Thursday, August 22, 2019

Game #129 Toronto Blue Jays (52-77) @ LA Dodgers (84-44) - game recap

Max Muncy hit a walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th as the Dodgers edged the Blue Jays 2-1

After a thorough beat down against one of the premier pitchers and top starter of this decade (hat tip to Tom Jackson on the leg work) Clayton Kershaw and the juggernaut offence that features Cody Bellinger, who is neck and neck with Christian Yelich for the NL MVP this season, and Joc Pederson, who faced off against Vlad in the HR derby this year in an epic round that featured a COMBINED 79 HR between two of the better young guns in the game that Vlad narrowly won when he hit 2 in 3 tries in the second OT round. Tonight, the Dodgers sent one of the game's best young righties in Walker Buehler to the mound. Buehler is 10-3 on the season with a 3.31 ERA. The Blue Jays had their second straight bullpen day with Wilmer Font serving as the opener, with Sammy G expected to pitch next. A few lineup changes for tonight. Vlad was given the day off after facing Kershaw yesterday (perhaps playing him yesterday wasn't wise, but then again I don't trust the HPD/Training staff with a paper cut). Billy McKinney also got the start in LF, in place of Derek Fisher, who homered off Kershaw last night. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B (it will be interesting to see in the final 6 weeks of the season how Montoyo splits the starts at 1B. Personally, I think Tellez should get more of the starts, but he has to play well and earn the playing time). Finally, Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate after Danny Jansen had a long day behind the plate with the Dodgers pummeling the relievers last night. Will the Blue Jays have better luck against Buehler? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • Wilmer Font pitching line: 2IP 1H 0R 2BB 4K 38 pitches (25 for strikes)
  • The Dodgers opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Will Smith smashed a solo blast to left
  • Walker Buehler pitching line: 7IP 5H 0R 0BB 8K 91 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied it in the top of the 9th as Rowdy Tellez smashed a solo bomb to right-center
  • The Dodgers walked it off in the bottom of the 10th as Max Muncy hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Final score: Dodgers 2 Blue Jays 1
My Take:
  • Wilmer Font did his part, keeping the game scoreless through the first two innings, giving up a hit and two walks and striking out 4. Unlike last night, the pitchers that followed were much sharper, essentially limiting the damage to 2 solo HR, including a walk-off in the 10th. The Dodgers also had 3 other hits and drew five more walks.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays were held in check through the first 8 innings by Walker Buehler and Joe Kelly, scattering five hits over the 1st 8 innings. Bo Bichette led off the game with a single. The best chance the Blue Jays had against Buehler was in the 3rd inning when Randal Grichuk doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Unfortunately, Rowdy Tellez, who tied the game in the 9th with a clutch HR against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, struck out swinging to end the threat. The Blue Jays also had a runner on 3rd base after Billy McKinney hit a 1-out ground rule double than hustled to 3rd base on a sac fly by Teoscar Hernandez. That time Reese McGuire struck out swinging to end the inning
  • Some questionable decisions were made late in the game by Charlie Montoyo. First, he did a double switch in the 8th that knocked Cavan Biggio out of the lineup. The move also brought Vlad, who pinch hit for the pitcher, into the game at 3rd base. Remember, he did not start the game, presumably as a precaution with his knee. In the top of the 10th, Vlad came up to bat again, drew a walk and was promptly pulled for a pinch runner, taking his bat out of the lineup. The move was somewhat moot because Tim Mayza came in and gave up a walk-off HR. 
  • The Dodgers had every starter still in the game. They never double switched and they wouldn't do a double switch unless it was the 7th or 8th player in the lineup that made the 3rd out because that would mean taking Joc Pederson's bat out of the lineup or Max Muncy or Justin Turner
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to avoid the series sweep and snap the 3-game losing steak. The Blue Jays will turn to righty Jacob Waguespack to hopefully eat up some innings. The Dodgers will counter with righty Kenta Maeda.