MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

Recap: Rays 3, Blue Jays 2; Jays Lose After Controversial Replay Review

A great start from Aaron Sanchez was undone by a late Rays rally, as the Blue Jays picked up their first loss of the season, dropping this game 3-2 to the Rays. Aaron Sanchez had a great outing, going seven strong innings, and it was the usually excellent Brett Cecil who picked up the loss, after giving up a long home run to Logan Forsythe in the eighth inning.

The Blue Jays rallied in the ninth inning, loading the bases for Edwin Encarnacion, who hit a ground ball to third base. The Jays appeared to score the tying and winning runs, as Logan Forsythe’s throw to first base was wide of the mark, and the runners crossed the plate. However, after a replay review, it was determined that Jose Bautista interfered with the second baseman, and both he and Encarnacion were called out.


In the bottom of the 8th, with the Rays trailing 2-1, and Kevin Kiermaier on first base, Logan Forsythe hit a two-run home run to left field off Brett Cecil. That raised their chances to win by a whopping 57.4%. Which makes sense, since they were trailing before, and leading after.


The last play of the game turned out to be the worst one, as Edwin Encarnacion’s double play with the bases loaded submarined a promising looking rally for the Blue Jays, reducing their chances to win by 45%.


No baseball game should end with an umpire taking off a headset, as Laz Diaz did before calling Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion out. But looking at the play objectively, we can see how the umpires made that call. Replays showed Bautista reaching for Logan Forsythe’s ankle, with an otherwise clean slide into second. It’s a terrible way to end a game, but it was probably the correct call. What might be notable is that it appeared Encarnacion may have been safe regardless of how good the throw was, but if the umpire determined that Bautista interfered, they can call EE out as a result.


Jays fans were anxious for Aaron Sanchez’s first start, and for a lot of the night, he demonstrated why. Hitting the high 90s with fastballs, and mixing in his off-speed stuff just enough, Sanchez showed what fans were getting excited about during spring training, working seven strong innings and notching eight strikeouts. He managed to mostly avoid trouble, working out of a 2nd-and-3rd jam in the third inning by retiring Logan Morrison and Evan Longoria in order.

Just as encouraging as his results were his off-speed pitches, which demonstrated considerable movement:


Stop me if you’ve heard this, but Troy Tulowitzi has been using his glove for a long time. Former FOX analyst Harold Reynolds spent a little bit of time discussing it during last year’s ALDS, and it became a thing that people noticed. As anyone who has played baseball can attest, there’s a certain comfort in a glove you’ve used for a while. You need to break them in, and get comfortable with them. New gloves can be stiff, and hard to use initially. So to a point, we could forgive Tulowitzki’s indulgence. It did come up in last night’s game, however, when a ball seemed to get stuck in the webbing of Tulo’s glove. It might have been a little too comfortable.

Then, during the game, Tulo changed the glove out. It was a moment that captured a nation’s hearts.

But all may not be lost for Tulo’s glove, as Sportsnet reporter Barry Davis got the scoop:

We will, of course, keep you updated on this very important topic.


This tidbit came up both in the broadcast, and on Twitter.

He did not break the record.


It’s early, obviously, but keep an eye on the Jays’ quasi-platoon of Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak at first base. Smoak starting today was certainly not a surprise, but Colabello’s at bats in the first two games were not good, as he had four strikeouts in 7 plate appearances. Smoak did get a hit and a walk (and a stolen base), so he may steal some more playing time in the next several games. The good thing is that the Jays don’t need them to be great, with as much hitting as they have, but they certainly don’t want a traditional slugging position to be a liability at the plate.


Tomorrow’s getaway game will be at 1:10 ET, and will see both teams taking tall left handers to the mound. J.A. Happ (11-8, 3.61 ERA in 2015) takes the hill for the Jays, against Matt Moore (3-4, 5.43) for the Rays. Happ returned to the Jays in the off-season after signing a three-year contract. Jays fans are hoping he looks more like the Happ who pitched in Pittsburgh — where he was 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts — than the one they saw in Toronto beforehand. Moore had an abbreviated season for the Rays in 2015, starting in July after returning from Tommy John surgery.

Lead photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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