Monday, August 28, 2023

Game #132 - Washington Nationals (61-71) @ Toronto Blue Jays (72-60) - game recap


Danny Jansen scored 3 times, including a solo HR in a 6-3 win over the Nationals

After a disappointing extra innings loss yesterday, the Blue Jays were looking to start a crucial series against bottom feeders, the Washington Nationals, who took 3-4 from the Blue Jays and outscored the Blue Jays 33-22. Matt Chapman was placed on the 10-day IL with a middle finger sprain. Ernie Clement was recalled from AAA-ball and got the start at SS with Bo Bichette being given the compete day off to rest his sore quad. Ace Kevin Gausman got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. Davis Schneider was at the hot corner and Whit Merrifield got the start at 2B. Kevin Kiermaier was in CF and Daulton Varsho was in LF. Vlad was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday (Brandon Belt served as DH. Could the Blue Jays start the week with a win? Here is tonight's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Nationals opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Joey Meneses singled scoring. CJ Abrams
  • The Blue a Jays tied it up in the bottom of the 2nd as George Springer singled home Danny Jansen
  • Two batters later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr doubled scoring Kevin Kiermaier and Springer
  • A batter later, Davis Schneider singled home Guerrero Jr. 
  • Josiah Gray pitching line: 2IP 4H 4R (all earned) 4BB 2K 63 pitches (36 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 3rd as Jansen hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in left
  • The Nationals got a pair back in the top of the 5th as Meneses doubled scoring Abrams and Lane Thomas
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom half of the inning as Kiermaier singled scoring Jansen
  • Kevin Gausman pitching line: 7H 3R (all earned) 2BB 7K 99 pitches (68 for strikes)
  • Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless 9th for his 12th save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Nationals 3

My Take:

  • Kevin Gausman battled through 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Not his best or most efficient start. He needed 99 pitches to get through 5 innings. He also dealt with base runners in every inning, although Gausman was able to erase the 2nd inning walk by picking off Alex Call.  No question Gausman would start the opening game of a wild card series. 
  • The bullpen was near perfect, giving up just a 2-out walk in HR 9th. Trevor Richards was able to through a couple of innings to save the bullpen a bit.  With Jordan Romano understandably unavailable after throwing 1.2 innings yesterday and over 30 pitches. 
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays jumped all over Nationals righty Josiah Gray,  loading the bases in the 1st inning and then knocking him out of the game in the 2nd inning after scoring four times and driving the pitch count over 60. The core players came through with Danny Jansen scoring 3 times, including a mammoth home run, Vlad drove in a pair and scored once, George Springer (batting leadoff for the first time in a while) drove in one and scored one. 
  • Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit
  • The Blue Jays were 5-10 with runners in scoring position
  • In terms of the wild card race, the Rangers and Astros both won, meaning the Blue Jays remain 2.5 games back of the final wild card spot. The Red Sox are 3 games back of the Blue Jays and five games back of the final wild card race.  The Mariners were up early on the A's. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for two straight wins and their 24th series win of the season and their 14th season series win of the season. Jose Berrios starts against Nationals lefty MacKenzie Gore