Marco Estrada pitching in an interleague game against the Braves, for those who read yesterday’s piece, this day is massive for me, and the early start of 4AM Beijing Time made it rather impractical, aka I forgot to check the starting time. As a consequence I woke up in the bottom of the fifth, so the game summary below up to the fifth is generic. Just as a point, when the hell do we start at this time for a home game, really.
For the Jays, Zeke was in left, Barney at third and Goins at short. Catching today was Maile, with the limited viewing of yesterday’s game demonstrating to me why Mike Ohlman is the back-up to the back-up. Estrada would be up against Jaime Garcia, the former Cardinal. There was a slight change to the order in the line-up, with Joey Bats batting second, and Zeke pushing back to bat seventh.
I hoped for an Estrada shutout, that hope ended one-out into the first, Matt Kemp continuing his form against the Jays with a single to score two. The Jays had nothing on offense early.
In the fourth, the Braves tacked on another run on a Jace Pederson single, while in the bottom of the inning Devon Travis hit the first of his doubles, a 2-run RBI double. 3-2 after four.
Freddie Freeman homered in the 5th, giving the Braves a 5-2 lead, before Pillar homered to left-center field, just as I woke up.
Estrada was still pitching good stuff (I don’t actually know this, but his pitches in this inning indicated that he was dealing), despite being tagged, and his 1-2-3 sixth was artistry.
In the bottom of the sixth, Jaime Garcia would allow a one out walk to Smoaky, after that he was dragged from the mound against his will, for the bullpen. He knew something about the bullpen we didn’t, Devon Travis would then double off the top of the wall, with Smoaky’s running leaving runners on second and third with one out. Barney would then hit a one-hop single to center, scoring Smoaky. Zeke would then level the scores with an RBI groundout to second. Goins flew out to end the inning and strand Barney at second. Still 5-5 heading into the seventh.
Estrada would be taken out for Danny Barnes in the seventh, I hated this decision, but Dansby Swanston loved it. After striking out twice against Estrada, Swanston homered against Barnes. The Jays got through the last of the inning unscathed, but it really felt like a waste.
Coghlan pinch-hit for Maile to start the bottom of the seventh, he’d struck out. Pillar would then fly out to center and Bautista would groundout. The Jays unable to hit reliever Jose Ramirez (that’s actually the relievers name, but obviously not that one).
Ryan Tepera pitched the eighth, and it was an interesting inning. Tepera started by striking out Matt Kemp. Following that, he allowed a single to Markakis then hit Tyler Flowers in the elbow guard. Tepera would then get a fly-out to center, bringing Jace Peterson to the plate. Smoaky would be forced to make an acrobatic play to keep the ball in the infield, and the umpire ruled that Smoaky’s flip to Tepera just beat out Peterson’s dive to first. It was upheld on review.
Morales began with a single in the eighth. After that single, Darrell Ceciliani (along with Matt Dominguez, they were my AAA stars) came on to pinch-run. After advancing to second on a wild pitch during Smoaky’s at-bat, Smoak would get to first on a walk. Travis would strikeout after failing to get the bunt down repeatedly, bringing Barney to the plate. Barney would hit a line drive, but straight to the second baseman, who would double off Ceciliani (who rightly had a secondary lead) to end the inning.
Joe Smith came in to pitch the ninth, and Swanston began with a single on the first-base line. Inciarte then single to center on the first pitch. On the first pitch of the next at-bat, the Jays would get a DP, leaving Swanston at third with two outs. Freddie Freeman was then intentionally walked, leaving runners at first and third with two outs. Joe Smith was then removed (why I don’t know, he’d only had 6 pitches) for Roberto Osuna, DOWN ONE RUN. AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENED, a 2-run double by Matt Kemp pretty much ending the game, and if the game wasn’t over then, Markakis’ single scoring Kemp did end it. Eventually the inning did end, but it was game over.
We did nothing in the 9th, although Mike Ohlman got a hit, so congratulations.
So Marco was tagged tonight, in six innings he let in 5 earned runs, and gave up 8 hits while striking out five. As for Jaime Garcia, he actually had a decent appearance, he only gave up 3 hits, although 4 walks didn’t help him. He pitched five and a third, and gave up 4 earned runs.
Tomorrow we start at 7.37AM my time, with the Jays bringing Biagini against the Braves Mike however you spell his last name.
To conclude, I’d like to talk about Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes. I remember Ryan Tepera from the start, when he was pitching in useless situations in 2015. At that time, I thought Tepera was a star, not based off his stuff, but his ERA. At that time, I was naïve and stupid, because Ryan Tepera was an abject disaster in the playoffs in the limited time he saw. Now however, Tepera’s cemented himself as a crucial part of the pen, and hopefully he won’t be optioned down when everyone comes back. As for Danny Barnes, I remember his debut, I watched it at school and as I recall, that was also Soctt Feldman’s Jays debut (because what could go wrong, pitching a guy in a high-leverage spot against the team that just traded him). Danny Barnes looked sharp, and since then has proven to be a solid major league reliever, this leaves the question, why don’t we leave him there. Both of these relievers should be stalwarts in the pen for the next couple of years at least, and I hope they serve as inspiration for the other relievers, that career AAA guys can succeed at the major league level by improving their stuff and through experience.