Thursday, September 24, 2020

Game #57 New York Yankees (32-25) @ Toronto Blue Jays (30-27) - game recap


Hyun-jin Ryu threw seven shutout innings as the Blue Jays clinched a playoff berth with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Yankees

For the first time since 2016, the Blue Jays were looking to punch their ticket into the post-season with a win over the Yankees. Pete Walker and Luis Rivera are the only coaches left from the 2016 team. All players have moved on or retired. Hyun-jin Ryu, who was in the midst of a lost season in 2016 due to recovering from 2015 shoulder surgery, coming back for 1 start before going right back on the disabled list and eventually having season-ending elbow surgery, gets the start. Last night, the Blue Jays clobbered the Yankees in anticipation of making the postseason last night. However, the Mariners beat the Astros to stay alive (just) in the playoff race. Nate Pearson was activated for tonight with Wilmer Font being removed from the roster. Jordan Romano is expected to throw another bullpen tomorrow with a higher intensity. The Blue Jays elected to inject more offence in the lineup tonight with Alejandro Kirk serving as DH. Cavan Biggio was at the hot corner, Vlad was at first base, and Jonathan Villar was at 2B. Did the Blue Jays  wear themselves out last night, or did they have enough to beat the Yankees one more time? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smacked a solo blast to left-center
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Bo Bichette doubled home Cavan Biggio
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 6th as Alejandro Kirk doubled scoring Randal Grichuk and Guerrero
  • Jordan Montgomery pitching line: 5.1IP 6H 3R (all earned) 0BB 8K 88 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 7IP 5H 0R 2BB 4K 100 pitches (62 for strikes)
  • The Yankees got one back in the top of the 8th as Gio Urshela singled scoring Aaron Hicks 
  • Rafael Dolis got the last 4 outs for his 5th save of the season.
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Yankees 1

My take:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu showed exactly why the Blue Jays signed him, throwing seven shutout innings, scattering 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. He retired the first 5 batters he faced. The biggest jam Ryu got into was 2 singles to lead off the 6th, but Ryu retired the next three batters to escape the inning unscathed. His curve was nasty tonight.
  • Don't look now, but Vlad has quietly morphed into a legit MLB player. He opened the scoring with a solo blast and scored the 1st insurance run with some heads up base running. In the field, he made a nice stretch on a bad throw. He's making first base look easy, whereas before it looked like the most difficult position on the baseball diamond.
  • Now that the playoffs are clinched, the next three days will be all about resting some of the every day players, such as Randal Grichuk, Cavan Biggio and Vlad. For others, such as Teoscar Hernandez and Bo Bichette, who both recently returned from lengthy absences, it will be about getting timing back and being sharp for next week. Pitchers like Nate Pearson, Matt Shoemaker and Jordan Romano will get at least one appearance to prove they are healthy and set to play in the postseason. The other relievers will also see work to stay sharp.
  • Put this in perspective, the Blue Jays essentially played 57 road games this season. They didn't know their home ball park until the season was already underway and they didn't play their 1st game at Sahlen park until August 11th. I call that remarkable
  • With the win today, the Blue Jays are guaranteed to finished the regular season .500, even if they are swept in the final weekend of the season.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays open the final series of the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles, who are neck and neck with the Red Sox for last in the AL East and a better draft pick. Neither team has set their rotation for the final weekend.