Jun 4, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind (26) at bat in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Live Game Thread: Blue Jays look for sweep of Tigers


I think it is safe to say that no one told the Toronto Blue Jays that the calendar has turned to June. After riding through May with a blistering  21-9 record, which included a 9-game win streak, the Blue Jays have gotten June off to a great start by winning 4 consecutive games.

That May success vaulted the once last-place Blue Jays from the basement to the penthouse. Entering play on Thursday, Toronto owns a healthy 4.5 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and a 6-game lead over the third place New York Yankees. With a win today, the team would have some nice momentum going into a 6-game home stand.

To do that, the Jays will need to complete the sweep of the Detroit Tigers. Detroit, who themselves hold onto a first place position in the American League Central, have made things interesting on back to back nights for the Blue Jays, only to watch things fall apart in the late innings.

The Blue Jays would like to keep that trend going, and are sending J.A. Happ to the mound to face Justin Verlander. As could be expected, Happ has turned in mixed results as a starter for the Jays this season. He is coming off of back-to-back 7+ inning performances, throwing 7 shut-out frames against the Oakland Athletics on May 25th but was knocked around for 6 earned over 7.2 innings of work against the Kansas City Royals on May 30th.

He’ll be opposed by Justin Verlander, who has also been surprisingly inconsistent this season. He sports a 6-4 record, but an uncharacteristic 3.99 ERA and a 6-year high 3.5 BB/9 ratio, something the Blue Jays will surely test. He looked servicable during his last outing of the month, throwing 7.2 against the Mariners and surrendering 3 runs with 7 strike-outs. However, his month of May was abyssmal, with the former Cy Young winner posting a 5.54 ERA and a -0.474 WPA for the month.

Toronto Blue Jays Line-up:

 

Detroit Tigers Line-up:

  Of note, Blue Jays slugger, and reigning American League Player of the Month, Edwin Encarnacion is receiving the day off after leaving last night’s contest with back tightness. Edwin is considered day-to-day with the injury and isn’t expected to miss much time. In his place, Adam Lind slides to first base while Erik Kratz takes over the DH duties.  

Alright folks, let’s chat this game up and see if we can keep you entertained in the office today.

Tags: Featured J.A. Happ Popular Toronto Blue Jays

  • Kyle Franzoni

    2 pitched and Jose Reyes get the Blue Jays offense started with a lead-off single.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Melky follows with a first pitch fly-out to left.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Another solid, shift beating single for Jose Bautista. Reyes to third on the play.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          2 outs now as Lind pops up behind third base.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Francisco flies out to end the frame. Scoreless as JA Happ takes the mound.

  • Mark Roberts

    Why do the Jays carry 3 catchers?

    • Kyle Franzoni

      I think Kratz serves more as a PH or possible DH platoon partner for Lind.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        In this case he gets the start at DH with Encarnacion out of the line-up.

        • Mark Roberts

          No, he’s catching.

          • Mark Roberts

            I don’t see the benefit of putting Kratz into the game as catcher when Navarro had the day off yesterday. You would think Pillar is a better choice for DH than Kratz.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            I think we just saw the benefit of having Kratz in the line-up…

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Whoops, my bad. The day off for Navarro threw me off despite having the line-up right in front of me.

            Agreed on Pillar, especially with the hot bat he is swinging now. Also wouldn’t hurt to possibly give Brad Glenn a look either.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    After a lead-off single to Kinsler in the bottom of the inning, a double-play ground-out by Torii Hunter erases him and a ground-out by Miggy ends the inning 1-2-3.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Blue Jays again swinging early in the count, as Lawrie pops out to start the 2nd. With Verlander’s recent control issues, I’m surprised they aren’t being more patient.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      And to prove that point, Dioner Navarro takes a four-pitch walk.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        And the Tigers get their karmic revenge by getting Kratz to his into the 6-4-3 DP to end the top of the second.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Happ gets Victor Martinez on the change-up to start the bottom of the second. Got away with a pitch that stayed up in the zone.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Another ground-out for Happ, as Martinez rolls one to Lawrie for out number 2.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Austin Jackson with a single to right, that’ll bring up the lefty Avila.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          Happ gets the foul tip strike-out to end the inning. Two decent innings from J.A. to start this game. Fairly efficient as well.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Anthony Gose rung up on a tough check-swing call to start the third. Looked like this checked it up from my armchair, but I’m not on the third base line either.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Reyes and Cabrera ground out softly to Kinsler to make it a 1-2-3. Verlander has thrown only 27 pitches through 3 innings, so this could be a long day for Jays hitters.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Time for a public service announcement. Be sure to check back with us throughout the evening as we live cover the first round of the MLB draft, including profiling the Blue Jays picks at #9 and #11. Jays are in a good position to nab some quality guys.

    • Andrew van Laar

      Do you have any idea approximately what time those picks will happen at? I am going to be out all night but I want to check in and see who we nab. How many rounds are done tonight?

