Mission ’13, Game 70: Jays win 8-3

Tonight’s match up pitted former Rockie Esmil Rogers against Canadian Jeff Francis. Aside from his usual difficulties, Francis faced a significant disadvantage in this game: he’s a sub-par lefty following a lefty who pitched very well in game 1. They’re both breaking ball lefties but Jorge De La Rosa has better velocity. This bodes well for the team that’s won 6 in a row.

Chasing the 1930 Phillies

Game 70

PHI 26-44

TOR 34-36

Monk Sherlock was the only Phillie without a hit as the 1930 Phillies turned the tables on John McGraw’s Giants. Ace Phil Collins scattered 10 hits and didn’t allow a run until the top of the 9th inning, but the game was over by then. Chuck Klein and Lefty O’Doul—both flirting with the .400 mark—led the hit parade with 4 hits and 3 walks as the Phils put 10 runs on the board to support Collins. A lone error by Fresco Thompson didn’t hurt but 3 errors by the Giants led to 4 unearned runs as the Phillies snapped a 6-game losing streak with a 10-1 win.  Check the boxscore here.

The Jays jumped all over Jeff Francis in the bottom of the 1st inning. This is exactly the problem we anticipated as the lower-quality lefty was hit very hard. The Jays hit 3 doubles and 3 singles to put a 4-spot on the board. It would have been 5 runs but for communication difficulties between acting 3rd base coach DeMarlo Hale and Mark DeRosa. Hale waved DeRosa in but DeRosa hesitated twice and was tagged out by 3B Nolan Arenado. The Jays jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Mark DeRosa then struggled in the field in the top of the 2nd inning as he airmailed a throw to Edwin Encarnacion for a two-base error. Esmil Rogers maintained his poise, walked Todd Helton, then induced a ground ball to Mark DeRosa who started a 5-4-3 double play. Inning over, no harm done. Stat of the game: the Jays committed 13 errors in their 34 wins but 33 errors in their 36 losses.

Esmil Rogers cruised after Helton’s walk, setting down the next 8 batters he faced. Jeff Francis also found a groove. After a very rocky 1st inning, Francis retired the next 11 batters. Melky took care of that in the bottom of the 5th as he singled to the wall in right. The Colorado outfield has some great arms (especially Gonzalez and Cuddyer), but let’s be honest: Melky takes second base if his hammies aren’t bothering him. I expect that his hurting legs are also reducing his power. He’s not a 20-homer guy, but he’s a legit 11-15 homer guy with 30-35 doubles and 5 or so triples. He’s on pace to reach career norms for doubles and triples, but his homer pace is down considerably. Edwin ensured that he didn’t have to run hard around the bases, though, as he hit a rocket over the wall in left field. Jeff Francis isn’t fooling Edwin. The Jays took a 6-0 lead.

Jonathan Herrera singled with one out in the 6th inning: it was the first hit given up by Esmil Rogers. Buck, Tabby and Jack Morris have discussed his confidence (‘swagger’), his good attitude, and his new sinker. He used all of his pitches effectively and has been a boon to the Jays’ rotation in the midst of injury problems. He proceeded to strike out Josh Rutledge and induce a line out to second by Jordan Pacheco to retire the side.

Two-out home runs by JP Arencibia and Macier Izturis in the bottom of the 6th extended the Jays’ lead to 8-0. Jeff Francis remained in the game. The commentators speculated out loud that Francis was pitching for a spot in the rotation as the Rockies have Roy Oswalt starting on Thursday.

A double and 2 singles to open the 7th inning put the Rockies on the board. Two ground outs to the right side of the infield scored the second run of the inning, bringing Esmil Rogers’ night to an end. It was good to see Rogers and Arencibia sharing a laugh as manager John Gibbons walked to the mound. Aaron Loup came on in relief. A grounder to the hole in short went under Izturis’s glove for the second error and 3rd Colorado run of the game before a lazy fly ball to Rajai in center ended the inning. The Jays lead 8-3.

Darren Oliver relieved Aaron Loup to start the 8th inning and retired the Rockies in order. It was Oliver’s 3rd appearance since coming off the DL, and he needs the work to get back into the routine. His early season difficulties seem to be a thing of the past, and he looks like his normal barely-hittable self. One bullpen, four quality lefties. It’s a nice problem to have. Steve Delabar pitched the 9th inning and, aside from a walk, was sharp.

The Jays have won 7 in a row for the first time since 2008, and are just about as hot as they need to be. I confess freely that I expected Esmil to get knocked around in this one, as he faced his former team and the Rockies are a good hitting team. Perhaps I’m not giving him enough credit for his development as a starter. This was another good win and the Jays go for the sweep tomorrow.

Wes Kepstro


5 Responses to “Mission ’13, Game 70: Jays win 8-3”

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