Friday, April 30, 2021

Game #24 Atlanta Braves (12-14) @ Toronto Blue Jays (12-12) - game recap


Alejandro Kirk had his first multi-HR game of his career in a 13-5 rout over the Atlanta Braves

After a tough loss to earn the series split to Washington, the Blue Jays welcomed the Braves for a weekend series in Dunedin. Last season, the Braves won 2/3 games in the season series and outscored the Blue Jays 15-6. Tonight was a battle of veteran lefties with Drew Smyly pitching against Blue Jays southpaw Robbie Ray. Teoscar Hernandez returned to the lineup in RF after missing 16 games with a bout of COVID-19. Jonathan Davis was option to the alt. squad. Tanner Roark was DFA'd. Nate Pearson was activated from the IL yesterday but will do a rehab assignment in the minors first. George Springer was in the leadoff spot serving as the DH, as he continues to work his way back to full health from a nagging quad strain. Alejandro Kirk got the start as Ray's personal catcher. Randal Grichuk was in CF. Espinal Santiago got the start at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays open the weekend with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Randal Grichuk hammered a 2-run bomb to right-center also scoring George Springer 
  • The Blue Jays added two runs in the bottom of the 4th as Alejandro Kirk hammered a 2-run bomb to left-center; also scoring Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Randal Grichuk whacked a solo blast down the left field line
  • Four batters later, Kirk annihilated a two-run bomb to dead center also scoring Marcus Semien
  • Drew Smyly pitching line: 4IP 7H 6R (5 earned) 4BB 3K 84 pitches (46 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added three runs in the bottom of the 6th as Teoscar Hernandez hammered a 3-run bomb to dead center also scoring Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Braves got a pair back in the top of the 7th as Ozzie Albies cranked a 2-run blast to left-center; also scoring Marcell Ozuna
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 6.2IP 5H 2R (both earned) 0BB 5K 95 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th on a wild pitch by Sean Newcombe that scored Santiago Espinal
  • A batter later, Guerrero Jr. singled scoring Kirk 
  • The Braves got one back in the top of the 8th as Freddie Freeman singled scoring Ehlre Adrianza
  • A batter later, Ozuna singled scoring Alex Jackson and Ronald Acuna
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Gurriel Jr. cranked a solo blast to left-center 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 13 Braves 5

My Take:

  • Robbie Ray had a strong start, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while walking none and striking out 5 over 6.2 innings. At one point, Ray retired 13 batters in a row. The only inning he got in trouble was the 7th where he allowed his only two runs on a 2-run HR and 2 other hits.
  • It was a home run fest right from the get-go. Thirteen of the combined eighteen runs came courtesy of the long ball. Alejandro Kirk had the first multi-home run game of his career and drove in four runs. Teoscar Hernandez, in his first game back after batting COVID-19, hammered a 3-run bomb. Bo Bichette got it started with a 2-run shot of his own. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk both had solo shots
  • Every Blue Jays hitter but Marcus Semien had at least one hit. Semien drew a walk and scored
  • George Springer is finding his stroke as well. He got his first hit as a Blue Jay, leading off the game with a single. He also drew a pair of walks and scored his first run as a Blue Jay on Bichette's HR,
  • A bit unfortunate that the Blue Jays had to use three relievers to get the final 8 outs, especially with tomorrow expected to be a bullpen day. Unfortunately Ryan Borucki was knocked around, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out one and only managing 2 outs in the 6 batters he faced.
  • Despite putting up 13 runs, the Blue Jays could have had many more runs. They were 4-13 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays continue the weekend series vs. the Braves. It will be another 7:37EDT start time. Charlie Morton will be starting for the Braves and the Blue Jays will likely turn to one of Ttent Thornton or David Phelps to be the opener in a bullpen day