Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Game #104 Cleveland Indians (59-42) @ Toronto Blue Jays (39-65) - game recap

Marcus Stroman pitched 7 dominant innings in a losing effort as the Blue Jays were shut out by the Indians 4-0

This may count as one of the biggest games of the season for the Blue Jays. It may mean little to nothing in the standings, but sentimentally it's huge. Marcus Stroman started what is expected to be his final home (and quite likely final game period) in a Blue Jays uniform. Drafted in the 1st round, 22nd overall by the Blue Jays in the 2012, Stroman advanced quickly through the minor league ranks, making his big league debut almost 2 years later on May 4, 2014 throwing 0.2 innings in a 7-2 win that day. He made his first start in a Blue Jays uniform May 31, tossing 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits. He threw his first complete game on September 8, 2014, a 3-hit shutout of the Cubs. Heading into this start, he had a 47-44 record with a 3.78ERA over 6 seasons. Danny Jansen got the start behind the plate (no surprise as he has been Stroman's primary catcher since he took over for Russell Martin essentially in Mid-August last year). Cavan Biggio got the complete day off, with Eric Sogard at second base tonight. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH with Brandon Drury playing the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays win Stroman's final home start in a Blue Jays uniform? Here isa today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Indians opened the scoring in the top of the 5th as Kevin Plawecki doubled home Greg Allen
  • Marcus Stroman pitching line: 7IP 5H 1R (earned) 1BB 6K 100 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • The Indians added a run in the top of the 8th as Francisco Lindor scored on a sac fly by Oscar Mercado
  • The Indians added a run in the top of the 9th as Jose Ramirez scored on a ground out by Jordan Luplow
  • A batter later, Allen singled home Jake Bauers
  • Shane Bieber pitching line: CG 1H 0R 1BB 10 strikeouts 102 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • Final score: Indians 4 Blue Jays 0
My Take:
  • In a word, wow. Marcus Stroman threw an absolute gem in what is all but certainly his last home start, and very likely last start in a Blue Jays uniform. Stroman threw seven dominant innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 run (on a bang-bang play that easily could have been an out) while walking one and striking out 6. Always the professional, Stroman was at his best pitching for a city he loves. Quite frankly, Blue Jays management should be offering Stroman a max contract to keep him in a Blue Jays uniform for a few more years. No doubt, the Blue Jays will be getting some very good prospects back when the Blue Jays ace is inevitably traded later this week.
  • Before the game, I posted the box score from from Stroman's opening day start, commenting that I thought the game would go in a similar fashion. Oh, how I wish I was wrong. Stroman more than did his part giving up just a single run in the first 7 innings. However, Daniel Hudson (who allowed a pair of runs opening day) and Wilmer Font combined to give up three more runs in the final 2 innings. Stroman deserved better
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays were even more pathetic than opening day, where they managed 2 hits and a walk. Today, like opening day, it took until the 7th inning to record their first hit. Unlike opening day, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drew a walk in the 2nd to break up the perfect game. Also, unlike opening day, the Blue Jays had multiple base runners on base in the 7th thanks to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. getting hit by a pitch. The Blue Jays were 0-2 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, after an off day the team better take full advantage of, the Blue Jays begin their longest stretch of the season between off-days, a mammoth 20 day stretch ending August 14th (the day after yours truly's 35th birthday. The stretch begins with a weekend set at home vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, who are battling for a wild card spot. They are a game back of the second wild card spot with Boston a game back of the Rays. The Yankees have a fairly solid hold on the AL East title with a 9.5 game cushion. Jacob Waguespack will get his 3rd spot start of the season against an opener for the Rays (likely Ryan Yarborough, Jalen Beeks or Hunter Woods).