Blue Jays can’t outlast Carapazza, Indians, fall 2-1 in 19 on Canada Day

The Blue Jays threw literally everyone at the Indians, but they fall 2-1 in a controversial extra innings game.

 

 

 

The Canada Day Classic is a proud tradition for the Blue Jays and their fans, but if they wanted to sent a sell-out crowd of 45,000+ home happy, they would have to shut down the hottest team in baseball and hand Cleveland their first loss since LeBron lifted the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Today the national side was decked out in red and even the Indians saluted their neighbors to the North.

That was all the love they were showing to the home team early on. Starter Josh Tomlin was working home plate umpire Vic Carapazza’s strike zone early and as Edwin Encarnacion voiced his displeasure on a called third strike, Carapazza kicked off the fireworks by ejecting the star DH. John Gibbons came out to argue and joined his slugger in the dugout, with his sixth ejection of the season.

 

The Indians struck first on embattled ace Marcus Stroman in the third. Carlos Santana smoothly smacked a double into the outfield and Jason Kipnis drove him home with a seeing-eye single. 1-0 Cleveland and the 14th win looked to be on the way.

Meanwhile both the fans and the team were growing increasingly agitated with frequent Toronto antagonist Carapazza. Josh Donaldson and Michael Saunders (who Carapazza tossed from the dugout in the playoffs) were disputing strike calls, and even Russell Martin had a discussion with the only man wearing blue today. It was getting ridiculous enough that Vic Carapazza was a trending topic in Canada.

 

 

Finally, Justin Smoak had enough of the so-called strike zone.

 

Smoak’s sixth-inning shot was his third Canada Day home run in two seasons for the Blue Jays, and tied the game up 1-1.

From then on, the bullpens did battle. In fine Canadian fashion, many doughnuts were hung up on the scoreboards. As the game wore on, Carapazza’s strike zone made less and less sense.

The Blue Jays had a good scoring chance off Zach McAllister in the 11th, but Smoak stranded runners on the corners with a pop-out to third. So the game, and Carapazza continued to drag on the home team. After ringing up both Saunders and Martin looking in the 13th, the Canadian catcher let Carapazza have it, and Slick Vic sent him sliding to the dugout, the hat trick of ejections complete for the Blue Jays.

Even Canadian Hall of Famers were taking well-earned shots at Carapazza.

 

In the 14th, it looked like the umpires were going to end another inning early. Kevin Pillar hit a ground ball that was initially ruled a double play but the replay showed Pillar safe by a clear margin. Darwin Barney followed with a double into the outfield and Ezequiel Carrera walked, loading the bases for Josh Donaldson. After the game started under a raging thunderstorm, there were hopes it would end under one too, but the rain fizzled out with a grounder to first. Despite this, Blue Jays fans held strong.

The Indians finally threatened in the 15th. Drew Storen pitched one solid inning but couldn’t muster a second as he walked Jason Kipnis and the second baseman jumped to third on a ground ball that was misplayed by new first baseman Junior Lake. However the last man in the bullpen emerged and Bo Schultz got Mike Napoli to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Schultz had to dance to a similar tune in the 16th as Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall got aboard to put runners on the corners with none out. But a Michael Martinez pop-out, Tyler Naquin strikeout and Chris Gimenez line-out got Schultzy out of another jam.

Trevor Bauer came out to pitch for the Indians and showed the same stuff he’s shown in his resurgent starting role. Schultz lasted another inning, but in the 18th the Blue Jays were out of options and to the mound stepped Ryan Goins…

Things got off to a rocky start. Despite a fastball touching the 90s, singles to Ramirez and Chisenhall (5-8 on the day!) gave the Indians a chance to bust this sucker open. However, Go-go bared down. Martinez grounded into a fielder’s choice that erased Ramirez at home for one out. Naquin was walked to bring up the plodding Gimenez for the double play, and a double play they got. 6-4-3 and Goins has the best ERA of any Blue Jays reliever at 0.00.

Because it worked wonderfully before, the Blue Jays went to that well again, shifting Darwin Barney over to pitch the 19th. Their luck ran out in a hurry as Santana parked a low fastball into the right-centre field stands to give the Indians the first lead in 13 innings. Bauer shut down the top of the order to end the game before Lake got a chance to pitch.

