The Jays look to take advantage of their improved play and their surprising interleague record (4-1) in the second game of the second miniseries with the Atlanta Braves. RA Dickey was finding a groove before his last game; the pitcher-friendly confines of Turner Park should help.
Melky’s May Meter
Melky’s hitting well, gimpy gams and all. Hamstring problems haven’t hampered Melky’s bat, as he reached the 35-hit mark for the month with a 3-3 effort last night. That means he has 2 more games to add to an already-good total. Given the Jays’ pitching situation (injuries, combined with general ineffectiveness from the rotation), Melky’s offense at the top of the order has been welcome.
RA Dickey is all too hittable. There has been talk that the neck issue that he’s suffered has cost him a couple miles per hour on his best knuckler. Given his lack of attention to the strike zone, I doubt very much whether an extra 2 mph will help.
The Braves hit him pretty well, with 5 hits and 2 runs in the first 2 innings. A ‘misplay’ by Edwin Encarnacion—generously scored a single, despite the fact that it was hit right at the pocket of his trapper—didn’t help, but ‘misplays’ didn’t factor into the other 4 hits, including Jordan Schaefer’s lead off double in the first inning. The Jays can’t afford to give up much more, since there are two auto outs at the bottom of the line up: Henry Blanco and RA Dickey.
Lefty Mike Minor confounded the Jays early on, with 3 of strikeouts and 3 ground balls in the first 3 innings. Minor sports a tremendous K/BB ratio, doesn’t give up many walks, and gives up about 6.5 hits per 9 IP. The Jays need to be creative offensively.
Freddie Freeman, a longtime nemesis of RA Dickey, hit his 4th homer of the season. It was his 10th career hit against RA Dickey. This gave the Braves single runs in each of the first 3 innings, making the score 3-0 Braves.
After a couple of scoreless innings, the Jays took advantage of an error by Andrelton Simmons to knot the score at 3-3. A lead off single by RA Dickey (!) and a single by Jose got the ball rolling. A single by Edwin and a double by Mark DeRosa cashed the three runners.
Not to be outdone, RA managed to give all three runs back in the bottom of the inning. Through 6 IP, RA’s given up 11 hits and 6 ER. Going 2-5 with RISP doesn’t matter much when your pitcher can’t get anyone out. Braves lead 6-3.
There are two pitchers that I loathe watching: RA Dickey and Brad Lincoln The Dickey trade is a complete bust, and Lincoln can’t get batters out regularly. I have no problem whatsoever handing the remote to my wife when either of these two take the mound.
To my great pleasure, they both pitched tonight. When Dickey was finished giving the Jays little-to-no chance to win, Lincoln came in to throw gasoline on the fire. He loaded the bases on 2 singles and a walk, then everyone’s favourite defensive catcher, JP Arencibia, was charged with a passed ball that scored Freddie Freeman. Didn’t anyone let JP know that Dickey wasn’t pitching anymore? An infield single by Ramiro Pena led to a couple more runs. Make it 9-3 Braves. A catcher interference call against JP added colour to an already colourful inning.
A 2-run HR by Reed Johnson put an end to the 11th time the Jays have been blown out. Ugly.
If the Jays continue to play like they have—win one, lose one, win two, lose three—they won’t make up ground in the division any time soon, regardless of their opponent. The starting rotation is in a shambles, and there aren’t any solutions. We’re stuck with this for the foreseeable future.