Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Game #7 Chicago White Sox (3-1) @ Toronto Blue Jays (4-3) - game recap

The White Sox Jose Abreu hit an 8th inning solo HR to lead Chicago to a victory to avoid a series sweep

The Blue Jays are off to their best start since the magical 2015 season when David Price was temporarily a Blue Jay. After dropping the first two of the season, Toronto has done nothing but win. They were looking to sweep the Chicago White Sox today and finish up the home stand on a positive note before heading on the road to Texas. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • Matt Davidson opened the scoring with a lead-off HR in the top of the 2nd
  • Justin Smoak tied it scoring on a Russell Martin groundout 
  • Yoan Sanchez hit a deep flyball that was initially an out but was overturned on replay and called a single. The bases were loaded at the time and every base runner advanced a base so Wellington Castillo scored on the play
  • the next batter, Avisail Garcia was hit by a pitch, forcing in a run by Yolmer Sanchez
  • Steve Pearce came up as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 6th and singled scoring Josh Donaldson
  • Justin Smoak was thrown out at home on a Russell Martin groundball to third
  • Kendrys Morales tied the game singling home Pearce
  • Carson Fulmer pitching line: 5IP 5H 3R (all earned) 1BB 5K 73 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 6IP 5H 3R (all earned) 2BB 7K 98 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • Jose Abreu homered leading off the 8th to give Chicago a late lead
  • Final score: White Sox 4 - Blue Jays 3
My take:

  • There was a really interesting call with one out in the top of the 5th. With the bases loaded, Yoan Moncada hit a deep flyball that Curtis Granderson caught at the fence. Replay showed the ball hit the fence and umpires overturned the call, allowing all three base runners to advance a base. Instant replay has been around the game for several years now and I think it's these types of plays that could affect the outcome of the game where it is necessary. Had the initial call stood, the White Sox would have had 2 outs with the bases loaded. Instead, the bases were loaded with one out and a run scored on the play. Sanchez might have approached the next batter differently and gotten out of the inning unscathed. Also it forced Sanchez to throw a couple of extra pitches.
  • The bottom of the 6th saw a chess move by both managers. The White Sox substituted starter Carson Fulmer, who had been cruising along, for lefty Aaron Bummer. The Blue Jays countered by pinch hitting Steve Pearce in place of Curtis Granderson. The Blue Jays won the move as Pearce singled on the first pitch. Baseball has become a sport of match-ups where managers make lineup changes based on who is batting/pitching. Generally left-handed relievers are brought into face left-handed batters. Once a reliever has been announced, the opposing manager might turn around and bring in a switch hitter or right-handed pitcher. In this case, Fulmer had given up back to back hits and had 2 runners in scoring position. He had only thrown just over 70 pitches. However Granderson was 2-2 on the night. 
  • Aaron Sanchez pitched in and out of trouble this game. He got help from the defense, which turned double plays in the 1st, 5th and 6th to help the Jays starter out of jams. For the 4th time in 7 games the pitching decision went to a reliever as Sanchez left with the game tied.
  • Tough one today. The Blue Jays battled but came up short. They still won the series and now head on the road after an off-day tomorrow, starting in Texas on Friday. Marco Estrada pitches against Rangers lefty Matt Moore in the opener. I think Toronto will be happy to have a winning first home stand of the year.