Sorry guys, just a quick preamble as I need to start work in 14 minutes. After the Astros and Blue Jays split the first two games of the weekend series, today was the rubber match. Nate Pearson made his first start of the season after missing the first five weeks with a groin strain. Reliever Rafael Dolis was placed on the 10-day IL with a calf strain. Blue Jays batters were in tough with Zack Greinke on the bump for the Astros. Vlad got the half day off, serving as the DH with Rowdy Tellez at 1B. Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row? Here is today's game recap.
Game Highlights:88 pitches
- The Astros opened the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd on a bases loaded walk to Michael Brantley that forced in Kyle Tucker
- The Astros added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Tucker tripled home Yuli Gurriel
- A batter later, Robel Garcia singled scoring Tucker
- Nate Pearson pitching line: 2.1IP 4H 3R (all earned) 5BB 0K 64 pitches (28 for strikes)
- The Astros added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Jose Altuve smacked a solo shot to the opposite field in right
- Five batters later, Tucker drilled a three-run bomb to the second deck in right; also scoring Yordan Alvarez and Gurriel
- The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 5th as Rowdy Tellez hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in right
- Three batters later, Bo Bichette doubled scoring Reese McGuire and Marcus Semien
- A batter later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, singled home Bichette
- Zack Greinke pitching line: 4IP 9H 4R (all earned) 0BB 4K 88 pitches (57 for strikes)
- Ryan Preesly pitched a perfect 9th for his 6th save of the season
- Final score: Astros 7 Blue Jays 4
- Not a great start for Nate Pearson today. He had zero command. He gave up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 5 and striking out none. Did he have some nerves and maybe adrenaline given it was his first start of the season? I'm sure. It's not a good sign if your catcher is setting up in the middle of the plate and you're still missing the strike zone by a lot. He also threw less than half his pitches for strikes. It's great to be able to hit triple digits on the radar gun. However, you also need secondary pitches you can throw for strikes. Pearson also needs to learn the same lesson Steven Strasburg and know that he can be just as effective, if not more effective, throwing a few degrees slower and hitting his spots instead of overthrowing and missing badly, as he was today.
- Blue Jay batters had one inning where they got to Zack Greinke to the tune of four runs on five hits. Unfortunately, the bullpen effectively shut the Blue Jays down in the final 5 innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out 7
- Quirky play of the day: Lourdes Guirrel Jr. was out after a batted ball hit him
- Every Blue Jays starter except Randal Grichuk and Cavan Biggio had at least one hit today
- The Blue Jays were 2-7 with runners in scoring position
- Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays open a three-game series in Atlanta. They swept the series in Dunedin a week ago. Neither team has announced their pitchers for the 1st game Tuesday yet.