Firstly, yeah I realise looking at the article that I’ve got the game number wrong for about 4 straight games, I apologise for that, I’ve just been really tired from writing this up after 7AM wake-ups, often while going out the previous night. The titles will get fixed when I wake up later this morning my time.
But back to Baseball.
The Jays were trying to gain some respectability from this series, and with a rest day tomorrow, sought to play an unusual lineup. With Maile catching for Estrada, Russell Martin played third, with Gibby desperate to keep his bat in the lineup. This meant Darwin Barney playing short, Travis and Smoak remained at their positions. Zeke took the day off, with AA playing left field for what will probably be his last game in the majors for a long while.
The Jays would get on the board early, with some help from the Orioles defence. After outs by Pillar and Joey Bats, Morales would groundout to Schoop, Schoop however would fail to collect the ball, allowing the inning to continue. Following a Smoaky single, Devon Travis would make the O’s pay,, turning on the first pitch from Miley and sending it out for a three-run shot as the Jays capitalised on their first bit of luck all series long
The O’s were then shut down by Estrada in the first, providing an insight into how the night would progress. Estrada going three up three down in the first.
After that shaky first, Wade Miley got down to business, cruising through the second, and pitching around an infield single by Pillar in the third, relying upon stupidity by Pillar to get the baserunner.
Estrada would find a more conventional manner of success, for once relying on strikeouts to get through. After retiring the first six batters faced, he’d give up a lead-off double to Mancini to start the inning, and after a groundout, see a runner on third with one out. Undeterred, he proceeded to struck out the next two batters swinging, to escape and keep the 3-0 lead. Estrada wouldn’t be as lucky in the fourth, with Adam Jones leading off the fourth with a home run, the Jays leading 3-1 after four.
The Jays missed a great opportunity in the fifth to add more runs. After Barney reached on the Orioles third error of the night, this time by Manny Machedo, the Jays would have a runner on third with two outs and Joey Bats coming to the plate. Unlike last night with the 3-run homer, all Jose could do was groundout to meekly end the inning.
Marco would pitch around a lead-off walk in the fifth, while the Jays would fail to score another RISP in the sixth, stranding Travis at second. While Estrada was dealing, Miley finally had an inning where luck didn’t play a factor, going 1-2-3 in the seventh. Estrada would do the time, seemingly ending his night at around 100 pitches.
A lead-off walk in the eighth by Joey Bats was unrewarded, a fly out by Morales followed by a DP to make it a quick inning for the Orioles.
Estrada would come out to pitch the eighth, perhaps necessary in a season where the bullpen has been absolutely garbage. There would be a bunch of defensive substitutions, with Martin catching, Barney moving back to third, and Goins coming in to play shortshop. Estrada would get the first two in the inning through a fly out to Pillar then a pop-up. An Adam Jones single though would end Estrada’s night, with Joe Smith hoping to mop up. For once, the Jays would mop up, with Joe Smith striking out Machado to end the inning.
After the Jays were struck out in order in the top of the 9th, Osuna come on to go for his first save in a week. It’d start off rather predictably, a lead-off single leaving me wondering why I put myself through watching this shit day in and day out. Faith however is sometimes rewarded, and a DP erased the single and put the Jays one out away from victory. An infield single by Trey Mancini of all people would put the Jays in another tight spot, with lefty slugger Seth Smith pinch-hitting as the tying run. All he could do however was pop out to third, the Jays holding on to a 3-1 victory.
Somehow, Osuna’s ERA is nearly identical to Estrada’s, I don’t know how, but it is, with Osuna’s only .01 of a run higher. You try and justify it to me that their pitching performances have been even.
Estrada had a superb night, pitching his way to the victory giving up just one run off 4 hits and a walk, while striking out 12 in seven and two thirds innings. As for Wade Miley, I don’t know how he had a good night, I don’t even know if you can say that he pitched well, but as far as the Oriole’s were concerned, they couldn’t have asked for a much better display then what Miley gave them. He pitched seven innings, giving up 3 runs (0 earned), he conceded only 6 hits and a walk, but only struck out three.
To conclude, I’d like to talk about the impending return of Tulo and the Bringer of Rain. We’ve been expecting them back since Gibby said a week ago that they’d be back for Baltimore, obviously neither of them have played for the Jays since that statement, but it doesn’t mean that all is lost in the way I said yesterday. Tulo will probably come back for the Brewers series, with Donaldson coming back after that, but it’s not a moment too soon. Barney and Goins have performed admirably, but the fact remains that they’re replacement level bats. The return of the left side of the infield and how they perform will decide whether or not we make the playoffs moreso than anything else.
With the win, the record improves to 19-26, a rest day is in store tomorrow, and that means I can finally get some sleep.