Saturday, March 30, 2024

Game #3 - Toronto Blue Jays (1-2) @ Tampa Bay Rays (2-1) - game recap


Cavan Biggio drove in the Blue Jays only run in a 5-1 loss to the Rays

After a beat down at the hands of the Rays, who got to Chris Bassitt and took advantage of some shoddy defense, the Blue Jays were looking to retake the series lead in the season opening series. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with backup catcher Brian Serven behind the plate. Daniel Vogelbach got the start at DH and was batting cleanup. Ernie Clement was at tbe hot corner. Could tbe Blue Jays bounce-back after a tough loss? Here is today's game recap. 

Game Highlights:

  • The Rays opened the scoring in the bottom of the 3rd a Amed Rosario singled scoring Randy Arozarena
  • The Rays added ax run in the bottom of the 5th as Arozarena whacked a solo blast to the opposite field in right
  • Three batters later, Isaac Paredes scored on a sac fly by Jose Caballero
  • Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 4.1IP 6H 3R (all earned) 3BB 4K 90 pitches (58 for strikes)
  • Zack Littell pitching line: 6IP 4H 0R 2BB 6K 92 pitches (61 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 7th as Cavan Biggio singled scoring Daulton Varsho
  • The Rays added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Caballero singled scoring Arozarena
  • Blue jays pitcher Genesis Cabrera was ejected from the game for shoving Caballero on the final out of the 7th inning.  
  • The Rays added a run in the bottom of the 8th on a sac fly by Yandy Diaz that scored Jose Siri
  • Final score: Rays 5 Blue Jays 1

My Take:

  • Not a great start for the Blue Jays lefty, who threw a ton of pitches early and was very hit and miss with his command. He gave up three runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6 over 4.1 innings. Kikuchi walked the first batter he faced and was in a hole with runners on first and second with none out before he retired the next three hitters. Kikuchi faced a bases loaded jam in the 3rd inning, but limited the damage to a single run. This start for Kikuchi felt a lot like many of the starts in 2022 where he was struggling to find the plate and was not pitching deep in games.  As the broadcasters mentioned,  Kikuchi is working a new pitch, a change up into his arsenal of pitches,  but maybe don't try it in a game until you're comfortable in a side season or bullpen with it m. It's one start,  so no need to say Kikuchi is reverting back to his 2022 form just yet.  Hopefully he makes the necessary adjustments and dominates against the Bronx bombers next week. 
  • The bullpen gave up 2 insurance runs that put this game to bed 
  • Was very impressed with Ernie Clement who made a few sparkling defensive plays at the hot corner and had 2 of the 6 hits for the Blue Jays
  • Not so impressed with Genesis Cabrera who may be facing suspension for shoving Jose Caballero
  • Backup catcher Brian Serven didn't have a great day, with the Rays stealing 2 bases on him and getting big leads on the bases.  He was 0-3 at the plate
  • Daniel Vogelbach finally got the monkey off his back and got his first regular season hit in a Blue jays uniform. 
  • The Blue jays were 1-7 with runners in scoring position. 
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to snap the two game skid and escape Tampa Bay with a series split. Kevin Gausman starts for the Blue Jays while the Rays are expected to have a bullpen day and have not announced an opener for the game.