Sunday, August 23, 2020

Game #26 Toronto Blue Jays (13-13) @ Tampa Bay Rays (19-10) - game recap


Teoscar Hernandez got on base 4 times today with 3 walks and a HR. He also scored 2 of the Blue Jays runs in a 5-4 loss to the Rays

After a heartbreaking extra innings loss last night that snapped a 6-game winning streak, the Blue Jays were looking to start another win streak today. Trent Thornton was back on the bump after a disastrous return from an elbow injury. Thornton couldn't even get out of the 1st inning against Philadelphia. It took a late seven inning rally to avoid being saddled with the loss. He probably won;t go more than an inning or two as he builds his arm strength back up. Ideally this would be done through a rehab stint in the minors, but that's not an option this year with only the majors operating this year. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. served as the DH for the second straight day with Travis Shaw getting the start at 1B. Brandon Drury was at the hot corner and Santiago Espinal got the start at SS. Danny Jansen was back behind the plate after the day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays start another winning streak? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • Trent Thornton pitching line: 1IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K 25 pitches (17 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Teoscar Hernandez lined a solo blast to left
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 4th as Travis Shaw singled home Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Rays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Jose Martinez singled scoring Joey Wendle
  • A batter later, Willy Adames scored on a sac fly by Austin Meadows. Hernandez made a throwing error on the play
  • A batter later, Brandon Lowe singled home Martinez
  • Josh Fleming pitching line: 5IP 4H 2R (both earned) 2BB 3K 72 pitches (41 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Meadows singled scoring Kevin Kiermaier 
  • Three batters later, Meadows scored on a sac fly by Ji-Man Choi
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the top of the 8th as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. cranked a 2-run bomb to left-center; also scoring Hernandez
  • John Curtiss got the final 5 outs of the game for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Rays 5 Blue Jays 4

My Take:

  • Trent Thornton only made it through an inning today. While his outing went MUCH better than Thursday, where he was tagged for 6 runs on 5 hits while walking two and striking out 1. Today, he allowed a pair of hits and struck out two batters. The bigger concern is his elbow issue cropped up  again. He was massaging the elbow after a pitch. Honestly, the best thing the Blue Jays can do for his present and future is to shut him down for 2020, do some more tests and, if necessary, get that TJ surgery done with because if that's required, he'll see most, if not all, of the 2021 season wiped out. 
  • Buck Martinez made an interesting comment after the Lourdes Gurriel Jr. HR, calling it a rally killer. He actually has a point. The Rays generated all five of their runs today without hitting any out of the ball park. Pitchers will adjust and start throwing balls lower in the zone. I thought Charlie Montoyo was an ex-Rays coach. He should be adopting TB's winning strategy
  • The Blue Jays are in deep doo doo with three pitchers likely not pitching for a bit. Matt Shoemaker was placed on the IL Sunday too. How are the Blue Jays going to make it to their next off-day, which isn't until September 10th? At the moment, the Blue Jays have 3 starting pitchers injured (Nate Pearson, Shoemaker and Thornton). They may need to look at doing a trade or two for some starting pitchers. Or maybe they might look at signing a free agent willing to play. At the moment, only Chase Anderson (who already had an IL stint to start the season), Tanner Roark and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the only healthy bodies they have that are built up as starters. Anthony Kay, Sam Gaviglio and Ryan Borucki are options to eat up multiple innings. We may be seeing a position player pitch an inning soon.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the season series against the Rays. Tanner Roark gets the start for Toronto. He needs to pitch past the 5th inning with the bullpen being WAY overused. I fear another reliever will blow out his elbow as happened to Tim Mayza last September because they have been overused. The Rays will counter with lefty Blake Snell.