Saturday, August 12, 2023

Game #119 - Chicago Cubs (61-56) @ Toronto Blue Jays (65-54) - game recap

Santiago Espinal scored a run and drove in a run in a losing effort as the Cubs came from behind to edge the Blue Jays 5-4

After a second straight loss due to the inability to drive in runners in scoring position and a subpar performance from Jose Berrios, the Blue Jays were looking to snap the two game skid and avoid their 11th series loss of the season. Chris Bassitt got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer got the half day off as DH with Cavan Biggio in RF. Paul DeJong  got the full day off with Santiago Espinal at SS. Davis Schneider was at 2B. Could the Blue Jays snap the 2-game skid and avoid their 11 5th series of the season? Here is today's game recap.!

Game Highlights 

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled scoring Daulton Varsho 
  • The Cubs tied the game in the top of the 4th as Cody Bellinger singled scoring Nico Hoerner
  • A batter later, Dansby Swanson hammered a 3- run bomb to the second deck in left- center; also scoring Bellinger and Iran Happ 
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom of the 5th as Whit Merrifield hammered a 2-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Santiago Espinal
  • Justin Steele pitching line: 5IP 6H 3R (all earned) 0BB 7K 84 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied it up in the bottom of the 6th on a ground-rule double by Espinal that scored Davis Schneider
  • Chris Bassitt pitching line: 6IP 4H 4R (all earned) 2BB 6K 99 pitches (70 for strikes)
  • The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 9th as Christopher Morel doubled scoring Bellinger
  • Adbert Azolay pitched a perfect 9th for his 11 save of the season
  • Final score: Cubs 5 Blue Jays 4

My Take:

  • Chris Bassitt threw 6 innings,  allowing 4 runs on 4 hits while waking 2 and striking out 6. He started off well enough, allowing a hit and a walk over the first three innings. In the 4th inning, the Cubs exploded for 4 runs on three hits and a walk,  capped off by a no-doubter, 3-run bomb to the second deck in left, before recording a single out. After giving up that HR, Bassitt retired the next and final 9 batters he faced. 
  • The bullpen gave up a run on 3 hits while walking 1 and striking out three over the last 3 innings. Jordan Hicks was unable to keep the ham tied in the 9th. Giving up a run on 2 hits. Erik Swanson threw a perfect inning. 
  • Offensively,  it was more of the same.  The Blue Jays could not score when they needed to. In fact, they went down in order in the 9th inning. 
  • Whit Merrifield (2 run HR), Santiago Espinal (RBI and run scored) and Vlad (RBI single) did the damage offensively
  • The Blue Jays were 2-6 with runners in scoring position
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the 3 game skid and avoid being swept for the 4th time this season. Hyun-Jin Ryu starts against Cubs righty Jameson Taillon.1