Blue Jays Game Recap: The knuckle-ball, she was a-dancing in Jays win


Three pitches into Thursday night’s getaway game, R.A. Dickey had already given up his first home run of the night. Luckily for the Toronto Blue Jays, Dickey settled down from there and dominated the Los Angeles Angels on the way to an 8-4 win.

After the game’s second batter, Marc Krauss, took him deep in the first inning, Dickey cruised through the next eight frames in what was shaping up to be his best outing of 2015. Needing only 92 pitchesover the first eight innings, Dickey allowed just two runs on four hits, walking one and fanning six.

With that pitch count, John Gibbons opted to let him finish what he started, and Dickey’s final line changed quite a bit in that final frame. After sandwiching a pair of ground-outs around a Mike Trout walk, Dickey surrendered his second home run of the game, a 2-run shot to dead center field off the bat of David Freese. However, Dickey rebounded to get Matt Joyce looking to end the complete game effort.

Dickey’s final line of the day: 9 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, and 7 K.

On the opposite side of things, Dickey was opposed by Matt Showmaker. Like Dickey, Shoemaker has had trouble with the long-ball and it haunted him again Thursday night, with Danny Valencia reaching him for a solo shot in the third inning and Edwin Encarnacion hitting a three-run bomb in the fifth.

The RBI attack may have been predominantly off the bats of Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, but the bottom of the Blue Jays line-up did a nice job of keeping pressure on Shoemaker and turning the line-up over throughout the night. The trio of Valencia, Ryan Goins, and Steve Tolleson went a combined 5 for 9 with three walks and four runs scored.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Game Notes:

  • Shoemaker and Dickey came into the game ranked first and second in the American League in home runs allowed. With two jacks given up each, those standings will not change any.
  • Dickey’s game score was a season-high 76 entering the final inning, but dropped 10 point with the two run home run surrendered to David Freese. Still, the Blue Jays will take the complete game effort, the first for a Toronto pitcher this season.
  • We almost got to see the first Jose Bautista ejection of the season when he got rung up on a check swing in the bottom of the third inning. Bautista immediately signaled his disgust that home plate umpire Jim Reynolds didn’t appeal to first base to make the call. However, cooler heads prevailed when Gibby reminded Reynolds to get back behind the plate and to stop jawing at the retreating Bautista.
  • The Angels made a number of miscues in the third inning. A tough hop ate Krauss up at first base in the third and was immediately followed by a throwing error on a Tolleson bunt by Shoemaker. Finally, Josh Donaldson popped one up down the first base line that drifted toward the seats. Cole Kalhoun appeared to have the ball in his glove, but dropped it as he reached the stands. It was an uncharacteristically slopping inning for a defense that is normally much better.


Despite giving up that ninth inning blast to Freese, I still have to give Dickey an A for tonight. He adjusted well and changed his mechanics to really get the knuckle ball moving. Hitters were off balance all night, and most of the contact was relatively soft, minus the two home runs of course. . Game Ball. R.A. Dickey. STARTING PITCHING . A

Any time the arms in the bullpen can stay in their jackets is a good night for the Blue Jays. The pen has been hit or miss all year, and they’ve logged far too many innings. They earned this night off.. . . BULLPEN . A+

B+. Tolleson reached in all four at-bats, but it was his two singles that really got the job done. The aforementioned bunt single led to an unearned run, and a perfect hit and run punch to right field led to another.  Then there was Shoemaker constantly throwing over to first with Tolleson on base, which undoubtedly affected his composure on the mound. Game Ball. Steve Tolleson. OFFENSE

Next: Blue Jays: It's not all that bad

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