The Toronto Blue Jays offense chose a good day to break out the bats and bang out 8 runs on 14 hits. The only problem was that Marcus Stroman‘s dominance of Red Sox hitters didn’t demand that type of offense, as the Blue Jays rookie and two relievers combined to 1-hit Boston Thursday afternoon.
The game was billed as a great look at two of the game’s top pitching prospects, with Boston sending Rubby De La Rosa to the bump to face off against Stroman. However, it quickly turned into a one-man show, as Marcus Stroman quickly became the story of this game and De La Rosa was erased from the game before fans could blink.
Stroman came out firing right out of the gate, striking out Brock Holt to lead things off, and didn’t look back from there. He would go on to hold the Red Sox hitless through the first six innings, before Shane Victorino lead-off the seventh inning with a bloop single. However, he would quickly erase Victorino, by inducing an inning-ending double play to end the frame and his night.
All and all, Stroman stood tall with a 7-inning, 1 hit performance, mixing in 2 walks and 7 strike-outs on the afternoon. Combined with his 7-innings of shut-out baseball against the Rangers on July 19th, Stroman has now allowed zero runs and 5 hits over his last 14 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out 12 in the process. Granted those last two starts came against two of the weakest offenses in baseball, but since returning the Blue Jays as a starter, Stroman has produced a 2.21 ERA over 61 innings of work.
That all said, the Blue Jays did everything they could to make life easy on Stroman from the get-go, scoring in each of the first three innings and plating 7 runs before his afternoon was over.
Juan Francisco was the main culprit behind the Blue Jays attack, falling a double short of the cycle, plating four runs and scoring a pair. If you are reading that correctly, you realize that means Big Juan managed to squeeze out a triple in this game. Of course, it was a gift, as Jackie Bradley Jr. lost track of where the wall was and allowed the sure out to fall in for a hit, but beggers can’t be choosers either.
Melky Cabrera stayed hot as well, going 3 for 4 with 3 doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored. The Melkman is now slashing .343/.403/.457 during this July stretch, chipping in 6 doubles and 10 RBI in the process.
MVJ: On any normal night, this award would go to the guy with the home run, three hits, and hour RBI. However, with Stroman keeping the Red Sox off-kilter all night, and was truly unhittable, there is no doubt that the player of the game nod goes to the Blue Jays starter. it’s pitching performances like these that really show the potential of Stroman and also have the fans in a tizzy over any hint of an early innings-induced shut-down.