An early start again for me with the doubleheader, and the best chance yet for the Jays to finally win a series.
For the first game of the doubleheader, Mat Latos was starting against Carlos Martinez. I woke up in the 7th, so funnily enough I missed most the best Jays game this season. The first thing I saw was Smoaky score a run through a sac fly. The inning though ended with strike-outs by Russell Martin and pinch-hitter Darwin Barney, proving yet again that when I watch, bad things happen.
Mat Latos was pitching a shutout, but I never got to see him pitch. Latos was taken out to start the 7th, as Buck and Pat talked about the inability for Latos to get the calls going his way on the corners. Latos pitched six innings without conceded a run, although he walked 4, only 3 hits ensured that he’d leave the game up 4-0.
Biagini would concede a run in the seventh, Jose Martinez coming in to score. First, he singled, then advanced to second on a groundout, then scored on a Randall Grichuk single to center. Pillar made the heads up play to avoid trying to get Martinez at the plate, instead he threw to the cut-off man Biagini. Proving why the Cards have a losing record this season, they ran into another out, Gricuk caught in a rundown trying to reach second. So Biagini got out of the inning conceded one.
Devon Travis began the 8th with a deep drive to center that took a good catch from Fowler to prevent a triple, Fowler having to turn around before re-locating the baseball and make a moving catch. After Goins grounded out, Steve Pearce, pinch-hitting for Biagini hit a hot shot to the hot corner, and showing the type of luck he’s had this season, Gyorko made a good play on the ball and forced out Pearce.
Joe Smith came on for the bottom of the 8th, seeking to protect a 3-run lead. Firstly Fowler doubled to center with Pillar unable to come up with another webgem, the ball popping out of his glove when he slammed into the ground, Aldemys Diaz then at a swinging bunt, Barney making a great play to get Diaz. Matt Carpenter then singled to score Fowler, and leave me very worried and JP Howell warming up. Smith then struck out Gyorko and against the left-handed pinch-hitter Matt Adams induced a pop-out to third to end the inning, and protect the 4-2 lead.
Pillar led-off the ninth with a single to right, Zeke then singled to left to leave runners on first and second without an out. Joey Bats then grounded sharply to short, with a DP leaving Smoaky with a chance to score Pillar at third yet again. Smoaky then lined sharply to right field, leaving Osuna to come in with the score at 4-2.
Osuna blew a save a couple of days ago against the Cards, this time he’d have two runs to protect. Molina started with a double, bringing the tying run to the plate. Martinez then grounded out to short, meaning Molina had to stay at second. So one-out with the tying run perpetually at the plate, the pessimist in me said that this could only end badly. Osuna then struck out Kolten Wong, yet again leaving the Jays and Osuna only needing one more out to beat the Cards and earn the save in regulation. The added margin of error was meaningless, because of course Grichuk homered. So fucking predictable
I couldn’t believe how Pat was talking about that’s why you need an insurance run. For fucks sake, we were up two, obviously you want to be up ten heading into the ninth, it’s not going to happen though, and frankly a two-run lead shouldn’t be blown in the ninth, especially when you’ve avoided the top of the order. BTW Fowler struck out to end the inning and again send the game to extras.
The Final Boss came in for the Cards to pitch the 10th, Martin lined out to left to start, Barney then struck out looking and Travis popped out. Dominic Leone would pitch the 10th, I thought we didn’t stand a chance. Diaz started off with a single to center. Leone though struck out both Carpenter and Gyorko, giving the Jays a chance to survive. A pinch-hit single by Greg Garcia though put the winning run on third. (Don’t you love the national league) After Yadi was intentionally walked, Leone got Martinez to fly out to right, bringing the game to the 11th.
Matt Bowman came out to pitch the 11th for the Cards, after a Goins fly-out, Morales singled against the shift, slapping it to left. Pillar though bounced into a DP, nuff said.
Tepera would come in, and immediately concede a triple to Kolten Wong, who turned on the ball and lined it down the three base line into the wall at right. It was the easiest triple ever, and forced two intentional walks. The Jays got one out with a Diaz shallow fly, then Tepera was removed for JP Howell. Howell put Matt Carpenter on a full count, before Carpenter ended up by depositing the ball about 430 feet away.
Funnily enough, it was a good pitch by Howell in my eyes, Carpenter just sat on the curveball, like 3-2, bases loaded, game over if you walk, it’s a brave decision to go with your off-speed stuff, but Howell did, so conceding the grand slam didn’t piss me off too much, as at least it would’ve been in the zone.
Perhaps the reason I wasn’t so angry was because I’d already had the life sucked out of me by the blown Osuna save. I’ll be happy to eat my words, but the Jays aren’t making the playoffs, here me, they aren’t making the playoffs, the pen isn’t performing, and that’s the only reason. The starting pitchers will do what they always do, and people seem to have short memories because the Jays bats waned hot and cold last season as well. But the pen is shit this season, we’re pretty much the D’Backs of the American League, and that isn’t a good thing
To conclude, I’d like to add my views on the fundamentals of baseball. This is preached two million times by coaches, but there’s a reason for it. As the Cardinals have shown all season, and particularly during their series with the Jays, if you don’t play good, major league defence and you can’t run on the basepaths, you’re going to really struggle to win games of baseball (unless you’re up against the Jays pen). You learn the basepaths stuff in little league, which is what makes the Cards struggles there so astounding. For all of the Jays faults this year (cough, cough Angels game Chris Coghlan), at least we can say that there’s been a team that’s made more mistakes.