The Toronto Blue Jays kicked off a series against the Boston Red Sox with an extra inning walk fest of a loss
The Toronto Blue Jays looked to gain some sort of momentum after losing two of three against the Orioles and slid to 6.5 games back of the AL East. While no single game, or series, can be more important than the others in the context of a full season, this series against Boston would certainly have a massive impact on the direction Toronto takes in the coming weeks. They leaned on Marco Estrada to take the mound in an effort to get this series off on the right foot. He did not.
Boston Red Sox- 7 R, 12 H, 0 E
Toronto Blue Jays- 4 R, 6 H, 1 E
#BlueJays lineup vs BOS
— Blue Jays Village (@BlueJaysVillage) June 30, 2017
— Marino Pepén (@Marino_Pepen) June 30, 2017
Starting Pitcher Matchup
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 30, 2017
Jose Bautista led off the home half of the first inning with a single off Fister, matching that on base ability that Josh Donaldson was previously calling for. Speaking of the Bringer of Rain, he was hit by a pitch, which put two runners on for the surprise story of 2017, Justin Smoak. Hitting from the left side of the plate, Smoak sent a ball flying over the left center field wall to put his club up 3-0 early on.
With his team down 4-3, Troy Tulowitzki stepped up to the plate and led off with a solo home run to left field. His game tying shot had a hang time of 5.3 seconds and traveled 380 ft at 96 mph. It was a sight for sore eyes, to be sure, considering how much Tulo hate was set on fire on the old Twitter machine.
We should give a hearty congratulations to Glenn Sparkman who made his MLB debut in the 11th inning. His line: o.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB
Estrada found some trouble in the third inning as home plate umpire, Pat Hoburg, was running a “conservative” zone. Estrada walked Tzu Wei-Lin, Deven Marrero, the 8 and 9 hitters. The trouble wouldn’t end there as he proceeded to allow a free pass to Mookie Betts to load the bases with no one out. However, the rest of the inning really deserves to go in the highlights section as he manged to get two pop ups and a strike out to end any threat.
Estrada had a lot of difficulty finding the strike zone all night and it all can’t be blamed on the home plate umpire. After walking the first batter of the 5th inning, his free pass total sat at 7. His 90th pitch of the game came to Betts as the second batter of that inning. The 90th pitch saw Betts hit a weak chopper up the third base line that would go for a single. It was the first hit he’d given up all night. The next one, would be a double to Dustin Pedroia that brought in two runs and signaled the end of Estrada’s night. He left with the lead, but he was far from his usual self.
Marco Estrada's seven walks are a career high. Previous high was five, in 2013 vs #Cardinals.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 1, 2017
The Red Sox tied the game at three in the 6th inning after Ezequiel Carrera lost an easy fly ball and it fell for a double for Jackie Bradley Jr. Danny Barnes walked Christian Vazquez and Marrero singled to Bautista, who made a great throw to keep the scoring to one run on that play. Jeff Beliveau came in and gave up an opposite field double to Benintendi, which brought the score to 4-3 for the bad guys.
This game went on forever thanks to pitchers who could not find the strike zone with consistency. With one out in the 8th, Benintendi walked. He was the 10th batter the Blue Jays issued free passes to up until that point. They ended up giving up 14 base on balls (the most in MLB this season, thank you very much), several intentional, but…
This is just the 6th time in franchise history #BlueJays walked 13 or more in a game. It's also the most walks allowed in a game at home.
— Andrew Hockridge (@drewhockridge) July 1, 2017
The 10th inning saw Aaron Loup come in to the game and give up 2 walks (one intentional to Mookie Betts) and then let a wild pitch go to allow both runners to advance. They would then intentionally walk Pedrioa to allow the lefty-lefty matchup between Loup and Moreland. That loaded the bases. Loup managed to get a ground ball out to end it, but it was definitely a stress inducing inning.
But, the next inning was even worse. After a leadoff double to Hanley Ramirez, the Red Sox would send pinch hitter Xander Bogaerts, who stroked a single to right field. That gave the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. The armchair managers will question why Gibby chose to leave Loup in, but we’re talking about extra innings and the only reliever left was Sparkman, who hadn’t thrown a pitch in the big leagues. Sparkman would give up another two runs on a hit by Marrero. 7-4 Red Sox.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 30, 2017
— MLB (@MLB) July 1, 2017
He took a foul tip to the shin, and when he was rounding second he was hurting bad and yes I was at the game
— keith (@black_jack1983) July 1, 2017
Player of the Game
Ugh. Nothing to show for this extra inning loss, except our #BlueJays player of the game poll:
— Jays From the Couch (@JaysFromCouch) July 1, 2017
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.