Poor execution in game four of a critical series versus the Tampa Bay Rays cost the team a huge series win. Instead they had to settle for a split when Brad Lincoln walked in the winning run in extra innings. John Gibbons asked JP Arencibia to pitch around the white hot Evan Longoria in the bottom of the tenth inning. Pretty simple, set up outside and miss by a foot, at least.
Instead Aaron Loup pitched one down the middle and Evan Longoria hammered into centre field for a lead-off double. Then with a lefty at the plate Aaron Loup (a lefty, seemingly capable of getting lefties out) intentionally walked James Loney. Enter Brad Lincoln who of course walks the next two batters and bingo the Blue Jays lose the game in one of the worst imaginable ways.
If you aren’t already familiar you need to check out the game recaps by Wes, they are top notch.
Here is a sampling.
Speaking of Longoria, he strode to the plate immediately after a one-out hit by Ben Zobrist. There was no error on the play but Colby Rasmus clearly misread the ball. Zobrist hustled all the way and ended up on 3B. Longoria swung at the first pitch and scalded it to 3B, where Lawrie made a very good play to record the out. It’s a big out, as Longoria didn’t do any damage for the Rays. The big out is lost, however, as a Henry Blanco passed ball has plated the run, tying the game at 3. You can have an intellectual grasp of how difficult it is to catch a knuckleball, but it’s obvious when there is a runner on 3B. Three IP, three unearned runs in this game.
Read all the recaps here.
Wes also wrote a great piece on the aftermath of the JA Happ injury. Is it time MLB mandated protective headgear for pitchers? An interesting take.
CURRENT RECORD: 13-23, 5th place, 8.5 games out of first place. (-51 run differential)
Here are the quick recaps and boxscores:
Game 1 – Blue Jays 8, Rays 7 – Arencibia with a huge go-ahead HR in 9th-inning.
Game 2 – Blue Jays 6 , Rays 4 – Blue Jays rally after JA Happ taken to hospital.
Game 3 – Rays 10, Blue Jays 4 – Matt Moore overcomes tough start to pick up 6th win.
Game 4 – Rays 5, Blue Jays 4 – Tough extra inning loss on a walk-off… walk
UP NEXT: Another tough three game set set begins in Boston to face the Red Sox (21-14, +24 run differential).
Game 1 – Ramon Ortiz vs Jon Lester,
Game 2 – Mark Buerhle vs Clay Buchholz,
Game 3 – Brandon Morrow vs Ryan Dempster.