Friday, April 12, 2019

Game #14 Tampa Bay Rays (11-3) @ Toronto Blue Jays (4-10) - game recap

Brandon Lowe cracked a pair of 2 run HR as the Rays defeated the Blue Jays 11-7

The Blue Jays returned home after the first road trip of the season facing the top team in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays who have a +32 run differential. By contrast, the Blue Jays have a run differential of -4. Last season, the Rays won the season series 13-6. The Blue Jays were facing a "starter" with Ryne Stanek only expected to pitch the first couple of innings. Charlie Montoyo was the Rays bench coach last season. Perhaps he has some insight on how to beat this juggernaut. Could the Blue Jays pull off the upset? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Rays took the lead in the top of the first as Austin Meadows led off the game by jacking one to right
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 3rd as Meadows crushed his second of the game into the 2nd deck in right
  • Four batters later, Brandon Lowe absolutely annihilated one into the 5th deck; also scoring Yandy Diaz
  • Two batters later, Kevin Kiermaier tripled home Avisail Garcia
  • Ryne Stanek pitching line: 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K 22 pitches (15 for strikes)
  • Trent Thornton pitching line: 3IP 8H 5R (all earned) 2BB 3K 70 pitches (43 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 6th on a Tommy Pham single that scored Kiermaier 
  • The Rays added two more runs in the top of the 7th as Lowe hit his second 2-run shot of the game to right-center, that also scored Diaz
  • The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the 7th on a Teoscar Hernandez double that scored Justin Smoak
  • A batter later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled scoring Randal Grichuk and Hernandez
  • Two batters later, Alen Hanson singled home Gurriel Jr.
  • A batter later, Luke Maile smacked an opposite-field shot to right, also scoring Hanson
  • The Blue Jays got within a run in the bottom of the 8th as Smoak scored on a fielding error by Rays 1st baseman Ji-Man Cho
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 9th as Mike Zunino doubled home Garcia
  • A batter later, Willy Adames launched a 2-run HR to left-center, also scoring Zunino
  • Final score: Rays 11 Jays 7
My Take:
  • rough start for Trent Thornton who was lit up for 5 runs on 8 hits and a pair of walks. One thing I noticed is every pitch that missed was to the inside half of the plate.
  • I loved the plate approaches in the 7th and 8th innings and it all started with Smoak drawing a 4 pitch walk leading off the 7th. It resulted in 7 runs on 7 hits, a pair of walks and a fielding error. You could see the bench getting into it as the Jays got within striking distance. Alas like so many times last season, the rally ended on a strikeout with the bases loaded
  • The Rays put the dagger in this one on a double and a 2-run blast on consecutive pitches. The Blue Jays went quietly into the night in the 9th.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to even the series as the Blue Jays face last year's Cy Young winner Blake Snell. Clay Buchholz makes his Blue Jays regular season debut after missing his first two turns recovering from an elbow injury. He'll likely be on a limited pitch count as he builds back up to a typical starter's load.