Saturday, May 8, 2021

Game #32 Toronto Blue Jays (17-15) @ Houston Astros (17-16) - game recap


Marcus Semien hit a clutch 3-run HR in the top of the 9th in an 8-4 victory over the Astros

After getting spanked by the Astros last night, the Blue jays were looking to even the weekend series. Sportsnet analyst Joe Sidell had an interesting take in last night's game. He felt that Blue Jays Catcher Danny Jansen might have been tipping pitch location and in particular an early home run to Yuli Gurriel that was inside and absolutely hammered. The Astros were infamously caught cheating in their 2017  World series win by banging garbage cans. Last night was a legal tactic, involving probably the on-deck hitter or bench whistling at the batter. Teams are always going to look for an advantage in the game, if you're not then you really have no business playing. It's why catchers and pitchers will often do a mound visit with a runner on second to change up the signs. Rafael Dolis was placed on the IL after leaving last night's game with a tight calf. AJ Cole was recalled from the Alt. squad. Alejandro Kirk was transferred to the 60-day IL. The struggling Steven Matz got the start. Same lineup as yesterday. Could the Blue Jays even the series to set up a rubber match Sunday? Here is tonight's game recap

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Cavan Biggio smashed a 2-run blast to right; also scoring Randal Grichuk
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 3rd as Danny Jansen hammered a solo bomb to left
  • Five batters later, Grichuk doubled home Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Astros got a pair back in the bottom of the 4th as Yordan Alvarez hammered an opposite-field 2-run shot to left; also scoring Alex Bregman
  • The Astros got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Alvarez singled home Aledmys Diaz
  • Steven Matz pitching line: 5IP 8H 3R (all earmed) 0BB 4K 92 pitches (63 for strikes)]
  • Cristian Javier pitching line: 5.1IP 4H 5R (all earned) 4BB 8K 91 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Astros got one back in the bottom of the 8th on a ground out by Yuli Gurriel that scored Bregman
  • The Blue Jays  added three runs in the top of the 9th as Semien hammered a three-run bomb to left; also scoring Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Astros 4

My Take:

  • Steven Matz had a better outing, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits while walking none and striking out 4 over 5 innings. He started out great, retiring the first 8 Astros he faced. The second time through the order was where he ran into trouble. Batters 3-5 (Alex Bregman, Yonder Alonso and Yuli Gurriel touched Matz up for 2 runs on 3 hits in the 3rd inning. The big thing out of tonight's start was the zero walks and commanding his change-up, which was lacking in recent starts
  • Randal Grichuk continues to swing a hot bat.. He was 1-3 with a pair of RBI, a run scored and he drew a walk.
  • Danny Jansen is also swinging a hot bat lately too. He homered for the 3rd consecutive game. He appeared to do a better job of not giving away location by sliding over too early
  • The bullpen gave up just a hit and a run over the final 4 innings and they had a combined 3 strikeouts
  • Up next, the rubber match. Nate Pearson will make his season debut after missing the first 5 weeks with a groin strain. He may be on reduced pitch count given it is his first start, but he threw almost 80 pitches in a rehab start a few days ago. Blue Jays batters will face Astros ace Zack Greinke