Sunday, July 16, 2023

Game #94 - Arizona Diamondbacks (52-42) @ Toronto Blue Jays (53-41) - game recap


Danny Jansen had a clutch 3-run, bases clearing double and picked off a base runner in a 7-5
come-from-behind win over the Diamondbacks

After another win fuelled by some clutch hitting by George Springer and Whit Merrifield, the Blue Jays were going for their 4th straight win, 5th sweep, and 4th season series sweep of the season. Yusei Kikuchi got the start wirh Danny Jansen behind the plate. Vlad was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Kevin Kiermaier was in CF and Santiago Espinal was at 2B. Alejandro Kirk served as DH  Could the Blue Jays make it four straight wins, 5 series sweeps and 4v season series sweeps? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Diamondbacks opened the scoring in the top of the 1st on a comedy of errors by the Blue Jays defense.  First Yusei Kikuchi threw the ball into center field in a pickoff attempt. Then Kevin Kiermaier made a fielding error when attempting to field the errant throw.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored on the play
  • The Diamondbacks added a run in the top of the 2nd on a wild pitch by Kikuchi that scored Nick Ahmed 
  • The Blue jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Santiago Espinal doubled scoring Whit Merrifield
  • A batter later, Kevin Kiermaier singled home Espinal
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 4.2IP 2H 2R (1 earned) 3BB 4K 89 pitches (47 for strikes)
  • The Blue jays took the lead in the bottom of the 5th on a sac fly by Vladimir Guerrero Jr that scored Kiermaier
  • Tommy Henry pitching line: 4.1IP 7H 3R (all earned) 1BB 5K 81 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added 3 runs by inn the bottom of the 8th as Danny Jansen doubled scoring Guerrero Jr, Chapman and Merrifield
  • Two batters later, Daulton Varsho singled home Jansen
  • The Diamondbacks got three back in the top of the 9th as Ketel Marte doubled scoring Corbin Carroll, Geraldo Perdomo and Jake Mccarthy 
  • Erik Swanson got the last out for his 2nd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Diamondbacks 5

My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi battled through 4.2 innings,  giving up a pair of runs (1 earned) on two hits while walking 3 and striking out 4. He was directly responsible for both runs, making a bad throw on a pickoff attempt at 2B in the 1st inning for a run and then uncorking a wild pitch in the 2nd inning for another run.  It was also not the most efficient outing for Kikuchi,  who needed 89 pitches to get through 4.2 innings.  Since he was unable to finish the 5th inning,  he will get a no decision today.  His next start will be against his former team,  the Seattle Mariners, at T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field). He beat the Mariners last season with a 6 shutout inning effort where he allowed a hit and 3 walks while striking out 6. Kikuchi has not faced the Mariners this season. 
  • Oh boy does the bullpen ever make fans nervous at times.  With a 5-run cushion,  the Blue Jays opted to use Mitch White to get the last three outs. The struggling Blue Jays reliever got into a jam,  walking three batters,  turning a non-save situation into a save situation.  Unfortunately,  Erik Swanson gave up a bases clearing double before getting Emmanuel Rivera to fly out to Kiermaier in CF to end the game. The rest of the bullpen allowed a hit and a walk over 3.1 innings.  Jay Jackson and Tim Mayza both retired every batter they faced.
  • Offensively,  the Blue Jays once again benefited from a late game rally, putting up 4 runs in the 8th,  capped by a bases clearing double by Danny Jansen,  who earlier picked off Jake McCarthy at 1B to end the 7th inning. Vlad, who have the Blue Jays the lead with a sac fly in the 5th inning, scored one of the runs
  • Every Blue Jays starter except Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk had at least one hit and all but Kirk reached base at least once. 
  • The Blue jays were 4-7 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, after an off day tomorrow,  the Blue Jays continue the stretch of games against West coast teams as they welcome the San Diego Padres to town.In 2019, the Padres won the season series 2-1, outscoring the Blue Jays 26-17. Alek Manoah starts against Padres righty Joe Musgrove.