Friday, September 27, 2019

Game #160 Tampa Bay Rays (96-64) @Toronto Blue Jays (65-95) - game recap

Teoscar Hernandez hit a 2-run HR in a losing effort as the Rays knocked off the Blue Jays 6-2 to punch their ticket into the postseason

The Blue Jays opened up the final series of the season against the TB Rays. This series should be fun as the Blue Jays will be very much influencing the AL WC race. At the start of play tonight, the Rays were in the 2nd WC spot, a game back of the Oakland A's and 2 games up on the Cleveland Indians. Tyler Glasnow started for the 4th time since coming off the IL. Billy McKinney got his 3rd straight start in the leadoff spot. Bo Bichette was listed as a bench player. Maybe he'll lay a game or two this weekend. In the neantime, Richard Urena took his spot at SS tonight. Randal Grichuk got the half day off, serving as the DH with Teoscar Hernandez playing between McKinney and Derek Fisher in the outfield. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate, catching TJ Zeuch, his battery mate in Buffalo. Could the Blue Jays play the role of spoilers. Here is tonight's game recap.

Game highlights:
  • The Rays opened the scoring in top of the 3rd as Tommy Pham smacked a 2-run blast to left also scoring Joey Wendle
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 4th as Willy Adames singled home Nate Lowe
  • Tyler Glasnow pitching line: 4.1IP 0H 0R 2BB 4K 66 pitches (35 for strikes)
  • TJ Zeuch pitching line: 5IP 4H 3R (all earned) 3BB 4K 91 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom of the 7th as Teoscar Hernandez smacked an opposite field 2-run blast to right-center, also scoring Reese McGuire
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 8th as Avisail Garcia singled home Johnny Davis
  • Two batters later, Lowe scored on a comedy of errors by McGuire, who was charged with a passed ball and then threw the ball away
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 9th as Austin Meadows lined a solo drive to right and into the Rays bullpen
  • Final score: Rays 6 Blue Jays 2
My take:
  • TJ Zeuch battled threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4. The Rays represent one of the elite lineups in the game. They can play small ball, go for power and in general frustrate the hell out of pitchers, They are a patient lineup. A decent effort to head into the off-season for Zeuch.
  • Offensively, Teoscar Hernandez (2-4, 2-run HR, walk) and Cavan Biggio (1-3, walk) were the only Blue Jays to reach base multiple times. Vlad (hit) and Reese McGuire (FC) reached base once each
  • The Rays victory combined with the Cleveland Indians losing big in Washington means that the playoffs are set in both the AL and NL. The playoff teams will be NY Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and Houston Astros. The TB Rays and Oakland A's will play in the AL WC game with home field advantage still to be decided. Oakland currently has a 0.5 game lead over the Rays for the 1st WC spot and they are currently playing in Seattle. Houston also currently holds a 2 game (soon to be 1.5 game lead with the Yankees trouncing the Rangers 11-2 in the 8th) and 1 game lead over the Dodgers for 1st place in the league and home field advantage through the World Series. 
  • In the NL, things aren't quite so clear. All the playoff teams are known (Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals. However, the NL Central title is still up for grabs with the Cardinals holding a 1 game (soon to be 1.5 game with the Brewers being trounced 11-2 by the Rockies) lead over the Brewers. To muddy things further, a three-way tie for the NL WC between the Brewers, Cardinals is still possible, though less likely with the Brewers about to lose big tonight. Stay tuned it could be a wild finish in both leagues
  • Up next, the final series continues as the Blue Jays look to force the Rays to go to Oakland for the WC game next week. Trent Thornton makes his final start of the season. The Rays will have a bullpen day.