Mission ’13, Game 60: Jays win 6-1

Esmil Rogers got his second start of the season, this time against the hard-hitting Texas Rangers. Nick Tepesch started for Texas. The Rangers occupy first place in the western division, even though some important players have either departed for greener pastures (like Josh Hamilton and Mike Adams) or are injured (Lewis, Kinsler, Harrison, Soria, Feliz). Make no mistake though, the Rangers are still a force.

Chasing the 1930 Phillies

Game 60

PHI 23-37

TOR 26-34

The 1930 Phillies had another tough game. The played the Pirates in the third of a 5-game series (!), and came up short. Again. OF Lefty O’Doul had a big game, with 2 doubles and 2 triples but it wasn’t enough as the Buccos middle infield combined to go 5-8, 2 R, 2 RBI, double, triple, to lead their team to a 6-4 win. Phillies 2B Tommy Thevenow’s 23rd error led to another unearned run, and Claude Willoughby gave up 9 hits and 2 walks in 6 IP, but still lowered his ERA to 9.52. Monk Sherlock was a pedestrian 1-5 batting in the #2 slot. It was the Phillies 8th consecutive loss. Check the boxscore here.

A couple of singles and a balk put the Rangers on the board in the 1st inning, making the score 1-0. Esmil Rogers then buckled down and pitched very well. He threw 73 pitches in his 4 innings. Is Esmil the new Carlos Villanueva? Aaron Loup came on in relief in the 5th inning.

He was matched by Nick Tepesch until the top of the 4th inning when Melky led off with his 3rd home run of the season. His drive into deep right field knotted the game at a run apiece.

The Jays made some roster moves recently. They DFA’ed Henry Blanco and sent Anthony Gose to Buffalo, while recalling C Josh Thole and IF Andy LaRoche.

They’ve also made some noise by signing Chien-Ming Wang, formerly of the Yankees and Nationals. The oft-injured RHP opted out of his minor league contract with the NYY and signed with Toronto. It’s not very difficult to understand his motivation if he’s healthy. Several Yankees have been ineffective (Hughes) or injured, yet Wang hasn’t been recalled. The Jays have holes all over their starting rotation. Wang will start for the Jays on Tuesday against the White Sox.

It’s irrational but I hope White Hank isn’t taken by another team; I appreciate his leadership and contribution to this point. Assuming no one else puts a claim on him, I find myself hoping he accepts an assignment to Buffalo. Anthony Gose is being sent down to get more ABs. There’s no sense using him as a 4th OF and defensive replacement, especially since Rajai has returned.

Josh Thole and Andy LaRoche give the Jays higher quality options on the bench. As much as I enjoy White Hank, Thole’s 26 and caught Dickey last season when Dickey won the Cy Young. LaRoche plays 3B, and Lawrie’s out for a while. I’m dying to see anyone but Izturis (or Bonifacio) play 3B.

The Jays had a big 6th inning. It began with a Mune HBP, which was followed by a Melky single, and a Bautista walk to load the bases. Then something funny happened. Pitching coach Mike Maddux came to the mound to speak to his young charge, Nick Tepesch, then left. That in itself wasn’t strange. What followed was. The next four Jays’ batters swung at the 1st pitch of their respective at bats. Edwin doubled to score two on his first pitch. Lind hit a sac fly to right on his first pitch. JP Arencibia hit a sac fly on his first pitch. Finally, Colby Rasmus hit a weak grounder on his first pitch. Inning over, make it 5-1 Jays. Four runs on two hits and 11 pitches in the inning. Perhaps a little more patience at the plate leads to a bigger inning but, then again, perhaps not.

The Jays played well. The offense was efficient, for lack of a better word. They took advantage of very few hits, moved runners along, sacrificed, and beat a young pitcher. They scored 5 or more runs for the 7th straight game at The Rog. Starter Esmil Rogers was very good again, settling in quickly after giving up a run in the first.  Defensively, they weren’t flashy but they were solid, making all the plays. The ‘pen was terrific, just terrific. In a a season when the starters have struggled to get batters out and also to stay healthy, the ‘pen has been an anchor. They’ve pitched 17.2 consecutive innings of scoreless ball. This was yet another good win.

Wes Kepstro

PS: Reports say that Dustin McGowan will be recalled tomorrow.  Let’s not get our hopes up, but this is a feel-good story in a disappointing season.

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