Saturday, August 5, 2023

Game #112 - Toronto Blue Jays (62-50) @ Boston Red Sox (57-53) - game recap


Kevin Kiermaier drove in the game winning run as the Blue Jays hung on to edge the Red Sox 5-4

After a statement win over the Red Sox that included the first career hit and home run for 28th rounder Davis Schneider and a solid effort from Alek Manoah,  the Blue Jays were going for their second straight win and 22nd series win of the season (the Red Sox have already clinched the season series after winning seven straight over the Blue Jays). Jose Berrios got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate (initially Danny Jansen was in the lineup but was remoqaved late with lingering right wrist inflammation, likely stemming from getting hit by a pitch last Wednesday). Brandon Belt served as DH.  Could the Blue  Jays extend the win streak to 2 games and notch theitr 22nd series win of the season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • John Schreiber pitching line: 1IP. 1H 0R 0BB 1K 17 pitches (15 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 3rd as Brandon Belt belted a solo bottom to the opposite field in left-center and over the green monster
  • Three batters later, Alejandro Kirk doubled scoring George Springer
  • Two batters later, Daulton Varsho singled home Kirk
  • The Red Sox tied it up in the bottom of the 4th as Rafael Devers hammered a 3-run bomb to right-center; also scoring Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the top of the 6th as Belt singled scoring Davis Schneider
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 5.2IP 6H 3R (all earned) 0BB 6K 85 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the top of the 9th as Kevin Kiermaier singled scoring Springer 
  • The Red Sox got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Luis Urias singled scoring Adam Duvall
  • Erik Swanson got the last 2 outs for his 4th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 Red Sox 4

My Take:

  • Jose Berrios battled through 5.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking none and striking out 6. Other than the one mistake pitch in the 4th inning that landed beyond the bulpens in right-center for 3 runs, Berrios was solid. He retired 8 of the first 10 batters he faced and 8 in a row after giving up the home run. He still makes you hold your breath start to start as he is prone to bad starts at times, but when he is dialled in, he is one of the better pitchers in the game.
  • Is this bullpen good enough to help the Blue Jays get deep in the playoffs? That is very much in question. They blew a huge lead in the 2nd WC game against Seattle in October last year. Today, they got a bit fortunate when Reese McGuire completely misread a fly ball that was caught at the warning track. The Red Six had already plated a run in the 9th inning and were threatening to at least tie the game or walk it off until that brutal baserunning error. Yimi Garcia, who had a riugh 1st half, has been much better lately. The two lefties in the bullpen, Genesis Cabrera and Tim Mayza, have been solid. The health of Jordan Romano will be a factor and also bullpen usage down the stretch. They will need to be solid with the Blue Jays offensive struggles with runners in scoring position.
  • The offense was sparked by Brandon Belt (homered and drove in the 4th run), George Springer (scored twice, including the game winning run) and Alejandro Kirk.(drove in a run and scored a run)
  • How about Davis Schneider? He is giving every amateur athlete reason to hope and never give up on your dreams. It's not often that players selected in the 28th round play in the majors. Schneider has beaten the odds and is taking full advantage of the opportunity, with 5 hits, including a home run in his first big league at-bat, in his first 8 AB. He even made a nice play on the fly in the 5th inning. It's a likely he'll be optioned back to AAA-ball once Bo Bichette is ready to return from his knee injury, but in the meantime, Schneider is playing with zero pressure and just soaking in the experience.
  • George Springer may be heating up at the right time. After struggling mightily and being dropped from the leadoff spot, Springer has hits in 3 of his last 4 games
  • The Blue Jays were 5-12 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to extend the win streak to 3 games and complete their 7th series sweep of the season. Chris Bassitt starts for the Blue Jays. The Red Sox have yet to name a starter.