Marco Estrada looked to get back on track versus his nemesis, the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
The Toronto Blue Jays have won two in a row after losing…a lot of games in the past week against the rival Clevelanders and Red Sox. Your John Gibbons-led Blue Jays would send Marco Estrada or some strange version of him to the mound to face…Paul Blackburn? Whatever, it’s paper-clipped.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 26, 2017
Starting Pitcher Matchup
Oakland Athletics 2 R, 3 H, 0 E
Toronto Blue Jays 3 R, 5 H, 0 E
Despite walking a pair and loading the bases in the top of the first, Marco Estrada battled against his early lack of fastball command to induce some pop-ups and get himself out of the jam. Marco then cruised through the next four innings, before allowing a two-out walk in the top of the fifth, followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Marcus Semien. His final line: 5 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 K.
There was a lot of discussion as to whether or not this was Marco’s last start as a Blue Jay. While his value in the eyes of others teams may have been improved with Wednesday’s luckless start, it still doesn’t seem terribly likely he a goner. Even if he is for this season, there’s hope he returns in 2018.
An unrecognizable Matt Dermody made his first appearance since April 16th, pitching 1/3 of an inning before giving way to Dominic Leone who pitched a clean sixth inning and seventh. Leone was especially solid, leading to this interesting bit on the ol’ twitter machine:
Domenic Leone, minor league deal converted into possible trade chip. That's asset management.
— Damon (@BaseballDN98_) July 27, 2017
Sure, why not? While Leone has been solid, he’s probably not a building block for this team in 2018, and there’s some similar guys in the upper minors right now who could d a similar job.
Aaron Loup (no, seriously!) continued the excellent job of the bullpen, tossing another clean inning and striking out two. Related: TRADE HIM. Joe Biagini finished the A’s off in the top of the ninth, getting the last two outs.
Why so much talk of the bullpen? Well, they kept the Jays in the game until the ninth, where Josh Donaldson worked a walk, and thennn….
If there is hope to be found in this game for #BlueJays fans, Santiago Casilla has not been a very good closer this season. Rodney Lite.
— Ryan Andrews 📎 (@NeoAC18) July 27, 2017
Narrator: Ryan was on to something.
And even more then:
There’s always a reason to watch.
Jays loaded the bases in the first inning, but performed a marvelous ketjak to dance around a scoring opportunity, with Kendrys Morales bouncing into the most predictable rally-killing double play conceivable. Paul Blackburn (?!) then quieted the offense further, blanking the Blue Jays over seven innings. Paul Blackburn, who you’ll be forgiven if he’s not a household name, is actually quite good:
|1 Yr||1 Yr||1||1||2.88||4||25.0||22||9||8||3||7||0||9||1||1||100||147||4.94||1.160||7.9||1.1||2.5||3.2|
Blake Treinen comes in for the eighth. Great work by Paul Blackburn, whose ERA after five big-league starts is 2.25.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 27, 2017
Still, this offense is inexcusable.
Seemingly every time the Blue Jays got a runner on, a double play happened. Of course, they only had five baserunners by the eighth inning.
- The Royals, who were not expected to contend in 2017, might be looking at the Toronto Blue Jays rotation for help in making a playoff push. In two separate reports disguised as one, MLB Trade Rumors mentions both Francisco Liriano and Marco Estrada as potential targets for the Royals.
Player of the Game
In what looked like a total clunker, the ninth inning was a good one. Be sure to vote for your Jays From the Couch Player of the Game:
Well, that escalated quickly. Who earns your vote for the @JaysFromCouch Player of the Game?
— Roy-Z ☘ (@rolewiii) July 27, 2017
Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.