Sunday, June 30, 2019

Game #84 Kansas City Royals (29-55) @ Toronto Blue Jays (31-53) - game recap

Justin Smoak smoked a pair of home runs in a losing effort as the Royals edged the Blue Jays 7-6

After taking the first two game of the series, the Blue Jays were looking for the series win vs. the lowly KC Royals. Aaron Sanchez was looking to snap a series of bad starts that have seen him give up 8, 7, and 6 earned runs in his last 3 starts. Luke Maile was behind the plate as his primary catcher. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got a complete day off. Teoscar Hernandez was back in CF. Justin Smoak got a half day off, serving as the DH with Rowdy Tellez at 1st base. Could the Blue Jays make it three in a row vs. the Royals? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Royals opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Lucas Duda doubled home Cheslor Cuthbert
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a triple by Luke Maile that scored Rowdy Tellez and Freddy Galvis
  • A batter later, Eric Sogard singled home Maile
  • A batter later, Smoak smoked a 2-run bomb off the basing of the 2nd deck also scoring Sogard
  • The Royals got a pair back in the top of the 3rd as Alex Gordon singled scoring Umberto Arteaga and Whit Merrifield
  • A batter later, Hunter Dozier singled scoring Nicky Lopez
  • A batter later, Jorge Soler singled home Gordon
  • A batter later, Dozier scored on a ground ball DP hit by Cuthbert
  • Aaron Sanchez pitching line: 3IP 7H 6R (all earned) 4BB 3K 73 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • The Royals added a run in the top of the 5th as Soler whacked a solo shot over the wall in right-center
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Smoak smoked his second of the game to dead center
  • Brad Keller pitching line: 5IP 8H 6R (all earned) 2BB 3K 101 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • Ian Kennedy pitched a scoreless 9th for his 11th save of the season.
  • Final score: Royals 7 Blue Jays 6
My Take:
  • Aaron Sanchez had another rough outing, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks while striking out a pair. Clearly Sanchez is having major issues mechanically, no doubt tweaking his mechanics to prevent blisters. Someone suggested in the game thread that the Blue Jays should put the struggling righty on the IL to get his body right and as a mental break. It might not be a bad idea. With the all-star break coming up, he could skip his next start and be eligible to come back when the Blue Jays resume play in a couple of weeks in NY. Somehow I think Sanchez would fight such a move, wanting to pitch through his mechanical problems.
  • After Justin Smoak's second HR of the game, Royals pitchers effectively shut down the Blue Jays batters, allowing exactly one baserunner (a leadoff walk to Vlad) after the 5th inning.
  • Eric Sogard (2 hits, run scored and an RBI), Justin Smoak (pair of HR, 3RBI) and Luke Maile (2 run triple) all had strong days at the plate.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for their series win at home since taking 2 of 3 from Baltimore June 11-13. Lefty Clayton Richard pitches against Royals righty Glenn Sparkman.