Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Game #25 - Chicago White Sox (7-18) @ Toronto Blue Jays (16-9) - game recap


Bo Bichette was 3-4 with 2 runs scored and 3RBI in an 8-0 shutout win over the White Sox

After a solid shutout win thanks to a 7-inning effort from Jose Berrios and a 3-runs scored, 4-RBI day from Danny Jansen, the Blue Jays were looking to extend the win streak to 4 games and complete their first series sweep of the season.  Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate.  Daulton Varsho was in CF and Whit Merrifield was in LF.  Santiago Espinal returned to the lineup at 2B after missing several days after getting drilled in the right hand by a Gerrit Cole fastball. Could the Blue Jays make it four straight wins and complete their first series sweep of the season?  Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Bo Bichette singled scoring Santiago Espinal 
  • A batter later,  Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled scoring Bichette and George Springer 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 4th as Espinal singled home Daulton Varsho
  • Michael Kopech pitching line: 5IP 6H 4R (all earned) 2BB 4K 90 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 5.2IP 4H 0R 1BB 8K 89 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Bichette hooked a solo jack just fair down the left field line 
  • Five batters later, Whit Merrifield singled home Guerrero Jr and Matt Chapman 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 8th as Bichette singled scoring Espinal 
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 White Sox 0

My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi extended the Blue Jays starting pitchers run of excellent starts with 5.2 shutout innings,  scattering 4 hit, while walking 1 and striking out 8. Kikuchi has really turned things around after a disastrous 2022  campaign where he struggled with command and barely got through three innings.  This year, he is walking maybe a batter or two each start and most importantly pitching 6 or 7 innings in a start, which saves the bullpen.
  • Speaking of the bullpen, they were perfect over the final 3.1 innings, striking out nine batters. The last time a Blue Jays pitcher has allowed a run was the 3rd inning of Monday's game for a scoreless streak of 24.1 innings. 
  • Offensively,  Bo Bichette and Vlad combined to go 5-9 with 3 runs scored and 5RBI. Santiago Espinal had a nice return after missing several days dealing with the effects of taking a Gerritt Cole fastball off his right wrist, going 3-4 with a pair of runs scoring and an RBI
  • Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays open up the most anticipated series of the season thus far, taking on expansion cousins Seattle Mariners,  who swept the Blue Jays right here at home in the wild card series. The Mariners currently have a 7-game winning streak against the Blue Jays,  including a 4-game sweep in Seattle in July just prior to the all-star break that effectively led to the firing of manager Charlie Montoyo and the finale of the regular season match up in Toronto last May. Alek Manoah will Starr Friday for the Blue Jays. The Mariners have not set their rotation for the weekend yet.