Monday, April 3, 2023

Game #4 - Toronto Blue Jays (1-3) @ Kansas City Royals (1-3) - game recap

Bo Bichette hit the Blue Jays first home run of the season in a 9-5 loss to the Royals


After a wild first weekend that saw the Blue Jays win the season opener in a game that saw multiple lead changes and an uncharacteristic start from ace Alek Manoah, who could not get out of the 4th inning, and then lose the second game when they were facing a pitcher that walked seven batters (The Blue Jays were no hit until Kevin Kiermaier smacked a 1-out single in the 7th inning) and a regrettable Sunday debut for Chris Bassitt that saw the sinker-baller get torched for nine runs over 3.1innings, including four that went over the wall for home runs, the Blue Jays opened a 4-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Last season, the Blue Jays were 5-2 against the Royals, outscoring KC 38-19. Jose Berrios got the start. Berrios was hoping to avoid a repeat of last season's opening day start where he could not escape the first inning. Alejandro Kirk was behind the plate. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Brandon Belt at 1B. Kevin Kiermaier was back in CF after a day off yesterday with Daulton Varsho in LF. Cavan Biggio got the start at 2B. Could the Blue Jays start the week with a win and even their overall record? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Royals opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Bobby Witt Jr. singled scoring MJ Melendez
  • Two batters later, Kyle Isbel singled home Witt Jr.
  • A batter later, Michael Massey scored on a groundout hit by Hunter Dozier 
  • The Royals added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th as Nicky Lopez tripled scoring Dozier and Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Three batters later, Vinnie Pasquantino doubled scoring Lopez
  • A batter later, Witt Jr. singled home Pasquantino. Witt Jr. was out on the play trying to get greedy and make it to 3rd base
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 5th on a ground ball double pay hit by Kevin Kiermaier that scored Brandon Belt
  • Brady Singer pitching line: 5IP 2H 1R (earned) 3BB 3K 76 pitches (45 for strikes)
  • The Royals added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 6th as Melendez drilled a 2-run bomb to right-center; also scoring Lopez
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 5.2IP 9H 8R (all earned) 2BB 7K 89 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as George Springer singled scoring Cavan Biggio
  • Two batters later, Kiermaier was forced in on a bases loaded walk to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 8th on a wild pitch by Dylan Coleman that scored Matt Chapman
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as Bo Bichette whacked a solo blast to left center, finally hitting the first HR by a Blue Jay this season
  • Final score: Royals 9 Blue Jays 5

My Take:

  • Jose Berrios had a suboptimal first start of the season. He was lit up for 8 runs on 9 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7 over 5.2 innings. At least this time he got out of the 1st inning, unlike opening day last season. As potent as the Blue Jays offense has the potential to be, they will be hard pressed to win when the starting pitchers are giving up multiple runs. Here's hoping the promising spring traiing of tomorrow's starter, Yusei Kikuchi translates into regular season success.
  • After Zack Pop gave up a 2-run HR to the first batter he faced, he and Adam Cimber combined to allow just one more base runner over the final 2.1 innings (a walk charged to Cimber)
  • Offensively, it was encouraging to see the team chip away at what was at one point an eight run deficit. Even nicer to finally see a Blue Jay go yard - a meaningless solo shot in the 9th inning by Bo Bichette 
  • The Blue Jays were 2-11 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays turn to lefty Yusei Kikuchi to give them a good start by a starting pitcher. In two career starts against the Royals, Kikuchi is 0-2 with an 8.69ERA.The Royals will counter with lefty Kris Bubic.