Friday, April 8, 2022

Game #1 - Texas Rangers (0-1) @ Toronto Blue Jays (1-0) - game recap


Teoscar Hernandez had a game-tying 3-run HR and later scored the game-winning run in a 10-8 come-from-behind win over the Rangers to open the 2022 season

Two weeks late, due to a labor dispute, the Blue Jays opened the 2022 season with a weekend set against the Texas Rangers. The Blue Jays won the season series last year 4-2 and outscored the Rangers 36-13. It was a busy off-season for the Blue Jays losing Steven Matz (Cardinals), Corey Dickerson (Cardinals) Robbie Ray (Mariners) and Marcus Semien (Rangers), and Jake Lamb (released and signed with Dodgers) to free agency. The team signed Kevin Gausman (finished 6th in Cy Young voting last season). The Blue Jays also made a few trades, swapping catchers (Reese McGuire for Zack Collins), acquired Matt Chapman for several prospects and shed salary by sending Randal Grichuk to the Rockies for Raimel Tapia and a prospect. Also, the Blue Jays signed ex-Mariners lefty Yusei Kikuchi as a 5th starter.The bullpen was strengthened withe the addition of righty Yimi Garcia. Jose Berrios got the nod as the opening day starter. Danny Jansen was  behind the plate with Alejandro Kirk serving as DH. Geoge Springer got his first opening day start in a Blue Jays uniform (he was on the IL opening day 2021. New Blue Jay Matt Chapman was at the hot corner and Cavant Biggio was back at his original position at 2B. Could the Blue Jays win opening day? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Rangers opened the scoring in the top of  the 1st as Brad Miller led off the game with a solo bash to left-center 
  • Three batters later, Marcus Semien scored on a wild pitch by Jose Berrios
  • A batter later, Nathaniel Lowe singled home Corey Seager
  • Three batters later, Mitch Garver scored on a fielder's choice hit by Andy Ibanez
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 0.1IP 3H 4R (all earned) 2BB 0K 34 pitches (18 for strikes)
  • The Rangers addded a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd as Garver drilled a moonshot to left-center; also scoring Seager 
  • The Rangers added a run in the top of the 4th as Lowe singled home Seager
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring George Springer
  • Two batters later, Bo Bichette scored on a fielder's choice hit by Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • A batter later, Guerrero Jr. scored on a sac fly by Alejandro Kirk
  • Jon Gray pitching line: 4IP 3H 3R (all earned) 2BB 4K 70 pitches (34 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 5th as Guerrero Jr. singled home Springer
  • A batter later, Teoscar Hernandez drilled a three-run bomb to the opposite field in right; also scoring Bichette and Guerrero Jr.-run G
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 6th as Santiago Espinal doubled scoring Danny Jansen
  • The Rangers tied the game in the top of the 7th as Adolis Garcia smashed a solo blast to right-center 
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a double by Gurriel Jr. that scored Hernandez. It took a challenge by the Blue Jays to overturn the crucial call. Had Hernandez have been called out on the play, the inning wopuld have ended with no runs scored
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Jansen whacked a solo blast to left-center 
  • Jordan Romano pitched a perfect 9th for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 10 Rangers 8

My Take

  • This was certainly not the opening day start Jose Berrios could have dreamed about. In fact, it was a downright nightmare of a start. Berrios recorded just one out and could not get out of the 1st inning. The very first batter took him yard and by the time he recorded an out, the Rangers had scored three times on a pair of hits, 2 walks and a wild pitch. No doubt Berrios was jacked about the opening day start and may have been overhyped. Also, as is always the case, the game had a delayed start due to the pregame ceremonies. The good thing is he won't be tired next game given he threw just 34 pitches
  • The Blue Jays bullpen gave up 4 runs on 4 hits while walking three and striking out 2. Romano struck out the only 2 Rangers batters. While it was a good sign that the bullpen limited the damage after being asked to get 26 out of the 27 outs after start Berrios culdn't get out of  the 1st inning, the starters need to go deep into games. 
  • The bats woke up in the 4th inning, scoring three times in the inning. Teoscar Hernandez was responsible for arguably the 4 biggest runs, tying the game in the 4th with a clutch 3-run bomb and scoring from 1st base with 2 outs after the Rangers had just tied the game. Matt Chapman was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in his Blue Jays debut
  • Up next, game 2 of the opening series. Kevin Gausman gets his first Blue Jays regular season start after signing a huge free agent deal. The Rangers will counter with righty Dane Dunning