Photo Credit: © Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

Double dip? Double wins! Blue Jays earn blowout and extra innings victories over Royals

We had to wait a loooooooooong time for baseball as Saturday and and Sunday’s games in Cleveland were rained out and Monday’s game in Toronto was cancelled due to the CN Tower attacking the Rogers Centre with large chunks of ice. But it was worth it! The Jays beat the Royals in both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader, once with a blowout, and once with an extra innings comeback.

Things worth mentioning…

  • Hell yeah, what a great day of baseball. That second game really gave you the This team is magic feeling. But let’s talk about the first one first, though. The Jays earned wins in completely different ways today. In the first game, Jaime Garcia was solid, allowing three runs over five frames, but the offence exploded for 11 runs. Yangervis Solarte hit a bomb in the first, Randal Grichuk hit an insurance bomb in the sixth, and everybody in the lineup had a hit except for Russell Martin, but he took two walks. 11-3 Jays. Fun times!
  • And then there was the second game, which was even more impressive than the first. Joe Biagini put together a solid start in which he scattered three runs over five-and-two-thirds. He had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first but managed to get out of it allowing just one run. I think last year’s Biagini would have gotten smacked around after that ugly start, but he showed a lot of poise in this outing which is impressive given the short notice.
  • The Jays couldn’t touch Danny Duffy. It looked like they were well on their way to a loss as Duffy exited the game after six innings of scoreless ball. But, in the seventh, Kansas City’s ‘pen imploded. Justin Grimm walked three guys, including BOTH Kevin Pillar and Randal Grichuk, to load the bases. Luke Maile, who I’ll touch on in a second, drove in two runs, then Devon Travis tied the game with a single, then Steve Pearce gave them the lead with another single. Ryan Tepera blew the lead after that, but Roberto Osuna and Tyler Clippard pitched scoreless ninth and then innings to give Maile a chance to be a hero again.
  • Holy shit, Luke Maile. What the fuck?! Where did this come from? Maile, who had an OPS of like .400 last season, is suddenly an Elite Slugger. Maile went two-for-four in the second game today, and both hits were massive. He came up clutch in the seventh inning, driving in two runs with the bases loaded to kick off Toronto’s comeback effort. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Maile came up with the bases loaded again and ripped a single for the walk-off. He’s looked ridiculously good at the plate so far this season. Maybe he’s next up on the Late Bloomer list for the Blue Jays. We’ve seen a lot of those in the past.
  • The Jays are now 11-5. I’m pretty sure they didn’t win their 11th game until like late May last season. Honestly, you could convince me they didn’t win 11 games at all in 2017. But here we are. The Blue Jays Are Actually Good, friends. This team has some 2015-esque magic to it.

  • The hated.

    Man. This jays team is fun to watch right now! Diaz and solarte are a huge upgrade from goins and Barney. And the way this team is scoring after the 7th inning is just uncanny! Great job tonight Luke, and go get em tomorrow Happie!!

        • Barry

          Sure. The pitch count thing is based on statistics and studies. It is, by definition, “rational,” as it employees reasoning, math, numbers…. What you really meant to say is that it’s a philosophy that relies too much on reason, and I would agree with that. But it’s not “irrational.”

          • fred2

            I’d go with Seguaro. There’s nothing irrational about the statistics that show as a rule the more pitches thrown, the worse for the pitcher (both in terms of health and results 3rd time through). But there’s something completely irrational about picking 100 because it’s a nice round number and setting that as the limit. ‘Well he’s at 100, so even though he’s pitching a dominant outing with few stress situations, and our bullpen sucks, we’re going to pull him’. It’s the irrational implementation of rationally derived statistics.

          • Barry

            But no one is using 100 as an exact make-or-break. No one is pulling a pitcher as soon as they hit 100. Duffy happened to be right on 100, but that’s when the inning ended. It’s impossible to pin it down to an exact number that fits every pitcher, but “around” 100 has, according to those who argue the case, been shown to be the healthy workload.

            In the case of Duffy last night, it wasn’t a case of 101 being a scary number, it was a case of going out to pitch another inning when he was already in triple digits. Had Duffy been pulled mid-inning, I think the case against it would have been stronger, but he finished the sixth, and happened to be at 100 pitches, so he was not sent out to add another 10 to 20 to that total.

            100 pitches also often roughly coincides (and did last night) with a pitcher’s third time through the lineup, which I don’t feel is an arbitrary number.

            It was also his longest outing of the season so far.

            If “100” is a problem because it’s too round a number, what is the solution? Obviously, “toss out pitch limits” isn’t the solution. The solution is to simply have a rough number in mind, but not overreact by pulling mid inning or mid at bat unless. That, to me, is the rational way of doing things.

            All that said, if it’s me, I might leave Duffy in for another batter or so, since he’d been so effective, even though he was bit inefficient (100 pitches is a little on the high side for six innings and five base runners). But I would disagree with the idea of ignoring the pitch count entirely, simply because 100 is too clean a number.

  • Jays of Thunder

    Loving this early season run. So many guys are mashing out of the gate.

    I remember thinking after game 2 against the Yankees that one of the things that was hard about judging the team is now *new* it was. Between Solarte/Diaz/Grichuk/Gift/Grandy, plus Garcia and new ‘pen arms, you had days where less than half of the players on the field were familiar. One of the things this run does is help spotlight the new talent for fans.

    I’m very here for Luke Maile being 7th in catcher WAR.