Friday, August 7, 2020

Game #11 Toronto Blue Jays (4-7) @ Atlanta Braves (5-8) - game recap

 

After dropping 2 of 3 in Atlanta, the Blue Jays travelled north to Boston, their last stop on a ridiculously long four-city 14 game road trip (two of the games for all intents and purposes was a home game in Washington as the Blue Jays had last AB) that started in Tampa Bay, then went to Washington, then was supposed to go to Philly but was wiped out by COVID-19, then went to Atlanta and finally Boston. The Blue Jays won their only exhibition game in Boston two weeks ago. Since that game, the Red Sox and Blue Jays have struggled in the temporary divisions. The two division rivals are pretty much tied for dead last in the AL East (Boston and Toronto have 4 wins each, but Boston has played a couple more games and have 2 more losses). A big issue for the Blue Jays has been a lack of offence. Their starting pitching has been fine, though it would be nice if the starters could pitch an extra inning or two per start. So far, the starting pitchers have pitched more than 5 innings just once. Tanner Roark was looking to become the second starter to pitch past the 5th tonight. Cavan Biggio was back at 2B after a start in RF last night. Vlad was also back at first base after serving as DH last night (Rowdy Tellez was the DH tonight). Finally Teoscar Hernandez was in RF after a day off last night. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after a night off last night Could the Blue Jays start the weekend with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Cavan Biggio led off the game with an opposite-field shot over the green monster 
  • The Red Sox answered back in the bottom half of the inning on a bases loaded walk to Mitch Moreland that forced in Andrew Benintendi
  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Alex Verdugo smashed a solo blast to left and over the green monster 
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 3rd as Bo Bichette doubled home Biggio
  • The Red Sox retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Moreland smacked a two-run bomb to right also scoring Xander Bogaerts
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 3IP 3H 4R (all earned) 5BB 1K 68 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • Ryan Weber pitching line: 3IP 5H 2R (both earned) 2BB 3K 64 pitches (39 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 6th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled scoring Rowdy Tellez. Guerrero was thrown out at 3rd, trying to stretch the double into a triple
  • The Red Sox added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Verdugo absolutely clobbered one, almost out of the ballpark over the green monster 
  • Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 3

My Take:

  • It wasn't a stellar game for either starting pitcher. Tanner Roark did not have his best stuff tonight, issuing 5 walks, 2 HR and 4 runs total. You have to wonder if so much extra time off is affecting the pitchers this week. For the 10th time in 12 games, the starting pitcher for the Blue Jays failed to get past the 5th inning. In fact, Roark barely made it through three innings and Jacob Waguespack was throwing in the 2nd inning. Ryan Borucki got up and threw in the 3rd inning, before coming into the game to start the 4th.
  • Cavan Biggio had a strong game, getting on base 3 times, including a leadoff HR
  • Teoscar Hernandez continues to swing a hot stick, getting 2 more hits 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to even the series. Chase Anderson makes his Blue Jays debut against Red Sox righty Zack Godley 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Game #10 Toronto Blue Jays (4-6) @ Atlanta Braves (9-5) - game recap

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 2-4 in a losing effort as the Braves walked off the Blue Jays 4-3

