For the Blue Jays Tuesday’s loss to Chicago hinged mainly on two plays: Henderson Alvarez’s error in the fifth that allowed in the eventual winning run, and Edwin Encarnacion’s lineout/turned double-play to end a bases-loaded opportunity.
Alvarez was pitching well early in the game. He had only given up two hits, until AJ Pierzynski’s lead-off single in the fifth. Pierzynski would eventually come around and score Chicago’s first run. With two out, DeWayne Wise singled to centre to score Dayan Viciedo, who reached on a single. Alejandro De Aza scored the go-ahead run for the White Sox on Alvarez’s errant pick-off attempt to first.
Toronto’s offensive night was marked with hard hit balls that were caught. Every time it seemed like the Jays might have a chance to put something together, a hard hit ball would find its way right to a Chicago defender. The best example was in the bottom of the fifth when Toronto had the bases loaded with one out and Encarnacion at the plate. On a 1-1 count, Encarnacion hit a laser shot right at third baseman Kevin Youkilis who threw to second to barely double-off Rajai Davis. Encarnacion’s lineout was one of his hardest hit balls all season and would have scored at least two runs had Youkilis not managed to put a glove on it.
Not including Alvarez’s pair of errors, overall the game was tightly played by both teams. It was a continuation of Monday night’s game that saw the Jays win 3-2 in 11 innings.
It’s a bit of a surprising turnaround after the Jays lost two of three to the division leading Yankees over the weekend. Fielding a lineup that lately has usually featured at least 1/3 rookies, the Jays are showing that they can still play against top teams. Having solidified the bridge from starter to eighth and ninth inning guys in the bullpen has helped. Players like Moises Sierra and Yan Gomes showing they can play at this level, and Anthony Gose getting more comfortable in the field and on the bases is giving fans a glimpse of what the future will look like.
As some of the starters get ready to start trickling back onto the 25-man roster, it will be interesting to see what happens. Brett Lawrie could be back as early as Sunday, with Brandon Morrow and Jose Bautista possibly back by September. J.P. Arencibia could return from his broken hand in early September, but there’s still no set timetable for when Adam Lind could return.
Game three of the series goes Wednesday at 7:07pm. Ricky Romero will try again for win number nine and hope for more run support than he’s been getting in his last few starts. Gavin Floyd will pitch for the White Sox.
About the Author
Written by Amanda Tallon
Self-professed baseball nerd, blogger, writer, tweeter, learning addict and once colour commentator. Celebrating over twenty years of love with the Toronto Blue Jays and the beautiful game of baseball. I also contribute to thegalsgotgame.com, a sports website for business women by women.