Sunday, July 2, 2023

Game #85- Boston Red Sox (43-42) @ Toronto Blue Jays (45-40) - game recap

Brandon Belt hit a pair of solo HR in a losing effort as the Red Soz defeated the Blue Jays 5-4 to improve their record against the Blue Jays to a perfect 7-0 and also clinch the season series.

After a heartbreaking loss due to Bo Bichette blowing through a late stop sign from this base coach Luis Rivera, the Blue Jays were looking to snap the 2- game skid, win their first game against the Red Sox this season and end the homestand on a winning note.  Kevin Gausman got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Whit Merrifield got the start at 2B. Could the Blue Jays end the homestand with a win, finally win one against the Red Sox after dropping 7 straight to their AL East division rivals and snap the two- game skid? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Red Sox opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Rafael Devers singled scoring Jarren Duran
  • The Blue Jays ties the game in thebottom half of the inning as Brandon Belt belted a solo jack to right
  • Garrett Whitlock pitching line: 1IP 1H 1R (earned) 0BB 1K 18 pitches (11 for strikes)
  • The Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 3rd as Devers singled home Duran
  • The Blue Jays room the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Bo Bichette singled scoring Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer 
  • Kevin Gausman pitching line: 5IP 5H 2R (both earned) 1BB 7K 98 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Belt belted a solo bomb to dead center
  • The Red Sox got one back in the top of the 7th as Justin Turner singled scoring Duran
  • A batter later, Turner scored on a ground out by Alex Verdugo. Vladimir Guerrero Jr was charged with a throwing error on the play
  • The Red Sox took the lead in the top of the 9th as Verdugo hammered a solo bomb to right
  • Joe Jacques pitched a perfect 9th for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 4

My Take:

  • Kevin Gausman battled through 5 innings,  hi p giving up a pair of runs on 5 hits while waking one and striking out 7. Credit the Red Sox hitters,  who did a good job of working the count, forcing Gausman to throw a ton of pitches and drive his pitch count up. Gausman let with the chance to win.  He just needed his team to help him out today.
  • Sadly the bullpen blew the game for Gausman the very next inning in short order.  While Yimi Garcia was able to escape the jam Tim Mayza created by allowing a pair of base knocks in the 6th inning, Erik Swanson was not able to escape his jam. After allowing an RBI Justin Turner single, Swanson has to watch helplessly as Vlad made a bad throw across the diamond that allowed Turner to scramble home for the tying run. Closer Jordan Romano gave up the winning run on the first pitch to Alex Verdugo. 
  • The offense was stymied by the Red Sox bullpen after starter Garrett Whitlock was forced to leave the game after the 1st inning.  Brandon Belt hit a pair of solo home runs,  one in the 1st inning and one in the 5th inning.  Bo Bichette drove in a pair in the 3rd inning,  then went and killed the rally by getting thrown out at 2B trying to stretch the double into a single (was there another missed stop sign?). Alejandro Kirk had a one out single in the 7th inning and that was the last base runner the Blue Jays would get with Red Sox pitchers retiring the next 8 batters in order.  Pinch runner Ernie Clement never even advanced past 1st base. 
  • It's head scratching that the Blue Jays can't muster a win against the Boston Red Sox, who were a few games below .500 and dead last in the AL East and had lost five in a row coming into this series. The Blue Jays absolutely dominated the Red Sox last season,  winning 16 of the 19 games,  outscoring the Red Sox 125-55. so far this season, the Red Sox are a perfect 7-0 and have now outscored the Blue Jays 49-29. They have also clinched the season series with just two 3-game series left (August 4-6 @ Fenway Park and September 15-17 in Toronto). Really,  the Blue Jays should have won yesterday had Luis Rivera played it smart and stopped Bo Bichette. Matt Chapman, who was 2-3 on the day, was on deck and would have been facing a situation where there were runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, but facing a tiring Kenley Jansen, who had already thrown over twenty pitches. However,  Bichette tried to score and was out by a mile. 
  • The Blue Jays preached paying attention to the little details in games and really that lack of attention to detail was why the Blue Jays lost today.  Bo Bichette hitting a single to give the Blue Jays the lead and then bring thrown out at 2nd base to kill the rally. Vlad making a bad throw to let Justin Turner score from 1st base on a groundout. Jordan Romano throwing the first pitch he threw right down the middle of the plate.
  • Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays begin a week long road trip that begins Tuesday in Chicago. Chris Bassitt starts against White Sox righty Lucas Giolito.