Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Game #109 - Baltimore Orioles (66-42) @ Toronto Blue Jays (60-49) - game recap


Yusei Kikuchi threw 6 solid innings in a 4-1 victory over the Orioles

After a blowout loss yesterday on Hyun-Jin Ryu's return to the majors following Tommy John surgery,  the Blue Jays were looking to snap a three game skid.  Bo Bichette was placed on the 10-day ILwith rightknee patellar tendonitis (retroactive to August 1). Paul DeJong from his roster spot and started at SS tonight. Nate Pearson was optioned to AAA- ball and Thomas Hatch was recalled in his place. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Brandon Belt at 1B. Could the Blue Jays snap the three game skid? Here is tonight's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as George Springer singled scoring Brandon Belt 
  • The Orioles tied it up in the top of the 5th as Adley Rutschman singled scoring James McCann
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the bottom of the 6th as Matt Chapman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded forcing in Belt
  • A batter later,  Danny Jansen was hit by a pitch forcing in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 
  • A batter after that, Springer scored on a fielder's choice hit by Daulton Varsho
  • Grayson Rodriguez pitching line: 5.2IP 2H 3R (all earned) 2BB 6K 96 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 6IP 6H 1R (earned) 1BB 3K 91 pitches (60 for strikes)
  • Erik Swanson pitched a scoreless 9th for his 3rd save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 4 Orioles 1

My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi threw 6 solid innings,  giving up a run on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 3. After allowing a one out single in the 1st inning, Kikuchi retired the next 6 batters. He didn't get into too many hands, other than the 3rd inning where he allowed a hit and a walk with 2 outs before getting Anthony Santander to ground out to 3B, and the 5th inning when he gave up his only run. I would consider Kikuchi for a playoff start in the divisional round, especially if the Blue Jays were up a game or two in the series. Definitely he'd make the playoff roster.
  • The bullpen was much better tonight after blowing up last night, holding the Orioles to a hit and a walk in the last 3 innings. Jordan Hicks redeemed himself after allowing a couple of runs in his Blue Jays debut last night, walking a batter and striking out a batter in his inning of work. Erik Swanson got the save and got the final out of the game by picking off Jordan Westburg at 1st base. That's the beauty of baseball, if you have a bad game,  you usually don't have to wait long to redeem yourself (unless you are a starting pitcher)
  • The Blue Jays offense literally laid their bodies on the line to win this one. Both Danny Jansen and Matt Chapman were hit by pitches in the 6th inning with the bases loaded. George Springer finally got the monkey off his back, snapping an 0-35 hitless drought dating back to July 22. You could see the absolute relief on his face when he got the RBI single. 
  • Paul DeJong was 0-3 in his Blue Jays debut.  He was involved in 2 plays defensively tonight
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for two straight wins. Kevin Gausman starts against Orioles righty Jack Flaherty