Their timing was off by twenty-eight years, but the Braves took a series from the Blue Jays.
The bats were mostly cold, but that’s mostly universal. In the first-ever year with no pitchers hitting, the collective major league batting line is .232/.312/.396, which is notably worse than Ender Inciarte’s career triple slash.
(Note: I said his career triple slash, which is .285/.338/.389. This year, he’s hitting .188/.316/.250, which is grounds for alimony.)
So nobody’s hitting, and last night was basically a pitcher’s duel between their top dog — Nate Pearson, nasty — and Touki Toussaint, who’s been on the cusp for so long that a few of us have probably given up on him more than once.
But Touki was legitimately masterful. As Keith Law wrote:
Toussaint was 93-95 mph with a very effective split-change anywhere from 83-88 mph and two breaking balls, a short slider at 83-87 mph and a two-plane curveball at 74-79 mph, giving up just a few hard-hit balls, including a homer to Bo Bichette on a curveball he left up. The best news on Toussaint’s outing is how much he was in the strike zone, throwing 71 percent of his pitches for strikes, although I’d give his control a full grade above his command. This is the guy his believers all thought he could be when he was a first-rounder in 2014, translating his athleticism into more consistency with his delivery and his stuff. One outing doesn’t make a pitcher, but this is the longest Toussaint’s ever pitched in the majors without walking a batter, and that seems like a positive indicator that he can keep his control up.
Brian Snitker pulled a Grady Little and sent him out for a 7th inning he had no business starting, and he clearly didn’t have it, and a 3-1 lead turned into a 3-3 tie. The pen held it there, though, and up to the plate strode Nick Markakis, a player I have written off no fewer than seven hundred times:
Go back to Buffalo, Blue Jays!