The Toronto Blue Jays won a great game Wednesday night 8-6 against the Detroit Tigers after trailing 6-1 in the fifth inning. Mark Buehrle was bounced early on after another disappointing start (4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER) yet the bullpen was perfect in his stead. The same can't be said for the Tigers bullpen.
Let us take a quick moment to mention five important points from the game that was delayed by two-and-a-half hours.
- Although Buehrle finished with five earned runs against, it was Steve Delabar who walked in two (yes, two) runs and allowed an RBI single in the fifth. So he did not get any help on his overall line at the end of the day.
- J.P. Arencibia continued his torrid pace and drove a ball into the gap, clearing all three bases. To my eye, he has never looked more comfortable at the plate in his major league career. If he can keep this up, the lineup will be even more dangerous (especially with the return of Brett Lawrie).
- The first four batters in the lineup accounted for six of the eight runs. Melky Cabrera, after a tough start to the season, is now 5-8 in the last two games. He started the rallies in both the three-run sixth and four-run seventh.
- Edwin Encarnacion snapped an 0-19 skid with two doubles in the game. Both were very clutch, and hopefully this helps turn his season around.
- Perhaps the savviest move was to pinch-hit for struggling Adam Lind (current AVG: .105) in the sixth inning with Mark DeRosa. DeRosa subsequently hit a two-run double and also scored on a walk later in the game. Sure, the move was made due to a lefty coming in to face Lind, but it is still a shrewd move by manager John Gibbons to make in the sixth inning.
So why is this win so important for the 2013 Blue Jays?
After losing five of their first seven games, the Blue Jays have looked lost and have yet to truly come together as a team. A comeback win on the road in the final couple of innings will definitely bring a team together.
Every player who finished the game in the lineup got a hit (meaning everyone but the terrible Adam Lind), thus making it a true team victory. Moreover, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, Darren Oliver, Aaron Loup and Casey Janssen did not allow an earned run against after relieving Mark Buehrle in the fifth.
On another note, with the Jays close to falling to 2-6 on the season and the Red Sox winning 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, it looked as if Toronto would be far behind the division-leading Red Sox at 6-2. However, closer Joel Hanrahan gave up five earned runs and blew the BoSox victory, meaning that the Blue Jays are only two games out of first in the division. I know it is early, but every win counts.
The Blue Jays look to continue on this energy Thursday afternoon against the Tigers in the rubber match. Josh Johnson will take the hill against Doug Fister, and I believe the Jays bats will come out strong even against the strong right-hander.
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