Sunday, April 29, 2018

Game #27 Texas Rangers (11-18) @ Toronto Blue Jays (15-12) - game recap

Blue Jays starting pitcher JA Happ pitched 7 strong innings as the Blue Jays beat the Rangers 7-2

Today was a huge game for the Blue Jays for a number of reasons. If they won today they'd be over .500 after the first month for the first time since 2012. They were also looking to snap a 4 game losing streak. The season series was also on the line. If the Blue Jays won, the season series would be tied but if the Rangers won they would win the season series. Also a Rangers won, it would also mean the first time the Blue Jays have been swept this season. Finally, the Blue Jays embark on a week long road trip starting tomorrow and they would feel a lot better about themselves winning today than losing. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • Renato Nunez opened the scoring with a solo HR in the top of the 2nd
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the bottom half of the inning as Yangervis Solarte led off the inning with his own solo blast
  • Four batters later, Kevin Pillar scored on a Randall Grichuk sac fly
  • Teoscar Hernandez extended the lead with a solo HR in the bottom of the 3rd
  • Pillar hit his 3rd home run in 2 days in the bottom of the 4th
  • Martin Perez pitching line: 4IP 5H 4R (all earned) 4BB 2K 72 pitches (39 for strikes)
  • The Rangers got one back in the top of the 6th on an Isiah Kiner-Falefa groundout that scored Delino DeShields
  • Russell Martin came in to score on a Grichuk groundout in the bottom half of the inning
  • Steve Pearce scored on a Justin Smoak sac fly in the 7th
  • The next batter, Solarte, singled home Hernandez
  • JA Happ pitching line: 7IP 5H 2R (both earned) 0BB 9K 99 pitches (67 for strikes)
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Rangers 2

My Take:

  • There were 2 key plays on fly balls. In the first inning, Randal Grichuk made a great catch on an Isiah Kiner-Falefa flyball and doubled off Delino Deshields. The Rangers opted not to challenge ending the inning. Had the call been overturned, there would have been 1 out and at least runners on first and third and possibly the umpires might have awarded the Rangers a run on the play assuming DeShields would have scored on the play with his speed. The other play occurred in the 6th inning when Aledmys Diaz hit a fly ball that Rangers LF Ryan Rua caught in foul territory. Replays appeared to show that the ball hit the turf and was trapped meaning Diaz should have had another chance to bat. Instead the inning was over.
  • Starter JA Happ gave the Blue Jays everything they could have hoped for today. With the bullpen exhausted, Happ threw seven solid innings of 5-hit ball and struck out 9 Rangers batters in the process. It was just the 4th time this season and second time for Happ that a Blue Jays starter has gotten through 7 innings. Although, why they didn't use Carlos Ramirez to pitch the 9th I don't know.
  • Aaron Loup has been on fire lately. He has retired the last 13 batters he has faced. He pitched a perfect inning today.
  • Randal Grichuk had what might have been his best game as a Blue Jay. He was 2-3 and drove in a pair of runs. He also made a great catch in right field to help out JA Happ
  • The Blue Jays needed a game like this before heading out on the road for a tough 8 game in 7 day road trip where they play in three cities in three days and are scheduled to play a double header in the middle city. 
  • Up next, Toronto heads to Minnesota where they'll meet the Twins, a team they'll potentially be contending with for a wild card spot. The Twins took the season series 4-3 last year. The opening game this year features Aaron Sanchez taking on Twins righty Lance Lynn