Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kawasaki smacks walk-off double - Jays split Baltimore series

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard, Game 4 between the visiting Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Orioles at Jays - Game 4" -

Game Notes

Bottom 8th

Tommy Hunter makes a barehanded catch of the Bautista line-drive ground ball ends the 8th Inning. Down by 1one with the bases loaded, rallying once again in this game that the Jays have never lead - Hunter's catch and assist is a deflating game changer.

At this point - Hunter's play seemed likely to be the play of the game in another Blue Jays' loss..

Here's the video from MLB of Tommy Hunter's amazing barehanded catch. You can hear a *smack* - as he grabs the hurtling ball from it's path. Lucky.

"Hunter's slick defense"
(Embed code seems not to be working - see at the mlb link under this article.)

9th Inning

Both teams left base runners all over the base paths today, but especially the Jays. In the 4th the Blue Jays have runners on first and second with no outs, and could only muster one run on a sac-fly. Then in the 7th the Jays' leave the sacks full, without plating a run in a two out rally. In the eighth they again plated only one while batting at one point with the bases loaded and one out.

Jay's were not getting that key base hit of late that would put them in charge in this series. The Blue Jays since opening day are 7-17 in one-run games. (Baseball Reference 2013 Jays: .)  The Jays are more apt to lose rather than win - close games.

So it was typical of this game - and of the Blue Jays season in general - that when Munenori Kawasaki came to the plate with one out in the 9th, with the tying and winning runs on the bases, an aura of doom was swimming with this reporter's thoughts. The Jays had, after all, just given up two insurance runs to the Baltimores in the top of the inning.

Kawasaki was in a place of much tension - set up where he could succeed at exactly what he was good at doing: turning the line-up over, getting the clutch base hit - and in doing so in this instance, likely plate the tying run and keeping the rally wheel rolling. Or he could fail at exactly what he does best, and end the game the goat after an otherwise fairly good day at the plate.

Munenori Kawasaki did neither --- instead he slapped an Ichiro-style line-drive towards the left centrefield gap, right between the left and centre fielders - and it skips off the turf and scoots to the wall! The hit not only plates the tying run - but the winning run too (all the way from 1st in the person of not-so-fleet-a-foot (but off on the 3-2 pitch) Mike DeRosa)!

Kawasaki could have taken the extra bag for the official triple (Balitimore centre fielder Adam Jones had no play on DeRosa and made no throw)... but on his way around second Kawasaki veers off towards the team celebration that is erupting out of  the third base dugout, just as Mike DeRosa crosses the plate... .


Video of Kawasaki's walk-off double is presently not available for embed.

"Kawasaki's walk-off double" 
(Embed code seems not to be working - see at the mlb link under this article.)

You may watch these videos at this MLB page:
(Click the video tab, top-right, scroll down the list on the right.)

 Line-ups pitching totals via:


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