Blue Jays by the Numbers
Arizona Diamondbacks Series Recap, July 19-20
The Toronto Blue Jays finished off their slate of scheduled inter-league games on Tuesday as the team handily swept the Arizona Diamondbacks. During a quick two game set, the Blue Jays found their thunderous rhythm again. The offense provided an awe-inspiring array of fireworks, and the pitching simply shut down the Dbacks on their home turf.
Game 1: W 5-1
The first game of the series saw the Blue Jays respectably put up another W. Toronto scored five runs on eight hits and committed no errors en route to the victory. The top half of John Gibbons’ lineup provided the offense, as the first the three batters were the liveliest of the bunch. Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson, hitting lead off and second, respectively, had excellent days at the plate, as both put up multi-hit efforts. Travis went 2-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, but succumbed to two strikeouts on the day. Donaldson stayed on base most of the evening, going 3-5 with one run scored and one RBI. Edwin Encarnacion stole the show on offense, as he typically does at Chase Field, with a three-run homer to deep left field.
One the Mound
Aaron Sanchez took to the mound and continued his string of quality starts. He has now allowed one run or fewer in each of his last six starts and has won his last nine decisions. Sanchez was tagged for one run in the first inning on a meager RBI groundout. However, he proceeded to shut down the Arizona offense with a dazzling display of fastball command, allowing one run over seven innings pitched. He struck out five and issued no walks to collect his tenth win of the season. Jason Grilli bridged the gap between Sanchez and closer Roberto Osuna with a scoreless eighth inning. Osuna then shut the door, despite the fact that it was a non-save situation.
At the Plate
The Diamondbacks opened the scoring in the first inning, but it was all Toronto for the rest of the way. Encarnacion’s three-run blast in the third inning gave the Blue Jays the lead. Donaldson provided an RBI single in the fifth inning to extend the Jays lead, and then in the ninth inning Travis collected an RBI on a groundout to ensure the Blue Jays victory.
Game 2: W 10-4
Toronto unleashed an incredible onslaught in the second game of the set. They scored ten runs on thirteen base hits while committing one error during the victory in Arizona. Five different Blue Jays took home multi-hit games. Darwin Barney continued his good efforts with a 2-4 day, with two runs scored and three RBI from the leadoff spot. Donaldson continued to tear the cover off of the ball, going 2-4 with a home run and double. He finished the day with two runs scored, a walk and three RBI. Troy Tulowitzki went 2-5 with one RBI and two strikeouts. Kevin Pillar went 2-5 as well, with one RBI to his name. Devon Travis was all over the bases too, going 3-5 with three runs scored.
On the Mound
Starting pitching dominated for the second day in a row. Marcus Stroman, looking to bounce back from an ugly outing against Oakland last week, hurled eight fantastic innings to earn his eighth win of the year. Stroman allowed one run while striking out six and walking none. Brett Cecil was brought out to finish of the game in the ninth inning, but was only able to record one strikeout while allowing three runs to score. Joe Biagini came in after Cecil and shut the door on any hope the Diamondbacks may have gained, striking out one and allowing zero runs.
At the Plate
The Blue Jays got straight to business, scoring two runs in the first inning off of Donaldson’s home run to right center field. Arizona answered in the bottom half by scoring one run off of a throwing error by Junior Lake. However, Toronto tacked on another run in the second inning to extend their lead. Then, in the fifth inning, the Blue Jays plated another two runners and followed them with another run in the sixth. In the eighth inning, the Blue Jays put the game out of reach on a Barney triple and Encarnacion’s 471-foot home run. Tuffy Gosewisch valiantly hit a three-run blast in the bottom of the ninth, but the Blue Jays lead was too great to overcome.
Numbers That Mattered
- One balk from Stroman
- One wild pitch and three earned runs from Cecil
- Eleven men left on base
- One defensive error from Lake
- Fifteen runs scored by the Jays
- Two earned runs allowed by starting pitching
- 8-15 with RISP
- Three home runs
- Five doubles
- Eight RBI with two outs
What The Numbers Mean
This series against the Diamondbacks was the perfect way for Toronto to end their short road trip on the west coast. The offense exploded for fifteen runs over just two games and showed exactly why they are one of the most feared lineups in the Major Leagues. Encarnacion’s dominance in Chase Field is absolutely mind boggling and was a big part of the team’s success this week. Donaldson continued to show why he is a MVP candidate for the second year in a row. He now has compiled at least one hit in thirty of his last thirty-five games, and snagged thirty-seven RBI during that streak. Donaldson’s home run on Wednesday was also the 54th long ball hit into the pool at Chase Field.
The team as a whole played phenomenally and clearly had fun. Stroman and Sanchez both pitched gems and showcased why they are the future of the franchise’s pitching staff. The bullpen was lightly used, meaning they will be fresh for the coming home stand, excellent news regardless of where you are in the season. The Blue Jays will return to Rogers Centre on Friday riding a modest three-game winning streak to take on the Seattle Mariners in a three game series. They begin a nine game home stand and will look to keep their winning streak alive. Toronto sits in third place with a record of 54-42, only one game out of first place.
TORONTO, CANADA – OCTOBER 19: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chris Colabello #15 acknowledge a defensive play made by Kevin Pillar #11 in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)