Sunday, June 18, 2023

Game #73- Toronto Blue Jays (39-34) @ Texas Rangers (44-27) - game recap


Whit Merrifie;d drove in a pair and scored a run in a losing effort as the Rangrs came from behind to knock off the Blue Jay 11-7

First  of all,  happy father's day to our male members.After dropping the second game of the weekend set on a bullpen day, the Blue Jays were trying to escape Texas with their 14th series win of the season. Chris Bassitt was on the bump trying to avenge his worst start in a Blue Jays uniform with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Vlad was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Matt Chapman got the full day off with Santiago Espinal at the hot corner. Spencer Horwitz made his big league debut serving as DH. Could the Blue Jays escape Texas with a win and their 14th series win? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the first on a sac fly by Daulton Varsho that scored George Springer
  • Alejandro Kirk had to leave the game after being hit in the hand by a Jon Gray fastball
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of rings in the top of the 2nd as Whit Merrifield singled scoring Santiago Espinal and Spencer Horwitz
  • A batter later, Bo Bichette doubled home Springer and Merrifield
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 3rd on a ground out hit by Horwitz that scored Varsho
  • Jon Gray pitching line: 2.1IP 6H 6R (all earned) 3BB 2K 56 pitches (34 for strikes)
  • The Rangers got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning as Josh Jung singled scoring Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis Garcia.  Kevin Kiermaier was charged with a throwing error on the play
  • The Rangers got a pair back in the bottom of the 4th as Corey Seagar doubled scoring Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras
  • Two batters later, Garcia singled home Seagar
  • Chris Bassitt pitching line: 3.2IP 7H 5R (3 earned) 3BB 2K 73 pitches (46 for strikes)
  • The Rangers tied the game in the bottom of the 5th as Jonah Heim bashed a solo jack to right  
  • Three batters later, Taveras singled scoring Mitch Garver
  • A batter later,  Duran scored on a sac fly by Marcus Semien
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 6th as Springer singled scoring Kiermaier
  • The Rangers added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th as Taveras whacked a 2- run jack to right-center and into the Rangers bullpen; also scoring Duran
  • Two batters later, Seagar singled scoring Semien
  • Final score: Rangers 11 Blue Jays 7

My Take:

  • It was another rough start for Chris Bassitt,  who gave up five runs (three earned thanks to a throwing error by Kevin Kiermaier) on seven hits while walking three and striking out two.  To be fair, Bassitt had to pitch to two different catchers after Alejandro Kirk had to leave the game after getting hit by a pitch at the start of the second inning.  He was also victimized by sloppy defense (an uncharacteristic throwing error by Kiermaier and a bloop single that dropped between three fielders). Nonetheless,  Bassitt did not have his best stuff today and will no doubt be searching for answers between starts this week.
  • The bullpen wasn't much better,  giving up a further six runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four.  Nate Pearson and Adam Cimber were both taken deep.  Yimi Garcia was the only pitcher not to allow a baserunner.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays jumped out to a 6-0 lead after their 3rd turn at the plate thanks to clutch hits from Whit Merrifield and Bo Bichette, as well as a sac fly by Daulton Varsho and RBI groundout by Spencer Horwitz. The blue jays had little response after the Rangers came back to take the lead over the next three innings.  They would get one back in the 6th inning but just three base runners after that inning
  • Here's hoping Alejandro Kirk doesn't miss too much time since they don't have a viable third catcher they trust.  When Danny Jansen went down with a groin strain,  Tyler Heineman was recalled and played five games. In most of those games Kirk went back behind the plate. The fact that there is no fracture means Kirk won't need to miss several weeks.  I can see him missing the first two games of the series that starts tomorrow in Miami, and perhaps Heineman is recalled as insurance in case he is needed for Wednesdays matinee. 
  • Spencer Horwitz had a strong start to his big league career,  getting his first major league hit in his first big league AB on a sharp single.  He would later score his his career run that inning.  In his next AB, Horwitz got his first career RBI, on a groundout.  He later drew his first career walk and struck out twice.  Horwitz has earned another start. 
  • Up next,  the Blue Jays head to Miami to finish off the road trip and stretch of 13 games in 13 days. In 2021, the Blue Jays swept the 4 game season series, outscoring the Marlins 16-8. Jose Berrios starts against Marlins righty Bryan Hoeing.q