I finally got around to attending my first Blue Jays game down at the SkyDome (or Rogers Centre.) The Texas Rangers were in town finishing a three game series that saw the Blue Jays win the first two games – 6-1 on Friday, and a 4-3 walk-off win yesterday afternoon in 18 innings.
The starting pitchers were Justin Grimm (Rangers) and Josh Johnson (Blue Jays.)
The game started well for the Blue Jays as they would take a 4-0 lead in the 3rd inning, capped off by a 3 run homerun by Adam Lind. However, that would be the highlight for the Blue Jays. Nelson Cruz would get a solo homrun with 2 out off Johnson in the 4th inning. David Murphy would then walk before scoring on a double by Chris McGuinness to make the score 4-2.
The 5th inning saw six players come to plate, with A.J. Pierzynski hitting a double and then scoring on a Beltre single. Johnson would make it out of the 5th after Murphy lined out to shortstop Munenori Kawasaki. But the 5th inning would be Johnson’s last after throwing 109 pitches in 5 innings, walking 4 and striking out 4 but leaving with the lead at 4-3.
The Rangers would tie the game in the 6th inning after Thole’s throwing error on Gentry’s stolen base allowed Leury Garcia to score. The Rangers would then scoring the winning run in the 7th of Neil Wagner when Beltre homered with two out.
Dustin McGowan, in is second game since coming back from his most recent injury, allowed a solo homerun on the first pitch of the 8th inning to allow the Rangers to go up 6-4. He would walk with Gentry with two out, and then commit an error in an attempt to keep Gentry at first (allowing Gentry to move to second base) before escaping any worse when Andrus popped out to short.
The Blue Jays would try a come back in the 9th inning, with Mark DeRosa walking to start the inning, followed up by Kawasaki reaching base on an error by Rangers’ third baseman Leury Garcia. Melky Cabrera would then put down a suicide bunt to move DeRosa to third and Kawasaki to second. José Bautista then struck out swinging was immediately ejected for arguing strikes. Edwin Encarnación would then pop up to end the game.
The game was a 1:07 p.m. afternoon game, which ended at 4:06 p.m. Attendance was 42,722
The stats breakdown as follows:
Andrus 0-4 with a walk and a stolen base.
Profar 0-5 with 2 strikeouts.
Pierzynski 1-5 with a double and a strikeout.
Beltre 2-4 with a 7th inning homerun, a single, & a 1st inning walk.
Cruz 2-4 with 2 strikeouts, a single, and a 4th inning homerun.
Murphy 1-3 with one walk, and one homerun.
McGuiness 2-4 with a single, a double, and a strikeout.
Garcia went 0-3 with a strikeout and a walk.
Martin went 0-2 before being lifted in the 6th for Gentry
Gentry went 1-1 with a walk, a single, and a stolen base.
Grimm 5.2 innings with 4 earned runs on 5 hits (1 HR), 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Cotts earned the win, pitching 1 inning with no hits and a strikeout.
McClellan faced 3 batters, giving up a single to Bautista, walking Encarnación and then getting Lind to pop up for the final out in the 7th.
Scheppers pitched a 3 up, 3 down 8th inning.
Nathan would give up a walk and would see runners at 2nd and 3rd before getting a strikeout and a pop up to pick up the save.
Toronto Blue Jays
Cabrera went 0-3 with strikeout and a walk.
Bautista went 3-4 with 3 singles, a walk, and a strikeout.
Encarnación 1-4 with a single and a walk.
Lind 1-4 with a 3-run homerun and a strikeout.
Rasmus 1-4 with a single and a strikeout.
Thole 0-3 with a walk.
LaRoche 0-4 with a strikeout.
Bonifacio 0-2 with 2 strikeouts. DeRosa pinched hit in the 6th.
DeRosa 0-1 with a strikeout.
Izturis 0-0 with a walk in the 9th, pinch hitting for DeRosa.
Kawasaki 0-4, but reaching first base in the 9th on an error.
Johnson went 5 innings giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 5 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Perez pitched 1.2 innings giving up 1 run (unearned) on 2 hits with a strikeout.
Wagner worked 1/3 of an inning, getting hit with a loss after giving up a solo homerun to Beltre. He struck out Pierzynski for his only out.
McGowan pitched one inning giving up a solo homerun on his pitch, following up with a throwing error, while walking one batter and striking out one.
Weber threw one inning of 3 up, 3 down baseball.
All in all, not a bad game despite the loss, and Bautista’s ejection. The way Bautista reacted to his strikeout (he swung on the third strike) – telling off the homeplate umpire led to the ejection, especially after disagreeing with a called strike 1. However, he was unprofessional in throwing his bat and helmet onto the field. This is no way for him to act regardless of the situation.
I still question the Blue Jays keeping McGowan around after all his injuries, and the 1st pitch homerun he gave up to Murphy (his first batter) did not do anything to give me confidence in his pitching ability after all his injuries. Only time will tell if I am right or not. For McGowan’s sake, I hope I am wrong.