Both starters were solid as a maple tree. Tomlin went a full six innings, scattering seven hits and being very fortunate to only give up the one run as the Blue Jays left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings. He rang up eight strikeouts, although fans will give Carapazza credit for at least half of them.

On the other side, Stroman had a very effective outing, calming a lot of critics. He was locating his fastball very well, picking up six strikeouts while giving up five hits and the one run.

PLAY OF THE GAME

In honor of the holiday, Kevin Pillar decided to fly like Air Canada to track down this Jose Ramirez liner.

The play preserved the tie in the 10th inning and extended the game for the Blue Jays.

GAME BALL

I could give this ball to the entire bullpen. 10 and a third innings of shutout baseball, but Bo Schultz, the last man out of the pen gets it. Two and two thirds innings, the last out as he was clearly laboring, got out of jams in the 15th (Storen’s) and 16th (his own). What a gutsy performance. Runner-up ball to Jesse Chavez. Three innings of perfect pitching is something we needed to see. Maybe Goins will earn one soon at that rate.

TURNING POINT

This had all the makings of another lost Canada Day. Fall behind early, umpire being incompetent, hallmarks of past Blue Jays losses were already present. But Justin Smoak said no. That home run shook everyone out of the doldrums. Considering the Blue Jays didn’t have a hit after that until Tulo’s single in the 14th, it was a clutch shot.

NEWS & NOTES

The Blue Jays officially released Chad Jenkins today. The 2009 1st rounder made 46 appearances with the club over the last three seasons, but once his option well ran dry, so did his value. A shame, since he would have been real helpful today.

Also of note, Sean Ratcliffe, the player given up by the Blue Jays to land Jason Grilli’s sweet cheesy services was cut loose by Atlanta today.

Expect many more notes from tomorrow’s game as both rosters will need replenishing.

NEXT GAME

Saturday’s game is a 1:07ET start. Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.82 ERA) steps out for the Blue Jays but with Bauer pitching today, he will not make his scheduled start tomorrow.

 

 

 

**Featured Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III-flickr – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

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Ryan has been immersed in sports from a young age, since he could read Jr. Jays comics as they filtered into the backwoods of Northern Nova Scotia. He’s been blogging about sports since high school, writing on FOX Sports.com’s blogs as well as his own Tailpipe Sports blog. He’s been with Jays From the Couch since its humble beginnings, and continues to contribute as he forges a career in the sports journalism industry. He brings a discerning eye, a smoking keyboard, and a brain that made Jeopardy! rethink letting Canadians onto their program.

Ryan Andrews

Ryan has been immersed in sports from a young age, since he could read Jr. Jays comics as they filtered into the backwoods of Northern Nova Scotia. He’s been blogging about sports since high school, writing on FOX Sports.com’s blogs as well as his own Tailpipe Sports blog. He's been with Jays From the Couch since its humble beginnings, and continues to contribute as he forges a career in the sports journalism industry. He brings a discerning eye, a smoking keyboard, and a brain that made Jeopardy! rethink letting Canadians onto their program.
  • japester

    I decided to watch the Cleveland feed for the game today. Even using their pitch tracker, called strikes were obvious balls. What made it worse is they were saying it was a pitch too close to take. There were less than 2 strikes on the Jays hitters at the time they said this. Later in the game, their rationale was that Carapazza had been calling it that way all game and the Jays had nothing to complain about.
    Absolutely one of the poorest umpired games I’ve seen in a long time. I’m going to have to reconsider Angel Hernández as the worst ump in the majors.

    • shaun doyle

      Oh, Angel….it’s a toss up. It seems as though umpiring is worse this year than in past. Purely anecdotal, of course.

    • shaun doyle

      Oh, Angel….it’s a toss up. It seems as though umpiring is worse this year than in past. Purely anecdotal, of course.

      • japester

        If Dutch Rennart was dead, he would be spinning in his grave..

  • Catherine Stem

    Carapazza was a disaster and the reason this game was played the way it was..He was ejection happy and it wasn’t pretty ..MBL has to get it better.