Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Wild Card series 2023 game #2 - Tornto Blue Jays (0-2) @ Minnesota Twins (2-0) - game recap.


Jose Berrios allowed one run in three innings in a 2-0 shutout loss to the Twins The Blue Jays playff game losing streak extended to 6 games with today's loss

After dropping the first game of the wild card series that snapped an 18 game playoff losing skid, the Blue Jays were looking to snap their own 5- game playoff skid. The exact same lineup as yesterday, except Jose Berrios was on the bump. Could the Blue Jays even the wild card series and snap the 5-game losing streak in playoff games? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th as Carlos Correa singled scoring Royce Lewis
  • A batter later, Max Kepler scored on a double play ball hit by Willi Castro
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 3IP 3H 1R (earned) 1BB 5K 47 pitches (32 for strikes)
  • Jon Gray pitching line: 5IP 5H 0R 2BB 6K 85 pitches (55 for strikes)
  • Jhoan Duran threw a scoreless 9th for his 2nd save of the WC scoreless
  • Final score: Twins 2 Blue Jays 0

My Take;

  • I have no words. Jose Berrios threw 3 shutout innings, allowed four base runners total, 2 weakly hit balls and one that was hit solidly and a walk. John Schneider decides to pull Berrios, who knows this ballpark better than any of the players, having pitched in Minnesota for five and a half seasons right here, due to some harebrained plan and stupid analytics. It's almost predictable that two runs scored that inning. What happened to the eye test? Also, he was far from tired, having only thrown 42 pitches to that point.
  • To be fair, the bullpen kept the score where it was after the 4th inning and gave the bats a fighting chance, allowing 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 5 over the last 4 innings. Pitching is not why the Blue Jays season is over
  • Lack of timely hitting and attention to detail is. Schneider infamously stressed attention to the little things in spring training. Vlad getting pitcked off of 2nd base with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs and Bio Bichette at the plate to end the inning was not paying attention to the little things. The next inning, Matt Chapman grounded into an inning ending double play. In both the 1st and 2nd innings, the Blue Jays got runners on 1st and 2nd only to see Cavan Biggio get called out on strikes in the 1st inning and George Springer get unlucky on a line drive in the 2nd inning to end the threats. The Blue Jays had chances to score in both wild card games and scoring just one run in two wild card games is simply inexcusable for the talent they had in that lineup. It's unfortunate former WS MVP Brandon Belt was unable to come through, striking out three times today. 
  • To me, it was fitting this season came down to Daulton Varsho, a player who represented change of culture and an emphasis on defense. Varsho struck out swinging to record the final out of the 2023 season. He will be an outfield piece next season to be sure.
  • Up next, the offseason, which came far too soon.