Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Game #126 - Toronto Blue Jays (70-56) @ Baltimore Orioles (77-49) - game recap


Brandon Belt hit a 2-run HR in the 10th inning to lift the Blue Jays to a 6-3 extra innings win over the Orioles

After an off-day yesterday, the Blue Jays continued the road trip in Baltimore against the Orioles, who have won 8 of 10 against the Blue Jays to date this season, outscoring the Blue Jays 60-31. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. Rest of the lineup was same as Sunday.  Could the Blue Jays increase the win streak to three games? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Orioles opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Austin Hays doubled scoring Gunnar Henderson
  • The Blue jays took the lead in the top of the 2nd as Daulton Varsho smacked a 2- run blast to right-center; also scoring George Springer
  • The Blue jays added a run in the top of the 4th as Kevin Kiermaier doubled scoring Chapman
  • The Orioles got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Jorge Mateo scores on a throwing error by Danny Jansen. Henderson struck out swinging in the play
  • Two batters later, Jordan Westburg singled scoring Adley Rutschman
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 4.2IP 7H 3R (all earned) 1BB 6K 82 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • Grayson Rodriguez pitching line: 6IP 8H 3R (all earned) 2BB 5K 94 pitches (65 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th as Brandon Belt belted a 2-run bomb to to right-center; also scoring Bo Bichette
  • Three batters later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr scored on a wild pitch by Mike Baumann
  • Jordan Romano pitched a perfect 10th for his 31st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Orioles 3 (10 innings)

My Take:

  • Yusei Kikuchi battled through 4.2 innings,  giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6. Kikuchi was visibly frustrated when he was removed from the game.  It was the right move this time as one run was already in and the Orioles had the go ahead run on base. He gave up a run in the top of the 1st then retired 8 of the next 10 batters. Not his best start of the season but still better than the average start last season. 
  • The bullpen did its job, throwing 5.1 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk and striking out 8. The bullpen is about to get even stronger with Chad Green expected to join the bullpen any day now, probably this week. The X factor with Green is that he is coming off Tommy John surgery, so his effectiveness could be a question mark.  They have a very viable option in Jay Jackson that can be called up if Green can't get the job done or the team needs a fresh arm. The Blue jays also have the pitchers capable of being a closet. They are simply deeper as a unit.  Tim Mayza was credited with the win.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays got a huge home run from Brandon Belt in the 10th and some good bustle from Vlad, who has been criticized for not putting in effort on the bases, who legged out a double and the scored on a wild pitch. Its a little surprising that the Blue Jays do not have a player who has hit 20 home runs yet. Vlad has the power to do it and Bo Bichette is also a strong hitter. They did get two home runs today (Belt's blast in the 10th and Daulton Varsho went deep in the 2nd inning).
  • The Blue jays were 2-9 with runners in scoring position. 
  • In terms of the wild card race, the Astros and Mariners won, meaning the Blue Jays gained a game on the Red Sox and a game back of the Mariners for the final wild card spot and two games back of the Astros for the 2nd wild card spot. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for their 4th straight win and 24th series win of the season. Kevin Gausman starts against Orioles righty Jack Flaherty.