In a white knuckle nail biter the Toronto Blue Jays would end up striking the final blow in the form of a wild pitch walk off
Game number two of the three game set against the Padres would feature Marcus Stroman for the Toronto Blue Jays and possibly soon to no longer be San Diego Padre Andrew Cashner. Rumors were swirling right up until game time that Cashner may not even make the start due to a pending deal, but when the time game he was on the mound ready to go.
The decision to start Cashner wouldn’t look like a good one early on as the offense from the Blue Jays would jump on him early. In his second game off of the DL, Jose Bautista would get the Jays off on the right foot leading off the game with a walk. He wouldn’t even have time to say hello to Tim Leiper at first however, as Josh Donaldson would step into the box right behind him and blast a home run to center scoring both him and Jose. Edwin would then get on base with another hard hit ball to left, and things were not looking good for a boost to Cashner’s value. At that point Cashner would finally settle in though, and close out the inning without further damage. The Padres would respond immediately with a run off of Stroman to cut the Jays 2 run lead in half in the top of the second. Yangervis Solarte would lead off the inning with a single, and after a line out from Alex Dickerson, would score on a double by Ryan Schimpf. Stroman would close out the inning without any more issues, and the Jays still leading 2-1.
Stroman and Cashner would both settle in and cruise through the 3rd, 4th, and 5th inning. The only blemish would be against Cashner, who would badly miss a spot against Justin Smoak that would turn into a 409 foot Smoak bomb. After the 5 innings of great work from Stroman, the Padres would finally figure him out. Travis Jankowski would get on base to lead off the inning on a line drive to center. Then, after a Wil Myers strike out, Matt Kemp would hit a grounder that was moving just fast enough to get past Troy Tulowitzki. With runners now on first and second Solarte would make great contact and hit a deep dangerous ball to right center. Kevin Pillar would track it down at the wall however, but Jankowski was still able to tag up and advance. With 2 out, and runners on first and third, Alex Dickerson would come to the plate and make the Jays pay for the second night in a row. Connecting on another pitch down and inside, he would launch a 435 foot three run shot to center giving the Padres their first lead of the game.
Despite chasing Stroman in the top of the seventh (Stroman would leave with a line of 6.2 IP 7 H 4 R 4 ER 1 BB and 7 SO) the Padres were unable to plate another run. After what ended up being an impressive start from Cashner despite the rocky start, he would give way to the bull pen in the bottom of the seventh. Brad Hand would come in to attempt to maintain the Padres lead throughout the bottom of the Blue Jays order. Hand would come out of the gate ice cold however throwing 8 straight balls, walking Martin and Pillar back to back in the process. With a lefty on the mound, John Gibbons would pinch hit for Justin Smoak, bringing in brand new Blue Jay Melvin Upton Jr. to a standing ovation. Melvin would ground into a fielder’s choice, and then advance to 2nd on a wild pitch with Devon Travis at the plate. An infield hit from Travis would then load the bases for Jose Bautista with one out. Hand would pull himself together striking out Jose Bautista, but the strike 3 pitch would get away from Norris allowing Russell Martin to score and tie up the game. Hand would then get Josh Donaldson to pop out to end the inning without further damage.
The eighth through eleventh inning would lead to zeros for both teams all the way through. It would be the Padres that would break the silence in the top of the twelfth, and finally re take the lead. After a 2 out double from Wil Myers, Matt Kemp would homer off of Jesse Chavez to take a two run lead.
The Jays refused to say die however as they would come right back swinging. Martin would start the inning off with a single, advanced by a Darwin Barney pinch hit double. With 1 out, Devon Travis would put together a masterpiece of an at bat working a walk to load the bases and bring up Jose Bautista. Bautista would then work a walk of his own, scoring Martin from third to come within one. The MVP would ground into a fielder’s choice scoring another run and tying the game up at 6. Edwin Encarnacion was up next with runners at first and third, and he wouldn’t even have to make contact with the ball. A wild pitch would score Travis from third and the Jays would walk it off 7-6.
PLAY OF THE GAME
In the top of the seventh the Padres would touch up Stroman and were threatening to tack on to their narrow lead with runners on second and third and two out. Joe Biagini would enter to shut the inning down and stop the bleeding, but it would be Troy Tulowitzki that would bail out the Jays with yet another phenomenal defensive play.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2016
Tonight’s game ball goes to Devon Travis, who not only made a great defensive play early on, but also put together a phenomenal at bat in the bottom of the 12th that would ultimately lead to a Blue Jays walk off.
NEWS & NOTES
Early in the day the Jays would acquire OF Melvin Upton Jr. from the San Diego Padres for single A pitcher Hansel Rodriguez. The best part of the deal for the Jays is that the Padres also agreed to eat 17 of the 22 million owed to Upton Jr. Check out the rest of JFtC for full coverage on the deal.
The Blue Jays will finish off their rare three game series against the San Diego Padres in an early afternoon match-up tomorrow. In the middle of the ninth it was announced that RA Dickey will get the start on short rest for Marco Estrada to face off against right-handed youngster Luis Perdomo. First pitch is set for 12:37 EST. For more details, check out this game in our series preview here.
*Featured Image Credit: kdemerly- (Flickr) – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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A group benefits consultant by day, Dustin is sports fanatic who loves talking sports more than anything. A self-glossed stats geek, he loves diving into the numbers behind the game. A proud father of 2 amazing kids, Dustin was born in Calgary, and now lives in Morinville.