Friday, August 20, 2021

Game #120 Detroit Tigers (59-65) @ Toronto Blue Jays (63-57) - game recap


Robbie Ray threw 8 strong innings in a 4-1 extra innings loss to the Tigers 

After a brutal 2-game sweep to the Nationals thanks to the bullpen squandering 2 more games (the first loss finally cost Rafael Dolis his job and the second loss was more evidence the Blue Jays may have made a severe error of judgment giving up Riley Adams, who torched the Blue Jays this week, who Brad Hand, who literally handed the Nationals the game by giving up 2 bombs for 4 runs. The Blue Jays were looking to turn things around against a Tigers team, who they took 4 of 7 games from and outscored 34-16 in 2019. Robbie Ray got the start. Alejandro Kirk was behind the plate. Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner. Kevin Smith made his big league debut as DH

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. bashed a solo bomb to dead center 
  • The Tigers tied the game in the top of the 8th on a wild pitch by Robbie Ray that scored Zack Short 
  • Tyler Alexander pitching line: 7IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 6K 88 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • Robbie Ray pitching line: 8IP 5H 1R (earned) 1BB 11K 109 pitches (72 for strikes)
  • The Tigers took the lead in the top of the 10th as Harold Castro singled home Willi Castro
  • Two batters later, Jonathan Schoop singled scoring Castro
  • A batter later, Jeimer Candelario singled home Robbie Grossman
  • Final score: Tigers 4 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • Let's start with the good. Robbie Ray was fantastic today, giving up a run on 5 hits while walking none and striking out 11 (too bad his counterpart matched him pitch for pitch). He retired the first four batters he faced and nine of the last ten he faced. He might save Pete Wallker his job because clearly something needs to change in the coaching mix. You can't keep wasting the prime years of Vlad and Bo (among others). God knows what the next CBA will bring in terms of how many years of control teams will have of marquee players.
  • Now for the bad. Trevor Richards gave up three runs (2 earned) in the 10th when the Blue Jays needed a shutdown inning for a second crack at walking off the game. It's not entirely his fault, he made his pitch, but a good hitter managed to dump it for a base knock
  • The real culprits of this one was the offense. They were an abysmal 0-9 with runners in scoring position. The 9th was perhaps the most egregious. I'll get a ton of flack for this, but bunting to move the runner over was the right call. Doing it with two strikes not. Had Breyvic Valera successfully laid one down, there would have been runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Assuming the Tigers didn't opt to intentionally walk Randal Grichuk for the DP chance, they could have scored with a sac fly or even a well-placed grounder. If I were running the team, I would have bunted in that situation too. Nobody got more than one hit, although Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Saniago Espinal did get on base multiple times through walks they drew.
  • In terms of the wild card race, the Yankees and Red Sox both won, while the A's were leading the Giants at the time of this posting.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the three game losing streak. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts against Tigers righty Wily Peralta