Thursday, April 18, 2019

Game #20 Toronto Blue Jays (8-12) @ Minnesota Twins (9-7) - game recap

Eric Sogard hit a bases-clearing double in the top of the 4th as the Blue Jays knocked off the Twins 
And so ends the first meeting of the year between the Twins and Blue Jays. After taking the first two of the series, the Blue Jays dropped yesterday's game, and were looking to secure the series win of the season. Ryan Tepera was activated from the disabled list and Javy Guerra was DFA'd to make room.The same lineup as yesterday took the field, except Justin Smoak DH'd and Rowdy Tellez was at 1st base. Clay Buchholz got his second start of the season, and was looking to build on a strong Blue Jays debut five days ago. Could the Blue Jays win their first series of the season? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Randal Grichuk launched a solo shot to left-center
  • The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the 2nd as Eddie Rosario crushed a no-doubter to right
  • Four batters later, Jonathan Schoop singled scoring Marwin Gonzalez
  • A batter later, William Astudillo scored on a fielder's choice hit by Byron Buxton
  • The Blue Jays tied things up in the top of the 4th as Justin Smoak smoked a 2-run shot to right; also scoring Grichuk
  • Six batters later, Eric Sogard doubled home Rowdy Tellez, Brandon Drury, and Billy McKinney
  • Michael Pineda pitching line: 3.2IP 7H 6R (all earned) 1BB 1K 75 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 4.2IP 6H 3R (all earned) 3BB 4K 84 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 8th as Teoscar Hernandez lined one over the left field wall
  • The Twins got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Rosario hit a moon shot into the upper deck in right-center
  • Ken Giles pitched a scoreless 9th for his 5th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Twins 4
My Take:
  • This might have been the best game offensively for the Blue Jays. They did a great job making contact, striking out just 6 times today. The team was 2-5 with RISP.  Eric Sogard and Justin Smoak combined for 5 of the RBI's and 4 of the hits. Freddy Galvis was the only Blue Jay not to reach base, but he made a great diving catch.
  • Clay Buchholz battled through 5.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out four. As expected, Buchholz was on a limited pitch count as he builds his way back up to ~100 pitch load. It's unfortunate that Buchholz did not qualify for the win because he was unable to complete 5 innings. He pitched well enough to win.
  • Ryan Tepera had a solid inning of work in his return from the disabled list striking out 1.
  • Ken Giles still appears to be battling something, whether it's a minor injury or illness. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head to Oakland to take on the A's. Last season, Oakland swept the season series, outscoring the Blue Jays 51-18 in the seven games in 2018. The last time the Blue Jays beat Oakland was July 27th, 2017 Marco Estrada will not pitch this weekend as he is having more back issues and is on the 10-day IL. However, the Blue Jays will face Kendrys Morales, who was traded to the A's the day before opening day this season. Marcus Stroman makes his 4th start of the season in Friday's opener and will be looking for hist 1st win of the season. Stroman has pitched well enough to win, but he has had next to no run support. The A's will counter with righty Aaron Brooks, who only Justin Smoak has faced (he is 0-1 vs. Brooks.)