Though the Jays got to the White Sox early, their late inning woes returned, as the bullpen hacked up a four-run lead in their 7-5 loss to the White Sox. The Jays did get to Miguel Gonzalez quickly, notching multiple runs in the first and third innings. The White Sox starter wasn’t fooling the Jays, as they made good contact for most of the evening, allowing ten hits in five and one-third innings of work, striking out five. The White Sox bullpen made the one-run lead stand up, with four pitchers combining for three and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball, and David Robertson notching his eighth save.
Marcus Stroman survived a first inning scare to have another solid outing, going six and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on six hits, and striking out four. But it was the seventh inning that undid his mostly good work, as neither Brett Cecil or Gavin Floyd was able to shut the White Sox down. Inheriting a bases loaded situation, they allowed all the inherited runners to score, plus two more. Five runs scored in that inning, erasing the lead the Jays had built up early on.
Top Play of the Game by WPA
It was in that fateful seventh inning, when the White Sox sent eleven batters to the plate. They’d come into the inning trailing 5-1 before Stroman loaded the bases and gave way to Cecil, who allowed three consecutive hits, and all three of those runners to score. Gavin Floyd came in to face Todd Frazier, who promptly hit a double to left field, scoring two runs and giving the White Sox a 6-5 lead. This increased their chances to win by 35.5%.
Bottom Play of the Game by WPA
The Jays had two runners on in the ninth inning when Michael Saunders, representing the tying run, hit a ground ball to second base. Troy Tulowitzki, who was on first base initially, managed to get hit by the ball on the way to second, and the umpire ruled him out. The final play of the game ended up being the worst one for the Jays, reducing their chances to win by 9%.
Bullpen Woes Return
After a difficult start to the season, a couple of good games from the Jays’ offense had brought the hope that their bullpen- who had blown several games early on- had stabilized itself. Not so, as after Stroman exited in the sixth, Cecil threw to three batters without recording an out, and Floyd took three more to record the final out of the inning, striking out former Blue Jay Brett Lawrie, and putting two runs on Cecil’s ledger. The Jays had allowed an American League worst 50% of runners to score prior to this game, a number that did not get better with the game today.
Jays Figure Out Gonzalez
The Sox might have thought they were being smart, getting Gonzalez to start tonight against the Jays. He had a 7-3 record and a 2.61 ERA in his career against them. It was clear early on that the Jays had his number tonight, scoring multiple runs in the first and third innings, staking the Jays to an early lead. Encarnacion was the chief benefactor of the Jays’ offensive surges, getting three RBIs against Gonzalez.
The starting pitching matchup tonight for the Jays was excellent. Tomorrow is somewhat less so, with the Jays sending knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (1-2, 6.10 ERA) to face Chris Sale (4-0, 1.80). Dickey has had his usual April struggles, though he recovered from a bad first inning in his last outing to go six innings. But you never know what you’ll get with Dickey. You will know what you get with Sale, who has been one of baseball’s best pitchers for the last few years. Sale IS left-handed, a matchup which favors the Jays’ mainly right-handed lineup. The game starts at 7:07 Eastern time.
Lead Photo – Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports