Thursday, March 28, 2024

Game #1 - Toronto Blue Jays (1-0) @ Tampa Bay Rays (0-1) - game recap


Cavan Biggio was 1-2 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in an 8-2 rout over the Rays to open the 2024 season.

At long last, baseball is back! Your Toronto Blue Jays opened the season in their house of horrors, Tropicana Field. Jose Berrios got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate.The Rays edged the Blue Jays in the season series last year, but the Blue Jays outscored the Rays 87-70. Jose Berrios got the start with Alejandro Kirk behind the plate. Newcomers Justin Turner (served as DH, batted cleanup) and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa (played the hot corner, batted 8th) got their first regular season action in a Blue Jays uniform. Cavan Biggio, who will likely see action at 2B, 3B and RF, got the start at 2B today. Grorge Springer was back in his customary leadoff spot in the lineup. One big change in the lineup saw Bo and Vlad switch spots in the batting order with Vlad batting 2nd and Bo batting 2nd. Could the Blue Jays srart the 2024 season with a win? Here is tonight's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Yandy Diaz led off with a solo blast down the line in left and just inside the left foul pole.
  • The Blue Jays tied the game in the top of the 4th as George Springer belted a solo jack to left-center 
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 6th as Cavan Biggio smacked a solo blast to right
  • Two batters later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hammered a solo bomb to dead center
  • Four batters later, Alejandro Kirk singled scoring Justin Turner and Bo Bichette
  • A batter later, Kevin Kiermaier singled home Daulton Varsho
  • Zach Eflin pitching line: 5.2IP 6H 6R 1BB 5K 81 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Rays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Diaz doubled home Rene Pinto
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 7th as Bichette doubled scoring Biggio and Springer
  • Jose Berrios pitching line: 6IP 6H 2R (both earned) 1BB 6K 91 pitches (59 for strikes)
  • Final score: Blue Jays 8 Rays 2

My Take: 

  • Two years after a disastrous opening day start where he didn't get out of the 1st inning, Jose Berrios was solid, giving up a pair of runs on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6 over 6 innings. After being taken yard by the first batter he faced, Berrios quickly settled down and retired 11 of the next 14 batters he faced. Good start. Hopefully he builds on it going forward.
  • The bullpen gave up a pair of hits and a walk while striking out 5 over the last three innings
  • It was mixed results for the newbies to the lineup. Neither Turner nor Kiner-Falefa got a hit, but Turner reached base the painful way, getting plunked by Rays starter Zach Eflin and eventually came around to score.
  • The Blue Jays were 3-9 with runners in scoring position - a stat to keep an eye on and one that they struggled mightily with last season.
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to increase the win streak to 2 straight games. Chris Bassitt starts against Rays righty Aaron Civale