Friday, July 16, 2021

Game #88 Texas Rangers (35-56) @ Toronto Blue Jays (46-42) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero whacked a pair of HR, drove in 4 runs and scored 3 times in a 10-2 rout over the Rangers

The Blue Jays kcked off the unofficial start to the 2nd half of the season with a weekend set against the Rangers, who took 2 of 3 in Arlington back in April. Both teams scored 11 runs in Texas. The Blue Jays head into the season's 2nd half chasing a wild card spot. They are 3rd in the AL East, 8 games back of Boston for 1st in the AL East. They are 4.5 games back of Oakland for the 2nd WC spot and are also tied with Cleveland, who they will face at home August 2-5. Joel Payamps was DFA'd to make room for Ryan Borucki, who was actvated off the IL. The Blue Jays are one step closer to returning home July 30. The Federal government signed a national interest exemption that would allow the Blue Jays return to Toronto. Apparently the Minister of Immigrationis the last one who needs to sign off on the deal. Robbie Ray got the start (he also pitched the final game before the allstar break, throwing a 1-hitter and taking a no-hitter into the 7th. Ray struck out 11). Reese McGuire got the start behind the plate. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. served as DH with George Springer in CF, Teoscar Hernandez in LF and Randal Grichuk in RF. Cavan Biggio was at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays start the second half with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smashed a solo blast to left-center 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Marcus Semien crushed a solo bomb to left
  • Four batters later, Teoscar Hernandez annihilated a 2-run bomb to left; also scoring Guerrero Jr.
  • A batter later, Randal Grichuk whacked a solo blast to left
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Bo Bichette singled home Marcus Semien 
  • Jordan Lyles pitching line: 4IP 7H 6R (all earned) 3BB 3K 95 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Bichette singled scoring Reese McGuire
  • A batter later, Guerrero Jr. hammered a 3-run bomb to left; also scoring Semien and Bichette 
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 6.2IP 4H 0R 2BB 8K 100 pitches (66 for strikes)
  • The Rangers got a pair back in the top of the 9th as Ekli White hammered a 2-run bomb to dead  center; also scoring Nate Lowe 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 10 Rangers 2

My Take:

  • Robbie Ray picked up where he left off, throwing 6.2 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 8. He retired the first five batters before losing the strike zone for a couple of batters before inducing a soft grounder to escape the inning. He retired 9 in a row at one point.
  • The all-stars (Vladdy, Bo, Marcus and Teo) did the damage offensively, combining to go 7-16 with 9 RBI and 8 runs scored. Vlad hit 2 home runs, Teo had a 2-run blast, Bo singled home a pair and Semien singled one home as well. Personally, I can't wait to see what this lineup does in Toronto in a couple of weeks - you know, where these players signed up to play and not a facility built for AAA-ball?
  • Every Blue Jay except Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who drew a walk, and George Springer had at least one hit.
  • Ryan Borucki allowed a hit and struck out 2 in his first game back since May 7 with a forearm strain. There has to be concern about the injury, given Borucki has already been through TJ surgery.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to open the second half with a series win. It will be a battle of the lefties with Hyun-Jin Ryu going up against Rangers lefty Kolby Allard