Friday, September 2, 2022

Game #130- Toronto Blue Jays (71-59) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (49-82) - game recap

Alek Manoah pitched 7.1 shutout innings in a 4-0 shutout win over the Pirates

After an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays began a weekend road trip in Pittsburgh to begin a stretch of a ton of baseball, including a double header Monday in Baltimore. The Pirates took the season series 2-1 and outscored the Blue Jays 16-7 last time these two squads met in 2017. Bradley Zimmerman and righty Casey Lawrence were the two September call-ups. Both are interesting choice (Zimmerman because the Blue Jays already have seven outfielders already: George Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Teoscar Hernandez, Raimel Tapia, Jacckie Bradley Jr., Cavan Biggo and Whit Merrifield. Of course at least a couple of them are playing hurt or banged up. Casey Lawrence could start Saturday or one of the games in Monday's double header.) Alek Manoah got the start. The Blue Jays went with the same lineup as Wednesday's loss to the Cubs. Could the Blue Jays start the weekend and road trip with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • Johan Oviedo pitching line: 3IP 2H 0R 3BB 4K 77 pitches (46 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 4th as Santiago Espinal doubled scoring Matt Chapman and Cavan Biggio 
  • Alek Manoah pitching line: 7.1IP 5H 0R 1BB 6K 98 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 9th as Bo Bichette smashed a 2-run blast to left-center; also scoring Whit Merrifield 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Pirates 0

My Take:

  • Alek Manoah threw 7.1 shutout innings, scattering 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6. He retired 13 in a row at one point. At this point, Manoah will almost certainly get the start in the first gsme of a WC series where getting out of the gate fast is critical.
  • The bullpen was perfect, retiring the final five Pirates batters in order, including striking out three in a row. 
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays offense was frustrating at first, leaving five runners on base in the 2nd and 3rd inning combined, including a bases loaded opportunity in the 3rd inning. Santiago Espinal delivered a clutch two-run double in the 4th. Kudos to Cavan Biggio for hustling around the bases to score from 1st base. Bo Bichette went yard in the 9th to give the Blue Jays some more breathing room and to save Jordan Romano for tomorrow's TBD day and likely bullpen day
  • In terms of the wild card race, the Mariners and Orioles won and the Rays were up 5-0 on the Yankees late.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try for their second straight win and 20th series win of the season, as well as the 9th season series win of the season. Blue Jays batters will face Pirates righty Roansy Contreras. The Blue Jays have not announced a starter for the game