7

Blue Jays 7, Twins 4: KENDRYS HAS WHEELS

Game 2 in Minnesota was another exciting one, this time going into extras with the Jays finishing on top.

 

Things worth mentioning…

  • After allowing 2 runs in the first inning, Estrada only managed to get through 5 innings of work (for the third straight game!) allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. The offence definitely helped him out in this one, tying things up in the 8th.
  • Kendrys Morales was slotted into the game 40 minutes before first pitch in place of Steve Pearce for what the team said was a “managers decision”. Morales snapped what seemed like an 0-for-forever with two bombs. It’ll be worth paying attention to what kept Pearce out of the game as he was on the bench the entire time.

  • Kevin Pillar hit his 10th straight hit for extra bases, giving him the second longest streak in franchise history. It ended up coming clutch, as he scored the game winning run.
  • In other Morales news, he stole a base. Yup. His first since 2009 came after Pillar stole 3rd and it was absolutely electric. Especially during a 10th inning that was an absolute disaster for the Twins, with the Jays scoring off of two wild pitches and an infield single.

  • The Jays are now 14-0 on the season when scoring 7 or more runs. With the starting pitching still struggling to go deep into games, the never-say-die attitude from the offence (very 2015-ish) will be the key to staying in the win column.
  • Lastly, the bullpen welt 5 innings and didn’t allow a run. That is all.

 

Jays will look for the sweep tomorrow in Minnesota before travelling to Cleveland on Thursday.

 

 

    • belarus32

      I would be cautious. His walk rate is almost the same as last year (5.9% to 5.3%) , he is also striking out more (17.6% to 15.0%) . BABIP is somewhat high @ .353 His quality of contact has been much better which I’m hoping he can some what sustain. I really hope he can keep this up, but i do see regression coming

      • ErnieWhitt

        Regression is definitely coming for Pillar, the only question is to what level. There is no way he can sustain a 150wRC+. Still – there does seem to be a couple things he’s trying to do differently at the plate thiss year that seems to be resulting in harder contact (approach, swing plane etc.). We will have to wait to see if this was a hot month or closer to a new normal.

      • Barry

        To be honest, I didn’t realize his strikeout rate was that low. That’s actually not that bad. The walk rate is godawful, which doesn’t bode well, of course, and you’re likely right that the BABIP is unsustainable. He claims he’s looking for better pitches to hit, and maybe that’s true and could impact BABIP, but I would think that if that were the case, we’d see an impact in his K and walk rates, which one could argue are relatively unchanged in a smallish sample; they’re certainly not improved.

        I don’t think Pillar’s alone — multiple hitters are playing a bit over their heads — so we’re in “hopefully when they regress we’ll see returns to norm for the guys who aren’t hitting, and Donaldson will be back and maybe our starting pitchers will bounce back.” That scenario isn’t implausible — and it would be nice if it works out that way. But the potential regression players are those who stand to be of the black-hole-in-the-lineup variety. I’m not deeply worried about the impact regressions will have on the overall lineup, but it’s not unwise to be prepared for individual drop-offs, and for the likes of Kevin Pillar to hit like the likes of Kevin Pillar.

        • The Humungus

          That’s the one thing about Pillar: He’s never struckout a lot. His ability to weakly hit good pitches is astounding. I don’t ever recall another guy who hits as many easy grounders on pitches 4″ outside and at the knees, rather than just whiffing wildly.

          If he ever got pitch recognition down to the point where he was not swinging wildly at everything, and instead only swinging at strikes, he’d actually be a decent hitter, because his ability to put the bat on the ball is so good.

  • IslandMike

    On the Morales “steal”, it was a set play to draw a throw. If Garver throws down to 2nd, Pillar takes off for home. That’s why Morales actually slows down and looks at the plate – he wants to get caught in a run-down. The Twins weren’t biting. It wasn’t defensive indifference so it certainly counts as a steal but the play was really more of a fielder’s choice.