Sunday, July 15, 2018

Game #95 Toronto Blue Jays (43-52) @ Boston Red Sox (68-30) - game recap

Red Sox 2B Brock Holt had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI as the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 5-2

Here we are, last game before a much needed all-star break (I will be taking a brief hiatus this week after I finish off this recap and the weekly random thoughts post before continuing with the recaps Friday). If there is any team that needs to hit the reset button at the all-star break it is the Blue Jays. This week, they have been sloppy in the field, which indicates to me that they are tired. A few of the players are banged up (Kevin Pillar who exited the game last night after injuring his SC joint on a diving catch, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, who was conked in the head on a dangerous play at first base yesterday, Teoscar Hernandez has been playing through soreness in his heel and the catchers, who have taken some nasty shots from deflected balls lately). The Blue Jays were looking to finish off the unofficial first half on a positive note. They've actually done pretty well this series. The Red Sox were held to a run and 7 hits over the first 8 innings and three of those hits belonged to Mookie Betts. The Red Sox were forced to comeback in the 9th and win it in the 10th off a pitcher who was the last choice for the Blue Jays on a days when their bullpen was depleted. On Friday, the Blue Jays put on an offensive show that would make Red Sox batters smile scoring 13 runs on 14 hits to outslug the Bosox. Lots of positives to take from this series and into the second half. Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlight

  • The Red Sox took an early lead in the bottom of the first as Xander Bogaerts crushed a no-doubter over the green monster
  • Four batters later, Brock Holt singled home JD Martinez
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the 3rd on a Teoscar Hernandez homer over the green monster that also scored Randal Grichuk
  • Brian Johnson pitching line: 4.2IP 2H 2R (both earned) 4BB 5K 84 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Red Sox took the lead in the bottom of the 5th as Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled home Sandy Leon
  • Two batters later, Bradley Jr. scored on a Bogaerts ground out 
  • Marcus Stroman pitching line: 5IP 5H 4R (3 earned) 1BB 4K 95 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • The Red Sox added another run in the bottom of the 6th on a Holt single that scored Mitch Moreland.
  • Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 30th save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 2
My Take

  • Key play in the bottom of the second: Sandy Leon was called out at second trying to stretch a single into a double after initially being called safe on the play. It kept the bases empty with one out instead of a runner on second with nobody out. With the big bats coming up for Boston, it was a huge call.
  • Not the best start for Marcus Stroman, who gave up four runs on five hits, a walk and a fielding error. Stroman had a ball come back at him in the fifth inning but he was able to finish the inning. Stroman got lucky in the second inning when Sandy Leon was called out trying to stretch a single into a double. He got the Red Sox in order in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings. He retired 10 in a row from the last out in the 1st until a lead-off double by Bradley Jr. in the 5th. Stroman has looked much better since his DL stint. He will be a key part of the rotation the rest of this season and beyond.
  • Steve Pearce has had a rough series. He was hit by a pitch in Thursday's game and missed both Friday's and Saturday's games with a shin contusion. He was hit by a pitch again today by Aaron Loup. He remained in the game but he was surely sporting an ice bag post-game.
  • Russell Martin had a good day at the plate with a pair of hits. He also threw out Mookie Betts trying to advance to third on a ball that Martin bobbled.
  • The Blue Jays committed another error in the field. This time Devon Travis misplayed a grounder by Mitch Moreland. The Blue Jays have been sloppy defensively this week. Hopefully the all-star break will give them a chance to regroup mentally.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays get a much needed 5 day break and get back in action Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Sam Gaviglio gets the start against O's righty Dylan Bundy. JA Happ will represent the Blue Jays at the all-star game in Washington. He'll likely pitch an inning in the game.