Friday, March 29, 2024

Game #2 - Toronto Blue Jays (1-1) @ Tampa Bay Rays (1-1) - game recap


George Springer hit a solo HR in an 8-2 loss to the Rays

After a convincing win over the Rays thanks to a big 6th inning and some solid pitching from Jose Berrios, the Blue Jays were looking to start the season with 2 straight wins. A won would guarantee them a series split in a stadium that has given them trouble in the past.  Chris Bassitt got the start with the Blue Jays fielding the same lineup as opening day yesterday.  Could the Blue Jays make it two straight wins? Here is tonight's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 3rd as George springer smacked a solo blast to left
  • The Rays took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Brandon Lowe hammered a grand slam to right- center; also scoring Jose Caballero, Ben Rortvedt and Yandy Diaz
  • The Rays added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Randy Arozarena singled scoring Diaz
  • Chris Bassitt pitching line: 5IP 6H 5R (4 earned) 2BB 6K 95 pitches (63 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a run in the bottom of the 6th on a fielder's choice hit by Caballero that scored Jose Siri
  • Aaron Civale pitching line: 6IP 4H 1R (earned) 1BB 6K 86 pitches (53 for strikes)
  • The Rays added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th as Diaz singled home Rortvedt and Caballero
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th on a sac fly by Alejandro Kirk that scored Justin Turner
  • Final score: Rays 8 Blue Jays 2

My Take:

  • Not the best start for Chris Bassitt, who gave up a grand slam and had to throw a ton of pitches early. Bassit faced the minimum the first 2 innings, but got into trouble in the 3rd inning on a single. hit batter and fielding error. He gave up a 5th run in the his last inning with the Rays getting three straight base hits off him. His next opponent, the Astros next week, won't be any easier
  • Reliever Wes Parsons, getting the opportunity to pitch in the bigs with Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson both starting the season on the IL, finished off the last 3 innings. Parsons allowed 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1. He'll be the odd man out once Romano and Swanson are ready to roll.
  • Attention to detail is huge in baseball. The defense committed 3 errors that factored in 6 of the runs. Immediately before the grand slam, Bo Bichette couldn't field a grounder cleanly. He should have at least been able to get the force out at 2B. Immediately after the grand slam, Cavan Biggio flubbed a grounder. Bichette committed his second error of the game and two batters later, the Rays scored their 5th run. Wes Parsons threw the ball away in the 8th, but was able to induce a double play the next batter. The Rays did get three straight hits after the DP to put the game out of reach.
  • Small silver lining: Justin Turner and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa both got their first regular season hits in a Blue Jays uniform. Daniel Vogelbach is still seeking his (he was 0-4 in a brief 2020 stint with the Blue Jays and was 0-1 tonight)
  • The Blue Jays were 0-3 with runners in scoring position. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to retake the lead in the season-opening series. Yusei Kikuchi starts against Rays righty Zack Littell