Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Game #29 Toronto Blue Jays (17-12) @ Minnesota Twins (9-16) - game recap

Kendrys Morales had a huge night at the plate with a pair of HR and a stolen base as the Blue Jays came from behind to beat the Twins 7-4 in extra innings

After a hard fought victory last night, the Blue Jays were looking to extend the win streak to three games. The Blue Jays had a very successful opening month, finishing 16-12. Will May be just as successful? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Twins opened the scoring on a Joe Mauer solo HR in the bottom of the 1st
  • Three batters later Eddie Rosario doubled to score Max Kepler
  • Kendrys Morales got the Blue Jays on the board with a solo shot to right in the top of the 5th
  • Five batters later the Blue Jays tied the game on a Justin Smoak single that scored Luke Maile
  • Kyle Gibson pitching line: 5IP 5H 2R (both earned) 2BB 6K 96 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Marco Estrada pitching line: 5IP 7H 4R (all earned) 1BB 3K 99 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • Morales hit his second HR of the night to give the Blue Jays the lead in the top of the 6th
  • Rosario gave the Twins the lead back with a 2 run HR that also scored Eduardo Escobar
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the 8th on a Kevin Pillar sac fly that plated Smoak
  • Pillar scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th
  • The Twins booted the next pitch allowing pinch runner Gift Ngoepe to add an insurance run
  • Maile scored on a wild pitch on the next pitch
  • Roberto Osuna pitched an easy 1-2-3 inning for his 8th save.
  • Final Score: Blue Jays 7 Twins 4
My Take:

  • Kendrys Morales made manager John Gibbons look like a genius tonight. Morales was inserted into the lineup with 40 minutes until opening pitch. Steve Pearce was initially penciled in at DH. Gibby must have sensed that Morales was going to have a big night because Morales was a perfect 3-3 at the plate, including home runs in consecutive innings. He even stole a base without a throw in the 9th inning. 
  • A key play in the 9th: Aledmys Diaz hit a groundball to Eihre Adriana. The call on the field (safe) was overturned on replay. The Blue Jays went down in order that inning
  • Twins catcher Mitch Garver had a nightmare inning behind the plate that effectively cost the Twins the game. First, he allowed Pillar to steal 3rd base and Kendrys Morales, one of the slowest runners on the team, to steal second base (both uncontested). Then he allowed 2 wild pitches to allow 2 Blue Jays base runners to score.
  • Overall, the Twins defense was suspect throughout the game. Infielders were double-clutching ground balls  allowing base runners to reach. On the Blue Jays third run of the tenth inning, Twins 3rd baseman Eduardo Escobar booted a ball hit  to him that should have resulted in at least one out, instead everyone was safe and another run scored.
  • Marco Estrada had a difficult start to say the least. He threw 30 pitches in the first inning. He also had a lot of deep counts, which drove his pitch count up. Gibbons probably shouldn't have sent him out to start the 6th inning as he was over 90 pitches at that point and clearly tiring. Estrada did sit down 9 Twins in a row at one point.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon (morning on the west coast). Marcus Stroman will be looking to have a good start that gets him deep in the ball game as Toronto is slated to play a double-header Thursday in Cleveland and they will need their bullpen to be rested and ready. The Twins will counter with Fernando Romero, who will be making his major league debut