Sunday, September 3, 2023

Game #137 - Toronto Blue Jays (75-62) @ Colorado Rockies (50-86) - game recap


Whit Merrifield drove in the winning run in a 7-5 come-from-behind win over the Rockies

After a heartbreaking loss yesterday due to a late game rally falling short,  the Blue Jays were going for their 25th series win and 14th season series win of the season. Ace Kevin Gausman got the start with Tyler Heineman behind the plate.  Vlad got the half day off as DH with Spencer Horwitz at 1B (Brandon Belt was originally in the lineup at 1B but was removed last minute due to lower back tightness). Daulton Varsho was in CF and Whit Merrifield was in LF.  Davis Schneider got the start at 2B. Cavan Biggio was at the hot corner. Could the Blue Jays notch their 25th series win and 14th season series win of the season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 3rd as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. bashed a solo jack to left
  • The Rockies tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Ryan McMahon doubled scoring Ezequiel Tovar
  • A batter later, Nolan Jones singled home McMahon
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 4th as Spencer Horwitz whacked a solo bomb to right-center for his first career home run
  • The Rockies retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Hunter Goodman doubled scoring Montero
  • Chase Anderson pitching line: 4IP 4H 2R (both earned) 2BB 3K 66 pitches (39 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 5th as Guerrero Jr. singled scoring Cavan Biggio. Guerrero Jr. advanced to 2nd base on a throwing error by Jones
  • A batter later, Davis Schneider doubled scoring Guerrero Jr.
  • A batter after that, Horwitz singled home Schneider
  • Kevin Gausman pitching line: 4IP 6H 3R (all earned) 3BB 5K 67 pitches (40 for strikes)
  • The Rockies ties the game in the bottom half of the inning as Goodman doubled scoring Brendan Rodgers and Montero
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 9th as Whit Merrifield singled scoring Mason McCoy
  • A batter later, Ernie Clement singled home Horwitz
  • Jordan Romano pitched a perfect 9th for his 32nd save of the season.
  • Final score: Blue Jays 7 Rockies 5

My Take:

  • It was a rain-shortened start for Kevin Gausman, who threw 4 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5. After the hour long rain delay, both teams elected to turn to their bullpens. Gausman retired the side in order in the 1st inning, walked a couple of batters in the 2nd inning, allowed a pair of runs on 4 hits in the 3rd innning and gave up a 3rd run in the 4th inning on a pair of hits and a walk. In short, he was pitching in and out of jams most of the day. At least he should be pretty fresh for his next start at home against KC.
  • The bullpen gave up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6 over the last 5 innings. Chad Green, who looked much better after a shaky first outing in a Blue Jays uniform Friday night, was credited with the win. A rested Jordan Romano finished the game off with an efficient 12 pitches. Jordan Hicks and Tim Mayza also retired every batter they faced.
  • Offensively, the kids did much of the damage today once again with Davis Schneider, Spencer Horwitz and Ernie Clement combining to go 7-13 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. Schneider and Horwitz each drew a walk. For Clement, the defense is still a work in progress.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is an enigma this season. He showed flashes of his all-star self with a mammoth bomb in the 3rd inning, then nearly ran into an out in the next inning after he got caught admiring what he thought was a home run and then tried to make up for the gaffe by hustling to 2nd base after a throwing error. He was nearly tagged out. Guerrero Jr. needs to start taking the game seriously and playing hard on every play, Otherwise, he could cost the Blue Jays a crucial win down the stretch. After this coming week, the remaining schedule is primarily against AL East teams and the Texas Rangers. Every team but the Yankees are vying for a wild card spot and still very much in the race.
  • Speaking of the Wild card race, the Rangers and Red Sox both won and the Mariners lost. The Astros had an early lead in the late game vs. the Yankees (even the Yankees kind of have something to play for - avoiding a .500 or worse record). The Blue Jays remain 1.5 games back of the Rangers for the final WC spot. If Houston wins, they will be 2.5 games up on the Blue Jays. The Red Sox remain 4 games back of the Blue Jays
  • Up next, the Blue Jays head west to take on the worst team in baseball - the Oakland A's. The Blue Jays took 2 of 3 from the A's back in June, outscoring the A's 23-9. Jose Berrios starts against A's lefty Ken Waldichuk.