Monday, May 16, 2022

Game #36- Seattle Mariners (16-20) @ Toronto Blue Jays (19-17) - game recap


Yusei Kikuchi threw 6 shutout innings in a 6-2 victory over the Mariners

After a disastrous road trip that saw the Blue Jays win just twice in 9 games, the Blue Jays returned home hoping the home crowd could change their fortunes. They opened the home stand with a trio against the Mariners. It also marked the return of Robbie Ray, who signed with Seattle in the off-season. He was not scheduled to start in this series. Ray was 14-8 in 37 games (36 starts) as a Blue Jay over 1 full season and a month of the abbreviated pandemic season. He won the Cy Young last season, the first blue Jay to win the prestigious award since Roy Halladay in 2003. The Mariners won the Season Series 4-2 and out scored the Blue Jays 34-31 last season. Tim Mayza was placed on the 10 day IL with left forearm inflammation. Lefty Andrew Vasqueez was recalled from AAA-ball. Tyler Heineman was claimed off waivers by the Pirates. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. George Springer was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Zack Collins served as DH tonight. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the complete day off with Raimel Tapia in LF. Could the Blue Jays start the week and home stand with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring as Bo Bichette bashed a solo shot to left and into the Blue Jays bullpen
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Matt Chapman drilled a solo bomb to dead center 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Raimel Tapia singled home Vinny Capra 
  • Chris Flexers pitching line: 5.1IP 6H 3R (all earned) 2BB 7K 101 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 6IP 1H 0R 3BB 6K 90 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Mariners got one back in the top of the 7th as Eugene Suarez belted a solo blast to left-center 
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning as Alejandro Kirk singled scoring Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Bichette singled scoring Tapia
  • The Mariners got one back in the top of the 9th as Adam Frazier singled home Suarez
  • Adam Cimber got the last 2 outs for his 3nd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Mariners 2

My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi had his best start in a Blue Jays uniform, throwing 6 shutout innings against his former team, allowing 1 hit, walking 3 and striking out 6. After walking the second Mariners batter of the game, Kikuchi retired 11 in a row before giving up a leadoff double to Jesse Winker. It's the second solid start in a row for Kikuchi. Pete Walker appears to have worked his magic again
  • A banged up bullpen held its own tonight. With Tim Mayza on the 10-day IL with inflammation to his left forearm, a concern given his TJ surgery, and Jordan Romano unavailable due to an undisclosed injury that's being evaluated, Charlie Montoyo had to play the game inning by inning, out by out. Five relievers (Yimi Garcia, Trevor Richards, Ryan Borucki, Ross Stripling and Adam Cimber) combined to give up a pair of runs (one earned) while walking 3 and striking out 3 over the final 3 innings. Borucki and Cimber both retired every batter they faced.
  • The bats came alive tonight, producing 6 runs on 10 hits. It was especially nice to see the response after the Mariners broke the shutout bid with three insurance runs. Bo Bichette scored twice and drove in 2 runs. Alejandro Kirk drove in a pair with a clutch base hit. Raimel Tapia scored once and drove in a run
  • Every Blue Jays starter except Teo and Zack Collins had at least one hit and all but Teo reached base at least once
  • The Blue Jays were 3-9 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try for 2 straight wins and their first series win since April 29-May 2 when they took two of three against Houston. Ace Jose Berrios starts against Mariners righty Logan Gilbert