Sunday, April 16, 2023

Game #16 - Tampa Bay Rays (14-2) @ Toronto Blue Jays (10-6) - game recap


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the Blue Jays only run in an 8-1 loss to the Rays

After their second win in a row against the formerly undefeated Tampa Bay Rays on a strong 6 inning effort from Yusei Kikuchi, the Blue Jays were looking to wrap up the week and homestand with their 1st series sweep of the season. Ace Alek Manoah got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer got the half day off as DH with Jordan Luplow in RF. Whit Merrifield got the start in LF and Santiago Espinal was at 2B. Vould the Blue Jays compete the sweep? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st on a bases loaded walk to Wander Franco that forced in Yandy Diaz
  • Three batters later, Josh Lowe singled scoring Brandon Lowe and Harold Ramirez
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring George Springer
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 5th ss Josh Lowe doubled home Taylor Walls
  • Two batters later, Christian Bethancourt hammered a three-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Lowe and Vidal Brujan
  • Alek Manoah pitching line: 4.2IP 9H 7R (all earned) 4BB 5K 101 pitches (61 for strikes)
  • Shane McClanahan pitching line: 6IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 6K 98 pitches (69 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the top of thhe 9th as Brujan singled home Walls 
  • Final score: Rays 8 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • Alek Manoah's start began and ended badly. He hit the first batter he faced on the first pitch of the game. Then he loaded thhe bases with a walk and single, forcing in one run on a bases loaded walk before giving up a 2 run single after back-to-back strikeouts. After striking out the first 2 batters in the 5th, Manoah walked a batter than gave up three straight hits, capped off by a mammoth 3-run HR to deep center. In between that, Manoah still dealt with base runners, but was able to get out of the 2nd-4th innings fairly easily. His performance this season has been troubling to say the least. If something off with his mechanics? Is the pitch clock having a negative impact on his performance? Is there an injury he's playing through? His next start is slated to be against the Yankees next Saturday, so the task won't get any easier 
  • The bullpen allowed a run on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5 over the final 4.1innings. Trevor Richards had a strong day, throwing 2 innings and striking out 3. Tim Mayza also had a clean inning, while striking out 1.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays got a run off Rays starter Shane McClanahan in the 1st inning, and not much else after that. In fact, after Vlad's RBI single in the 1st. 11 straight Blue Jay batters were retired. The Blue Jays had 2 on with 1 out in the 9th, but then ex-Ray Kevin Kiermaier lined into a game-ending double play
  • The Blue Jays were 1-10 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays hit the road for a week beginning with three in Houston tomorrow night.The Blue Jays won the season series 4-2 last season against the Astros, , but the Astros outscored the Blue Jays 27-26. Kevin Gausman starts against Astros righty Cristian Javier