MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Toronto Blue Jays

Recap: Diamondbacks 4, Blue Jays 2; Offense Falls Into a Canyon Against Arizona

As the usual pre-game scuttlebutt rolled in, we learned that Joey Bats will be spending a couple of weeks in a boot due to turf toe, and that both Brett Cecil (who, might rejoin the team at the end of the upcoming road trip, if not before) and Franklin Morales are headed to Dunedin for rehab. We also had a chance to look at the latest iteration of manager John Gibbons’ Bautista-less lineup, featuring red-hot Devon Travis hitting second and Josh Donaldson shifted one spot down to third. Also worth noting, Gibbons said the rotation will not be adjusted in light of the two off days this week, but that the team was mulling a Drew Hutchison spot-start during the 17 game run up to the All-Star break.

Marco Ace-strada didn’t dominate the Diamondbacks, who’ve been a good road team thus far in 2016, allowing a small-ball run in the third and a two-run Yasmany Tomas homer in the fourth. The Blue Jays’ offense was held scoreless until Kevin Pillar doubled with two runners on in the bottom of that same inning. Then Pillar killed the rally with a classic TOOTBLAN, getting thrown out at third base.

While Estrada continued his pop-up inducing ways (the homer notwithstanding), Arizona starter Patrick Corbin was rocking the groundball outs, getting 12 of the 19 Blue Jays batters he retired on grounders. He was driven from the game in the seventh with a 4-2 lead (after a Peter O’Brien solo-shot off Jesse Chavez in the top of the inning) and RH Jake Barrett came in to face the meat of the Jays order with one out. Barrett got out of it by inducing the Jays’ second double play in two innings (their 70th of the year which leads the majors) to get out of it. The Jays would never threaten again.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

That Kevin Pillar double that drew the Jays within one run in the fourth came with one out and two on and increased their probability of winning by 19.4 percentage points.

Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

Josh Donaldson faced an identical one out, two on situation in the bottom of the seventh and came up with a shattered bat and a ground ball that produced two outs and snuffed the threat. This decreased their chance of winning by 19.2 percentage points.

Marco Estrada, a Historic Pitcher

Marco Estrada tonight became the first starter in over 100 years (since 1913) to reach 11 consecutive starts in which he pitched six innings or more and allowed five hits or fewer. Arbitrary markers though they may be, it’s still remarkable. He’s been able to completely surpass any expectations anybody could have had for him, and has helped the Blue Jays immensely in a year where their expected ace Marcus Stroman has not pitched to his ceiling.

Trend to Watch

Troy Tulowitzki may be well and truly back. Since May 10th, he’s slashing .302/.357/.587, and other than lacking his customary walk rate, looks nothing like the hitter that struggled so badly in April and in the second half of last season.

Up Next

Tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM eastern the Blue Jays will try to end two streaks, their own three consecutive losses and Arizona’s five consecutive wins.  JA Happ (8-3, 3.41) takes the mound in a battle of lefties with the Diamondbacks’ Robby Ray (4-5, 4.44).

Lead Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

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