Thursday, August 10, 2023

Game #117 - Toronto Blue Jays (65-52) @ Cleveland Guardians (56-60) - game recap


Whit Merrifield scored a run and drove in a run in a losing effort as the Guardians came from behind to edge the Blue Jays 4-3

After eking out a 1-0 shutout win thanks to seven excellent innings from Kevin Gausman and a George Springer solo HR, the Blue Jays were looking for two straight wins over the Guardians and their 23rd series win of the season. Alek Manoah got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Brandon Belt at 1B. Nathan Lukes got the start in CF. Santiago Espinal was at SS. Could the Blue Jays extend the win streak to 2 games and notch their 23rd series win of the season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Santiago Espinal singled scoring Danny Jansen
  • The Guardians tied it in the bottom half of the inning as Jose Tena singled scoring Ramon Laureano
  • A batter later, Brayan Rocchio doubled scoring Bo Naylor
  • The Guardians added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Tena singled home Laureano
  • Three batters later, Rocchio scored on a groundout by Kole Calhoun 
  • Alek Manoah pitching line: 4IP 4H 4R (all earned) 3BB 6K 93 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • Noah Syndergaard pitching line: 5.2IP 6H 1R (earned) 2BB 5K 87 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Whit Merrifield doubled scoring Cavan Biggio
  • A batter later, Brandon Belt singled home Merrifield
  • A batter after that, George Springer and manager John Schneider were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes after Springer was called out on strikes
  • Emmanuel Clase pitched a perfect 9th for his 31st save of the season. 
  • Final score: Guardians 4 Blue Jays 3

My Take:

  • Alek Manoah battled through 4 innings plus 2 batters,  giving up 4 runs on 4 his while walking 3 and striking out 6. He threw a ton of pitches, messing almost 100 pitches to get through 4 innings. One encouraging sign is he did retire 7 batters in a row at one point. Manoah remains a work in progress
  • The bullpen gave up a hit and 2 walks over the last 4 innings. Thankfully this stretch of 17 games in 17 games ends after Sunday's game, then the Blue Jays have 2 off days next week?
  • Let's talk roboumps. George Springer and John Schneider were both ejected in the 7th inning for arguing balls and strikes after Springer struck out looking (on the pitch tracker strike three looked like it barely caught the bottom edge of the strike zone). You cannot challenge balls and strikes in the majors (they are testing the ability to do so in the minors). Another alternative to humans calling balls and strikes is the use of roboumps. There are flaws with that too because it works by computer, which are only a good as humans build them. A lot of the issues with inconsistency with balls and strikes is because catchers dramatically move their glove back in the the strike zone. Go back a decade and catchers weren't nearly that bad. If catchers are so confident a pitch is a strike, just hold the glove in the position where the ball is caught. Besides, the definition of a strike is where the ball passes through the strike zone, not where the catcher catches the ball. Therefore, his moving the glove should automatically render the pitch a ball quite frankly.
  • I feel like a broken record, but the inability to drive in runners in scoring position has cost the Blue Jays another game. They had runners on the corners in the 1st inning and Chapman struck out swinging to end the threat without a run scored. Two Baez loaded opportunities in the 6th and 7th - no runs.  The Blue jays were 5-13 with runners in scoring position. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays return home to take on the Chicago Cubs. Last season,  the Blue Jays won the season series 2-1, outscoring the Cubs 15-14. Jose Berrios starts against Cubs righty Javier Assad.