Jays rebound, shutout Mets 8-0
After losing back-to-back one run ball games, the Jays got back to what they do best; winning by a considerable margin.
They’re going to need to win some one-run ballgames if they want to lockdown a playoff spot, but there’s no questioning that this lineup can put up runs in bunches and steal games with their offence.
Drew Hutchison won his 6th game of the year with a solid start, and the bottom of the order took the wheel for the offence. Danny Valencia, Kevin Pillar, and Ryan Goins, batting 7 through 9, went 6/9 with 3 BB, and they drove in a combined 5 runs. They also supplied the power in this one, with Pillar and Valencia hitting their 5th and 3rd home runs of the year.
Hutchison’s start lasted 5.1 IP and while he only gave up 5 baserunners, the somewhat early hook came as a result of his inefficiency. He threw 105 pitches for 63 strikes to the 22 hitters he faced. His stuff looked sharp, and I was particularly impressed with his effectiveness with his slider against left-handed hitters, pounding it down to their back foot and using it as a backdoor weapon on a number of occasions. His fastball had bite and arm side life and he got swing and misses up in the zone.
However, he got himself into too many deep counts, resulting in an elevated pitch count. Overall, you have to be happy Hutchison’s start in this one, especially considering he entered the game with an ERA of 5.75 and a FIP of 4.19, which were lowered to 5.33 and 4.09 respectively.
You could have argued that Hutch should have been left in the game to finish off the 6th, but in a one run ball game I liked the decision to go to the bullpen. Much has been made about the bullpen’s inability to hold leads, but that’s been overplayed. They struggled at the beginning of the year and they’ve had their fair share of blow-ups, but they’ve been much better as of late.
Steve Delabar has been fantastic since he was called up and that continued tonight. His fastball seems to have its zip back, and his offspeed stuff his getting plenty of whiffs. Aaron Loup hasn’t allowed a baserunner in his last 8 appearances spanning 6 IP before tonight. Liam Hendriks has been solid since the beginning of the month, going 7 innings, while only allowing 8 baserunners and striking out 6.
Roberto Osuna hasn’t been quite as dominant as of late, but he’s been the Jays most reliable reliever all year long. Bo Schultz and Ryan Tepera have been solid since joining the big club, putting up ERA’s of 2.35 and 3.18 coming into tonight’s game.
The recent success of the bullpen made it an easy choice for John Gibbons, and while the offensive outburst in the 8th inning relieved the pressure and made it a moot point, I liked the decision from the coaching staff. The bullpen proved Gibbons right and continued their recent success, allowing only 2 baserunners in their 3.1 IP.
The Jays entered the game hitting .313 with a .504 SLG against LHP, and those numbers were elevated to .327/.538 at home against LHP. They chipped away against Mets left-handed starter Jon Niese , scoring 3 runs, which could have been a larger number if not for more baserunning gaffs, but most of their damage came against a RHP in the 8th.
The Jays jumped all over Mets rookie reliever Akeel Morris. The young reliever struggled with location and Valencia made him pay with the 3 run bomb.
The defense was terrific all night, and in particular, Goins. His bat is much maligned, but boy is it ever fun to watch him in the field. The sliding play to his right he made in the 9th inning was yelp worthy.
Tomorrow’s game features two starters over the age of 40 in R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon as the Jays look to split the home and home with the Mets. The weekend features a 3-game set against a big divisional matchup against the Orioles.