Saturday, July 14, 2018

Game #94 Toronto Blue Jays (43-51) @ Boston Red Sox (67-30) - game recap

Xander Bogaerts hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 6-2

After an offensive breakout last night, the Blue Jays were looking to hand the Red Sox their first multi-game losing streak since June 19-20. Here's some food for thought, since losing 3 in a row April 21-24, the Red Sox have lost 2 in a row just seven times and had a record of 48-24. Their high-octane offense has been on fire most of the year, their starting pitchers are consistently throwing 6 or more innings, which keeps their bullpen fresh. Could the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 2 games in a row? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 4th as JD Martinez launched one over the green monster for a solo HR
  • Sam Gaviglio pitching line: 3.1IP 4H 1R (earned) 1BB 2K 56 pitches (31 for strikes)
  • Eduardo Rodruguez pitching line: 5.1IP 4H 0R 0BB 5K 67 pitches (47 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 7th as Kendrys Morales scored on an Aledmys Diaz ground out 
  • Two batters later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled home Dwight Smith Jr.
  • The Red Sox tied it in the bottom of the 9th as Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled home Xander Bogaerts
  • The Red Sox won it in the bottom of the 10th on a Xander Bogaerts walk-off grand slam that scored Mookie Betts, Brock Holt and JD Martinez
  • Final score: Red Sox 6 Blue Jays 2
My Take

  • Key play in the top of the 6th: Randal Grichuk was called out at 2nd trying to stretch a single into a double after initially being called safe on the play. If the call had stood, there would have been runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Instead, there were 2 outs and a runner on 3rd and Aledmys Diaz struck out to end the inning.
  • The Blue Jays received bad news on the injury front as Kevin Pillar left the game after the 3rd inning when he made a diving catch  to end the inning. The initial diagnosis was a strained sternal-clavicular joint injury. It is likely Pillar will need to go on the DL. Certainly, he won't be in the lineup tomorrow.
  • Sam Gaviglio had a better start than his last outing two days ago. He gave up 4 hits, 2 to Mookie Betts who never seems to be out, and the solo HR to Martinez for the only run he allowed. Gaviglio will be starting the first game after the all-star game, which means he technically starts his third game out of 6, but the all-star break means 6 days between starts so he should be able to go deep in the game, provided he is effective.
  • The Red Sox lost starter Eduardo Rodriguez in a scary play in the bottom of the top of the 7th. Rodriguez leaped over a sliding Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and twisted his right ankle upon landing and barrel rolling. Rodriguez attempted a warm-up pitch but it was clear that taking him out was the right thing to do, lest he injure his arm trying to pitch. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was also banged up on the play as Rodriguez accidentally kicked him in the back of the head trying to avoid him. Gurriel Jr. remained in the game.
  • Tyler Clippard blew the save in this one, his third blown save of the season. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays didn't have much choice but to use him in that situation with the bullpen arms tired from overuse (what else is new?)
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made a costly fielding error in the bottom of the 10th, allowing a routine grounder by Mookie Betts to roll between his legs. It's this kind of play that will get Gibbons fired before the season is over.
  • The Red Sox are a team that will make you pay for your mistakes and will take advantage of extra outs. If Boston has any concerns that they may want to solve with a trade, it is with their bullpen. The Blue Jays got to Joe Kelly for the second day in a row. Boston has a strong rotation and a solid closer in Craig Kimbrel. This is the same problem Houston faced last year and they ended up winning the world series. Boston is my favorite to win the World series at this point.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the schedule ahead of the all-star break with Marcus Stroman taking the hill against Red Sox lefty Brian Johnson, who will be coming off a DL stint himself.