Blue Jays bats go cold; lose 4-1 to the Red Sox


14. 1. 39. Final. 4

After putting up 11 runs last night in an offensive onslaught, the bats struggled to get anything going tonight, netting only three base hits, two of which were bloop singles from Ryan Goins and Edwin Encarnacion.

Credit must be given to the Red Sox starter, Rick Porcello, who threw seven innings of two hit baseball including six strikeouts. He threw 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes, pounding the zone with his heavy running fastball, and mixing both a curveball and slider to keep the Jays hitters off balance.

Porcello had a massive zone to work with, as the home plate umpire, Adrian Johnson, seemed to expand the zone from side to side as the game went on. R.A. Dickey didn’t seem to get the same zone, but that really doesn’t come as a surprise, as he usually gets squeezed.

The Jays best opportunity to score runs came in the second inning. After a double by Kevin Pillar, Porcello made an error while covering first base on a groundball to Mike Napoli, then he plunked Dalton Pompey to load the bases with none out.

Josh Thole lined a ball over Xander Bogaerts head, but Michael Saunders retreated back to second on the liner and ended up getting thrown out at third base. Tough break for the Jays, as they would have still had the bases loaded if Saunders makes it to third there. Mookie Betts was playing shallow in centre on the light-hitting Thole, allowing him to make the easy throw to third to get Saunders.

Ryan Goins grounded into a double play to end the threat, and the Jays couldn’t get more than a run after the bases loaded, no out situation. It was a disappointing finish to the inning, especially after they failed to get another rally going. The lineup, which featured Pillar in the five spot, Thole and Goins, didn’t look quite as dangerous, especially with Encarnacion and Jose Bautista still struggling at the dish.

Dickey wasn’t great, but he was solid and definitely gave the team a chance to win, going seven innings, yielding four earned on nine hits. The most positive aspect of Dickey’s game was the fact that he threw strikes consistently for the first time this year.

He didn’t walk a batter, and he threw 81 of his 109 pitches for strikes. He’s had problems this year issuing walks, with 13 walks in his previous 24 innings, so his control was a positive sign.

Ultimately, this game came down to the fact that the Jays couldn’t muster anything on offence. It was a relatively boring game to watch, with the most entertaining aspect of the game coming from the opposing side. Hanley Ramirez delivered a two run home run over the green monster in the third inning.

Betts stole a hit from Devon Travis in the third as well, making a fabulous over the shoulder catch on one of the Jays few hard hit balls.

The Jays head to Cleveland for a three game set. Tomorrow features the Jays young starter Daniel Norris, coming off of his best starts a major leaguer, against TJ House, who’s sporting a 12.60 ERA through 10 IP. It’s a favorable matchup for the Jays, as they should be able to pile up on righties against the Indians lefty.

Game Notes

  • Bases loaded with none out in the second inning, Jays only score one run. Bad break on the Thole line drive, but you need more in that situation.
  • Dickey improved control wise, issuing only one walk and throwing 81 of his 109 pitches for strikes.
  • Jays struckout 10 times, including going down in order via the strikeout in the 9th inning against Koji Uehara.
  • Pillar delivered another double tonight, lining a 0-2 fastball into the left field corner, getting the only hart hit base hit for the Jays.
  • Betts stole another extra base hit from Travis, making a spectacular over the shoulder catch.
  • The Jays lineup looked weaker than usual with Pillar hitting in the five hole, plus Thole and Goins near the bottom.

<b>R.A. Dickey</b>. STARTING PITCHING . B-. Dickey delivered a decent start, controlling the knuckleball the way he would like to on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the home run to Hanley Ramirez netted the Red Sox a lead and they never looked back. You can’t blame Dickey for this one, as he gave the team a chance to win..

D. Not much to say about this one, underwhelming at best. Not much happened this evening, only scoring one run on three hits while striking out 10 times. After wasting their bases loaded, no out situation in the second inning, Porcello settled down and ran through the Jays with relative ease. You can’t expect to score 10 every night, but tonight they really struggled to get anything going.. . Game Ball, <b>Kevin Pillar</b>. OFFENCE

A. The only relief pitcher to get work tonight was Francis, who threw a clean eighth inning, striking out two and not allowing a baserunner. It only took him 12 pitches to get through the inning and made it look easy; however, he got some help from the umpire, as the zone seemed to expand as the game went on.. . . RELIEF PITCHING