Saturday, September 9, 2023

Game #142 - Kansas City Royals (44-99) @ Toronto Blue Jays (79-63) - game recap


George Springer drove in 4 runs and homered twice in a 5-1 victory over the Royals.

After barely hanging on for the win last night, the Blue Jays were looking for their 26th series win of the season and second straight win. Kevin Gausman got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Davis Schneider was at 2B and Ernie Clement was at SS. Spencer Horwitz served as DH. Could the Blue Jays make it two straight wins and 26 series wins? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • James MacArthur pitching line: 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K 23 pitches (15 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as George Springer smacked a solo blast to left- center
  • The Royals tied it up in the top of the 5th as Edward Olivares belted a solo jack to left-center
  • The Blue Jays retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Springer singled scoring Alejandro Kirk and Daulton Varsho
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Cavan Biggio doubled scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 
  • The Blue Jays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Springer smacked a solo jack to the opposite field in right-center and into the Royals bullpen
  • Kevin Gausman pitching line: 8IP 2H 1R (earned) 1BB 10K 105 pitches (76 for strikes)
  • Final score: Blue Jays 5 Royals 1

My Take:

  • Kevin Gausman pitched 8 excellent innings, allowing a run on 2 hits while walking 1 and striking out 10. After allowing a 2nd inning leadoff walk, Gausman retired 11 in a row, before Edward Olivares took him deep for the only run against for the Royals. He finished his start off with a flourish, retiring the last 7 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the 8th inning. If only John Schneider would show the lefty starters (Yusei Kikuchi and Hyun-Jin Ryu) the same level of trust he does with Gausman, Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt, the bullpen may be fresher and the Blue Jays may have a few more wins because the bullpen might not have blown some games due to fatigue from being overworked.
  • Jordan Hicks threw a perfect 9th, throwing an efficient 7 pitches.
  • George Springer did the damage offensively today, driving in 4 runs, including himself twice on a pair of solo jacks. Cavan Biggio drove in the other run on an RBI double.
  • The rookie phenoms had an off-day, going a combined 1-11 with Spencer Horwitz getting the only hit on the day.
  • The Blue Jays were 1-6 with runners in scoring position
  • In terms of the wild card race, the Blue Jays gained a half game on the Mariners, Astros, Red Sox, and Rangers with today's win. The Mariners, the only game playing at the time of the release of this recap, were down 5-4 against the Rays in the top of the 8th. A win by the Mariners woould move them back a game up on the Blue Jays for the 2nd WC spot. A Mariners loss would mean the two teams would be tied with the Mariners holding the tiebreaker on a better intradivisional record. The Red Sox game had just started, delayed 90 minutes by a rain delay, and a loss by the Red Sox would put them a near insurmountable 7 games back of the Blue Jays for the 3rd WC spot, even with the Red Sox playing in Toronto next weekend for the final three games of the season series. The Rangers and Astros were set to start their games in an hour. A Rangers win would move them 1.5 games back of the Blue Jays for the 3rd WC spot, a loss would drop the Rangers 2.5 games back of the Blue Jays with the two squads opening a 4-game series in Toronto in just over 48 hours. The Astros were hoping to solidify their lead on the AL West division title with a win. If the Mariners and Astros both win or both lose , the Astros remain a half game up on the  Mariners in the AL West. An Astros win and Mariners loss extends the lead over the Mariners to 1.5 games. A Mariners win and Astros loss means the Mariners take over top spot in the AL West by a half game. By the way, the Mariners hold the tiebreaker over the Astros having already won the season series with three games left in the season series in Seattle to open the final week of the season. In short, lots could happen in the wild card standings by the end of the night.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays go for their 3rd straight win and 8th series sweep of the season. Jose Berrios starts against Royals lefty Cole Ragans.