Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Game #5 Toronto Blue Jays (3-2) @ Texas Rangers (2-3) - game recap


Bo Bichette hit a pair of solo HRs in a losing effort as the Rangers knocked off the Blue Jays 7-4

After a solid win highlighted by a stellar start by Steven Matz, who pitched into the 7th inning and struck out nine batters, the Blue Jays were looking to extend the winning streak to three games. Tanner Roark got his first start of the season. Last season, Roark was 2-3 with a 6.80ERA in 11 starts. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was back in the field after DH'ing last night. Alejandro Kirk got the start behind the plate after Danny Jansen left yesterday's game in the 8th after taking a deflection off his knee. Teoscar Hernandez got the start in RF and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was in LF after a day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays make it three wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Bo Bichette cranked a solo blast to left-center 
  • The Rangers took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Nate Lowe crushed a two-run bomb to left-center and into the Blue Jays bullpen; also scoring Isiah Kiner-Falefa
  • The Rangers added a run in the bottom of the 2nd as Ronald Guzman hammered a solo bomb to right
  • The Rangers added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 3rd as Lowe smashed a 2-run bomb to dead center also scoring David Dahl
  • Tanner Roark pitching line: 3IP 6H 5R (all earned) 0BB 2K 59 pitches (34 for strikes)
  • Dane Dunning pitching line: 5IP 3H 1R (earned) 0BB 6K 70 pitches (51 for strikes)
  • The Rangers added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Jonah Heim smacked a solo shot to left-center 
  • The Blue Jays got a run back in the top of the 7th on a wild pitch by Taylor Hearn that scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Same batter, Randal Grichuk singled scoring Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 8th as Bo Bichette banged a solo blast over the wall in left
  • The Rangers added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Brock Holt Singled home Nick Solak
  • Ian Kennedy pitched a perfect 9th for his first save of the season.
  • Final score: Rangers 7 Blue Jays 4

My Take:

  • It was a rough start for Tanner Roark, who was hit hard by the long ball tonight. He gave up 5 runs on 6 hits (3 of those hits left the ball park) while walking none and striking out 2. Even several of the outs were loud. Bottom line, Roark needs to work on his command and not hang his off-speed stuff and not leave pitches in the middle of the plate. This was a consistent problem for Roark last season as well. He gave up 14HR in 11 starts in 2020.
  • Tonight's game featured 4 starters turned relievers: David Phelps (pitched his first 4 seasons in the bigs as a spot starter/long reliever), Ryan Borucki (was supposed to be developed into a starter, but elbow issues have rendered him a reliever), Tommy Milone (has largely been a starting pitcher in the MLB over the course of his 10 year career. He'll start as a long reliever in the bullpen, but will be an option to start in the event of injuries), Ian Kennedy (he was a starting pitcher for Arizona, San Diego and Kansas City. His best season was 2011 when he went 21-4 and finished 4th in Cy Young voting. Became KC's closer in 2018 and notched 30 saves. Got his first save of the season tonight)
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. saw his 4 game hitting streak come to an end. He did draw a walk to keep the on-base streak alive
  • Bo Bichette carried the offense with a pair of home runs
  • I really liked how the Blue Jays manufactured a pair of runs in the 7th inning. Home runs are great and all, but pitchers will adjust. Good teams do more than just crank home runs. 
  • The top of the batting order was quiet tonight. Cavan Biggio and Marcus Semien were a combined 0-8 and both players struck out twice
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap up the series and first road trip of the season. Ace Hyun-Jin Ryu gets his second start of the season and will be looking for his second win of the season after holding the Yankees to a pair of runs on opening day. Danny Jansen is expected to be back behind the plate after sitting this one out, possibly planned and possibly as a precaution after taking a deflected ball off his right knee. The Rangers will counter with righty Kyle Gibson