After edging the Braves last night, the Blue Jays were back at it a day later, looking for their first series win of the season.Rowdy Tellez saw his first action of the series, playing first base with Vlad getting the half day off, serving as the DH today..Randal Grichuk was back in CF after serving as DH last night. Travis Shaw was back in the lineup and playing the hot corner after missing a couple of weeks dealing with a family matter. Joe Panik got the start at second base with Cavan Biggio occupying RF today. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row and notch the series win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Braves opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Freddie Freeman smashed a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Dansby Swanson
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th as Bo Bichette lined a screamer to left-center
  • The Braves added a run in the bottom half of the inning on a sac fly by Adam Duvall that scored Marcell Ozuna
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 5IP 2H 3R (all earned) 3BB 5K 79 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored on a groundout by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Two batters later, Teoscar Hernandez singled home Rowdy Tellez
  • Touki Toussaint pitching line: 6.2IP 4H 3R (all earned) 0BB 9K 83 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • The Braves won it in the bottom of the 9th as Nick Markakis hammered the first pitch he saw to right
  • Final score: Braves 4 Blue Jays 3
My Take:
  • Nate Pearson pretty much made 1 mistake today, the 2-run HR he gave up in the 1st to Freddie Freeman. His command was just ok (he walked three batters, including one on four pitches). It would have been nice to see him at least start the 6th inning. Just one Blue Jays starter (Matt Shoemaker in the second game of the season) pitched into the 6th inning. The Blue Jays have used at least three relievers every game this season. I know it's a short season, but still, you have to let the starters go a bit deeper into the ball game and maybe gain some confidence. I'm a baseball purist and I can't stand the idea of pitching counts in general. The starting pitchers should be capable of throwing at least 90+ pitches in a start.
  • I thought the best inning the Blue Jays had offensively today was the 7th when they manufactured a pair of runs and neither came off the long ball. While it's fun to see a player hammer the ball into outer space, or right out of the ballpark if you are playing at Fenway, unless you're the NY Yankees, you won't win many ball games just hitting HR. Pitchers will adapt and throw more pitches lower in the strike zone
  • The Blue Jays were too impatient at the plate, striking out 10 times today, including 9 to starter Touki Toussant. Even worse, none of the Blue Jays drew a walk.
  • What a bizarre day for Jacob Waguespack, who started off on the big league roster, was sent to the taxi squad as teams were required to trim rosters by 2 today, was put back on the MLB roster a few hours later when Trent Thornton was put on the IL with an inflamed pitching elbow, warmed up in the bullpen only to be told he couldn't pitch today because he was sent to the taxi squad and I guess you need 24 hours between roster moves?
  • Up next, the Blue Jays travel to Boston in the last stop of this ridiculously long road trip to start the season. Technically the Blue Jays were considered the home team for 2 games last week in Washington, but for all intents and purposes they played in a road ball park for 3 series and saw a 4th series in Philadelphia cancelled after the Miami Marlins played the Phillies the Sunday of opening weekend DESPITE knowing that four players had tested positive for COVID-19 (eventually became 20 and messed up the schedules for 6 teams). Tanner Roark makes his second start in a Blue Jays uniform, while the Red Sox will counter with righty Ryan Weber.

Game 10...I think. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Jays (5-4) @ Braves (8-5)

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🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥Happy Pearson Day! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Game #9 - Toronto Blue Jays (4-5) @ Atlanta Braves (8-5) - game recap

Hyun Jin Ryu allowed just one hit and 3 walks in five solid shutout innings to earn his first regular season win in a Blue Jays uniform in a 2-1 victory over the Braves 

After an ugly game yesterday, the Blue Jays were looking to rebound and snap a 3-game losing streak. Hyun-Jin Ryu was also looking to rebound after getting knocked around in his second start as a Blue Jay. Pretty much the same lineup as yesterday, except Randal Grichuk had the half day off as DH (probably a precaution coming off with Grichuk coming off an injury), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was in LF after serving as DH yesterday, and Anthony Alford went one position to the left  (his left) to play center field after playing in LF yesterday. Could the Blue Jays rebound from a bad day yesterday? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored on a sac fly by Danny Jansen
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 5th as Cavan Biggio singled home Bo Bichette
  • Sean Newcomb pitching line: 4.2IP 5H 2R (both earned)1BB 4K 92 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 6IP 1H 0R 3BB 8K 84 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Braves got one back in the bottom of the of the 7th as Adam Duvall cranked a solo blast to right-center 
  • Anthony Bass pitched a scoreless 9th for his 2nd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 2 Braves 1
My Take:
  • Hyun-jin Ryu had a strong rebound game after a rough outing last time out. He allowed just one hit, while walking three and striking out 8 over 5 solid innings. Ryu still needs to work through his command issues as he had a lot of deep counts, which drove up his pitching count. To my eye, there seems to be some inconsistency with his delivery pitch to pitch and perhaps his release point is a tad off. He now has, at least, 5 days to work on things.
  • The bullpen was excellent tonight, allowing just a solo HR in the 7th and a single and walk in the 9th. It looks like Anthony Bass will be the closer while Giles is out. He throws almost as hard as Giles (topped out at 96MPH tonight.
  • Vlad is having better AB's and is looking better in the field this week.
  • Joe Panik might be a better option at 3B than Brandon Drury, who is batting a miserable .095 and gets on base less than a third of the time. He also mishandled a rather routine grounder, forcing Ryu to face an extra batter.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the series with Atlanta, turning to Nate Pearson, who makes his second career start. The Braves will counter with righty Touki Toussaint, as the Braves try to find some reliable starters who can eat some innings.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Game #8 - Toronto Blue Jays (3-5) @ Atlanta Braves (8-4) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got on base three times and scored the only Blue Jays run as the Braves routed the Blue Jays 10-1

