I started watching from the bottom of the 2nd onward, so I missed the two solo shots by Mazara and Smoaky respectively. That also meant no talk about how much I was looking forward to the game, or the line-up talk, because the lineup was normal bar Goins starting instead of Barney at second.
The third was boring, the Jays went down in order, and the Rangers threatened, but in a miracle, Estrada escaped a jam without any damage, stranding Andrus at third.
The fourth put the Jays firmly in front. Joey Bats, Tulo would strike out twice (one not called when going round) before a Russell Martin walk brought new recruit Steve Pearce to the plate (well it feels like it). Pearce would double down into the left field corner to clear the bases, a crappy fielding effort
After that terrific fourth, Estrada came out, with myself fully expecting the game level by the end of the dig(this isn’t actually revisionist, I wanted Estrada pitching, but I was expecting 5-5). After a lead-off walk to the other CarGo (Carlos Gomez), Napoli was struck out. Another walk brought Joey Gallo to the plate, who would also be struck out. Shin Shoo Choo would then get lucky, an infield single hit right past a diving Estrada to leave the bases loaded. Estrada was kept in the game, and I couldn’t help feeling that we’d seen this about 20 minutes earlier.
What do you think happened. Andrus came to the plate, and having singled off an Andrus changeup beforehand, again singled on a changeup (it was the right pitch knowing the at-bat) to reduce the gap to 5-3. Estrada was still in the game, and he’d walk Mazara. At least Estrada tried a changeup first pitch to Beltre, it missed, but at least he tried. Beltre, on a 1-2 count would have a bases-clearing double, and we were somehow down 6-5. Marco would finally put out of his misery.
I waw hoping that Leone would keep the inning going by hitting Odor in the head, but instead the ball somehow stayed in the yard, and was caught on the warning track by Joey Bats. 6-5 Rangers after 4, and one viewer on the verge of a complete breakdown.
Estrada was pretty terrible tonight, at least that’s what my eyes told me. He fought against his stuff all night, which was pretty different to the prior outings where he looked ok, but was getting tagged.
Bibens Dirkx had a shutdown inning in the fifth, retiring us in order.
Leone then ran into Estrada’s problems. After a quick out, he walked three straight batters, which brought lefty Choo to the plate again. To combat this threat, gibby yanked Leone and brought in the man who has been smacked by lefties all season, Aaron Loup. For the first time in a long while, it paid off, with a strikeout of Choo, and Loup making a play to prevent an RBI single. Thanks to Loup, the game would be kept at 6-5 Rangers after five.
Bibins Dirkx was replaced by reliever Tanner Scheppers to start the sixth, Morales leading off. He’d do nothing, but Smoaky would single (really, he should’ve gone yard with the pitch, an off-speed pitch that didn’t really move). Tulo then doubled down the third base line, putting runners on second and third with one out for Russell Martin (as a note, 28 year-old Beltre would’ve made that play). After Martin walked, Pearce would again have bases loaded, this time, all he could do was pop out. That meant Ryan Goins, and that meant a fly-out and no runs.
Loup came out to pitch the bottom of the sixth, he had no trouble at all.
After a pop-out to start the seventh, Donaldson reached on a walk, and after a Joey Bats strikeout, Scheppers would be removed for LOOGY Dario Alvarez. Morales would strike out on a slider. We looked cooked, and I think the Rangers knew it as well.
Turn up the Grilli pitched the bottom of the 7th, he struck out CarGo. Donaldson then made a great play to get rid of Mike Napoli, diving full stretch to his right before throwing him out. Grilli then got an easy groundout of Lucroy to complete a scoreless inning. Yay, Grilli’s back.
Another pitching change by the Rangers to start the 8th, righty Jose LeClerc (no I’ve never heard of him either) pitching. Smoaky grounded out on the first pitch. After Tulo struck out looking, Martin would reach on a two-out walk, but Pearce would strike out, going round on strike three.
Jeff Beliveau went 1-2-3 in the 8th, meaning it’d come down to Ryan Goins and the top of the lineup to score against reformed felon Matt Bush.
Goins began with a single, and tried to leg out a double. He’d make it, but only because he took out Odor who was attempting to tag him. Both players were alright, and the Jays were in business. All Pillar had to do was advance the runner, by any means necessary, all Pillar could do though was pop out to Odor. Donaldson though would score Goins, an RBI single tying it at six. On a 1-1 count, Josh would steal second, taking the Jays out of the DP, and putting us in scoring position. Bautista would walk on a full count, bringing Morales up.
Morales would hit a clutch RBI single, a 7-6 Jays lead with men on first and third. He is clutch. Up next was Smoaky, who would walk on a full count, loading the bases again for Tulo. Tulo though could only pop out, again to Odor. Martin couldn’t do anything, striking out on a high fastball.
Osuna came down for another save attempt, and Mazard led off by ripping a ball right at Smoaky, who snagged the ball. Beltre then grounded out to Tulo, who fielded a tricky grounder to leave the Jays one out away from an awesome victory. So who else but Odor, the epitome of evil, so when he popped out to Donaldson to end the game, it felt terrific. Jays win 7-6.
As said before, Estrada was poor, Bibins Dirkx though was just unlucky, as I felt like he pitched very well bar one inning. Estrada pitched three and two-thirds, giving up 6 runs (all earned) off of 7 hits and 4 walks, while striking out four. Bibins Dirkx meanwhile pitched five innings, giving up 5 runs off of 5 hits and a walk. Jeff Beliveau gets the win, his first for the Jays, while Matt Bush is tagged with the loss and the blown save for that shitshow of a last inning.
To conclude, I switched onto the Texas stream for a little bit, for fucks sake, his name is Dominic Le-one, not Le-o-Ne. For all I know, that is how you say his name, but for the purposes of baseball, let’s stick to Le-one. It wasn’t just Leone’s name that they butchered, Goins, Bautista were some other games they got wrong. I also have words for Texas Rangers fans on their continued booing of Joey Bats that I want to say, but as I want to be employed in the future, so I shall keep them to myself.
Also, go Smoaky, vote for Smoaky to be at the All-Star game, this is the high point of his career, like Michael Saunders last year, so let’s help reward him the Blue Jays way.
Tomorrow will see Liriano, with the Jays praying that it’s one of his good days. Up against him will be Nick Martinez. Same time tomorrow, we should be alright, again, if Liriano has one of his good days.