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 Rays on April 8, 2017 -
- STOP PANICKING! That is, of course, if you're that type of person. I talked a whole lot about how it's just way too early to be this concerned about the Jays on this week's podcast. You can listen to me rant by clicking on the SoundCloud embedded link at the bottom of this piece (See? I make it easy for you!).
- Chris Archer vs. Aaron Sanchez = gold.
- We received word that Roberto Osuna would be good to go for the Home Opener Tuesday. Also, Casey Lawrence was brought up to the Jays from Buffalo to assist in the bullpen, if needed (he was).
- Archer was solid, pitching a no-no until the 5th inning as Morales hit a leadoff single to right. However, in the 7th, Archer looked to be a bit tired as he gave up two consecutive walks to Donaldson and Bautista, as well as an RBI single by Tulowitzki. Archer finished the day pitching 7.2 innings, throwing 114 pitches, 72 of which for strike (63%), giving up 5 hits, 8 K's, 3 walks, and 2 earned runs. I'm sort of surprised that Archer wasn't pulled earlier than he was, but it worked out in the Jays benefit. In the 8th, Archer gave up a lead-off walk to Martin, who eventually ended up scoring the 2nd run of the game for the Jays off of a 2-out single by Donaldson.
- Sanchez was equally solid and you figured going in it would end up being a pitcher's duel. His only earned run was an RBI single to Corey Dickerson off a breaking ball down the heart of the plate. Sanchez finished the night pitching 7 innings, throwing 101 pitches, 59 of which for strikes (58%), giving up 4 hits, 1 earned run, 6 K's, 1 error, and 3 walks. The velocity hovered around the mid 90's, even in the 7th inning, so he didn't show any signs of fatigue. It was great to see such a back-and-forth game by two fantastic pitchers. Both received no decisions.
- I like how Pillar has adopted a much more patient approach at the plate. However, there may be such a thing as too patient and he may need to find that happy-medium. Granted, Archer was pitching tonight so maybe it was more being locked up by his stuff than being reserved. Also granted, he was able to fight back from an 0-2 count in the 7th to not only a) build it up to a 2-2 count, but also b) grab a single as well. It's only a matter of time, so be patient.
- The Jays continued to do the first-base-left-field-switcharoo, as Carrera pinch-ran for Smoak in the 8th. Pearce took over first base duties as Carrera replaced him in left.
- Biagini was the first out of the bullpen for the Jays in the 8th. Unfortunately, he gave up an RBI to Steven Souza Jr. in the same inning to tie up the game at 2 runs a piece. He was sent back out in the 9th and was able to get himself out of a serious jam.
- Another game of extra innings.
- Side note: Is it just me or does the crowd at the Trop sound louder than the amount of people that are actually there? I dunno...
- Grilli was summoned in the 10th and it was apparent that he didn't have his best stuff tonight, but was able to get out of a jam in the 10th (super intense first-pounding included).
- Casey Lawrence made his debut in the 11th and... not the type of impression you want to leave to those that are prematurely calling the season a failure for the Jays. I get why people would want to second-guess the decision to intentionally walk two batters to load the bases with Longoria up. But when you think about it, it makes sense as it was the best opportunity to get a double play when there was already a man on third. Lawrence ended up walking Brad Miller with the bases loaded to end the game. BUT HEY! Jays have an opportunity to take the split tomorrow before going home.
- Jays fall 3-2.
- Player of the Game: Aaron Sanchez
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