Blue Jays by the Numbers
Oakland Series Recap, July 15-17
The Toronto Blue Jays opened the second half of the 2016 season on the road against the Oakland Athletics this weekend. The Jays dropped the first two games out of the gate, but were able to avoid the sweep in the final game. Here’s a quick recap of the three game set, by the numbers.
Game 1: L 8-7
The Blue Jays first game back from the All-Star Break was a close-knit affair. Toronto collected seven runs on seven hits and did not commit an error on Friday. The entire lineup contributed, with seven different players getting either a base hit or RBI. Devon Travis held the lone multi-hit effort, going 2-3 with one run scored, one RBI, one walk, and one strikeout.
Marcus Stroman got the starting nod, but the young pitcher was only able to complete 4.2 innings of work, allowing nine hits, seven runs (six earned), three home runs, five strikeouts, and one walk on ninety-five pitches. Jesse Chavez, Brett Cecil, and Bo Schultz combined to give up only three hits and one run to finish out the game in relief.
The A’s opened the scoring in the first inning by pushing two across the plate. The Jays answered back in the second with one run of their own, and then plated two more in the third to take the lead. However, the A’s managed to tie the game in the bottom half. Toronto would not concede; in the fourth inning, they rallied for four runs and regained the lead. The A’s once again answered in the bottom half with one run. Toronto was held scoreless from then on. The A’s tied the game in the fifth inning, and then took the lead on a go-ahead run in the seventh that would win the game.
Game 2: L 5-4
The second game was another close one, but the Blue Jays were unable to complete a late comeback. Toronto collected four runs on seven hits and did not commit an error. Five players knocked base hits in the contest. Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Thole held multi hit days at the plate. Encarnacion went 2-4 with one run scored and one RBI on a solo shot to left field. Thole went 2-3 with two RBI. Justin Smoak contributed the fourth run in the ninth inning with a solo home run.
Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey started the contest. He pitched six innings and allowed five runs on five hits and three home runs, and had three walks and four strikeouts added to his name as well. Drew Storen, Aaron Loup, and Roberto Osuna closed out the rest of the game, giving up only one extra hit to the A’s.
The Jays began the afternoon’s scoring in the second inning with two runs, but the A’s answered in the bottom half with four runs of their own. Once the Athletics had the lead, they did not give it up. Toronto added on another run in the third, but the A’s pushed across their fifth run in the sixth inning. Justin Smoak’s solo blast in the ninth was not enough to overcome the A’s lead.
Game 3: W 5-3
The final game between the Blue Jays and the A’s for the season finished in Toronto’s favor. The Jays scored five runs on ten hits and did not commit any errors. The offense was alive and well once again, with seven players collecting a base hit. Reigning MVP Josh Donaldson capped of the series against his former club with a good day at the plate, going 2-5 with one run scored and two RBI. Russell Martin also had a multi-hit effort, going 2-3 with one run scored and one walk. Smoak had a good day as well, going 2-4 with one strikeout. Troy Tulowitzki contributed a solo home run to center field in the fourth inning.
J.A. Happ provided a solid day on the mound with 5.2 innings pitched. He allowed three runs on five hits and collected five strikeouts while only walking one Oakland batter. The bullpen worked as well on Sunday. Chavez, Cecil, and Jason Grilli pitched in relief. They combined to keep the A’s in check, giving up no runs on three hits. Roberto Osuna notched his 19th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning.
The Blue Jays opened the game with one run in the first inning to earn an early lead. Toronto would then add on two more runs in the fourth to extend their lead. The Athletics answered in the sixth inning however, pushing across three runs. In the end, the Jays would not be denied and scored 2 runs in the ninth inning to secure the first victory of the second half.
Numbers That Mattered
- The Blue Jays as a team went 6-27 with RISP
- They left 22 men on base
- Starters allowed 14 earned runs and 7 home runs
- 0 defensive errors
- 1 earned run from the bullpen
What the Numbers Mean
This series against the A’s, while not necessarily a “bad” series, was also not a very good one either. The offense was there and the team made several attempts to win the first two games. Unfortunately, the starters really let the Jays down this weekend. When you leave twenty-two men on base, you simply cannot have your starters give up as many home runs as they did against Oakland.
All in all, the Jays still loom large behind the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays look to carry the momentum from their win in game three into Arizona as they take on the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. It will be a quick, two-game series as they finish their road trip to start the second half. Then the Jays will return once again to the friendly confines of Rogers Center. Toronto holds a record of 52-42 and sit in third place of the AL East, 3.0 games behind first place.