Friday, July 7, 2023

Games #87 and 88- Toronto Blue Jays (48-40) @ Chicago White Sox (37-52) - game recap (records reflect what they were after the 2nd game)


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in a run and scored a run in the first game of today's double header and drove in a pair of runs in the second game of the double header as the Blue Jays swept the double header and season series with a 6-2 win in game 1 in 11 innings and a 5-4 come-from-behind win in the second game of today's double header

After yesterday's game was drained it,  the White Sox and Blue Jays played a double header to wrap up the season series. Jay Jackson was the 27th man for the double header. Jose Berrios started the 1st game and Yusei Kikuchi starts the 2nd grant. Alejandro Kirk was behind the plate the 1st game and Danny Jansen caught game 2 of the double header. Bo Bichette was in the field the 1st game and served a DH in the 2nd game (Santiago Espinal took his spot at SS). Vlad was DH in the 1st game and in the field for the 2nd game (Brandon Belt was at 1B in game 1). Kevin Kiermaier was in CF game 1 and Daulton Varsho was in CF game 2. Could the Blue Jays extend the win streak to three games and compete their 5th series sweep of the season and 5th season series so of the season? Here is/are tonight's game recap(s).

Game Highlights (1st game):

  • Lance Lynn pitching line: 7IP 1H 0R 1BB 11K 102 pitches (67 for strikes)
  • Jose Berrios pitching line 7IP 1H 0R 1BB 6K 89 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 11th as George Springer singled scoring Cavan Biggio 
  • A batter later, Bo Bichette singled scoring Santiago Espinal
  • A batter after that, Daulton Varsho singled home Springer
  • A batter later,  Vladimir Guerrero Jr singled scoring Bichette
  • Three batters later, Biggio doubled home Guerrero Jr and Matt Chapman 
  • The White Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Oscar Colas doubled scoring Jake Burger
  • A batter later, Andrew Vaughn singled home Colas 
  • Yimi Garcia got the last three outs for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 White Sox 2 (11 innings)

My Take (1st game):

  • For the first seven innings, it was a pitcher's duel with both Jose Berrios and Lance Lynn both allowing a hit and a walk. Berrios threw a few less pitches since he struck out half as many batters as Lynn (6). It was easily Berrios' best start of the season and perhaps in a Blue Jays uniform. In fact, after the 3rd inning, the only other base runner Berrios had to contend with reached because of a fielding error by Cavan Biggio and Alejandro Kirk threw that baserunner out at 2nd base in short order. Berrios ends his 1st half of the season with an 8-6 record with a 3:74 ERA in 18 starts
  • The bullpen gave up a pair of runs on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6 over the last 4 innings. Trevor Richards pitched two strong innings,  giving up a hit and striking out 4. Yimi Garcia recorded the last 2 outs for his 1st save of the season. He has been better of late after being one of the Blue Jays worst pitchers overall for much of the 1st half
  • It was nice to see the offense rally for 6 runs in the 11th inning, Biggio was in on three of the runs, scoring the first run and driving in the last two with a double. George Springer, Bo Bichette,  Vlad and Daulton Varsho each drive in one run on RBI singles. 
  • Up next, the second game of the double header. Yusei Kikuchi starts against White Sox righty Jesse Scholtens
Game Highlights (2nd game):
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Whit Merrifield whacked a solo blast to left-center
  • The White Sox tied it up in the bottom of the 3rd as Tim Anderson singled scoring Andrew Benintendi
  • Two batters later, Eloy Jiminez smacked a 2-run blast to the opposite field in right: also scoring Anderson
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 4th as Matt Chapman smacked a solo blast to left and into the White Sox bullpen
  • The Blue Jays tied it up in the top of the 5th as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring George Springer
  • Jesse Scholtens pitching line: 4IP 11H 3R (all earned) 0BB 1K 73 pitches (48 for strikes)
  • The White Sox retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a double play ball hit by Anderson that scored Sevy Zavala
  • The Blue Jays tied it up again in the top of the 6th as Merrifield smacked a solo blast to left-center
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 5IP 8H 4R (all earned) 0BB 4K 78 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 7th as Guerrero Jr doubled scoring Bo Bichette
  • Nate Pearson got the last 4 outs for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 White Sox 4
My Take (2nd game):
  • It's certainly not the way Yusei Kikuchi wanted to end his 1st half. The Japanese lefty was touched up for 4 runs on 8 hits while walking none and striking out 4. There's no question that Kikuchi is having a vastly improved season after essentially pitching his way out of the rotation this time last year. In 2022, command was a big problem for Kikuchi and he struggled to pitch even 3 innings, forcing the bullpen to eat up a lot of innings. In 2022, Kikuchi threw 6 or more innings just twice in 20 starts. This year, Kikuchi has pitched into the 6th inning six times. He finishes his first half with 7-3 record and a  4.24 ERA in 18 starts. 
  • The bullpen was solid, giving up just one hit over the last 4 innings. Tim Mayza, Jay Jackson and Nate Pearson each recorded 4 outs. Mayza struck out three of the batters he faced
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays went yard for three of the runs and Vlad drove in a pair
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head to Detroit to wrap up the unofficial first half of the season. The Blue Jays took two of three from the Tigers 3 months ago, outscoring the Tigers 14-9. Alek Manoah starts against Tigers righty Alex Faedo