The month of May has been a roller coaster ride for Blue Jays fans with some epic highs and cavernous lows both on and off the field.
May started out very well for the Jays as they won their first four games which included a pair of upset wins over the Texas Rangers and two dominating efforts against the Los Angeles Angels. That was followed up by another series win over the Oakland Athletics before a bump in the road during which the Jays lost four of six against Minnesota and Tampa Bay. There was also an incident with Brett Lawrie which you may have heard about.
Toronto rebounded nicely with four straight wins against the Yankees and Mets, but the lowest of the lows came next in the form of six losses in seven games, which included dropping five in a row against Tampa Bay and Texas. The Rangers series especially hurt as Toronto was pounded 34-16 in the series and fans watched many an ERA throughout the pitching staff balloon.
That’s the month of May in a nut shell, but that’s not what were here for. This is supposed to be the Top 10 Jays moments in May. So, let’s get to it already. For anyone who missed the Top 10 Jays Moments in April here’s how it works. A moment can be anything that happens in May whether it be a single at bat, a play in the field, a game, a series or even something fun in the dugout. If it happened in May involving the Jays and it was awesome it could be on the list. Here’s what made the cut for May in chronological order…
10. May 1, 2012 – Lawrie’s walk-off versus the Rangers
Toronto started the month of May off with a bang thanks to Brett Lawrie’s bat. In the second game of a three-game set versus the Texas Rangers the Jays entered the ninth inning with a 7-6 lead. Francisco Cordero came in to close it out, but couldn’t get the job done and allowed consecutive singles to Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Michael Young which tied the game 7-7.
With Jays fans thinking “oh, not again” Lawrie led off the bottom of the ninth inning against Rangers’ reliever Mike Adams. Lawire got all of an Adams’ pitch and got a lucky bounce off the top of the wall for a walk-off home run.
Here’s Lawrie big knock against Adams.
9. May 3-4, 2012 – Morrow and Alvarez go back-to-back
The Blue Jays started a three-game series with the Angels on May 3 with Brandon Morrow on the mound. After a dominating performance, Los Angeles probably won’t want to see Morrow again for a while.
The Blue Jays flame thrower pitched a complete-game three-hit shutout against the Angels, racking up eight strikeouts. Even more impressive Morrow got through all nine innings without walking a single batter and throwing only 102 pitches, 75 of which were strikes.
The following night Henderson Alvarez picked up where Morrow left off. Alvarez continued to keep the Angels’ bats at bay, going the distance for the first time in his career with a six-hit shutout. Alvarez struck out three while walking only one in the win. His pitch count was even lower than Morrow’s at 97 pitches, from which 71 were strikes.
8. May 11, 2012 – Jose Bautista loves Target Field
It’s no secret the start of the 2012 season had been disappointing for Jose Bautista. In the month of April he hit only .181 with three home runs and 10 RBI. Apparently all Joey Bats needed to get going was a trip to Minnesota and Target Field.
In the second game of the Jays four-game series at Target Field Bautista hit a pair of home runs off Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn. The Bautista Bombs were back and the following night he went deep again with another bomb off P.J. Walters. Bautista his as many home runs in that one series as he did in the entire month of April.
7. May 12, 2012 – Everybody dance now!
Jose Bautista’s bat awakening in Minnesota led to what is so far my favorite Blue Jays Gif of the season. Dugout Dance Party!
6. May 13, 2012 – Brett Lawrie and Eric Thames team-up
If there are any comic fans out there you may remember the Marvel Team-Up series which has had many incarnations and series over the years. If you’re not familiar with the series basically Marvel took two characters or more and teamed them up for a story. I present to you know the Lawrie-Thames Team-up.
I think the best part of the catch was Thames exuberant reaction afterward. If that’s Thames’ reaction from a sweet catch then if the Jays win a playoff game this season Thames’ celebration could rival Joe Carter’s from 1992-93.
5. May 16-17, 2012 – Jays beat up on the Yankees
The New York Yankees came to town for a short two-game series on May 16 and 17 and spectacularly the Jays put a beating on them in both games. In the opener the Jays cruised to an 8-1 win behind four home runs and some solid pitching from Kyle Drabek. Toronto hit three homers off Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia all going yard. Drabek quieted the Yankees bats allowing only one run on three hits with five strikeouts over seven sharp innings.
The following night Bautista and Arencibia both homered again as the Jays recorded a 4-1 victory over the Yanks. Drew Hutchison put together a solid start to earn the win, holding the mighty Yankees to one run on five hits over six innings. More importantly the bullpen also was strong with Jason Frasor, Darren Oliver and Casey Janssen teaming up for three shutout innings.
4. May 17, 2012 – Yan Gomes Major League debut
Also in the short series against the Yankees Yan Gomes made his Major League debut at third base in the second game. Gomes got the call from the farm after Adam Lind was sent down to find his swing. With Brett Lawrie continuing to sit while on his four-game suspension Gomes got the start at third in his debut and had a solid game. Gomes picked up his first Major League hit while going 2-3 and he also flash strong arm at the hot corner.
The following night against the Mets Gomes cracked his first Major League home run and he went deep again a few days later against the Rays. Gomes has been a pleasant surprise for the Jays this season since having a standout spring training and since his call-up he’s hitting .227 with two home runs, five RBI an four runs scored.
3. May 18, 2012 – Rajai Davis power hitter
Last year in his first season with the Jays Rajai Davis hit one home run in 95 games. He doubled that production in one game against the Mets on May 18.
Davis stepped to the plate in the third inning and hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, off Mets starter Jonathon Niese. In his next at bat in the fifth versus reliever Manny Acosta Davis found the seats again with another two-run blast.
Davis wasn’t the only one flexing his muscles at the plate that day. The Jays obliterated the Mets in a 14-5 rout. J.P. Arencibia also went deep twice and was 3-5 on the day with six RBI and three runs scored. Yan Gomes, as we already mentioned also went yard for the first time in his career.
2. May 19, 2012 – Brandon Morrow tosses another gem
Before this season Brandon Morrow had thrown one complete-game shutout in his career, his near no-hitter versus Tampa Bay in 2010. In the month of May he threw two of them.
We already mentioned his first, a dominating effort against the Angels on May 3. Astonishingly he turned in an almost identical start against the Mets just over two weeks later. Morrow again showed great control getting ahead of batter time and time again while holding the Mets to three hits over the nine innings and striking out eight and walking one. Morrow got through nine innings on only 107 pitches, throwing 76 of them for strikes.
1. May 25, 2012 – Jeff Mathis, shutdown reliever
The Jays game against the Rangers on May 25 was not pretty. Brandon Morrow didn’t get out of the first inning and Nelson Cruz was a one-man wrecking crew in a 14-3 Rangers rout. The only real fun or funny moment from that game was in the eighth inning when catcher Jeff Mathis tried out the other half of the battery on the mound.
Having already sent three relievers to the hill and with the game out of hand down 11 runs Mathis took to the hill for the first time since high school. In doing so he became the sixth Toronto position player to pitch in a game and the first since Mike McCoy last season. In his one inning of work Mathis allowed one hit and walked a batter, but did not allow a run, the only Jays pitcher on the night that could say that.
Edwin Encarnacion gymnastics: