Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Game #146 - Texas Rangers (81-64) @ Toronto Blue Jays (80-66) - game recap


Santiago Espinal had a pait of hits in a 10-0 shutout loss to the Rangers

After a 2nd straight loss to the Rangers due to the Blue Jays bullpen giving up 3 runs and the Rangers bullpen limiting the Blue Jays offense to 3 runs, the Blue Jays were looking to snap the 2-game skid. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Vlad was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday.  Bo Bichette got the half day off as DH with Ernie Clement at SS. Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner. Daulton Varsho was in CF and Whit Merrifield was in LF. Could he Blue Jays avoid their 3rd straight loss? Here is tonight's game recap

Game Highlights:

  • The Rangers opened the scoring in the top of the 4th as Jonah Heim singled scoring Corey Seagar
  • A batter later, Nathaniel Lowe hammered a 3- run bomb to dead center; also scoring Heim and Robbie Grossman
  • The Rangers added a pair of runs in the top of the 5th as Grossman drilled a 2-run jack to left; also scoring Seagar
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 5IP 5H 6R (all earned) 2BB 3K 89 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Rangers added a run in the top of the 6th as Evan Carter singled scoring Lowe
  • Jordan Montgomery pitching line: 7IP 4H 0R 1BB 3K 97 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Rangers added 3 runs in the top of the 9th as mitch Garver hammered a 3-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Carter and Grossman
  • Final score: Rangers 10 Blue Jays 0

My Take: 

  • Yusei Kikuchi had a rough outing giving up 6 runs on 5 his while walking 2 and striking out three. While Kikuchi threw the same number of strikes as Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery (55), that was the only common factor between the two starting pitchers tonight. The big problem for Kikuchi tonight was the inability to keep the ball in the ballpark. In fact five of the Rangers 6 runs scored of him were from two home runs (a 3- run shot in the 4th inning and a 2- run jack in the 6th inning). Kikuchi looked good in the first three innings, n retiring nine of the ten batters faced.The Rangers adjusted second time through the order, scoring 6 runs on five hits and a walk.You can bet John Schneider and Co are evaluating all the pitchers (starters and relievers) to determine who makes the playoff roster. 
  • The bullpen gave up 4 runs on 6 his while walking 2 and striking out 4 over the last 4 innings. Bowden Francis gave up a run and later,  Chad Green was taken deep for 3 runs.  Genesis Cabrera had s nice bounceback effort after giving up a grand slam in the series opener. Cabrera pitched a perfect 8th inning, retiring every Baggett he faced (he was the only pitcher to do so tonight.
  • Offensively,  not much to write home about tonight. Through the first seven innings,  they had five total baserunners. They managed just one more baserunner in the last 2 innings that was erased by an inning ending double play. 
  • In terms of the wild card race,  the Blue Jays received no help on the scoreboard with the Mariners and Astros both winning. The Blue jays are now completely out of a playoff spot, a game behind the Mariners and 1.5 games behind the Rangers. The Astros remain a game ahead of the Rangers and 1.5 games up on HR Mariners for the AL west division title. Mother nature may have given the Blue Jays an assist with the Red Sox game getting rained out forcing their second double header this week and in a span of less than 72 hours. They will no doubt be tried by the time they get to Toronto. ,
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap a 3 game skid and avoid being swept for the 4th time this season. Kevin Gausman starts against Rangers righty Nathan Eovaldi