Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
I'm going to try to post one of these little quick thoughts after as many games as possible. By doing so, I plan to list what I thought was worth highlighting, both the positives and negatives (but I'll try not to focus so much on the negatives unless they're glaring). With that, here are a few things that I noticed for tonight's game against the Red Sox on April 19, 2017 -
- Real quick - I apologize for not being able to do one of these over the weekend and last night. I had prior obligations over the weekend, in addition to the Raptors' playoff game last night. I know - you figured I'd be all over these Red Sox games, being a Jays fan from New England and all. But... ya know, life. Anyway...
- God I hate the Red Sox.
- I had to post this prior to the start of the game -
Glad I was wrong.
- I'm really admiring Pillar's improvement at the plate. His approach is like night and day compared to years past, being much more patient and swinging at actual strikes. If you're searching for positives, this is definitely one.
- Weird to see the Jays playing a little small-ball (I hate that term) by showing bunt a tad more often, in addition to attempting more hit-and-runs. Which... sure! Whatever works!
- Darwin Barney was able to capitalize on two Sox errors by grabbing a base-hit and driving in Tulo and Martin in the 2nd. Carrera was also able to drive in Barney in the same inning to give the Jays a 3-0 advantage, rattling Porcello early (and making me look foolish with my aforementioned tweet).
- Liriano took the mound for the Jays and picked up where he left off from his previous outing. An added bonus was that he was able to end Mookie Betts' streak of consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout (ended at 129 PA's). He was very sharp early on and those that were worried after his initial outing - don't. He finished with 5.1 innings pitched, throwing a total of 91 pitches - 61 of which for strikes (67%) - giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 6 K's. Solid! He was pulled after two consecutive base-hits by Benintendi and Betts, as Biagini entered in relief.
- Porcello was rattled early, throwing 35 total pitches in the 2nd inning alone. He didn't have his best stuff tonight and it took him until the 5th inning to settle in. Too little too late. He finished tonight's game pitching 7 innings, throwing 110 pitches - 76 of which for strikes (69%) - giving up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. None of the 3 runs were earned.
- In relief, Biagini was solid, throwing just two pitches to get out of the 6th inning as a result of a ground ball double play. He further pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th. I know we're thin on starters, and I know there was some conversation about converting him into one, but he's just so well-suited in relief. At least for now.
- I don't know what's going on with Bautista, but it's absolutely concerning. It looks like it's more of an in-between-the-ears problem than a sharp sharp decline in hitting. Maybe I'm jaded, but hitters like Bautista don't just completely fall off this much.
- Grilli was able to get out of an 8th inning jam with two men on base and Betts at the plate acting as the tying run. A little too close for comfort, but it worked out.
- Osuna closed out the game in familiar Osuna style, grabbing his first save of the season.
- Jays take it, 3-0.
- See! It's not all that bad. I mean, we beat the defending Cy Young Award winner, sooo.... it's something! Maybe this is the start of something positive!
- Player Of The Game: Kevin Pillar (3 for 4 at the plate with 2 stolen bases).
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