Friday, April 22, 2022

Game #14 - Toronto Blue Jays (9-5) @ Houston Astros (6-7) - game recap


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored the game winning run as the Blue Jays came from behind to edge the Astros 4-3

The Blue Jays continued the road trip travelling to Houston. This series will be particularly meaningful for George Springer, who will get to play his former team for the first time since he signed with Toronto in the 2021 off-season. He was rehabbing a calf injury both times the Blue Jays played Houston in the 2021 season. Springer did make the trip out to Houston in 2021 - he just didn't play. He is not starting tonight as the Blue Jays take extra precaution after Springer was hit by a pitch Wednesday in Boston. This will be a good test for the Blue Jays and could be a team they meet in the playoffs. Last season, the Astros won 4 of  the 6 meetings in the season series, outscoring the Blue Jays 42-26. Ross Stripling got the start with Alejandro Kirk.behind the plate. Raimel Tapia was in RF. Santiago Espinal was at 2B. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday (Zack Collins was DH tonight). Could the Blue Jays make it a season-high 3 wins in a row? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Astros opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Alex Bregman singled scoring Martin Maldonado
  • Two batrters later, Yuli Gurriel singled home Jeremy Pena and Michael Bradley 
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th on a fielder's choicehit by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. that scored Raimel Tapia
  • Ross Stripling pitching line: 4IP 5H 3R (all earned) 1BB 2K 61 pitches (42 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 5th as Santiago Espinal drilled a solo bomb to left-center 
  • A batter later, Bradley Zimmer bashed an opposite-field solo blast to left
  • Justin Verlander pitching line: 6IP 4H 3R (all earned) 1BB 5K 85 pitches (65 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 9th as Matt Chapman doubled home Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Jordan Romano pitched a scoreless 9th for his 8th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Astros 3

My Take:

  • Ross Stripling threw 4 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2. It was the second spot start for Stripling in place of the injured Hyun-jin Ryu. He retired 5 straight at one point. With the Blue Jays still early in this stretch of 20 straight games, the team needs the starters to get as many outs as possible to save the bullpen
  • The bullpen was sharp tonight, allowing just a walk and 2 hits (both in a nerve-wracking 9th inning) over the final 5 innings. They retired 10 in a row before Yuli Gurriel led off the 9th with a single. Jordan Romano's save streak remains alive, but the last 2 outings for him have been dicey. He likely won't be available tomorrow due to 2 difficult days in a row which required many stressful pitches
  • The offense was carried by back-to-back HR by Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer and a huge clutch hit by Matt Chapman. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also drove in a run on a fielder's choice
  • Vlad and Raimel Tapia combined to go 4-8 and score score half of the Blue Jays runs
  • Up next, the Blue Jays look to keep things rolling and win their 4th straight game and 4 of 5 series to start 2022. Alek Manoah starts against Astros righty Jose Urquidy