Trent Thornton’s debut gets Rowdy, but the Blue Jays fall in extra innings

Well, that was an interesting game. The Jays would end up losing 4-3 to the Tigers in extra innings, thus splitting the four-game series, but there’s certainly a lot to talk about.

Things worth mentioning…

  • Trent Thornton was incredibly good in his Major League debut. Thornton, who squeaked onto the team when Ryan Borucki got injured in spring training, went five scoreless innings while setting a franchise record for rookie pitchers making their debut with eight strikeouts. The word on Thornton when the Jays acquired him from Houston was the spin he puts on the ball. Thornton’s most effective pitch this afternoon was his curveball, which had Tigers batters swinging all over the place.

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  • Speaking of debuts, Rule 5 pickup and 2000s-born literal child Elvis Luciano made his first big league relief appearance. Luciano came into the game with the Jays down 3-0 after Tim Mayza and Javy Guerra combined to let the Tigers score three runs in the seventh inning. Luciano would go an inning and a third without allowing a run on one walk and one hit. He was thrown right into the deep end, having to pitch to Nick Castellanos with two runners on base, but he got out of it. It was pretty impressive stuff from the 19-year-old.
  • In the eighth inning, Charlie Montoyo took a big gamble pinch hitting Rowdy Tellez for Luke Maile. In doing so, the Jays lost the DH spot and had to play as a National League team the rest of the way, but Tellez made the decision look good by hitting a three-run bomb to tie the game.

  • Overall, the bats were pretty disappointing again today. Outside of Rowdy’s clutch bomb, the Jays couldn’t get much going. They had a chance to win in the bottom of the bottom of the 10th inning when Freddy Galvis hit a pinch hit infield single with Richard Urena on second. Urena ran through a stop sign at third and got thrown out at home. Still, I don’t mind the aggressive running from Urena. Play to win and force the other team to make plays.
  • While the result was disappointing, this was a fun and interesting game to watch. We all know this team isn’t going to be great, but if the games are like this, it’ll be a fun season to follow. That said, it would be nice to the bats finally break out.

  • Jeff2sayshi

    Failed to mention the rally in the bottom of the 11th. Seeing a whole side of the infield left open, with the tying run at third, and still not even trying to hit situationallty is frustrating.

      • Jeff2sayshi

        It’s not a lack of appreciating that. It’s more just a general comment on the state of the game as a whole.

        For another example see: B1 – Fri nights game. Leadoff triple, Tigers play back and are conceding the run, but 3 straight strikeouts. Jays just had to literally put the ball in play to score a run.

        But, we’re constantly told how a strikeout is no worse than any other out.

        • The Humungus

          I agree with you on that one. Hell, the Royals won a damn World Series on proving that strikeouts are worse than other outs.

          I mean, they later vacated it, but that’s beside the point.

        • The Humungus

          For the record, the 2015 Royals struck out 973 times in the regular season. The next lowest total in MLB was 1,107. Productive outs are actually a thing.

        • The Humungus

          Sorry, one more

          the 2015 Royals walked 383 times, second lowest in MLB (375, Miami)

          They just put the damn ball in play all the time (75.5% of plate appearances ended without one of the “3 true outcomes”).

          • The Humungus

            Honestly, I think that the “strikeouts are no worse than any other out” crowd is dwindling. You’d have to be a dope to suggest that not putting a ball in play is worse than putting one in play.

            The argument was made by people who were looking at the game from an angle that was too analytical. In pure statistical terms, a strikeout isn’t any different than any other out, they’re all outs. But, anyone who’s ever pitched at any level, be it professionally or recreationally, will tell you that they’d rather get 20 strikeouts than 20 ground balls, pitch counts being equal. The strikeouts make it damn near impossible for a guy to get on base, whereas there’s always that chance when you take the game out of your own control.

            The next time someone makes that argument, I think we’re all free to tell them to stick it.