Mission ’13, Game 65: Jays win 3-1

The Jays left the inclement weather of the Windy City behind for the sultry climes of the Lone Star state, where it was 35 degrees at game time. The Rangers, who are second in the AL West, have struggled to score runs since Ian Kinsler was hurt, but they’re still able to score in bunches. The Jays split their abbreviated series with Chicago, and are looking to build on their come-from-behind, extra-inning win in what proved to be the last game of the series. This game pit Jays’ swingman Esmil Rogers against Rangers’ star pitcher Yu Darvish.

Chasing the 1930 Phillies

Game 65

PHI 25-40

TOR 29-36

The 1930 Phillies took one on the chin in game 65, as 6 errors led to 7 unearned runs for the Boston Braves. 2B Fresco Thompson led the parade with2 miscues in the opener of a double header that the Phillies lost 17-5. Poor fielding wasn’t the only culprit in the Phils’ loss, as the Braves homered and hit 6 doubles. A couple of homers, a double, and a 1-4 day by Monk Sherlock weren’t nearly enough to keep the Phillies close, as this one was over by the 4th inning. Chalk up loss #40 for manager Burt Shotton and the Phillies. Check the boxscore here.

Early in the Blue Jays-Rangers game, Esmil Rogers looked sharp but Yu Darvish was not. Insightful comments by Buck and Tabby suggested very strongly that if the Jays had left the bats on their shoulders, they would have had multiple walks. That said, the Rangers drew first blood as Nelson Cruz homered to right field. Interestingly, he’s hit 14 career home runs against the Jays, 10 of which were on fastballs on the outside half of the plate. You’d think advance scouting would help with this. Perhaps the problem is execution by the pitcher and catcher. Regardless, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead.

A single (and a steal) by Bonifacio, a walk to Munenori Kawasaki, and a run-scoring single by Melky put the Jays on the board. Jose Bautista then swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play. The commentators even mentioned that Darvish missed his location badly. A first pitch swinging strike to Edwin confirms that the Jays are a little too eager to turn this into a big inning. They’re actually helping him by swinging at—and missing, or hitting weakly—balls that are out of the strike zone. Edwin struck out, putting an end to a once-promising inning.

Something happened in this game that was unexpected: Rogers and Darvish engaged in a terrific pitcher’s duel. Both pitchers were finished after 7 IP, and Rogers only gave up 5 H and 1 BB with 1 SO while throwing 93 pitches. Darvish was just as effective, though he threw more pitches. He didn’t have his best stuff but struck out 9 Jays on the night.

The big blow offensively came in the 8th inning when Bonifacio and Kawasaki again provided a base runner in scoring position. Jose Bautista followed with a walk, then Edwin hit a line drive past a diving centerfielder for a double. Two runs scored, and the Jays took a 3-1 lead.

Steve Delabar relieved Esmil Rogers in the bottom of the 8th inning and was relieved in turn by closer Casey Janssen in th 9th inning. Janssen retired the side in order for his 14th save on the season.

There have been a handful (or fewer) of games like this, where the Jays put it all together and look like the team they were expected to be. The first time it happened was in JA Happ’s 5-0 shutout very early in the season. Most recently, it happened when RA Dickey shut down the Giants in San Francisco. Unfortunately these efforts have been too rare for the Jays to make a move in the standings, but the trend is upward in their last 2-3 dozen games. Here’s to hoping that it continues. This was a good win.

Wes Kepstro

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3 Responses to “Mission ’13, Game 65: Jays win 3-1”


  1. 1 Idiot Fan June 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I don’t see how Esmil is taken out of the rotation. He could be our Alexi Ogando.

    • 2 Wes Kepstro June 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I was thinking more along the lines of Carlos Villanueva, but you’re right. That’s 3 good starts in a row (his FIP is about 3.27 in his starts).

      Whether they were short or not is irrelevant: ‘3 good starts in a row’ can’t be said about any other starter this season. And those starts were against Texas and Atlanta.

      Imagine if 3 Blue Jays’ starters each had 3 straight good starts in a 2 week stretch. The Jays haven’t had a good win streak for a while now.

      • 3 @ALEastbound June 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

        Esmil has Ogando like heat but more Villanueva type stamina and stats so far. I agree with both of you, he has been pretty damn good. Three starts be damned. I’d give him the rest of the season. Could be a hidden gem and a lucky addition (for once).


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