Jays lose more than series opener to Phillies


The Toronto Blue Jays opened the Troy Tulowitzki era Tuesday night with Tulo not yet in Toronto as they embarked on a two game series versus the despicable Philadelphia Phillies. Felix Doubront was set to make his fourth start of the season facing off against Phillies’ rookie Adam Morgan.

Despite Devon Travis‘s lead-off home run, the Jays offence failed to show up. Maybe they really needed Tulowitzki, it’s uncertain. In all reality, this game should have been 2-2 had it not been for a blown call in the 5th inning on a foul tip off Ryan Howard‘s knee.

Bigger than the 3-2 loss, the Jays have to cope with Travis and Jose Bautista‘s injuries in the coming days, hoping neither will be out for any lengthy period of time.

Final. 2. 39. 3. 6

Game Notes: 

  • After Felix Doubront retired the Phillies in order, Devon Travis made a strong case for himself in the leadoff position with a leadoff solo-home run to left, making it 1-0.
  • Russell Martin cracked a single in the second before lefty-crusher Danny Valencia blooped a ball to left field with Kevin Pillar‘s walk loading the bases for slugger Ryan Goins. Goins delivered with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 2-0 for the boys in blue. That would be all as Travis struck out following the one-out sacrifice fly.
  • On the swing, Travis appeared to have tweaked something in his shoulder as he was removed from the game in the following half of the next inning. The Blue Jays reported that he was removed with left shoulder irritation which is ambiguous to say the least.
  • Doubront surrendered just his second hit in the 4th inning but was caught flat footed by Doubront and subsequently picked off.
  • Doubront became the recipient of a bad call in the 5th inning with a foul tip off Ryan Howard’s knee being called a base hit. The following hitter doubled to the gap before Cody Asche launched a two-run double of his own over Jose Bautista’s head to tie the game 2-2.
  • Andres Blanco joined the party next, doubling down the third baseline to take the first Phillies’ lead of the game 3-2.

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  • Dennis Tepera came on in relief of Doubront, stranding Blanco on second to hold the one-run deficit.
  • New Blue Jay, LaTroy Hawkins was the next reliever into the game for the Jays. He and Brett Cecil, the following reliever for the 7th inning, combined for six up-six down two innings of relief.
  • Manager John Gibbons appeared to have wanted to get everyone in tonight as he used the fourth reliever in as many innings to start the 8th with Liam Hendriks getting a shot. This isn’t to say it was a bad thing as Hendriks retired the side (with two K’s) on just 15 pitches.
  • Jose Bautista appeared to tweak something in the bottom of the 8th on a groundout to short. He was removed from the game after grabbing his right hamstring, moving the obvious replacement Russell Martin to second base and Danny Valencia (Travis’s replacement) back to right field.
  • Hendriks followed in the 9th striking out the side to conclude his performance with five K’s and no hits allowed.
  • Edwin Encarnacion‘s 9th inning single was to no avail as the Jays hit three consecutive hard hit balls that were converted to outs by conveniently positioned Phillies fielders.

Felix Doubront. Toronto Blue Jays. STARTING PITCHING. C+.

Really Felix Doubront deserved better than fate would gave him Tuesday night. Sure, he did allow a couple hard hit balls that went for doubles but he deserved at least one of those runs off the board because of a blatantly blown call by the umpire. Of course, as a pitcher, Doubront has to battle adversity. His job isn’t to let things he can’t control–fielding errors, umpire calls, weather etc.– affect the way he performs on the field. As Tuesday night demonstrated, that’s obviously easier said than done.

Doubront’s final line of 4.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB and 3 K’s wasn’t what the Jays needed but still provided them a chance to win. It’s unknown if this will be Doubront’s last start with the Jays potentially still looking for a starter via the trade market. With the state of the entire rotation in mind, it may behoove the Jays to give Doubront as few starts as possible down the stretch.

A. . LaTroy Hawkins. Toronto Blue Jays. RELIEVERS

On four days rest, Hawkins–the oldest active player in the major leagues– entered the game in the 6th inning pitching in quite veteran’esque fashion. He retired the side in order with two ground outs followed by a strikeout to the whiffing king himself, Ryan Howard. Hawkins wasn’t needed to do anything special; he was facing the Phillies lineup after all, but it was nonetheless a positive showing that he can be a serviceable reliever in a famously unreliable bullpen.

Undoubtedly, Hendriks deserves recognition for his outing tonight. He pitched two perfect innings striking out five of his six batters faced. He was only one strike away from a perfect six.

. Russell Martin. Toronto Blue Jays. HITTING . B

Martin slashed a single to left to start the game before doubling off Ben Revere‘s glove in centre field in the bottom of the fourth. He is now 10-20 extending into the last road trip despite flying out in each of his last two at-bats.

Outside of Martin and Encarnacion who had two singles in the Jays effort, the offence was stymied by the Phillies pitching staff. Outside of Edwin’s 9th inning single, the Jays failed to get a hit off the Phillies bullpen who entered after Morgan left in the 6th inning.

Having Tulowitzki in the lineup won’t hurt tomorrow, unless of course Travis and Bautista need time out of the lineup.