WP: J.A. Happ - 6.0IP, 7H, 0ER, 4K, 1BB
LP: Jake Peavy - 6.1IP, 8H, 5ER, 7K, 3BB
The Toronto Blue Jays rode a resurgent offense to a 7-3 victory against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. Just one day removed from not appearing to understand which sport they were playing, the Blue Jays rebounded as a full team on both sides of the ball. The Era of Aaron Sanchez remains undefeated!
The pendulum of J.A. Happ swung back to success, as the Blue Jays lanky lefty pitched 6 full innings of shutout ball, surrendering 7H while striking out four. Happ was not flawless, but he pitched at his best when needed as he stranded the bases loaded with the Red Sox pressing in the 4th inning. With the game still sitting at 1-0 in the 6th, Happ again snuffed out the Boston attack, striking out Stephen Drew with a beautiful curve on his 103rd pitch of the evening.
The Blue Jays offence shuffled it’s feet before awaking in the 6th inning, as Jose Reyes (3-5, 2RBI) and Dioner Navarro (2-4, 2RBI) both took Jake Peavy over the right field wall for their eighth and seventh home runs on the season, respectively. Melky Cabrera, who came around to score on the home run by Navarro, continued his recent hot play with a 3-5 night, adding 2RBI. The Blue Jays also benefited from some secondary offensive help, with Anthony Gose going 2-3 with 2R and 2SB.
Dustin McGowan (1.1IP, 1H, 1ER, 2K) entered in the 7th looking to control the Blue Jays 4-0 lead, and seemed to be in control until surrendering a deep home run to David Ortiz in the eighth. This was partly due to poor location, and partly due to Buck and Pat gushing over Ortiz’s ability to hit home runs at the Rogers Centre. I use the word “gushing” very lightly here, actually. Regardless, home runs are turning into an issue for McGowan, which is reason for worry despite the strong fast ball that he displayed.
With the score sitting at 5-1 as the Blue Jays headed to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, closer Casey Janssen began to warm. Janssen, still not at 100% following a recent illness, entered the game after the Jays extended their lead to 7-1, and again encountered struggles. A Stephen Drew two-run home run forced manager John Gibbons to hand the ball to Brett Cecil to record the game’s final out.
Many fans were left calling for the debut of Aaron Sanchez in the 9th inning, with the bottom half of the Red Sox lineup due up. Had the score been 7-1 already when Janssen began to warm, Sanchez may have seen action like I believe he should have. However, Janssen’s return to form is of greater important to the Blue Jays at this point, and this could show that Aaron Sanchez is not here to be eased in to situations gently: he is here to perform.
MVJ: The Most Valuable Jay goes to J.A. Happ. That feels strange to say out loud, but Happ provided the Blue Jays with a fantastic starting performance, and kept them in the ball game until their offence could do the rest. With Mark Buehrle regressing in recent starts and Drew Hutchison encountering great struggles, starts like this from J.A. Happ are absolutely invaluable going forward.
Tomorrow’s Probably Starters:
TOR: R.A. Dickey (7-10, 3.95ERA)
BOS: Clay Buchholz (5-5, 5.46ERA)