Saturday, September 30, 2023

Game #161 - Tampa Bay Rays (98-63) @ Toronto Blue Jays (89-72) - game recap


Daulton Varsho drove in 3 runs and scored a run in a losing effort as the Rays came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 7-5 in 10 innings

After a resounding win over the Rays,  the Blue Jays were looking to punch their ticket into the postseason with a win.  Also,  they were looking to extend the win streak to 3 and notch their 31st series win of the season. Hyun Jin Ryu got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. George Springer got the half day off as DH with Cavan Biggio in RF.  Whit Merrifield got the start at 2B.  Could the Blue Jays extend the win streak to 3 games,  notch their 31st series win of the season and clinch a spot in the post season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Isaac Paredes singled scoring Randy Arozarena
  • Shawn Armstrong pitching line: 1IP 0H 0R 2BB 0K 23 pitches (12 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 3rd as Josh Lowe doubled scoring Harold Ramirez
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Daulton Varsho hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in right
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching line: 3IP 7H 2R (both earned) 0BB 1K 52 pitches (37 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the 4th as Varsho singled scoring Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Kiermaier 
  • A batter later, George Springer singled home Whit Merrifield
  • The Rays tied the game in the top of the 5th as Ramirez smashed a 2-run jack to left-center; also scoring Arozarena
  • The Rays took the lead in the top of the 10th as Taylor Walls singled scoring Oslevis Basabe and Lowe 
  • A batter later, Junior Caminero legged out an infield singled that plated Raimel Tapia
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Bo Bichette doubled scoring Cavan Biggio
  • Final score: Rays 7 Blue Jays 5

My Take:

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu battled through 3 innings, giving up a pair of runs on 7 hits while walking none and striking out 1. In what was likely his last appearance in a Blue Jays uniform, Hyun-Jin Ryu  was knocked around by the Rays, who got three straight hits in the 1st inning for a 1-0 lead before Ryu retired the next two batters to escape the jam. If this was his last appearance for the Blue Jays, Ryu finishes with a 24-15 regular season record and a solid 3.95 ERA over 59 starts. His lone postseason start for the Blue Jays was a disaster, lasting just 1.2 innings against the Rays, allowing 7 runs (3 earned). He has shown enough in the last month of the season that some team will tajke a chance on him. 
  • The bullpen gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4 over the last 7 innings. Interesting move swapping the two Jordans (typical closer Romano came in for the 8th inning and Jordan Hicks was tasked with trying to give the Blue Jays a chance to walk it off in the 9th and 10th innings). Romano did his job and Hicks did in the 9th too, but not the 10th inning. Also Hicks threw a lot of pitches and now may not be available in what could be a must win regular season finale..
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays came back and took the lead thanks to Daulton Varsho, who drove in 3 runs and scored one on a solo bomb to the second deck in right. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays weren't able to tack on any insurance runs or take the lead in the bottom of the 9th. Bichette did knock one in with an RBI double in the 10th, but the Blue Jays could not come any closer.\
  • The Blue Jays were 3-13 with runners in scoring position
  • In terms of the WC race, the Mariners lose tonight and the Blue Jays clinch a playoff spot. If the Mariners and Astros win, the Astros and Rangers would be tied for top spot in the AL West and the Mariners would be a half game behind for the last WC spot.
  • Up next, the last game of the regular season. If the Mariners win, Kevin Gausman would start. The Rays have not named their starter either.