Friday, July 1, 2022

Game #77- Tampa Bay Rays (40-36) @ Toronto Blue Jays (44-33) - game recap

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in 3 runs and scored once in a 9-2 rout over the Rays to improve their Canada Day record to 16-27

 First of all, happy Canada Day to everyone. After a sollid win over the Rays on the back of a surprisingly solid performance from struggling lefty Yusei Kikuchi and a pair of 2-run HR, the Blue Jays were looking to make it two straight wins over their division rivals. The Blue Jays record on the national holiday commemorating Canada's birthday has not been great. They headed into today's tilt with a record of 14-28 on Canada Day. Their first Canada Day win did not come until this blogger's birth year (1984) against the A's. In fact, their first four Canada Day wins came against AL West opponents. They beat the Rays twice on Canada Day. Ace Jose Berrios got the start with Alejandro Kirk. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the half day off as DH with Raimel Tapia in LF. Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner with Matt Chapman getting  the complete day off. Cavan Biggio was at 2B. Could the Blue Jays make it two wins in a row vs. the Rays? Here is today's game recap..

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the top of  the 2nd on a ground out by Rene Pinto that scoredHarold Ramirez
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd as Bo Bichette doubled scoring Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  • A batter later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. double scoring George Springer and Bichette 
  • A batter after that, Alejandro Kirk doubled home Guerrero Jr.
  • Corey Kluber pitching line: 3IP 7H 5R (all earned) 2BB 1K 49 pitches (30 for strikes)
  • The Rays got one back in the top of the 5th as Ramirez doubled scoring Kevin Kiermaier 
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 8H 2R (both earned) 2BB 3K 98 pitches (61 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a pair in the bottom of the 6th as Springer singled scoring Gurriel Jr. and Santiago Espinal
  • Two batters later, Biggio scored on a ground out by Guerrero Jr.
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Gurriel Jr. hammered a solo bomb to left-center 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 9 Rays 2

My Take:

  • Jose Berrios battled through 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 8 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3. The difference between his last start where he was only about to get 7 outs and pitching an extra 2.1 innings was making pitches when he had to. Berrios still had to work out of jams today, but he was able to get outs when he needed them.
  • The bullpen held the Rays to a walk and a hit over the final 4 innings. Sergio Romo made his Blue Jays debut. He walked 1 batter and struck out 2 in his inning of work 
  • The bats were ready to explode on this Canada Day. They drove in 5 runs on 5 doubles in the 3rd inning and the 5 doubles were one off the all-time team record for most doubles in an inning. 
  • Every Blue Jays starter reached base at least once
  • The Blue Jays got it right with the opening pitch, having the old #55 Russell Martin tossing to the current #55 Gabriel Moreno
  • Up next, game one of tomorrow's double header. Kevin Gausman starts the 1st game of the double header against Rays lefty Shane McClanahan. Game two will likely be a bullpen game with Thomas Hatch getting the start. The Rays will counter with righty Drew Rasmussen