To say Kevin Pillar had a rough night on Friday night would be an understatement. The veteran outfielder finished Toronto’s 5-4 loss to Detroit hitless in four at-bats. But this wasn’t your typically uneventful 0 for 4. Pillar’s rough game was compounded by two moments that elevated it from brutal to forgettable.
One of them happened in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and the Blue Jays looking to mount a rally, Pillar ended it with one swing by grounding into a 5-4-3 triple play.
The triple play was the first turned by Detroit since Aug. 1, 2001, and it was very impressively done. Rookie third baseman Jeimer Candelairo made a great stop and recovered nicely to start. Then Ian Kinsler did his job with a swift turn at second. All you can do is tip your cap to the defense.
The triple play alone was a pretty strong gut punch, but for Pillar it was only the capper to his night. Earlier in the game, the typically excellent outfielder appeared to lose Nick Castellanos’ fly ball in the Rogers’ Centre roof.
That’s almost startling to watch given Pillar’s penchant for running down everything in the outfield, often times with spectacular results.
Yes, the ball cleared the fence for a grand slam, meaning even a Superman like effort wouldn’t have made a difference. But it was another moment Pillar would love to forget.
To a larger extent, Pillar’s rough night encapsulates what has been a disappointing season for the Blue Jays. Friday’s loss dropped them to 64-77 and moved them one step closer to locking up last place in the AL East. It’s the latest bad night in a season that we’re sure can’t end soon enough for Blue Jays fans.
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