MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays

Recap: Blue Jays 12, Rangers 2; Jays Pummel the Rangers to Pull Back to .500

The Blue Jays certainly needed a game like this. No questions asked. It didn’t start the way the team would have liked, however. J.A. Happ gave up a single to Prince Fielder, which scored Adrian Beltre after the latter had advanced to second on a wild pitch. That was the extent of the damage in the first inning and the Rangers didn’t score until the game was well out of reach in the 9th. The Jays responded in the bottom half of the first with a massive five run showing. Table setter Kevin Pillar led the game off with a single, followed by the AL’s reigning MVP singling and a very characteristic Jose Baustista walk. This loaded the bases, with none out, for parrot-walking Edwin Encarnacion. He cranked a DEEP double to right-center, clearing the bases and putting the Jays on top without even recording an out. A couple outs later, Tom Selleck look-a-like Russell Martin kept the good times rolling. I’m saying it right now, Martin has busted that slump! He had the walk-off hit last night, and he followed it up right away in the first.

That wasn’t all the damage the Jays had planned for the evening, as they managed to eclipse their five run first inning with a six run spot in the third inning. I mentioned the parrot earlier, and this time Edwin actually took it for a walk. He launched a three-run bomb to left-center and in doing so put the proverbial nail in the Rangers coffin for the night. When the dust settled the Jays were up 11-1 after three innings. We can only hope that a win like this propels the offense to produce more consistently. This 12-2 win wraps up the series against the Rangers with the Jays taking three of the four games.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

Typically, in lopsided games, the top play of the game is the first game-breaking hit. Tonight was no different, as in the first inning Encarnacion busted the game open with a three-run double. This hit generated 0.158 win probability added. Encarnacion on the evening was just in the zone: 4 AB’s, 3 hits, 6 RBI, a home run and a walk. EE is arguably the most streaky hitter on the Jays; when he is going, HE IS GOING. Perhaps Edwin is about to enter a Godlike tier that we have seen him do previously. As you can see from the graph below, the game was out of hand in a hurry.


Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

In the first inning, Tulowitzki came up to the plate with one out and a man on third base. Tulo hit a dribbler to the pitcher and failed to score the run. This reduced the Jays’ win probability by 0.042. At the end of the day, this negative plate appearance had little impact in the overall game.

J.A. Happ

The Jays most consistent starter was exactly that tonight. On a night where he didn’t need to be at his best, J.A. Happ continued to march to the same beat. He went seven innings, allowed six hits, walked one and struck out five. As mentioned above, he allowed only one run, which continued his streak of not allowing more than three runs the entire season. As of right now, the Jays seem brilliant for giving Happ a three year, $36 million contract in the offseason. Keep it up J.A.!

Martin Is Finally Turning Things Around!

Nobody was denying it, Martin has struggled to start the season. He is coming around though, I am convinced of it. The beard is gone, the stache is in and he has started to hit the ball. He has recorded multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time this season. When Russell Martin is hitting well, he spreads the ball to all fields. He has begun hitting singles, but look for him to hit the opposite field double and we will know for sure that he has busted that slump!

Up Next

The Blue Jays are hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers on the weekend. In a rare occurrence, Clayton Kershaw will grace the Blue Jays and their fans with his presence on the mound. It is highly touted pitching matchup between former Cy-Young winners; Kershaw vs Dickey… But before that, Marcus Stroman (4-0, 3.77) will take on Kenta Maeda (3-1, 1.41) on Friday night. Enjoy watching the Dodgers at the Rogers Centre, it doesn’t happen often.

Lead Photo: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

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