda thought they meant the same thing. My bad.

      • lukewarmwater

        At 35 , one has to be a bit concerned about Estrada as he had the back problems last year after having bought into that system of hanging up sided down like some vampire cave bat. He realised after buyer beware.
        But absolutely the rotation has to get the E.R.A. down. I give Stroman a pass as it is still spring training to some extent for him and he gutted it out after the first and second innings. Sanchez was the old Sanchez of 2016 in his last outing with the no hitter going into the 8th. It must be reassuring to the pitchers that to this point they have confidence that some how this team can explode for all important runs in the last few innings. I mean this is a truly fun team to watch. No pressure, no major expectations. Just solid, aggressive hard nose ball playing with some enticing desserts of bizarre plays going in the Jays favour as the baseball Gods are truly shining down on our Jays.

        • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

          I agree, no pressure, despite what management says, I think the fan base has no real expectations, although we all hope and wish that they are contending at least. Fun team really.

          • lukewarmwater

            Yep a lot of fun to watch. Btw I’m not sure what the sports wear market in the big smoke is like these days. But out here in Vancouver it is a bear market as I recently got a Jays t shirt for $5.00 and Jays jacket similar to the ones they wear in the dug out for 50% off, I have to be able to style and profile when the better half and I go on our cruise in 10 days. If anyone has bought any Jays merchandise lately not at the park or on line with the Jays but an actual independent store, if you got a good deal on the item.

  • AD

    The offense looks much stronger than last year so far. I think pillar will go in the tank soon but I think Travis will pick it up. Not too impressed with grichuk either ( pillar with more pop) but the rest of the lineup looks good. Could use JD and morales back to slide solarte out of cleanup.

    • Prospectplayer

      Morales could stay on the DL for the season the way he had hit this year we need JD and his bat so slide Solarte into Dh. Have to keep Teoscar in the lineup, until or rather if he fails. Time for Grichuk to see the bench or AAA to find his stroke.

        • Knuckle Balls

          Humungous confirmed this no options – so based on the “trade” Shakins is going to ring this out until it looks really really bad – His defence though is really good – but we need the bat more to keep up. Boston is starting to run away. Losses in April could affect whether you play in October.

          • Boy5

            Hey listen i can sell a peanut to a gallery bur it seems like peanut/almond butter are the trends these days. Call me in 5 years when the market adjusts, Nation Network.

          • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

            Losses in September could affect whether you play in October. Get serious. And it’s early, wait until Grichuk has played like this for a month or two. If next week he goes on a tear, are you going to retract your statement. Having a 15 game beer league mentality, where if you don’t perform in the first 3 games, then 20% of your season is shot, time to go to the bench. It’s a 162 game season. The jays have played 14 games (at the time of writing this) .08641 % of a season. Let’s wait and see what happens.

      • Paul Beestons Grass Surface

        Really, after a couple of weeks. So with Stanton and Judge being shitty, should they be sent to AAA. And keep someone in the lineup until he fails. Right, that would just be a great positive thing to put in the back of someones mind. You ever play sports? Ever try and perform, when you you think that you will be yanked, the minute you don’t perform?