Sunday, April 8, 2018

Game #10 Toronto Blue Jays (6-4) @ Texas Rangers (4-7) - game recap

DH Kendrys Morales was 2-4 at the plate, including hitting a big 3-run HR in the 1st inning as the Blue Jays defeated the Rangers Sunday afternoon

The Blue Jays were looking to take the rubber match of this three game series. Toronto took game one on the strength of timely hitting by the offence. Yesterday's game went to Texas, who did a better job in the frigid conditions that saw players wearing balaclavas in the field and toques in the dugout. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights: 

  • Steve Pearce opened the scoring with a lead-off HR on the game's opening pitch
  • Kendrys Morales followed up by blasting a 3-run shot scoring Justin Smoak and Yangervis Solarte 
  • The Rangers responded in the bottom half of the inning with Elvis Andrus singling home Shin-Soo Choo
  • Pearce was caught stealing to end the second inning
  • Smoak scored the Jays 5th run in the top of the 3rd with a ground ball single off the ankle of Rangers starter Cole Hamels by Kevin Pillar
  • Luke Maille doubled home Pillar in the top of the 6th 
  • Two batters later, Curtis Granderson came in as a pinch hitter and singled to score Maille
  • Cole Hamels pitching line: 5.1IP 8H 7R (5 earned) 2BB 5K 98 pitches (65 for strikes)
  • The Rangers answered back in the bottom half of the inning courtesy of a Joey Gallo 2 run HR; Adrian Beltre also scored on the play
  • Jaimie Garcia pitching line: 5.1IP 5H 3R (all earned)  2BB 5K 96 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • Choo singled in the bottom of the 8th scoring Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos
  • Roberto Osuna recorded his 4th save of the season; escaping a bases loaded jam to end the 8th and retiring the Rangers in order in the 9th
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Rangers 4

My Take:

  • Today was a great response by the offence. After being held to just 2 hits last night, they were aggressive early and did not miss their pitches. The Blue Jays scored 7 runs on 11 hits, including 2 big 1st inning home runs
  • Both starting pitchers had very similar outings. Hamels gave up a few more hits, which was the difference in the ball game through 6 innings. Garcia had good movement on his pitches. If he continues to pitch like he has, Garcia will be an effective 5th starter for the Blue Jays
  • Today's game saw the appearance of 44-year old Bartolo Colon. The hefty righty is the last remaining active player from the Expos. He pitched an inning today and he looks like he will be able to pitch at least a season or two more. Colon struck out 4 of the 7 Blue Jays batters he faced today. 
  • Aaron Loup had another difficult outing today. He gave up a single and a double and managed to get a fielders choice sandwiched between the 2 hits he gave up. He really needs to take Ryan Tepera to dinner for escaping the bases loaded jam by getting two tough hitters out in Beltre and Gallo. Toronto might want to consider calling up a lefty from Buffalo if Loup continues to struggle when called upon.
  • Through 10 games, this Blue Jays team is vastly improved. A big difference has been the health of the team. This time last season, Josh Donaldson, Steve Pearce, Troy Tulowitzki and Aaron Sanchez were all ailing. This season, all but Tulowitzki have been healthy. The pitching has been pretty much as expected and so far the offence has been cashing in runs. Up next, the Blue Jays continue the road trip in Baltimore with JA Happ getting his third start of the season. He'll be facing righty Dylan Bundy, who has 15K so far this season. The Orioles are coming off a big extra-innings win over the Yankees today