      • Kyle Franzoni

        First pick is at 6:00pm. Picks go much faster in MLB, so I imagine Jays will be making pick between 6:20pm and 6:30pm. Eastern Standard time.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Nick Castellanos turns on one and leads the bottom of the third off with a double to left. Looked bigger off the bat, but this ballpark plays very big.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Romine with the solid ground-out to first moves Castellanos to third with one out.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Kinsler with a triple that drops in front of a diving Cabrera brings in the first run of the game. 1-0 Tigers.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          2-0 Detroit on the sac fly from Hunter.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Miguel Cabrera lines out to Bautista on the RF line to end the inning, but the damage done and the Blue Jays will now play from behind. 2-0 with Bautista, Lind, and Francisco due up.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Bautista pops it up to right-center, and the ball somehow falls between the two of them. Bautista goes to second the the E-9.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Lind singles to right, but Bautista isn’t going to test Hunter’s arm in right. First and third with no outs. Francisco to the plate.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Francisco has about the worst at-bat you could imagine in that situation. Verlander pounds him inside and induces a foul pop-up.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          Lawrie with a solid at-bat, draws the walk to load the bases. Navarro to the plate, and anything but a ground-ball would be most appreciated.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Navarro with the hard-fought single to left scores Bautista and moves everyone up.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            2-run single by Erik Kratz gives the Jays a 1-run lead. Jays still have first and second with 1 out. Verlander up to 27 pitches this inning alone.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Gose into the easy double-play to end the frame, but the Blue Jays do some damage and take the lead 3-2 in the top of the 4th.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    A lead-off walk to Victor Martinez to start the bottom of the 4th.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Taylor-made double play, but Lawrie throws high to 1st and pulls Lind off the bag. Only one out on the play and we have a replacement of Martinez’s at first base.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Jays catch a break as the rare caught-stealing for the Blue Jays erases the baserunner and is followed up by a fly-out by Austin Jackson to end the frame.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Reyes down swinging on three pitches to start the 5th.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Melky with another weak ground-out. He’s really slowed down over the last few days. May not be a bad idea to give him a day off .

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Verlander gets Joey Bats on two beautiful curve-balls to end the inning 1-2-3.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Wow, Francisco didn’t have any clue where the fence was on that play. Could have gotten hurt on a play where he had no chance at the ball. Avila lines the next pitch to left for a lead-off single.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Happ losed Castellanos after going 0-2 and possibly missing a called strike three in there. First and second with no outs. Badly need a double play but the Romine is likely bunt here to avoid it.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Romine pulls it back and slaps it to third. Francisco bobbled it though, so have to settle for the out at first.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          Kinsler with the ground-out scores the run and ties the game.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Hunter flies out to Bautista to end the inning, but the game is tied at 3 with Lind due up to start the 6th.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Just like that, Juan Francisco gets the lead back with a 2-run home run to regain the lead.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Brett Lawrie goes back-to-back with a solo shot. 6-3 Toronto.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Navarro strikes out for out number one. Interesting foot race on the dropped third strike, as Avila tries chasing Navarro down the line. Some fans may have felt the game was in slow motion there.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          Kratz works the walk as the frustration appears to be building for Verlander.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Gose flies out to right field for out number 2.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Verlander very concerned with Kratz at first base for some reason.

          • Kyle Franzoni

            Reyes with a middling flyball to center ends the frame. However, Jays double-up their scoring and take a 6-3 lead.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Happ continues to baffle Miggy, getting a weak fly-out to center.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Victor Martinez with the 1-out single to left.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        I think Pete Walker learned the slow walk to the mound from Mel Stollemeyer.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          6-4-3 double play by JD Martinez ends the 6th, and likely Happ’s night.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Melky flies out lazily to left to start the frame. Bautista singles to get the first base-runner of the inning.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      Lind gets fooled and pops one up behind second on the first pitch for out number 2.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        After Verlander tries to pick him off, Bautista steals second base on the next pitch.

        • Kyle Franzoni

          Francisco flies out to end the inning. On to the bottom of the 7th, 6-3 Jays.

  • Andrew van Laar

    This may sound weird, but I keep checking game day at work hoping to see Happ knocked out of the game, but us still in the lead. I must really not like this guy… :P

    • Kyle Franzoni

      He’s done now after walking the lead-off man and getting a fly-out from Avila. Jenkins on.

      • Kyle Franzoni

        And just like that, the tie run comes to the plate as Castellanos single to left, but Jenkins gets out of it with another 6-4-3 DP.

  • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

    Just checking in now. My MLB app was noisy. So glad to see it was good news. This team is so frigging hot right now. I’m a huge fan, but this is amazing me.

  • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

    And Happ was good!

  • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

    THAT is why Lawrie will win a Gold Glove this year.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    Missed most of the inning while unloading my son from the bus. That said, nothing was truly missed, so carry on.

    • Kyle Franzoni

      I take that back as Melky Cabrera just went yard, knocking the solo shot to left field. Could that be the nail?

      • Kyle Franzoni

        Bautista flips it to center for the third out. 3 outs away from 5 in a row.

  • Kyle Franzoni

    1 pitch from Janssen closes out the game as the Blue Jays complete the sweep and head home to face St. Louis tomorrow night. Thanks for hanging out folks!