Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Game #20 Toronto Blue Jays (9-11) @ Baltimore Orioles (12-11) - game recap


Travis Shaw scored on a fielding error as the Blue Jays won in extra innings for the second time in five tries in an 8-7 victory over the Orioles. It was also the first series win of the season for the Blue Jays

After a satisfying win over the Orioles, who are no longer the laughing-stocks of the MLB (that title probably belongs to the sad-sack Red Sox, but then again they at least have won a series, whereas the Blue Jays have not), the Blue Jays were going for two wins in a row and their 1st series win of the season. Future ace Nate Pearson was going for his his career win. He has to work on the command a bit and not be trying to break the sound barrier with every pitch. Established starters like Stephen Strasburg have already figured out that you can be just as effective, or more so, by pitching a bit softer. Locating a pitch is just as important too. The Blue Jays optioned Jacob Waguespack (who had pitched 2 days in a row) and recalled Julian Merryweather. Randal Grichuk got the half day off, serving as the DH tonight. Cavan Biggio got the start in RF tonight, Brandon Drury was at 2B, Santiago Espinal was at SS, Vlad was back in the field at 1B  and Anthony Alford was in CF. The oddity of the lineup tonight was not the defensive positions, but rather the batting order. If I were the Blue Jays manager, I'd be hitting my best hitter cleanup, not 2nd in the batting order. I also wouldn't have a batter hitting south of .200 5th in the batting order. I realize Montoyo has to work with what he has available, but how about giving Vlad a run of games in the field or sticking with a lineup for more than one game? This is supposed to be the MLB, not a little league team where maybe you want to give everyone equal playing time. When I played soccer, we subbed in often, but I was playing Silver B level. We had one practice once beside a boys team that was gold level. I remember the coach telling his players they had to earn their playing time. It should be the same way in the MLB. Could the Blue Jays make it two in a row and finally get their first series win of the season? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Orioles opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Anthony Santander hammered a 2-run bomb to right; also scoring Chance Sisco
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 3rd as Randal Grichuk cranked a 2-run blast to left; also scoring Cavan Biggio
  • The Orioles retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Santander smoked a screamer to dead center
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 5th as Grichuk doubled scoring Anthony Alford and Santiago Espinal
  • A batter later, Travis Shaw smashed a 3-run blast to left-center; also scoring Biggio and Grichuk
  • The Orioles tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Sisco Cracked a 2-run blast to right; also scoring Andrew Velazquez
  • Three batters later, Rio Ruiz scored on a sac fly by Renato Nunez
  • Nate Pearson pitching line: 4IP 4H 5R (all earned) 3BB 3K 81 pitches (51 for strikes)
  • Wade LeBlanc pitching line: 4IP 5H 5R (all earned) 2BB 3K 66 pitches (42 for strikes)
  • The Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the 7th as Hanser Alberto singled home Nunez
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th on a fielder's choice hit by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Shaw scored on the ensuing throwing error by Chris Davis
  • Final score: Orioles 8 Blue Jays 7

My Take:

  • Nate Pearson had a bit of a rough start. He made three mistakes that went out of the ball park for 5 runs. He also walked 3 batters, including the first batter of the game as he continues to battle command issues. Keep in mind, Pearson is essentially going from AA-ball to the majors. If the minor league season had found a way to play, I would think Pearson would be pitching in Buffalo, but for the AAA-squad and not the Blue Jays.
  • The Orioles handed the Blue Jays the victory when ex-Blue Jay Dwight Smith Jr. ran through the stop sign of 3rd base coach Jose Flores. Smith Jr. was out in a rundown and Anthony Bass got the next batter Bryan Holaday to pop out to Joe Panik
  • The Blue Jays winning run was a bit of a weird play too. Chris Davis made a nice diving stop at 1st base, but Pedro Severino couldn't handle the lob home trying to get Shaw at home
  • Randal Grichuk continues to swing a hot stick, driving in 4 more runs and scoring twice.
  • Every Blue Jays starter got on base at least once
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for the series sweep. Tanner Roark gets the start against Orioles lefty Tommy Millone