Josh Johnson started for the Jays for the first time in six weeks. He struggled prior to a tricep injury landed him on the DL, but his mound opponent, Tim Lincecum, has struggled for two seasons. Lincecum gave up more earned runs than any other NL pitcher last season.
Chasing the 1930 Phillies
The 1930 Phillies played their cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a doubleheader in game 58. Opposing forces worked against one another in this game. On the one hand, top rung offensive players like Klein, O’Doul and Pinky Whitney faced Paul Waner (“Big Poison”), Granny Grantham, and Pie Traynor. On the other hand, they played at Forbes Field. The original L-C-R dimensions of Forbes were 360 feet, 462 feet and 376 feet. In 1925, the RF fence was brought in to 300 feet and a 28-foot wall was erected. This was a good pitcher’s duel from the outset. Phil Collins 4-hit the Pirates, but was bested by Larry French who scattered 3 doubles and 4 singles, one of which was hit by 1B Monk Sherlock. It took only 1:26 for the Phillies to lose their sixth in a row. Final score: 1-0. Check the boxscore here.
Honestly, it’s good to have a bona fide ML pitcher back on the mound. Also honestly, I don’t expect much. Johnson’s rust is only part of the issue; the defense and offense have been questionable lately.
Sure enough, an error by Edwin—inter-league play and a Lind hot streak means Edwin’s at 3B—and a botched ground ball by Bonifacio at 2B which wasn’t turned into a 4-6-3 DP preceded a 2-run homer by Andres Torres. This rendered ineffectual a long solo HR by Edwin in the first inning. By the way, a ground ball hit by Jose Bautista was indeed turned into a DP, ensuring Edwin’s HR was of a solo shot. Extra outs and extra runs have sort of been a hallmark of the Jays this season, sort of like the 1930 Phillies.
Once Johnson and Lincecum got the home runs out of the way, they both settled into grooves. Johnson spread out a few hits and Lincecum had a stretch of 14 straight batters retired.
The Freak was sharp but the Jays struggled offensively. Melky singled to lead off the game, and Edwin homered two batters later, but they didn’t have another base runner until pitcher Josh Johnson walked with one out in the sixth inning. Melky followed Johnson’s free pass with a sharp single to right, but that was erased quickly on a Jose Bautista line drive DP. The middle of the order was 0-9 with 5 Ks.
The return of E5 and the Errortones and anemic offense were the chief problems tonight. AT&T’s dimensions, though not as enormous as the Phillies faced at Forbes, and a good game by Lincecum were insurmountable. It’s tough to see the Jays unable to pick up a good start. Efforts like Josh Johnson’s tonight have been few and far between.
When I see SFG 1B coach Roberto Kelly I think of one of Dave Stieb’s near perfectos against the Yankees. And when I see SFG pitching coach Dave Righetti I think of a home run he gave up at The Ex. When the umpire threw a new ball out to Righetti, he turned and fired it over the right field wall.
P.S.: We haven’t forgotten about Melky: he’s 7-11 against San Fran this year.