Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jays lose Encarnacion; and a 'swing-moment' Appeal in the 8th

The Toronto Blue Jays meet an Ace pitcher with his A game; but the 1-5 score doesn't reflect the nature of this game. Many bloops fell in for the Elephants, and key bloops for the first place Athletics, found their way into gloves.

One Ace meet another tonight - and the vagaries of chance spelled another loss in this series for the Jays.

Lind's three dropped balls - one in fair territory and 2 in foul ground - made a massive difference in this game as close as it was. But for Encarnacion's quad pull in the first, Lind would not have even been playing the field tonight.

Most notably in the order of bloop plays made/not-made - Oakland's third baseman Josh Donaldson risked his career slamming head-long into the rolled up tarp on the west side of the field for a pop-up out on Munenori Kawasaki`s lead-off at-bat in the eighth with a 1-1 count.

It's worth noting that a review of the play at the plate resulted in a run erased in a 2-run game in the eighth, and the end of the inning - all with-in a millisecond of a moment after a long wait on New York's decision.

All video reply the public saw indicated the sweep tag never touched the runner - with some compelling angles of the play.

How much did the signing ace Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija (who toured the dugout in the 4th inning) have in the demeanor of this game? Quite a lot I think - as the retort was - as it turned out - the Jays' announcement before the game of their usurpation of OF Cole Gillespie off waivers from Seattle.

Weeks ago I stated that the Jays' batting order was not the problem, that the bats were fine as long as they didn't face great pitching. But as we all know - in the the play-offs it's all about .300 hitting - great pitching destroys power hitting.

The only way a power hitting line-up can win in September - can win in October - is with light's out pitching. Oakland proved that today - and with all the issues facing the Jays line-up and plus Encarnacion going down tonight - this line-up under pressure - struggles.

Yes another 1 or 2 pitcher is essential; but so too is another .300 hitter.

Kawasaki should been seen as an essential part of that solution - but his defense lacks the consistency for it - off the bench in a platoon situation is probably his path to a winning season. As a nine-hitter tonight he turned over the line-up twice.


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