Mike Minor earned two Ws last night. One for dominating the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up just two hits and one run in a Jeff-Banister-complete-game six innings of work. He walked two and struck out seven.
But it was how he did it that earned the other W. He beat the weather. It was brutally cold. Forty-one degrees at game time. With a wind ripping through the Ballpark that made it unfit for man or beast.
It’s the kind of cold where it’s impossible to grip a baseball. Maybe that’s why his two walks came to the first three batters in the Blue Jays lineup. But he pitched around it, getting a first-inning-ending double play. And after that, it was really too much Mike Minor for Toronto to handle.
He had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning, having retired eleven Blue Jays in a row until a one-out triple off the bat of Kevin Pillar put the tying run at third.
But the key batter in the game, the next hitter, Aledmys Diaz, he struck out. He retired the final batter of the fifth and then watched his team add on four more runs to give him a 5-0 lead.
Steve Pearce took in deep with one out in the sixth, but he closed out his night striking out the last two batters he faced.
It was Mike Minor’s first victory as a starting pitcher since 2014. And after Matt Moore’s debacle the night before, it was just the tonic this team needed.
Jon Daniels assembled a bargain barrel rotation with paper clips and duct tape. Mike Minor appears to be the one guy he got right.
Jaime Garcia (0-0, 1.50) vs. Cole Hamels (1-1, 3,38)
Game time: 2:05