Sunday, October 1, 2023

Game #162 - Tampa Bay Rays (99-63) @ Toronto Blue Jays (89-73) - game recap


Tyler Heineman drove in 3 runs and scored once in a 12-8 loss to the Rays to end regular season play

After clinching a playoff spot thanks to a Mariners loss, who were eliminated from the playoffs thanks to the Astros winning their game last night, the Blue Jays were looking to end the regular season with a win and botch their 31st series win of the season. Righty Wes Parsons was recalled from AAA-ball and made the last start of the season with Tyler Heineman behind the plate. Jay Jackson was DFA'd to make room on the roster. Vlad and George Springer got the compete day off with Cavan Biggio at 1B and white Merrifield in RF. Daulton Varsho was in CF and Cam Eden was in LF. Santiago Espinal was at the hot corner. Davis Schneider got the start at 2B. Could the Blue Jays end the regular season with a win and notch their 31st series win of the season? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Jonathan Aranda singled scoring Harold Ramirez
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 2nd as junior Caminero singled scoring Raimel Tapia
  • A batter later, Josh Lowe doubled scoring Rene Pinto 
  • A batter after that,  Caminero scored on a wild pitch by Wes Parsons
  • Three batters later, Aranda smacked a grand slam to right and into the Blue Jays bullpen; also scoring Lowe, Ramirez and Isaac Paredes
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the bottom half of the inning as Tyler Heineman  tripled scoring Cavan Biggio and Davis Schneider
  • A batter later, Heineman scored on a wild pitch by Jacob Lopez. 
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 4th as Manuel Margot whacked a solo blast to left
  • Wes Parsons pitching line: 4IP 10H 9R (all earned) 3BB 3K 89 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 5th as Caminero belted a solo jack to the opposite field in right-center
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 6th as Aranda doubled home Paredes
  • The Blue Jays gotone back in the bottom half of the inning as Biggio singled home Schneider
  • Two batters later, Daulton Varsho singled scoring Biggio
  • A batter later, Heineman singled home Santiago Espinal
  • Jacob Lopez pitching line: 5.1IP 8H 6R (5 earned) 2BB 4K 88 pitches (56 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the top of the 7th as Ramirez doubled scoring Oslevis Basabe
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bitumen half of the inning as Varsho singled scoring Bo Bichette
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the 8th as Brandon Belt berks a solo bomb to right-center
  • Final score: Rays 12 Blue Jays 8
My Take:

  • You have to feel bad for Wes Parsons, who made his big league debut in a mean- nothing game for both teams, seemingly going through the motions. The Rays looked ready to play and build momentum for a world series run that will begin Tuesday.  They lit up Parsons for 9 runs on 10 hits while drawing 3 walks and striking out 3 times on the embattled righty. As soon as the Mariners lost to the Rangers, this became a game of playing this game and not using the pitchers who will be playing Tuesday in either Minnesota or Tampa Bay, depending on outcomes of the games today. It's unfortunate that Parsons,  who hasn't played a meaningful game in a few weeks with the minor league season ending in early September. Quite frankly,  there were other options,  like Bowden Francis and Nate Pearson already on the 40- man roster who would have done as well or perhaps better. I know this game is meaningless and perhaps the Blue Jays would prefer to face the Twins over the Rays, especially given how the last two games this weekend have played out. At the same time, the Blue Jays put a rookie, who has never played a big league game,  nor pitched in a meaningful game in several weeks, in a tough spot with the Blue Jays playing all their backups and Parsons having not pitched in a game in a few weeks. 
  • The bullpen gave up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking none and striking out 6 over the last 5 innings. It's unfortunate the bullpen had to eat 5 innings since Wes Parsons was such a disaster. At the same tifme, it allowed Chad Green, Trevor Richards, Tim Mayza, Genesis Cabrera and Erik Swanson to get a final tuneup just before tbe postseason in a mean-nothing game.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays did try to make a game of it. Every Blue Jays starter but Whit Merrifield had at least one hit. All but Merrifield, Daulton Varsho, and Cam Eden scored at least once. Tyler Heineman led the way with 3RBI and a run scored. Daulton Varsho drove in a pair and Davis Schneider and Cavan Biggio each scored twice
  • The Blue Jays were 5-15 with runners in scoring position
  • Also, condolences to the Red Sox family, who lost knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to brain cancer
  • Up next, the Blue Jays travel to Minnesota where they will take on the Twins in a wild card series starting Tuesday (weather permitting). The Twins and Blue Jays split the 6 games in the season series with with the Twins outscoring the Blue Jays 28-26. Ace Kevin Gausman will start against Twins ace Pablo Lopez.