Saturday, April 23, 2022

Game #15 - Toronto Blue Jays (10-5) @ Houston Astros (6-8) - game recap


George Springer led off the game with a solo HR against his former team as the Blue Jays came from behind to defeat the Astros 3-2

After another huge win on the backs of a late run and a clutch pitching performance from Jordan "mr. automatic" Romano, the Blue Jays were looking for their 4th straight win overall and 4th series win in 5 series this season. The only series where they did not win was the 4-game set in NY where they earned a series split vs. the Yankees. Alek Manoah got the start. George Springer returned to the lineup - facing his former team for the first time since signing with the Blue Jays in the 2021 off-season. He missed all six games vs. Houston with a nagging quad strain suffered towards the end of the 2021 spring traning. He missed yesterday and the series finale vs. Boston after getting drilled in the forearm by a fastball Wednesday. Springer served as DH today. Raimel Tapia got the start in CF and Cavan Biggio was in RF. Could the Blue Jays extend the win streak to 4 games? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as George Springer whacked an opposite-field solo blast to right center and into the Astros bullpen. It was Springer's first regular season AB against his former team
  • The Astros took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Alex Bregman hammered a 2-run bomb to left; also scoring Michael Brantley
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 6th on a sac fly by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. that scored Bo Bichette 
  • Jose Urquidy pitching line: 5.2IP 6H 2R (both earned) 1BB 3K 86 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • Alek Manoah pitching line: 6IP 7H 2R (both earned) 0BB 5K 95 pitches (70 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 7th as Santiago Espinal bashed a solo blast to left
  • Adam Cimber pitched a scoreless 9th for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 3 Astros 2

My Take:

  • Alek Manoah battled through 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits while walking none and striking out 5. He struggled in the 1st inning, giving up a pair of runs on 3 hits. However, he retired the next 5 batters beginning with the final out in the 1st and never had to deal with more than one base runner in an inning over his final 4 innings. In fact, after the 1st inning, the Astros never got a runner past 1st base. 
  • The bullpen continues to be lights out. David Phelps, Ryan -Borucki, Yimi Garcia and Adam Cimber limited the Astros to a walk and a single over the final 3 innings and they combined to strike out 5 Astros. Cimber showed he'll be a solid choice to close on nights when Romano needs a day off.
  • George Springer showed the Astros what they are missing in his first AB against his former team, bashing a ball over the wall in right-center. It must have felt good to finally have the opportunity to play against his former team after missing all 6 games against Houston with a nagging quad strain and the first game of this series after getting hit by a pitch against Boston Wednesday. I think part of the reaction of Springer when he was drilled by that fastball was frustration knowing that the Blue Jays were due to play Houston in less than 48 hours  and the rematch in Toronto is set for next weekend. If he needed to go on the 10-day IL, he almost certainly would have missed all 6 games against Houston for the second straight year. Hopefully he can play in the field tomorrow and show Astros fans his defensive skill in CF
  • Every Blue Jays starter except Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio had at least one hit 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for 5 straight wins and their first series sweep of the season. Yusei Kikuchi starts against Astros righty Luis Garcia