Saturday, March 30, 2019

Game #3 Detroit Tigers (1-2) @Toronto Blue Jays (2-1) - game recap

Justin Smoak launched a 2-run shot as the Blue Jays shut out the Tigers for the second day in a row by a score of 3-0

The Blue Jays continued the season opening four game series vs. old division rivals the Detroit Tigers. The Blue Jays and Tigers, for the younger readers of this blog, were both in the East division through the 1997 season, until the MLB started expanding the league. Detroit was then moved to the Central Division and the then-expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now just the Tampa Bay Rays). Anyway, the first two games of the season were promising with the starting pitchers, Marcus Stroman and newcomer Matt Schumaker both throwing seven shutout innings with nearly identical pitching lines. Today, Aaron Sanchez got the start, looking to finally be able to pitch healthy. The past 2 seasons have been injury riddled with blister problems in 2017 and a torn tendon getting his finger caught in his suitcase prior to a start in Anaheim. Richard Urena made his season debut batting 9th and playing 2b. Could the Blue Jays put together their first multi-game win streak? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as Billy McKinney singled home Brandon Drury. McKinney was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double
  • Two batters later, Justin Smoak launched the Blue Jays first home run of the season, lining an opposite field shot into the Blue Jays bullpen. Also scoring on the play was Teoscar Hernandez
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 5IP 3H 0R 3BB 6K 90 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • Spencer Turnbull pitching line: 5IP 4H 3R (all earned) 2BB 5K 91 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • Ken Giles pitched a scoreless 9th for his 1st save of the season. Giles was perfect in every save opportunity last season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 3 Tigers 0
My Take:
  • Three games, three shutouts, two of which the Blue Jays won. The first three games of this series, one team has done all the scoring in each game. This is a reflection of weak lineups on both sides, and the starting pitchers on both sides having strong outings. The Blue Jays starters extended their shutout streak to 19 innings as Aaron Sanchez threw five innings of shutout ball, giving up giving up 3 hits, walking 6 batters and fanning 6 batters. This was a solid performance, but the bigger development was Sanchez was able to use all his pitches and his fastball topped out at a blistering 97.1MPH.
  • The Blue Jays made a couple of base running errors that cost the team longer innings. McKinney was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, and Freddy Galvis was caught in a rundown between 3rd and home.
  • As was the case in several games last season, the Blue Jays scored in exactly 1 inning. As such, they were 1-6 with RISP.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series win. Trent Thornton gets the spot start in place of the injured Ryan Borucki, who is expected to miss 1-2 starts. The Tigers counter with lefty Matt Moore, who sports a career 5-3 record and 3..81ERA in 12 starts vs. the Blue Jays. Brandon Drury has had the best success vs. Moore, batting .267 against the ex-Rays starter.