After an unexpected four day break due to the Miami Marlins  getting COVID-19 and stupidly electing to play the Philadelphia Phillies on the Sunday of opening day weekend knowing they had 4 positive COVID-19 tests, effectively screwing up the schedules of 6 teams in the process, The Blue Jays were finally back in action, taking on their foes from the 1992 World Series Atlanta Braves. Matt Shoemaker made his second start of the season after 5 shutout innings in his first regular season start since tearing his ACL in his fifth start last season. Meanwhile Atlanta pitcher and Canadian Mike Soroka is going to be out a loooonng time after tearing his Achilles tendon trying to hustle to cover first base last night. Randal Grichuk was back in the lineup after missing a week with an SI joint injury. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got a half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Teoscar Hernandez made his first start of the season in RF with Anthony Alford starting in left. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2 game losing streak? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd as Mike Adams hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Three batters later, Tyler Flowers smacked a solo blast to left-center
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Anthony Alford singled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Adams left the game in the bottom of the 4th after pulling a hammy on a groundout 
  • The Braves added a run in the bottom of the 5th when Ronald Acuna beat the throw home on a fielder's choice hit by Freddie Freeman to SS Bo Bichette 
  • Three batters later, Austin Riley lined a three-run shot out to left and into the Blue Jays bullpen, also scoring Freeman and Johan Camargo
  • Matt Shoemaker pitching line: 4.2IP 6H 6R (all earned) 3BB 2K 88 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • Max Fried pitching line: 6IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 3K 80 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Braves added two runs in the bottom of the 8th as Dansby Swanson doubled home Ender Inciarte and Acuna
  • Two batters later, Adam Duvall singled scoring Swanson
  • The next batter, Camargo doubled home Duvall
  • Final score: Braves 10 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • The long ball hurt Blue Jays starter Matt Shoemaker, who saw five of the six runs scored against him on the night courtesy of 3 HR (2 solo shots and a 3-run tater that came on his last pitch). Like Hyun-jin Ryu, he definitely wasn't as sharp in his second start of the season. Kind of concerning that he couldn't pitch past the 5th, but at least the bullpen was well rested after an unexpected and unprecedented 4 day hiatus. 
  • The bullpen didn't fare much better, giving up a combined 4 runs (all earned), 7 hits and 4 walks. After Matt Shoemaker threw 88 pitches to get 14 outs, Jacob Waguespack, Anthony Kay, Wilmer Font and Shun Yamaguchi needed 73 pitches to get the last 10 outs. It's fair to say that none of the Blue Jays pitchers were efficient tonight.
  • The one bright spot on the Blue Jays tonight was Vladimir Guerrero Jr, who had his best night (easily) of the season, getting on base three times (2 hits and a 9th inning walk) and looking real solid at first base. Hopefully he keeps it going tomorrow
  • I wonder if when Shun Yamaguchi signed on with the Blue Jays, he knew that he'd be coming into the ball game with a runner on second base. For the 3rd time in a row, Yamaguchi had to contend with a runner on second base (his first 2 appearances were both to start the 10th inning, once with a lead and once with the game tied). He was much better tonight, allowing just a walk. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays turn to ace Hyun-jin Ryu, who will be looking to rebound from a rough outing last start where he gave up 5 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 5. The Braves will counter with lefty Sean Newcombe.