Indians fall to 64-67
The Toronto Blue jays managed just three runs, all on sacrifice flies, through eight innings tonight. After Yan Gomes crushed his second solo homer of the night in the top of the 9th to tie the game, the momentum had swung back to the Tribe. But a handful of questionable calls from Terry Francona set the stage for an extra-inning Jay comeback, culminating in a game-winning bomb from Ryan Goins. The loss isn't entirely on Tito, but it's hard not to come away from this game without several "what if?" questions lingering in your mind.
Cody Anderson in just his second start back from a DL stint pitched a hell of a game. He hit a few rough patches in the 1st and 3rd, both resulting in Jays sac fly RBIs, but he mowed down Toronto 1-2-3 in the four other innings he pitched. He struck out just two, but had the "pitch to weak contact" method down pat, inducing nine ground ball outs over six solid innings. He departed after the 6th inning with the Tribe down 2-1 despite having thrown just 83 pitches (likely a precautionary measure).
Yan Gomes immediately eliminated any possibility for Cody to take the L by smashing a solo bomb to centre (hey, it's Canada) to lead off the 7th. Things would start to get frustrating when Ryan Webb took over for Anderson, though. Webb wlked the Jays leadoff batter in the 7th, Justin Smoak, despite a questionable call on what should have been strike 3. Some dude named Dalton Pompey would pinch run for Smoak, and Ryan Webb decided not to bother holding him on despite the obviously impending stolen bases. Two SBs later, Kevin Pillar drove Pompey in with Toronto's third RBI sac fly of the night.
Things looked grim for the Indians as 20 year-old phenom Roberto Osuna came on to close for the Jays. Osuna hadn't blown a save since July 8, right about the time he became Toronto's full-time close. The Indians weren't having any of that phenom BS. With one out, Yan Gomes crushed his second solo shot, *deep* to right centre. The video is amazing not only for the incredible homer. but for the audible reaction of the sellout crowd at the Rogers Centre:
The momentum kept rolling as the next batter, Abraham Almonte, crushed a triple off of a shaken Osuna. With just one out, the Tribe was poised to take the lead in extras. Here, Terry Francona made his first questionable decision by pinch hitting Chris Johnson for Giovanny Urshela. Johnson weakly grounded out to 2nd, followed by Jose Ramirez, who drove a solid liner into right, but unfortunately right at Jose Bautista. Bryan Shaw shut the Jays down 1-2-3 in their half of the 9th, but Tito's questionable decisions continued into the 10th.
Francisco Lindor stood on 2nd after his second one out double of the game. Michael Brantley uncharacteristically grounded out to short on his first pitch, but the Jays curiously decided to intentionally walk Carlos Santana, so hope stayed alive with Lonnie Chisenhall coming to bat. The Jays had LGFT left Mark Lowe ready to go in the 'pen, and Lowe got the call as soon as Tito announced the pinch hitter - Jerry F'n Sands? Despite Ryan Raburn being on the bench? Yup. Sands ended the inning with a weak grounder, and the "what ifs?" kept rolling.
After blowing that opportunity, it sort of felt like a Jays win was inevitable. What, with them being one of the hottest teams in baseball and with about a dozen people waiting to give me the business at work tomorrow. Oh, and also with Bryan Shaw staying in for a second inning. A leadoff single by Dioner Navarro set the stage for a one out, two-run bomb by Goins, and that was all she wrote. I've got little more to add to this, so I think I'm going to enjoy the last few hours of my night before facing a bunch of bandwagon Jays fans laughing in my face starting at 8:30 tomorrow.
Other interesting tidbits from a losing effort:
- Jason Kipnis had a rare bad outing, going 0-5 with two strikeouts
- MVP candidate Josh Donaldson laid down a sacrifice bunt in the 3rd inning with the Jays up 1-0
- Francisco Lindor didn't lay down any sacrifice bunts, but did hit two doubles, including this hustling two-bagger complete with Willy Mays Hayes-style slide:
Win Expectancy Chart
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