Thursday, July 29, 2021

Games #97 and 98 Toronto Blue Jays (50-48) @ Boston Red Sox (63-40) - game recap (records will reflect what it was after the second game)

 Bo Bchette drove in 3 of the 4 runs in a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox in the 1st game of today's double-header and the only run in a 4-1 loss to the Red Sox in the 2nd game of today's double header.

After rain wiped out yesterday's game, the Blue Jays were looking to gain moment by sweeping (or at least splitting) toay's double header. Patrick Murphy was called up as the 27th man for today's double-header. Robbie Ray started the 1st game and Steven Matz was on the bmp for the second game. Alejandro Kirk was behind the plate in the 1st game and Reese McGuire started the 2nd game. George Soringer was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Teoscar Hernandez got the half day off as DH in the 1st game (Teo was in LF in game 2) and Vlad DH'd the 2nd game (Vlad was at 1B in the 1st game. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was in LF game 1 and at 1B game 2. Cavan Biggio was at the hot corner in the 1st game and Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner in the 2nd game. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2-game skid and sweep (or at least split) the double header? Here is/are today's game recap(s).

Game Highlights (1st game):

  • The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st on a ground out by JD Martinez that scored Enrique Hernandez
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 2nd as Randal Grichuk singled scoring Bo Bichette 
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Grichuk hammered a 2-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 5th as George Springer cranked a solo bomb over the green monster in left
  • Garrett Richards pitching line: 4IP 8H 4R (all earned) 1BB 2K 67 pitches (44 for strikes)
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 6IP 5H 1R (earned) 3BB 8K 108 pitches (69 for strikes)
  • Jordan Romano pitched a perfect 7th for his 8th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Red Sox 1

My Take (1st game):

  • Robbie Ray was solid, allowing 1 run on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 8. Maybe the one thing he could have done better was be a bit more efficient with his pitches (the three walks drove up the pitch count. He retired 7 in a row at one point, as well as the final five batters he faced, including striking out the final two batters he faced. His most impressive inning was the 4th where he escaped a bases loaded jam with no one out by striking out two batters and getting Rafael Devers to fly out to George Springer to end the inning.
  • Jordan Romano was excellent in the 7th, striking out one and retiring the side in order while throwing 14 pitches
  • Randal Grichuk and George Springer drove the offense. Springer hit a solo shot over the green monster and Grichuk drove in 3, including a 2-run bomb to dead center 
  • Every Blue Jays starter except Bichette (drew a walk and scored), Teoscar Hernandez and Alejandro Kirk had at least one hit
  • The Blue Jays were 2-7 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the second game of the double header. Steven Matz starts against Red Sox righty Tanner Houck
Game highlights (2nd game):
  • The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Rafael Devers singled home Enrique Hernandez
  • The Red Sox added a run in the bottom of the 2nd on a sac fly by Jarren Duran that scored Alex Verdugo
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th as Bo Bichette singled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Red Sox added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning as Duran initially appeared to hit an inside-the park HR (also scoring Plawecki), but George Springer was later charged with an error. Duran was given a triple and scored on the error.
  • Steven Matz pitching line: 3.1IP 9H 4R (all earned) 1BB 2K 71 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • Tanner Houck pitching line: 4IP 2H  1R (earned) 1BB 7K 75 pitches (50 for atrikes)
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had to leave the game after getting drilled by a pitch in the 7th
  • Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless 7th for his 23rd save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 4 Blue Jays 1
My Take (2nd game):
  • Steven Matz was knocked around today, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2 over 3.1 innings pitched. He has struggled to find his A-game since coming back from a bout of COVID. 
  • The bullpen was solid, giving up a pair of hits while walking one and striking out 3 over the final 2.2 innings. Lefty Kirby Snead, a 10th round pick (312th overall) in the 2016 MLB draft, made his big-league debut, getting a double play to end the 5th.
  • Bo Bichette continued his hot streak from the 1st game, going 2-3 in game 2 and driving in the only run
  • Bichette, along with Marcus Semien, Vlad and Marcus Semien were the only Blue Jays to get hits in both games of the double header
  • There has to be concern about Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who was unable to run the bases after getting  drilled in the elbow by a pitch in the 7th. Perhaps trainer Ministral wanted to get X-rays asap.
  • The Blue Jays were 1-6 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays wrap the series, road trip and final game before FINALLY returning home to play in Toronto for the first time since September 29, 2019 (an 8-3 win over the Rays). Tomorrow's pitching match-up is a battle of the lefty aces with Hyun-Jin Ryu going up against Red Sox southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez