Sunday, June 9, 2024

Game #65 - Toronto Blue Jays (32-33) @ Oakland A's (26-41) - game recap


Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in 5 runs in a 6-4 comeback win over the A's in 10 innings. This was a bit of a bookend moment with the Blue Jays winning both their first and last series in Oakland.

After a huge shutout win over the A's on the strength of a complete game effort from Kevin Gausman, a pair of RBI from Danny Jansen, including a sac fly in the 1st inning to snap a 29-game streak of not scoring in the 1st inning, and Bo Bichette scoring twice and driving in a run, the Blue Jays were looking for their 2nd straight win and 8th series win of the season. Bowden Francis got the start with Danny Jansen behind the plate. George Springer was back in the lineup and in RF after the complete day off yesterday. Daulton Varsho was in LF and Justin Turner served as DH. Could the Blue Jays make it two straight wins and 8 series wins? Here is today's game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd as Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled scoring Justin Turner and George Springer
  • Bowden Francis pitching line: 4IP 3H 0R 1BB 3K 49 pitches (31 for strikes) 
  • The A's got one back in the bottom of the 6th as Brent Rooker hammered a solo bomb to left-center
  • The A's took the lead in the bottom of the 7th as Abraham Toro singled scoring Tyler Soderstrom and Aledmys Diaz
  • Mitch Spence pitching line: 7IP 5H 2R (both earned) 0BB 3K 89 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays tied it up in the top of the 8th on a sac fly by Davis Schneider that scored Daulton Varsho
  • The Blue Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th as Isiah Kiner-Falefa doubled scoring Ernie Clement, Bichette and Varsho
  • The A's got one back in the bottom half of the inning on a ground out hit by JJ Bleday that scored Max Scheumann
  • Genesis Cabrera got the last 3 outs for his 1st save of the season
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 A's 4

My Take:

  • Bowden Francis threw 4 shutout innings, scattering 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3. He'll be the 5th starter for the next few turns, likely platooning with Yariel Rodriguez, who is going to be on an innings restriction, especially coming off an injury. Francis struggled at the beginning of the season when he was handed the role, almost be default with Manoah injured and Rodriguez building up after a late arrival in spring training. Francis dealt with baserunners in every inning, but was able to make his pitches when he needed to and kept the A's off the scoreboard
  • The bullpen gave up 4 runs on 3 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7 over the last 6 innings. Zack Pop, Chad Green and Yimi Garcia all retired every batter they faced. Technically Garcia did too, but the ghost runner scored on him.
  • The offence got 'er done in the end, barely. After yet another scoreless 1st inning, IKF came through and knocked in a pair. He would drive in three more with a bases-clearing double in the 10th as well. Davis Schneider drove in the other run with a sac fly in the 8th.
  • A couple of oddities occurred in the 10th inning. First, the Blue Jays second out came as a result of interference when A's 1st baseman Tyler Soderstrom collided with Yusei Kikuchi as the latter scrambled out of the way of a pop up. Why Kikuchi didn't run the other way towards the dugout is a question that may never be answered. The second odditity was Genesis Cabrera appearing on the lineup card as a batter when Ernie Clement, who pinch ran for Turner, who was the DH, came in as the third baseman in the bottom half of the inning. Should the A's have come back to tie the game, Alejandro Kirk may have had to pinch hit in the 11th inning for the pitcher.
  • The Blue Jays were 3-8 with runners in scoring position
  • For the final fun facts of Oakland coliseum, here are some firsts and lasts Blue Jays style:
    • First home run: John Scott (off Vida Blue in the 1st inning June 5, 1977)
    • Last home run: Kevin Kiermaier (off Luis Medina in the 5th inning June 8, 2024)
    • First Win: June 4, 1977 (score: 4-2; winning pitcher: Dave Lemanczyk; save: Mike Wills)
    • Last win: June 9, 2024 (score: 6-4; winning pitcher: Yimi Garcia; save: Genesis Cabrera)
  • Up next, the Blue Jay continue the road trip as they head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers. The Blue Jay won the season series last year, outscoring the Brewers 12-7. Ace Jose Berrios starts against Brewers righty Colin Rea