In the standings, today’s result is identical to the Victoria Day blowout. Other than that, it couldn’t have been more different (for starters, Vlad actually played!). For the last three hours or so of a four-and-half-hour affair, the Jays nipped at the heels of the Red Sox like the most annoying dog. Multiple times they pulled even, but they could never quite manage to pull ahead at any point.
Aaron Sanchez turned in a decent outing, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings, with five strikeouts against four free passes (including two HBPs). Some innings were really easy — three of them being clean; the other three were pretty messy with at least two reaching. The first two batters of the game reached before Sanchez got a double play ball.
In the top of the 3rd, free passes came back to haunt Sanchez, as a leadoff HBP and two out walk to Mookie Betts both scored on a pair of singles. That 2-0 lead was the highwater mark for the Red Sox, but by the same measure they never trailed over the remaining 10+ innings.
Meanwhile, Rick Porcello mostly cruised though six innings against the Jays, allowing just three hits. The exception to said cruising was when Vladimir Guerrero launched an absolute blast leading off the 4th to dead centre field, estimated at 110 MPH off the bat and traveling 424 feet:
Having used Sam Gaviglio in a blowout yesterday, the Jays were forced to turn to the soft underbelly of their bullpen in a close game. Daniel Hudson came in for the 7th and immediately got into trouble, allowing a leadoff double and then a pair of walks to load the bases with one out. He got out of it with just an RBI groundout, at least mitigating what could have been much worse.
The bottom of the inning went similarly, as the Jays got back the run but squandering a great opportunity. After Brandon Workman got the first two, Freddy Galvis singled (is only positive on the night), Brandon Drury doubled and a pinch hitting Billy McKinney walked. Luke Maile did a great job working the count to draw a walk that forced a run home. But Eric Sogard made one of his six outs and the runners were stranded, the lead just out of reach.
So, having re-narrowed the lead to one, who was next out of the bullpen? Why, Derek Law, who made quick work of putting it back to two via a home run that Rafael Devers absolutely crushed. Once again, in the bottom of the inning, the Jays got it back as Justin Smoak lasered a home run to right field.
Mercifully, Law was able to able the line for once in the 9th. Drury hit another double with one out, advancing to third with two out. Danny Jansen pinch hit for Maile, and lined the game tying single. One can only wonder what it might otherwise have been had the bullpen done a better job. Anyway, it was off to extras as Sogard made another of his six outs.
Ken Giles put up a zero in the 10th, which gave the Jays to win it in the 10th. Smoak doubled with one out, and Rowdy Tellez was intentionally walked to bring up Randal Grichuk. With Richard Urena on the bench, Charlie Montoyo opted not to pinch run. So when Grichuk lined a single, there was no chance of Smoak scoring. It was at this juncture that Smoak was removed in favour of Urena. His bat was lost for nothing, as Galvis struck out.
Joe Biagini came in for the 11th and had a quick inning, as the teams traded clean innings and zeroes. He continued for the 12th and looked to be in good shape with two and none out...until Mookie Betts cranked a home run to centre to restore the Red Sox lead.
Vlad and Urena made quick outs, leaving the game in Tellez’s hands. He matched Mookie’s big swing with one of his own, another no doubter to retie the game and tie Michael Chavis for the rookie home run lead.
About that...it lasted about 10 minutes, as in the top of the 13th, Chavis himself came up with one out facing new/old friend Jimmy Cordero. He demolished a cutter for a 424 foot home run. This time, the Jays had no response in the bottom of the inning.
Super Jay of the Day: Rowdy Tellez (+0.428 WPA)
Jays of the Day: Jansen (+0.356), Smoak (+0.158), Giles (+0.139)
Blew Jays: Galvis (-0.395), Sogard (-0.318), Cordero (-0.279), McKinney (-0.199), Biagini (-0.176).
The Jays and Red Sox are back at it early tomorrow, a 12:37 EDT start as the Jays will try to split the series. The good news is the Red Sox will send Ryan Weber to the mound, whose season high is 63 pitches, so they should get into the bullpen pretty early. After the game Charlie Montoyo confirmed that “TBA” will be Clayton Richard making his Blue Jays debut, though I imagine with the bullpen in somewhat rough shape, Ryan Feierabend may feature prominently.