Saturday, April 27, 2019

Game #27 Oakland A's (14-15) @ Toronto Blue Jays (13-14) - game recap

Randal Grichuk drove in a pair of runs as the Blue Jays cruised to a 7-1 victory over the A's 

A day after yesterday's dramatic win in Vladimir Guerrero Jr's much anticipated MLB debut, the Blue Jays were back at it looking to continue going for the season sweep, a season after the A's won every game vs. the Blue Jays in 2018. Aaron Sanchez got the start five days after leaving his last start with a busted fingernail. Regardless of if he can pitch deep into the game, the more important factor to me is whether he can utilize all his pitches effectively. If Sanchez can't use all his pitches, he should be sitting out a start, because he is just hurting himself and the team by not having his full arsenal available. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. batted cleanup after batting 5th in his debut. Could the Blue Jays continue their dominance of the A's? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st on a very bizarre play that nearly ended the inning. Teoscar Hernandez hit a tailor made ground ball to A's third baseman Matt Chapman. A hard sliding Randal Grichuk forced a wide throw to first base. Initially umpires called both runners (Grichuk and Hernandez) out, but the Blue Jays challenged and Hernandez was safe on the play and both Eric Sogard and Justin Smoak were allowed to score. I'll discuss the play more in the "my take" section
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 2nd on a perfectly executed squeeze play by Sogard that scored Danny Jansen
  • Two batters later, Grichuk singled home Alen Hanson
  • The A's got one back in the top of the 5th on a near identical play that scored the Blue Jays first 2 runs. This time, the call on the field was upheld and only one out was recorded. Roman Laureano scored on the play
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Rowdy Tellez singled home Hernandez
  • A batter later, Brandon Drury scored on a sac fly by Jansen
  • Brett Anderson pitching line: 4.1IP 10H 6R (all earned) 2BB 2K 78 pitches (44 for strikes)
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 5IP 2H 1R (unearned) 4BB 4K 84 pitches (46 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Grichuk doubled scoring Sogard
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 A's 1 
My Take:
  • There are two identical plays to discuss that resulted in runs being scored and both affect the base sliding rule. Stemming from a playoff game a few years back when Chase Utley broke the leg of Ruben Tejada sliding into second base. As a result of the play, the rule when sliding into a base, in particular second base, was that the base runner must make a bona fide attempt to reach the base and the path cannot be altered to take out the fielder. In the first inning, the play was initially ruled an inning ending double play, and the ruling was correctly overturned as Grichuk slid directly at the base and popped up at the end of the slide as a base runner normally would. The second play was correctly upheld as Profar also slid directly at the bag, although the umps should talk to him about grabbing Sogard's pants. Either way, the A's run would have counted because there were no outs.
  • Aaron Sanchez battled through five innings, giving up an unearned run on a pair of hits while walking four and striking out four. One has to wonder if the high walk total has to do with the fingernail issue that caused Sanchez to leave his last start early had something to do with the control problems. Perhaps the Blue Jays need to put Sanchez on the IL to deal with the injury properly
  • Brandon Drury took the pep talk by Charlie Montoyo to heart. The Blue Jays second baseman was 3-3 with a run scored, and he drew a walk
  • Randal Grichuk also had a great day at the plate with a 3-5 effort and a pair of RBI. He also drew a walk
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the season sweep against the A's and wrap up the homestand before hitting the road to Anaheim. Trent Thornton gets another chance at his first career win. The A's will counter with righty Chris Bassitt, who will be making his second start coming back from a leg injury. At the end of this game, one team will be .500 and the other team will be 2 games below .500.