Sunday, September 29, 2019

Game #162 Tampa Bay Rays (96-66) @ Toronto Blue Jays (67-95) - game recap

Justin Smoak was 2-4 with 3RBI as the Blue Jays defeated the Rays 8-3

And the 2019 season has now come to an end. Clay Buchholz got the ball for the final start of the season, while Blake Snell continued to build up his pitch count after an extended stint on the IL. Bo Bichette was shut down for the final game of the season as he simply ran out of games and had not passed concussion protocol. Richard Urena got the start at SS. Vlad was also held out with Breyvic Valera at the hot corner. Luke Maile also got what could be his final start in a Blue Jays uniform behind the plate. Justin Smoak got what could be his final start in a Blue Jays uniform at 1B. Rowdy Tellez got the half day off, serving as the DH today. Could the Blue Jays end a miserable 2019 season with a win? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 1st on a ground-rule double by Justin Smoak that scored Teoscar Hernandez and Cavan Biggio,
  • Blake Snell pitching line: 2.1IP 3H 2R (both earned) 2BB 4K 62 pitches (37 for strikes)
  • The Rays got one back in the top of the 4th as Ji-Man Choi smack a solo blast to right
  • The Blue Jays added three runs in the bottom half of the inning as Teoscar Hernandez hammered a 3-run bomb to left-center also scoring Breyvic Valera and Jonathan Davis
  • Clay Buchholz pitching line: 5IP 4H 1R (earned) 1BB 6K 81 pitches (52 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Valera cranked a solo blast to right and into the Rays bullpen for his first career HR
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Snoak doubled home Rowdy Tellez
  • A batter later, Valera doubled scoring Billy McKinney
  • The Rays got one back in the top of the 8th as Travis d'Arnaud scored on a groundout by Jesus Aguilar
  • A batter later, Guillermo Heredia singled home Tommy Pham
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Rays 3
My Take:
  • Clay Buchholz battled through 5 innings on the final day of play, giving up 1 run on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6. It was a very veteran performance for a pitcher who missed a couple of months after severely straining his teres major muscle. It's unlikely that the Blue Jays re-sign him.
  • Teoscar Hernandez (2-3, 2 runs scored, 3RBI, walk), Justin Smoak (2-4, 3RBI), and Breyvic Valera (3-4, 2 runs scored, 2RBI) all had huge days on the final day of play.
  • Every Blue Jays starter but Randal Grichuk and Richard Urena had at least one hit
  • That was a really nice way to salute Justin Smoak, who will almost certainly be leaving in free agency. The fans got to cheer loud and proud as Smoak left the field for the final time, at least for this season, if not ever.
  • Ryan Tepera ended the season with a very solid inning. He was one of the many Blue Jays pitchers who missed significant time. It's great to see him healthy and pitching well
  • Up next, the off season and the 2019 playoffs. NL WC game is Tuesday followed by the AL WC Wednesday. Stay tuned tomorrow morning for my final random thoughts post of the season.