Saturday, May 4, 2024

Game #34 - Toronto Blue Jays (16-18) @ Washington Nationals (16-17) - game recap


Kevin Kiermaier hit a 2-run HR in a 6-3 win over the Nationals

After an ugly loss after the bullpen imploded, ruining a solid start from Yusei Kikuchi, the Blue Jays were looking to snap the three game skid and avoid their 6th series loss and 3rd season series loss of the season. Kevin Kiermaier was reinstated from the 10-day IL and got the start in CF, Nathan Lukes was optioned back to AAA-ball.  Daulton Varsho was back in LF (and batting 2nd. Bo Bichette was dropped to 5th in the batting order). Kevin Gausman got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. Justin Turner was at the hot corner and Daniel Vogelbach served as DH. Cavan Biggio got the start at 2B. Could the Blue Jays snap the 3-game skid and avoid their 6th series loss and 3rd season series loss? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 1st as Justin Turner singled scoring George Springer
  • Two batters later, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Turner scored on a fielder's choicce hit by Daniel Vogelbach. Nationals 1B Trey Lipscomb was charged with a throwing error on the play.
  • A batter later, Danny Jansen doubled scoring Bo Bichette 
  • Bo Bichette was ejected by home plate umpire Jonathan Parra at the end of the 5th inning for slamming his helment to the ground after a questionable called third strike\
  • Jake Irvin pitching line: 5IP 5H 4R (none earned) 1BB 4K 107 pitches (69 for strikes)
  • Kevin Gausman pitching line: 5.1IP 3H 0R 2BB 8K 112 pitches (73 for strikes)
  • The Nationals got one back in the bottom of the 7th on a sac fly by CJ Abrams that scored Eddie Rosario
  • A batter later, Nick Senzel singled scoring Alex Call
  • The Blue Jays added a pair of runs in the top of the 8th as Kevin Kiermaier hammered a 2-run bomb to dead center; also scoring Danny Jansen
  • The Nationals got one back in the bottom of the 9th as Luis Garcia Jr. singled scoring Lipscomb
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Nationals 3

My Take:

  • Kevin Gauman threw 5.1 shutout innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 walks and striking out 8. He threw a ton of pitches, the most in a start this season. You wonder if part of the reason is Alek Manoah is starting his first game in the majors in almost 9 months. Manoah had mixed results in AAA-ball and the bullpen will likely be called upon the first sign of trouble. Gausman retired 10 in a row and 10 of the last 11 he faced. He certainly seems to be back to his 2024 form.
  • The bullpen had mixed results. Tim Mayza and Trevor Richards retired every batter they faced. Jordan Romano, Nate Pearson and Brendon Little all gave up runs. Romano looked rusty from lack of work since the Blue Jays haven't had a late lead lately. He also likely felt less intensity since it was a non-save situation.
  • Offensively, the Blue Jays took advantage of some ugly defense by the Nationals, who blew two tailor-made double plays, leading to 4 unearned runs. Kevin Kiermaier contributed a key 2-run jack in the 8th to give Romano a 4-run cushion
  • Nice to see Bo Bichette show some emotion as he was rightfully upset at a called third strike. Roboumps cant come soon enough because there are some horrible umpires in the league 
  • Every Blue Jays starter reached base at least once and all but Vogelbach had a hit
  • Up next, the Blue Jays try to extend the win streak to 2 games and notch their 5th series win of the season and 3rd season series win of the season. Alek Manoah starts in the majors for the first time since August 10, 2023 as the big righty works his way back after a dreadful 2023 season that saw him demoted twice. Manoah's season started late with the righty dealing with shoulder soreness from his first and only spring training appearance. The Nationals will counter with lefty MacKenzie Gore