Saturday, September 26, 2020

Game #59 Baltimore Orioles (24-35) @ Toronto Blue Jays (32-27) - game recap


Randal Grichuk hit a clutch 3-run HR in the 6th as the Blue Jays knocked off the Orioles 5-2 for their 4th straight win

The Blue Jays continued to play out the string with the potential of a 5th seed finish. This could mean the difference between facing the White Sox, who are 12-0 vs. lefties, Cleveland, and even Tampa Bay (a house of horrors for the Blue Jays). For that to happen, the Blue Jays have to sweep the Orioles and have the Yankees lose their season finale tomorrow. Initially Matt Shoemaker was supposed to start today, instead he was held back to give the Blue Jays more flexibility next week. TJ Zeuch got the start in what was effectively a bullpen day. Bo Bichette got the complete day off with Joe Panik at SS. Travis Shaw got the half day off as the DH with Vlad back in the field at 1B. Alejandro Kirk got the start behind the plate. Randal Grichuk got the day off with Jonathan Davis in CF. Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were both back in the field, at the hot corner and LF respectively, after days off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays make it four wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • TJ Zeuch pitching line: 5IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K 75 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 6th as Cavan Biggio smashed a solo bomb to right-center
  • John Means pitching line: 6IP 1H 1R (earned) 1BB 9K 99 pitches (66 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th as Randal Grichuk whacked a 3-run blast to right; also scoring Teoscar Hernandez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Orioles got one back in the top of the 8th as Jose Iglesias doubled home Austin Hays 
  • A batter later, Ryan Mountcastle singled scoring Iglesias. Mountcastle was thrown out at 2nd by Hernandez trying to stretch a single into a double
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Biggio scored on a fielder's choice hit by Guerrero Jr.
  • Anthony Bass got the last 4 outs for his 7th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 Orioles 2

My Take:

  • TJ Zeuch just made the decision on who to include on the playoff roster a bit harder. He threw five shutout innings, scattering 5 hits, in a surprise start after the Blue Jays opted to hold Matt Shoemaker back. He was 1-0 with a 1.59ERA in 3 appearances (1 start) heading into today's game. Zeuch was initially drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1st round (31st overall), but chose not to sign. He re-entered the draft in 2016 and was drafted in the 1st round (16th overall). I say, why not give him a shot in the playoffs. He can't be any worse than Shun Yamagushi or Wilmer Font
  • Offensively, Randal Grichuk came off the bench and hit a clutch 3-run HR to put the Blue Jays up by 4 at the time. It would prove large later when the Orioles got a pair back against Ross Stripling, who left the game after getting hit in the leg by a comebacker. Cavan Biggio also came up large, scoring 2 of the Blue Jays runs and driving in one
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the regular season with a mid-afternoon matinee (noon for Scot, aka ItsAllOver! and I). Tanner Roark gets the start and he'll be looking to end the season on a positive after average at best campaign that saw him spout off about being pulled early a month ago. Roark will likely be given more leash to go deeper in the game to rest the bullpen. The Orioles will counter with lefty Keegan Atkin