The Blue Jays have had some unexpected wins this season.
Mark Buehrle gave up 7 runs in the 3rd inning in a game against the Rays earlier this season. That put the Jays down 7-0 at the time. Buehrle followed that inning up with 3 shutout innings and the Jays bullpen didn’t give up a run. The Jays came back to win that game 8-7.
Just this past Sunday the Jays were trailing the Orioles 5-2 going to the bottom of the 9th. The Orioles closer had been struggling lately but he’s still one of the better closers in baseball. The Jays stunned everyone by scoring 4 runs to walk it off. It was especially stunning since Kawasaki got the game winning double with the Jays down to 2 outs still losing 5-4 with runners on the corners.
But those shocking wins pale in comparison to yesterday’s win.
The Jays had a reliever start a game against one of the best teams in baseball with one of the most stacked lineups in a national league park where bullpens already get used more. And the Jays had just called up what most fans probably thought were Triple A scrubs to fill 3 freaking spots in the bullpen.
You tend to assume guys you’ve never heard of are scrubs.
Not only did the Jays win a game that I would have bet millions on them losing if I was a multi-millionaire but they shut out the Atlanta freaking Braves.
It was the only the 2nd time the Jays had shut out an opponent all season. The first time was all the way back in the first week of the season, April 6th, when J.A. Happ and the bullpen shutout the Red Sox.
The team with starting pitchers R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle and a shutdown bullpen got its 2nd shutout with Esmil Rogers, Juan Perez and Neil Wagner pitching the first 8 innings.
Rogers gave the Jays 3 shutout innings before needing to get pulled in the 4th inning. That wasn’t that surprising since Rogers had given the Jays multiple inning shutout outings out of the bullpen already this season.
But then Juan Perez came in and Blue Jays fans everywhere hoped this scrub could just give the Jays a decent outing. Well that scrub retired all 8 hitters he faced while striking out BJ Upton, Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, and Freddie Freeman.
If he keeps that up he’s welcomed to stay in the big league bullpen. Perez’s performance probably made Jays relievers without job security sweat a little bit. (Brad Lincoln I’m looking in your direction.) If anything we learned the Jays should target left handed relievers whose last name is Perez since Luis Perez pitched so well last season before getting injured.
After Perez another thought to be a scrub Neil Wagner pitched 2 shutout innings while only giving up one hit. That was a little more surprising because you couldn’t help but wonder why the Jays didn’t use one of their real relievers to pitch the 8th inning with a 3 run lead.
I think I can speak for the whole Jays fan base when I say we were just waiting for the Jays to get blown out with the pitchers they had on the mound all night. For once the Jays not living up to expectations was a good thing.