On Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre, two pitchers beginning their respective seasons in polar opposite manners took to the mound. White Sox starter Chris Sale came into the game with a 1.80 ERA in four starts, having allowed only one earned run in his last two starts, or 16 innings pitched. Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey had struggled in his first four starts with an ERA of 6.10 with and only one quality start.
Both of those pitchers continued their opening season trend.
Dickey pitched effectively through the first four innings allowing only three hits, one of which was an Avisail Garcia solo home run. However, after that, the early season struggles continued. In the fourth, a two-run double by Austin Jackson and in the sixth a two-run home run by Dioner Navarro ended his night. Dickey ended by going six innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out three batters.
On the other side of the diamond, Chris Sale made easy work of the Blue Jays. He surrendered just one hit through the first six innings and besides a seventh inning Edwin Encarnacion solo home run, he was untouchable. Sale’s final line was 8IP, 1ER, 4H, 2BB, 6K. 1HR. 100 pitches/63 strikes.
Overall the Jays couldn’t put together much offense and the White Sox would add on four more runs off a trio of Blue Jays relievers. When everything was settled it was the most lopsided loss of the season by the Jays, as they lost 10-1.
Top Play of the Game by WPA
In a game that saw limited chances by the Toronto Blue Jays, the play that had the greatest WPA of 0.115 was the lead off home run by Avisail Garcia in the third inning. It was almost all the offense Chris Sale would need on this night.
Bottom Play of the Game by WPA
The game opened with an uncharacteristic error by short hop Troy Tulowitzki and with one out power hitting Jose Abreu came to the plate. Dickey induced him to hit into an inning ending double play and end the threat. This resulted in a WPA of -0.5.
Matt Dominguez Debuts
Matt Dominguez made his debut against the tough lefty Sale, in part because he is a right handed hitter and also to give another day of rest for Josh Donaldson nursing who is still nursing a bruised calf muscle. It wasn’t very memorable (or easy), as he went hitless in three at bats with two strikeouts.
One of the key acquisitions by the Blue Jays this offseason was trading for right handed reliever Drew Storen from the Washington Nationals for Ben Revere. One disturbing trend has been the results he has shown early in the season. He has had only one performance in which he has not allowed a base runner. Tonight was no exception, as he recorded only one out while giving up four hits and three earned runs. It is imperative that his performance improve to help the Jays solidify a bullpen which has been an early season weakness. In order for that to happen, he’ll need his stuff to return to where it has been in years past, as that has not been the case thus far in 2016.
The Jays will try to avoid a sweep on Wednesday as Marco Estrada will face another tough lefty in Jose Quintana. The game will be starting at 7:07 pm.
Lead Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports