That picture was taken in the 2nd inning when Ryan Goins caught a wide throw from Jonathan Diaz, as you can see, clearly not on the bag. He never stepped on the bag. Aaron Hicks was called out. That helped to significantly stop a Twins rally against Dustin McGowan on a night that he was not at his best.
That miscall, a play that was briefly questioned, but ultimately not appealed by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, served as foreshadowing for what would be an absolute comedy of errors by the Blue Jays prized gems in the bullpen.
The official game temperature was listed as 42 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 5.6 Celcius. With a few exceptions on each side, to say that the pitchers in the game struggled to find their grip or control the strike zone would be putting it mildly.
Each team had 8 hits, and only three of those 16 combined hits were for extra bases. Brian Dozier crushed McGowan’s second pitch of the game to left to tie Jose Bautista for the AL lead with 5 home runs. Bautista hit a solo bomb even further to left (the second deck, in fact) to tie the Major League lead (with Pedro Alvarez and Mark Trumbo) with 6.
Except for those 2 hits, almost every other run was scored on a completely forgettable play. Singles, sac-flies, errors, wild pitches, and RBI walks – all of those happened.
Bautista’s homer made it 3-1 with one out in the top of the 5th. Ineffective Twins starter Mike Pelfrey would then walk EE – his 5th of the night – then allow a deep line drive off the bat of Dioner Navarro that would reach the wall for a long single. Pelfrey would be charged with 5 runs (four earned) in 4.1 innings – ironically a less disappointing start on this day than his 2012 Mets rotation counterpart, R.A. Dickey.
Handed the 5-1 lead, McGowan couldn’t make it out of the 5th either. He’d be pulled with none out and 2 in on a 2-run double by Chris Colabello. He’d be charged with 3 earned runs on six hits while walking 4 and fanning 3.
Aaron Loup bailed him out with two stingy innings, striking out 2 and retiring all 6 batters he faced on just 19 pitches. He was, by far, the most effective pitcher of the night for either team. Unfortunately, he didn’t pitch past the 6th.
After Neil Wagner retired the first two batters in the seventh, Brett Cecil came in and finished the inning. Gibby likely should have left him in for the 8th.
Instead, Steve Delabar came in and walked the first two batters he faced before former Yankee Eduardo Nunez was retired on the worst sac bunt to allow – he showed bunt on all three pitches, then successfully landed one on an 0-2 count.
With two in scoring position and one out, Gibby brings in closer Sergio Santos. Oh, the horror.
Walk loads the bases. Wild pitch makes it 5-4. Another wild pitch (on a walk) makes it 5-5. Another wild pitch (on a walk) makes it 6-5.
Whoops. Gibby brings in J.A. Happ – the guy who insists he should be in the starting rotation. Surely he’s got a bone to pick with the league!
Nope. Two more walks make it 7-5, then a two-run single makes it 9-5.
The Twins scored SIX runs on ONE HIT with EIGHT WALKS. EIGHT F#&KING WALKS.
In the worst inning of Major League baseball imaginable, the Blue Jays pitched like I did in house league. No mercy rule in the Majors, unfortunately…
In the end, the Jays hot bats were quite literally cooled by the weather – in Minnesota, of all places. How many years did we complain about how ugly the Metrodome was?
– Jose Bautista homered, as mentioned above
– Encarnacion and Navarro had two hits apiece
– Anthony Gose, in his 2014 debut, walked three times and stole a base – he had five walks in 152 AB last season
– Colby Rasmus was 0/5 with two Ks
– Brett Lawrie, though he drove in his 10th run of the season, is still hitting only .131.
– Nobody from 6-9 in the order tonight was hitting better than Diaz’s .192.
– The Jays left 11 runners on base
– Delabar threw 7 of his 15 pitches for strikes
– Santos threw 4 of his 16 for strikes.
– Happ? 12 of 26. If you, like me, sat through that whole inning, I’m here to talk. We all are.
– J-Bau loves Target Field – he’s got 11 dingers there in the 4 seasons since the Twins moved there – and he’s only played there one series per season
– From Gregor Chisholm, the Jays beat writer: it was the most walks in an inning since the Orioles walked eight back in 1996, while the Major League record is 11.
Drew Hutchison takes on Justin Masterson as the Jays head to Cleveland to take on the Clevelands. The Jays always seem to struggle at Jacob’s Field (which I don’t think it’s called anymore). But surely, it can’t be much worse than that 8th inning tonight…right?
For Jays Balk, I’m @TheAsherRoth